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“Pretentious and far from extraordinary”
Review of Cafe Ponte

Cafe Ponte
Ranked #1 of 721 Restaurants in Clearwater
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: 58th St.
Reviewed March 26, 2012

This is the typical show-off restaurant that pretends to be elegant and chic but the food is nothing to rave about.
I have been in less pretentious restaurants with much more refined food and prices that matched the portions. Cafe Ponte is highly overpriced and the portions are tiny. I usually think American restaurants serve way too much food (hence the custom of the "doggy bag") but you go away hungry at Cafe Ponte unless you can afford more than one entree.
I went with my husband and son and we all ordered different plates and we all were not impressed at all. It was OK food but nothing to be remembered.
If you like a very very quiet atmosphere where you have to whisper instead of talking and you enjoy a waiter that pours the wine for you, then you will enjoy this place. It's good for old couples or those who have never eaten the real Italian or nouvelle cuisine. I don't feel any desire to going back myself.....

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5  Thank Mandy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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595 - 599 of 643 reviews

Reviewed March 23, 2012

We had the most extraordinary dining experience tonight with Rolph and the support servers. Although the restaurant is oddly located in a shopping center/business center space, upon entering the decor delights in every area of the eatery. Just beautiful. Superb service from the moment you step inside with the hostess, to the very end when Rolph held the door open for us upon leaving the piano bar area.

White linens help define the atmosphere, this is a very special place! Prior to the live piano music, the overhead music is tastefully selected and at a perfect sound level which sets the mood for a lovely evening.

Our evening began with choice of three waters, an extensive wine list, and tasteful cocktails. Complimentary tea cups of mushroom bisque or pumpkin lobster soup are presented to your complete surprise. Simply delicious!

Rolph took his time perfectly between each phase of the evening. No rushing and yet we never had to ask for anything from anyone. Our appetizer was a delectable prosciutto and fig flat bread followed by two salads: The BLT salad and the Tuscan salad . . . both perfectly dressed and presented.

A basket of various freshly baked breads was brought by our table during our salads and we savored each of them with utter satisfaction! Soft herb butter is given to spread if you choose to do so.

For our entrees we selected the Chilean Sea Bass which the chef attentively substituted an Asian puree in place of the lobster base (that I am allergic to). This attention to patron's preferences is also what has helped bring fame to Chef Ponte. The other entree was a mouth-watering ribeye steak with a sauce that is to die for! were perfect.

Before our desserts arrived, Rolph presented each of us with two pieces of extraordinary chocolates. Amazing! To end the meal, we enjoyed the flour less chocolate cake with burnt caramel ice cream and the apple tart tartan. It just doesn't get any better than this.

We used to hold Mama's Fish House on Maui as our all-time will-always-return restaurant on the planet, but now Cafe Ponte and the service of Rolph has taken center stage for us and we'd recommend this fine eatery to the most sophisticated diners!

Clearwater, Florida is fortunate that Chef Ponte opened his establishment there. If only South Carolina was so far away! We'd dine here repeatedly if we could!

Buon Appetito and Grazie Tutto!

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1  Thank RW P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2012

Not cheap but worth every penny! The service was excellent too. I would like to eat there every time I'm in town.

Thank Scott C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2012

From the time my party was seated to the time we left, the service we received was fantastic. Our server was extremely attentive without being invasive. He knew when to approach our table and when to allow for conversation to flow. The food was excellent and the presentation divine. Two in my party ordered filet and each felt that it was under cooked. within minutes, their meal was taken and presented again exactly to their liking.

When it came time for dessert, one member of my party simply wanted the tahitian vanilla ice cream without the extras. Not only did she get the ice cream but it was presented in such a way that one thought it was designed especially for her!

My complements to the owner, chef and server of this restaurant. It was an exceptionally fine dining experience.

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1  Thank AngelicaPa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2012

Really enjoyed our meal. I booked from the UK after reading an article on the restaurant. Really enjoyed a beets and goat cheese salad, wonderful fish entree and dessert was divine.

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1  Thank Mrsfraggle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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