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“Get Thee to Pentola Instead”
Review of Costa Brava

Costa Brava
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Ranked #181 of 601 Restaurants in St. Augustine
Price range: $15 - $40
Cuisines: Seafood, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: King
Description: Enter Costa Brava through hand painted gold leaf Moroccan arches into the elegance and allure of Costa Brava Restaurant. Polish casual dining with a southern Bohemian influence. Focusing on fresh local seafood and eccentric tapas.
Reviewed February 17, 2009

95 Cordova has for years been the "special occasion" restaurant in historic St. Augustine. What was once a dining experience that left all your senses a flutter has turned into something unique, but not in a good way.

While the sumptuous decor is still pleasing to the eye and the delicious food to the palate, there are some problems with the other senses. The background music has gone Jetsons Techno. . . much more appropriate for a Disney themed restaurant or a Vegas lounge. The only thing that kept us from leaving in the middle of dinner was that it wasn't cranked up. . . thank goodness. A quick survey of other diners resulted in the common word "annoying". When we complained to the staff, we were introduced to the food and beverage manager who said. . . "what do you want. . . classical?" before he rolled his eyes. They did not adjust the music.

Other, more minor disappointments included:

1. No table actually reserved for us, even though we called several days ago. "We had a lot of walk ins". . . then why accept reservations?

2. The seating of some teenagers literally wearing sweat pants and hoodies.

3. A seating hostess who had no idea she was actually suppose to pull out a chair.

The pluses included a perfectly cooked 8 rib rack of lamb that was large enough to share, and a dining room with soft surfaces that absorbed most conversations.

In a restaurant where the entrees are in the $25-$35 range, and an outrageous corkage fee of $30 per bottle. . . we should expect a far better dining experience.

2  Thank sherrrrry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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523 - 527 of 559 reviews

Reviewed January 2, 2009

I had the opportunity to have Christmas brunch at 95 Cordova with an out of town friend staying at the Casa Monica hotel. I was bitterly disappointed. It was my first experience at this hotel and restaurant. The buffet brunch was advertised at $70 pp which seemed a bit steep for St. Augustine but,, after all, it was Christmas. Champagne was included. The two of us arrived about 12:30 pm.

The restaurant was dim and poorly lit, had no view and although it was not crowded, we were seated next to the bar, separated by a partition. The wait service was spotty and we had to ask for everything from forks to water to champagne.

The food was plentiful and good, for the most part, but not remarkable considering the price. I was a vegetarian so I could not take advantage of the meats but I could have seafood, which was not very interesting nor good even though St. Augustine is known for its seafood and directly on the Atlantic Ocean. There were no vegetables or salad on the buffet that I could recall except for turnip greens. The turnip greens were delicious. $70 worth of turnips.

The problematic thing, in my opinion, was that after receiving our bill, we found that we had been charged the expected $70 for the buffet but in addtion, charged an additional 20% gratuity ---- for a buffet! All in all, this buffet with gratuity and tax cost almost $90 pp. When questioned, our waiter informed us the gratuity was required. Because there was no notice, we felt we were mislead.

The next day, I questioned the manager and he explained that they always require 20% gratuity on holidays and that they were modeling themselves after the Ritz Carlton. The Ritz Carlton they aren't in terms of innovative, varied cuisine, impeccable service and classic environment.

Don't waste your time at 95 Cordova and if you want to pay top dollar for a buffet --just go to the Ritz! You certainly would enjoy it more, I am sure.

4  Thank zaftig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2008

World class cuisine in a world class hotel (reasonable $). Wine list is exceptional (albeit pricey). Excellent wines BTG. Service to match. This is a must try for that special occasion.

1  Thank 57stratocaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2008

We try to visit every time we are in St. Augustine. The tasting menu is great and reasonably priced. It really showcases the chef's talent and the wine parings are perfect. I love that it makes me try new wines, I do tend to stay with what I know. Our waiter was wonderful making sure to discribe each course and each wine and even made sure to give me a little extra on a glass I was particularly fond of. A great place for a lovely quiet dinner.

2  Thank Gator58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 17, 2008

Such an interesting decor, elegant food, and upscale atmosphere. Can be pricey but it is in a 5 star hotel so you would expect it.

2  Thank A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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