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“High hopes, dashed”

Magnolia Room Restaurant
Ranked #106 of 142 Restaurants in Cape May
Price range: $10 - $34
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: This restaurant is located in the historic Chalfonte Hotel in Cape May, New Jersey. This past weekend I hosted a rehearsal dinner there. The price fixed dinner of 4 courses was extremely good and I would like to write a review. My guests really enjoyed the atmosphere and great food and I would highly recommend it.
Reviewed September 7, 2012

Visited for dinner the week after Labor Day. We were excited to go since the restaurant received such great reviews in a Philadelphia newspaper. The old hotel is charming, and well maintained, and the service was excellent. But it couldn't make up for the mediocre meal. It started out unevenly. My Cajun clams were delicious, my husband's cream of asparagus soup was pasty. The balsamic Jersey tomato salads were vinegary. The famous fried chicken was average,not too well seasoned and appeared to be made from frozen chicken. It was served with what tasted like frozen commercial succotash, and boiled potatoes. The cornbread was delicious, but the biscuits were dry, and seem to have been made perhaps the day before. With such great Jersey vegetables around in September, they could do much better. Perhaps the famous sisters who cook there were taking a deserved vacation after the height of the season, but whoever was running the kitchen was "calling it in".

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Thank Shecooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 - 62 of 88 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2012

Not only was the food mediocre with no attention to detail or presentation,but the service was terrible, the waiter never brought a salad or the biscuits, even after inquiring about or. The staff was clearly overwhelmed and poorly trained. No inquiry was made about drinks, how the steak should be ordered or if we needed anything else. Terrible, truly terrible

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1  Thank Nyffenegger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

I had breakfast at the Chalfonte with family members on 8/26/12. The breakfast buffet is a $10.00 bargain. There is all of the juice, coffee, tea, and milk that you want to drink. My 3 glasses of orange juice alone probably would cost close to $10 elsewhere. The food options included cereals, pastries, homemade biscuits, eggs, bacon, homefries, spoon bread, belgium waffles, yogurts, and fresh southern fried fish. The restaurant had a casually elegant seashore vibe. We enjoyed our relaxing breakfast, and never felt rushed. I would recommend the breakfast buffet at the Chalfonte to anyone looking for an unhurried, all you can eat bargain!

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1  Thank peachgirl_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2012

We sat out on the porch and it was very nice as the horse and carriages came by. We did the fixed menu and all of us ordered the famous fried chicken. It was good, bit nothing out of the ordinary and the meal was a bit over-priced at $35. It did include a salad and an appetizer however. The homemade biscuits and cornbread are fantastic. We took our family here to experience something different and for the historic quality, We encouraged the kids to go out on a limb with their appetizers and convinced them to order the grits and shrimp and the fried oysters and chicken salad. They actually ate them. Overall a very nice experience and the service was excellent!

Thank AuntLynnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2012

After seeing a show on the Magnolia Room's excellent fried chicken, we decided to try it out on their Sunday buffet. We were pleasantly surprised by the buffet's salad options -- caprese salad, broccoli salad, and seafood salad, among others. The seafood salad is among the best we've had; the tomatoes in the caprese salad were fresh and flavorful; and the broccoli salad reminded me of my family recipe. The chicken was juicy and cooked just right. It was delicious, but I'm not sure I would say it was the "best in the country." The dessert table offered quite a few options, too. We chose the cheesecake which was the creamiest I've had.

The service was prompt, and the $28 price tag was fair for this quality of buffet. Next time, I would choose to eat on the veranda instead of in the dining room. We found the dining room to be a bit on the warm and stuffy side, and the decor was a bit on the formal side. Otherwise, I have no complaints. We will definitely eat here again when we visit Cape May.

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

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