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“Great food, not so great service”
Review of Cress Restaurant

Cress Restaurant
Ranked #9 of 184 Restaurants in DeLand
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $40 - $75
Cuisines: Seafood, Contemporary, International, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: ZAGAT Guide:TOP Orlando Restaurant & America's Top Restaurants. Cress is a critically acclaimed global brasserie, with Farm-to-Table cuisine, located in Historic Downtown DeLand, Florida. Cress has always been dedicated to sourcing local produce that is inspired by the subtle changes in the Florida seasons. The cornerstone of the restaurant blends fresh market ingredients, exotic flavors, and refined presentation. Our serving staff creates a dialogue about food; for Cress is about the story or our land. The goal is to provide a connection that complements the complexity of the food the Cress kitchen creates with where our food comes from and with the individuals who are growing them. Knowing your farmer, dairyman, cattlemen, and fishermen. Offering 3-Course and Chef's Tastings only.
Reviewed April 26, 2014

I struggled the overall rating for Cress because the food deserves an excellent rating but the service was a tremendous disappointment. This netted down to average. After hearing how great the food was, we were so excited to try Cress and went for our anniversary. The atmosphere is charming and eclectic. It's a small but tasteful restaurant and was rather noisy which doesn't bother us. After we were seated we waited several minutes for a server to approach the table. This was surprising since fine dining often starts with very attentive service.

We ordered a glass of wine each while we considered the menu and waited significantly longer than is typical to place our food order. I did notice the wine portions were small for an establishment of this caliber. We started with the house vegetarian sampler and it was outstanding. Pickled locally sourced heirloom vegetables, deviled eggs, the best hummus I've ever had, chimichurri, and grilled naan.

For dinner I ordered the phaneng curry dish and my husband had the hung wagyu entree with alfredo. The curry was served with rice and warm naan that was delivered about 5 minutes before the entree arrived which was odd. And when our entrees were delivered both of our wine glasses were empty and our water glasses were less than half full but the servers did not offer more wine or additional water.

When I finally had my full meal it was very good. Loaded with fresh vegetables and the fish of the day. The curry was rich, savory, full flavored and as pleasantly spicy as they promised. However, I could not eat it all because my wine and water were empty and the spice without water to drink was a bit overpowering, albeit delicious. My husband's beef was probably the most flavorful meat we have both ever had. Alone without being dressed up it was outstanding, perfectly cooked and fork tender. That particular entree was probably one of the best we both have had anywhere. But it would have been much better with wine and water.

When the server arrived to clear our plates he was going to take them without offering drink refills and I had to specifically ask for water and my husband had to ask if he could have more wine. By then I didn't want any more wine since my meal was complete. The glass of wine poured for my husband was even less than his first- perhaps 1/4 of the red wine glass.

Although at this point we were disappointed with the service, since it was our anniversary we ordered dessert and opted for a citrus infused chocolate mousse dish. Like the rest of the food, it was outstanding.

Overall, the food is great but the proprietors need to step up the service. For a shared appetizer, three glasses of wine, two entrees and dessert we paid just under $100 before tip. But I also know I can go to similar restaurants in St. Augustine, New Smyrna or Winter Park and pay the same and have significantly better service. The restaurant was not full and there seemed to be adequate staff so there is no compelling reason we could find for not being able to get our drinks refilled.

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2  Thank kendall68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jenneffer P, Owner at Cress Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded April 28, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to visit Cress, and even more to leave your thoughts on your visit. We appreciate the compliments on our location as well as the food. While those are wonderful, we are sorry the service was not speedy. As your server indicated to you at the table, our wine glasses hold 28.4 oz. We were unable to accommodate your multiple requests to fill the wine glass half way, as that would be a 14oz pour of wine. We plan of two hours of dining time for our guest’s dinner. In the future, please let your server know you are in a hurry and we will make special arrangements for you. Thank you for your input. Cress is always striving to improve; therefore your comments are important tools in our staff meetings, thank you. Please contact me personally if you would like to discuss this further, jenneffer@cressrestaurant.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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125 - 129 of 239 reviews

Reviewed April 22, 2014

Our meal at Cress was wonderful! A casual but nice atmosphere, nice wine list, and a varied menu. Lots of great choices and everything that our table ordered was great. My fish taco appetizer was really good and enough food that I could have skipped an entree. But then I would have missed out on a delicious Creole shrimp & grits meal! Others at our table enjoyed the pork belly app, the lamb, the chicken & quail, and curry. The service was very nice--not too slow, not too fast and very friendly--particularly to the kids we had with us. Everything was great!

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1  Thank cgherst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014 via mobile

This was our first visit. The food has abundant flavor. Cress is very small. Our waitress did an excellent job. Since we had driven from Ponce Inlet, we ordered wine by the glass. The only negative was they gave "skimpy" wine pours! Never experienced this in a fine dining restaurant before.

1  Thank Lindy0404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2014

We drove to DeLand from the Lake Nona area of Orlando upon a recommendation, and it was a hike! It took a solid hour to drive to Cress each way, but we didn't think much of it since the restaurant was so hyped-up to us. The ambiance is cozy, but could be more upscale for the prices/quality of the dishes offered. Everything we had was tasty, although I thought some of the portions were a bit scant (the mushroom and goat cheese tart, for example). I did enjoy the shrimp and grits very much, my husband really liked his waygu ribeye, and we had a good bottle of wine. The server wasn't very attentive or even all that friendly, and when our wine ran out we weren't offered anything else, all of which detracted from our evening. We asked him a few questions about the dishes and he was unhelpful and a bit rude, dismissing us. For the price, the service, the drive, and the ambiance, we won't be back. There are quite a few special, upscale restaurants in the Orlando area that were much more memorable.

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6  Thank Samantha F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2014

My parents live in Deland and they tend to go to Cress about once or twice a year as a treat. So when my boyfriend and I visited this Spring, we decided to try the Chef's Table experience. This is a seven or eight course meal (if you count the amuse bouche!) and each course is paired with its own wine. The chef very kindly agreed to tailor the selection as I am a pescetarian. It was delicious!! All in all, we tasted shrimp, pork belly, fresh made tagliatelle, sea bass, grits, and more, all made even more tasty thanks to the excellent wine pairing choices made by the chef's wife and co-owner of Cress. Absolutely stunning meal. The only drawback for me was that we were seated at the bar - for ease of serving from the kitchen I expect as the chef comes out and explains each meal. The only downside is that there were four of us and it made group conversation a bit difficult. But otherwise, a very pleasant evening and certainly the best restaurant in Volusia county!

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

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