We have been and continue to be avid fans of the Old Stone Farmhouse Restaurant. It's always a WOW experience. Recently, however, they have opened their outdoor courtyard, informal mexican- themed bistro--The Courtyard at The Old Stone Farmhouse. We chose to give it a try last week with friends with high hopes that it would be a great way to enjoy and informal evening and food that is as well prepared as the offerings in the main dining room. We were disappointed!!
While the simple menu focuses on variously filled/topped tacos, burritos, salads, salsas, etc., we still had problems negotiating through the choices. Finding a knowledgeable server...or finding a server at all was next to impossible. After almost an hour, we literally had to walk around the courtyard to get our orders placed. The courtyard is not well lit, so after the sun goes down, the absence of light makes it impossible to read the menu. We tried an assortment of the tacos and our vegetarian friend had a salad. The food was just OK. The worse part was that it was served in plastic open weave baskets with plastic utensils and paper napkins. What a rude departure from what we would normally expect at Stone Farmhouse--even for informal fare. Having a conversation is difficult once the live entertainment start. It's just too loud and intrusive for a dining venue. Also, be warned that after the sun goes down, if you don't hold on to your real wine /drink glass, you end up with little plastic drink cups.
To top it off, a scattered shower arrived mid-way through our dinner. In the courtyard, there is only one small covered area which holds 4-5 tables. So check the forecast ahead of time or be prepared to grab your food and make a run for one of the tables it or get wet. Don't forget to bring bug spray, too!
There's a lot to be done to make the Courtyard a viable extension of the wonderful Old Stone Farmhouse. Given that guests to the formal restaurant have to walk through the courtyard to enter, it just doesn't feel cohesive or consistent with their high standards.