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“Doesn't Measure Up”
Review of Chart House

Chart House
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Ranked #8 of 26 Restaurants in Longboat Key
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $50
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Longboat Club
Transit: In front of restaurant on Gulf of Mexico Drive
Description: Located just west of Sarasota on beautiful Longboat Key, Chart House boasts a dramatic interior décor that almost outshines its stunning view of the Gulf of Mexico. Combine the extraordinary setting with outstanding cuisine, & it’s not hard to see why this tropical retreat is a longtime favorite. Since 1961, Chart House has been dedicated to providing the ideal dining experience. With 29 historic, waterfront & showcase locations across the U.S., Chart House offers spectacular views & exceptional service that you’re sure to enjoy. From signature fish specialties and seafood to succulent steaks, our renowned chefs have tailored a menu to complement local cuisine while introducing a hint of the exotic. Choose from our famous entrées such as Macadamia Crusted Mahi, Miso Glazed Salmon & our slow-roasted Prime Rib. We also offer a daily selection of fresh fish, an extensive collection of fine wines and our famous Hot Chocolate Lava Cake. Fabulous happy hour and patio!
Reviewed March 31, 2014

We made reservations for five of us to have a birthday dinner here as a result of enjoying a wonderful visit to the Tampa location last year. We were very disappointed and won't be going back to this one on Longboat Key.

The reservation was tagged with the fact that my husband is a Landry Select member, which supposedly gives him a perk of "priority seating." Our table was right next to the hostess station and opposite a door that, whenever it was opened, let in a rush of air that blew the side of our tablecloth over the table. And I suggest not accepting any of the large, round booths they have as it was very uncomfortable and made it awkward to hold conversations with everyone.

The staff appeared very harried and inexperienced. The hostess was not sure of the name of our server. When our waitress arrived to take our drink and appetizer orders, she stated that the kitchen was running behind and apologized ahead of time for any delays. Not a good sign at the beginning of a meal, but we understand that it sometimes happens.

After a long while, she appeared again at the table to tell us the bar was backed up, which apparently also prepares water for the tables, and apologized once more. This made us start to wonder whether the entire night would be the same. Unfortunately, it was.

Service remained very slow, appetizers were not served at the same time, an order of soup was totally forgotten and main courses were not served at the same time. Dinners ranged from delicious to average. No one in our party could say they enjoyed everything on their plate.

Definitely not the experience and quality we expected. We will probably try the Tampa location again, but will not revisit this one.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank EilselFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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462 - 466 of 758 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2014

We went 2 nights. Had a wonderful dinner both nights, especially the shrimp cocktail - the shrimp were huge and served with dry ice smoke coming out - great presentation.

Thank DinaColumbus_NC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2014

This was the worst experience that I have had in over 10 years of dining at the Longboat Key Chart House. I ordered the "Savory scallops and cucumber salad," and it was a disaster. The presentation was unattractive, the scallops were lukewarm, rubbery, and certainly nothing about them was "savory," and the mashed cauliflower was watery and nearly flavorless. I am a fan of scallops and order them frequently elsewhere, so I feel that I know how they should taste. In addition, cooks in our family frequently prepare mashed cauliflower, and I will tell you that this was a bland, uninteresting presentation of something that has the potential to be quite good.

There were other things that irritated me about our meal. When ordering wine by the glass, I noticed the rather poor quality of the available selections. The selection of bottled wine is reasonable, but when you have two or four people in a party, you cannot expect all of them to want the same wine. Many of the wines by the glass are the cheap, uninteresting ones. $11.99 a glass for a Chilean Casa Lapostelle chardonnay that sells at less than $10 retail per bottle? Bogle Sauvignon blanc? Management will probably say that they don't sell much sauvignon blanc by the glass. The reason: It's BOGLE sauvignon blanc. Management needs to consider who their customers are. This is the LONGBOAT KEY Chart House. Your customers expect and deserve better.

Another irritation came when the meals were served. The server who brought the food from the kitchen presented my wife's meal and said "Scallops for the young lady." Aside from the from the fact that the scallops were actually mine, his comment wasn't "cute," it was disrespectful to a person who is a paying customer and who is two generations older than he is. When he was told that she ordered the shrimp, he gave me the scallops and said, "Scallops for the young man." Five minutes later we overheard him delivering "chicken for the young lady" at the next table.

As was already mentioned, I was not pleased with my dinner. It was returned to the kitchen, and I ordered the king salmon a replacement. I expected to wait a while, but the replacement took more than a half hour to arrive at the table. After about 20 minutes, the waiter came to the table to tell me that it would be available "in about 3 minutes." Fifteen minutes after he said that, I got up from the table to seek out the manager. Within five minutes, the salmon was finally delivered. During the time that I waited for my meal, my wife finished her entrée, returned to the salad bar to get fruit for dessert, and ordered coffee. The manager came by to ask if I was satisfied, and I told him that I was displeased with the wait. I was given the excuse that they were busy. I am sorry, but that is not a reasonable excuse. If someone who is already dining is displeased, the first priority in the kitchen should be to replace that meal. It did not take 35 minutes to prepare that salmon!

My wife and I realized that we used to be regular customers at the Chart House on Longboat Key, visiting as many as four times a year. We wondered why it had been almost a year since our last visit, but then we realized that it probably was because of a similar poor experience that we had last April at the Chart House in Tampa. We don't expect The Chart House to be a "great" restaurant. We used to be satisfied that it was a "good" restaurant with a view. Unfortunately, our two most recent experiences in Longboat Key and Tampa did not even rate as "good." It is apparent that there are many significant issues here, requiring either serious re-training of staff or new management.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank SarasotaCharlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2014

We tried meals from the famous Early Bird Menu. You get what you pay for. The meals were served lifeless and lukewarm even after we sent them back. The salad bar is interesting with decent quality. Check your bill, we were charged full price for the salmon on the EB menu. We were looking forward to the chocolate lava cake but were disappointed in the dry texture and lack of molten lava center that was supposedly made to order. One bright spot? The Gazpacho was spot on. Someone was paying attention to that detail.

Thank Foodstudy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2014

Our last visit had been less than stellar. This time our group of 9 had an excellent Saturday night dinner. Our reservation was on time, service was attentive, the view was great, and the food was delicious. I'd be happy to eat there again.

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

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