My faith in being able to choose a good restaurant based on tripadvisor reviews has been shaken.15 years of staying on Sanibel and we have never been to Greenhouse Grill. We were looking to try something different this time and turned to the Tripadvisor top 10. We tried to get in at Trader's but were to late to get the time we wanted.
When we arrived there were many open seats and we realized we probably didn't need a reservation. We were seated in a decent seat and the restaurant had a nice comfortable feel to it. We felt that we may have made a good decision.
The server was an older lady who spoke broken English. She was pushy and seemed to be overwhelmed by something. There were about 5 tables of people being served by 3 servers so we didn't see any reason for it but we thought maybe she was just having a bad night .
We ordered a bottle of wine because wine by the glass was $9 for bottom shelf grade wine. We are not cheap when it comes to wine but we expect quality when we pay a premium price.
We ordered a salad to start and an entree after being asked repeatedly if we were ready to order. My wife ordered a caprese salad and I ordered a spinach salad. The salads were $10 dollars each which is a fair price for a quality salad-which these were not. The caprese was bland with completely unsalted mozzarella. My spinach salad was supposed to have gorgonzolla cheese on it but it was bland and flavorless.
The plates were taken after we finished the salad and we were never asked how it was. The entrees were brought out by a different server who was much friendlier than our original server.
My wife's dish was the bouillabaisse which was recommended by some on trip advisor. This dish was a big unflavored bowl of overcooked, low grade, seafood byproducts. I ordered the veal valdostana; translation; chewy, overcooked veal covered in processed cheese. The rosemary potatoes were just unflavored potato pieces covered in dried parsley flakes, not a hint of rosemary on the whole plate.
Our server must have been unaware or unbothered by the fact that our food was terrible because she avoided us the whole time we were eating. We probably should have left after the salads or made a fuss with our terrible entrees but we knew we wouldn't be able to get in anywhere else.
I guess that's part of the risk of trying something new. It wouldn't be so bad if you weren't paying such a premium price for a dinner that was so bad. For the same price you can go to Mad Hatter's and enjoy a world class dinner.
I just want to save someone else who may think they will get an authentic Italian meal from Greenhouse Grill the time, money, and aggravation.