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“High expectations, greatly disappointed”
Review of Clay Hill Farm

Clay Hill Farm
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Ranked #1 of 15 Restaurants in Cape Neddick
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $17 - $36
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Clay Hill Farm is the first restaurant in the country to be certified as a wildlife habitat and bird sanctuary. Nature trails, colorful garden paths, waterfalls and a picture-perfect pond accentuate the eleven private acres just two miles from Ogunquit Village. Voted #1 for weddings and romantic dining. With a passion for backyard growing and locally-sourced fare, Clay Hill Farm is committed to offering the true Maine experience, yer 'round. Clay Hill Farm is also a proud corporate sponsor of the Ogunquit Playhouse, and offers it's own blend of experiential, theatrical dining in the off-season- rounding out a commitment to arts in the community. Theatrical Dining performances include; POE: Tales of Fear & Suspense (Oct/Nov), Dinner with Dickens: A Christmas Carol-A New Musical Tale (Dec) and Robert Frost: Fire & Ice (Jan).
Holliston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“High expectations, greatly disappointed”
Reviewed October 27, 2012

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary here last year and had such an exceptional dining experience, we were eager to return this year. We made reservations for 7:30. When we arrived, we were told the wait would be just a few minutes and to have a seat in the bar area. There was not a seat to be had and so we stood awkwardly among the other guests for more than 25 minutes until we were finally seated. I guess reservations don't mean much here. The hostess, all smiles, pleasantly remarked how lucky we were to get a window table. I'm sure the view would have been lovely if the garden had been properly lit. Our server arrived within 10 minutes to take our order. Then after waiting another 20 minutes, I was told the special soup was no longer available, so I ordered the lobster bisque which I had enjoyed on our last visit. The soup came fairly soon after that (it was as good as I had remembered), though no bread was offered until after the soup (we had been seated about 30 minutes at this point). Again we waited for our entrees for what seemed far too long. The herb crusted lemon haddock was rather flavorless and the jasmine rice was only slightly warm. My husband's prime rib was cooked well but unseasoned and the mashed potato was nothing special. We hardly saw our server after the initial order. She had far too many tables that night. We didn't feel like waiting another half our or more for dessert, so we left, very disappointed. I'm sure the bright light over our table is appreciated by the older patrons with low vision however, it only served to reflect glare off the large picture windows. We felt as though we were sitting in front of mirrors all night. So much for the garden view. My husband has been in the restaurant business all his life. He often says: "Great service can make up for OK food, but great food can't make up for poor service." Sadly we found neither great food nor good service that night. We cannot recommend this restaurant and will never go back. By the way, the bra infomercial on the TV at the bar while we waited for our table shows inattention to the simple things that can make or break an experience. And if we had pointed out these flaws, what would the staff have done? Certainly they were too busy for the staff they had on hand. How can you remedy that? We are not ones to complain, looking for a comp'd meal. We speak up and tip very well when we have a great experience, as we did the first time we dined here. We will not be back.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Karen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
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    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Prospect, Connecticut
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Best food in the Area”
Reviewed October 24, 2012

We have been going to the Clay Hill Farm restaurant for many years and have never been disappointed. Although they have a new chef the food is still excellent.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Ira K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“You know it going to be a bad night...”
Reviewed October 18, 2012

whenit takes 10 minutes for someone to realize your waitress hasn't come by yet and will go get her! At that point we knew it was going to be a bad night, and it was. It was probably one of the worst, if not the worst dinner we have ever had, not to mention the service was horrible!
Appetizers - Whiskey Smoked Shrimp Cocktail with a spicy remoulade - warm shrimp rolled in a dry rub, could not eat it.... Escargot Bourguignonne with brunoise fall vegetables and ditalini pasta, we have never tasted anything like it & hope we never do again! Dinner - Lemon Haddock Maine fillet, topped with lemon-herb crumbs, served with jasmine rice and seasonal vegetable... had to send it back, cold & uncooked, we should have left at this point.....Roasted Statler Chicken Breast stuffed with Chourico, Great Hill Bleu cheese semolina , caramelized leeks, and finished with an aged Madeira reduction, dried out and disgusting....The waitress didn't even ask how dinner was, she must have know by our faces and what was left on the plate, we should have complained but we just wanted to get out of there since we had been sitting there for 2 1/2 hours....the decor was dated, red carpet, red velvet banquet chairs, this place hasn't been update since the 70's.
What a waste of time and money....I wouldn't return there if it was the last place in Maine to have dinner....

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank JoAnnandJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
clayhillfarm, Owner at Clay Hill Farm, responded to this review, November 12, 2012
Your review has us puzzled and upset. While inconsistent with our nightly comment cards, we nevertheless take your experience, and every review, seriously. It is our policy to correct any complaint immediately, to ensure every guest leaves Clay Hill Farm with 100% satisfaction. We wish you had communicated your discontent to us immediately, as we would have done everything we could to please you. We appreciate feedback, but appreciate it more when we are allowed the chance to defend our reputation for award-winning food.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“the last time dining here ...”
Reviewed October 18, 2012

We have been dining at Clay Hill Farm for about a decade and over the past several years I've noticed the decline in both the food quality and preparation - the service was very good. Four of us dined on Saturday evening (10/12/12). Our dinner was part of the hotel package (as I guess most of the other diners were as well). I truly believe that without the cooperation and participation of the Ogunquit hotels that this place would no longer be in business. Had the food been up to par it's really a very good deal - four courses and the only charges are for any additional menu items, alcoholic beverages and gratuity. Three ordered the lobster bisque which was tasty with bits of lobster - there was a flour-y aftertaste - one ordered the mussel appetizer. All ordered the caesar salad - a bit overdressed even though I asked for it to be lightly dressed. Three ordered the prime rib all medium rare, one ordered the filet. The prime rib was fatty, but tasty. Two of us ordered the lobster tail (a $12 extra charge) - mine was RAW - sent back TWICE and then asked for it to be taken off our bill. My opinion is if something is on the menu, someone in the kitchen should know how to prepare it - and considering this is New England, someone should know how to cook lobster. Our server apologized, but she didn't cook the food so that was unnecessary. Dessert and coffee was just fine. Since gratuity is based on the total amount - the check presented was for $340.00 - what we owed was $60 which was for the wine and the one lobster tail add-on.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Bronxgirl3450
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
clayhillfarm, Owner at Clay Hill Farm, responded to this review, October 22, 2012
We are sorry to hear that your most recent dining experience did not exceed your expectations. We strive to offer the very best in food and service and are deeply saddened if we fall short of that mark. We are glad you enjoyed your service and assure you that our food quality has most certainly not declined over the years. Our nightly comment cards keep us in tune with our guests' experience, and they have been filled with rave reviews. Our dining packages with the local hotels have been very well received over the years, but are certainly not the only reason we are in business. As you know, the value of our dinner packages is unsurpassed in the area, and our package guests enjoy a full 4-course open menu for a fraction of the price. Our business is largely based on the relationships we have built through the years, and it's been a pleasure getting to know our package diners who return year after year. We are sorry to hear that this was your last visit, having been our guests for 10 years.
It is our sincere hope that you will reconsider and join us again next season!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Meredith, NH
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Classy, Romantic, Stellar Cuisine!”
Reviewed October 13, 2012

Saturday night, busy restaurant. Staff very professional and attentive. Food (new fall menu) was delicious. Pace of meal was perfect. Loved the ambiance as well, it's an upscale, classy place. We were both very pleased and can't wait to return.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Kaymo15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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