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“Old Style Elegance”
Review of Grand Cafe At The Emerson Inn - CLOSED

Grand Cafe At The Emerson Inn
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Our Hoistoric Hotel is proud to feature The Grand Cafe, one of the finest Rockport, MA restaurants. Starting with a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean - just 50 yards from the dining room - and ending with delectable desserts, everything in-between is what fine dining should be. Our chef serves up fine New England fare using the freshest local ingredients and appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts from his own original recipes, resulting in our classic and creative cuisine.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

This place reminded me of the old elegant Inns that seem to be quickly disappearing. White table clothes, beautiful dining room with live music coming from the very talented pianist which greatly added to the ambience. Service was excellent. Food was very good though nothing exceptional. Dining here is all about the old world atmosphere, great service and the live piano music. Very romantic.

Thank LinekinLass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (98)
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51 - 55 of 98 reviews

Reviewed January 9, 2013

In the off season there only open on the weekends but thats the best time to go anyway. They have a piano player on Friday and Saturdays which makes the meal more romantic. The Rack of Lamb was amazing!!!

Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2012

We chose this beautiful location for its proximity to wildlife and historical areas, stayed overnight at the Inn, and had the Thanksgiving Day buffet. Each year it's more expensive ($49 pp this year) - not unlike other restaurants - but the food quality has decreased these past several years.

If you are interested in a dinner that is predominantly starch, this is your place. Potato, dressing, beet salad, squash ravioli, picled onions, hummus with Artisan breads (Artisan anything is popular these days and attempts to cover other sins of ommission), crackers with a slim cheese choice. I'd been hoping to hold off on the starches until dessert. I would note that this year the pecan pie was wonderful. Pecans throughout instead of just lying atop brown sugar flavor jelly.

The turkey and beef were a bit on the bland side according to my companion, and the salmon which I had was dry at the edges, like the ravioli which seemed to have been prepared days earlier. It's as though the chef figured a dollop of sauce or gravy would solve any dryness problems. For my limited food interests, there simply wasn't enough green variety available. The usual mesclun greens surrounded inedibles, so I could at least pick at those with the choice of a dressing or two. The only green veggie was a green bean almondine and it too looked and tasted hastily underprepared.

In previous years there was an additional fish dish - heck, this is prime fresh fish territory so take advantage folks - there was asparagus, more cheese selection, and a bowl of nuts at the waiting area.

An addtional comment: we come to this place for special occasions. There were attendees who simply didn't understand that whilst casual clothing is one thing, looking like you just came in off the dock after a hard day's work is another entirely. It seriously diminished the atmosphere.

For next year, my half of the team is voting for a stay here and dining at the Sheraton in Portsmouth instead, or staying at the Wentworth up there which has the same Grand Hotel feel and is operated by the Marriott chain. I'm very sad to do this. We do spend the next day lunching at one of the local clam eateries and that has become the more satisfactory dining experience.

The beauty of the location simply will not compensate for the deficits of the holiday dinner.

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Thank Triphora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2012

We were greeted warmly as we arrived. Service was knowledgeable and helpful. Drinks were perfect and the food was really quite good.

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Thank Phillydoc06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

My husband and I took my brother and sister-in-law, who are visiting from Germany, to dinner at the Grand Cafe this past weekend. The Inn is quite stately, and the Grand Cafe dining room has a flair of old New England elegance as well. There even was a piano player who provided entertainment throughout the evening. It was not an environment where you would expect to be greeted with a flip "Hi, how are you guys!" by a rather casual waitress (we are in our 70s and 60s respectively!). Her initial tone set us up for an evening of horrible service. From forgetting to bring my brother's second beer, ordered before the main course was served, until we were ready to pay, to never being available and oblivious to any waves to get her attention, this waitress is in desperate need of even the most basic training! We would have expected much more from such a traditional place, and from a server who was not that busy. We chose items from the Restaurant Week Special Menu, the Boursin Stuffed Veal Roulade and the Seafood Risotto with Chorizo. Both left a lot to be desired! The veal was as tough as shoe leather, and the flavor of the chorizo did not compliment the seafood in the least. It looked like it was thrown on top by the chef as an afterthought just trying hard to create something unusual. We had to wait for ages for our bill, then received no pen to sign the credit card receipt. When we asked for one, the waitress insisted she had given us one. Well, I guess that means she thinks we stole it. We were finally able to dig up a pen in my purse. A horrible "fine" dining experience, let's hope the tourists fare better, as I would feel sorry for them to remember our beautiful town in that way! We will not go back.

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3  Thank R0switha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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