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“Terrible service, decent food”
Review of Port Land Grille

Port Land Grille
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Ranked #117 of 677 Restaurants in Wilmington
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $26 - $52
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Military Cutoff Road
Description: Delicious food, wine and spirits served by our welcoming and knowledgeable staff in a comfortable setting whether it be in the main dining rooms, our beautiful patio, our open kitchen / bar or even one of our private rooms. Our menu changes "Slightly Nightly" to fit the season so be sure to visit our website for current menu details. Serving Wilmington's Finest Tuesday - Saturday nights from 5:30 pm until...
Wilmington, North Carolina
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Terrible service, decent food”
Reviewed September 10, 2013

After reading reviews, I took my boyfriend here for his 29th birthday with great expectations but to our dismay, we ended up very disappointed. It was a Saturday night, so I expected it to be busy but the service we received was sub par by anyone's standards.

We felt that our waiter was not attentive and almost snobbish when he did stop by our table. In all honesty, since other tables seemed to be getting fair service I feel like we were discriminated against because we did not blend in with the more mature (40+) crowd that populated the restaurant, hence we must not have money to tip.

It took 45 minutes just to receive our bread and appetizers (which were nothing to rave about) while the rest of the meal was average. The only redeeming part of this dining experience was that my boyfriends steak was perfect. Regardless, that was our first and last time going there.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank twils12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    80
    26
    6
    12
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Pretty good food, if you can get what you ordered”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

They were out of the grouper. Out of the swordfish. Out of the lobster rolls. And I learned this information the hard way -- after I had ordered it. By the time I made my fourth choice, I was pretty disappointed. The food I was eventually served was good, but it wasn't really what I wanted. It was Labor Day weekend, so perhaps the restaurant wasn't adequately prepared for the crowds (though we were seated at 7:30, which isn't too late). Or perhaps those items aren't usually available anyway, in which case the menu should be edited. Either way, I would have appreciated being told as soon as we were seated by the hostess that nearly half the seafood on the menu was unavailable.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greensboro, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“slow, indifferent service”
Reviewed August 28, 2013

s a frequent visitor to Wilmington, I have been to Port Land Grille approximately 8 times over the last year.The food varies somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars - usually good, sometimes great. The infrequent poor dishes are offset by the occasionally outstanding dishes. What has been most noticeable, however, has been the recent decline in service and management attitude in the last few months. Slow service and indifferent staff attitude were at first thought to just be anomalies. However, last Saturday really showed this to be more the rule than the exception. We had reservations for a large party of 10. Quite simply, the service was ridiculously slow. Appetizers came a full hour after we were seated, and the dinner entrees were served TWO HOURS after arrival. The owner/manager's response to complaints about this delay was total and complete indifference. She actually said "maybe you would like to carry the plates to your table yourself" in order to speed up the process. Another management statement was that they were "doing the best they could". Yes, it was a Saturday night, and yes, we had a large group. However, one would think that a "5 star" restaurant would be capable of staffing for their known busiest times. Two hours is simply unacceptable and the management's lack of concern over this botched service is troubling. My two cent's is that the positive reviews and success Port Land Grille has had has gone to their heads, and they feel they can rest on their laurels and no longer be concerned with providing a quality dining experience. Because of this, the several hundred dollars I spend on each visit will be going to a different restaurant in the future...

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank 565RobD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
anne s, Owner at Port Land Grille, responded to this review, November 9, 2013
I well remember this incident and was quite prepared for this review although I took forever to figure how to reply to it. The guest was not wrong in in that I said we were extremely busy and doing the best we could. Rather than go into a "she said she said" diatribe... it's probably best that I concur that I did not handle the situation in the most professional manner. It gets better...

After waiting a long while for her food (and they did wait excessively - we were busy) she left the table and came up to me in our bar area where the open kitchen service line is. The chef was in the middle of plating her 10 tops' food and the servers were in the process of taking it to the table. She was standing next to me watching the process and going on and on about how long it was taking to get her food and how disappointed she was and how she loves our place but this is ridiculous. I'm nodding my head and trying to appease her. I agreed with her - it was busy and we were overwhelmed and I was really beginning to regret squeezing her last minute 10 top reso in. Meanwhile we were loading up the plates and trying to dispatch them to the table. Even though I was telling her "this is your food - we are taking it to the table now - I'm sorry it's taking so long - we are crazy busy - I'll make it up to you, etc." she still seemed to be weirdly unaware of my words and just stood there kind of staring at me and NOT going back to her table. So that's when I said my (what I meant to be funny) comment of "Well, if you really want to, you can always take your own plate to the table if you think that will get it there any faster than we can." At that point she looked at me blankly and said "You want me to take my own food to the table - really?" (UH OH) I assured her I didn't not and that I was trying to make light of the situation. I apologized and told her again - that I would make it right (I'd already intended to pick up part of their meal or their drinks or something).

Even though I was clearly kidding and said so, she was not amused. Throughout the rest of their visit, she came up to the bar to complain about me to the bartenders (who also apologized) and also came to me at least twice and proceeded to tell me how unfunny I was. I agreed and apologized every time. Finally after about 15 minutes of being berated, and me apologizing in return, I did get a little frustrated and asked her to give me a "badwordhere break" - at which point she said "oh now you're going to throw the f-bomb at me?" (well, yeah ...I suppose .... I mean it wasn't directed AT her...oops)

I still bought the table a hefty round of drinks - but I got the feeling that no matter what I did or said, I was not going to come out of this one smelling like a rose. Ah well - this one will go in the novel for sure. sigh.

Please dear readers - if you know me at all - you know that I bend over backwards to make sure every guest leaves our place happy. I am not and will never be unconcerned as to how our restaurant is perceived and how good a job we do. I never rest on our laurels and never take for granted the success of our business. We are however human beings and we can make mistakes. My goal is keep them to a minimum and fix them the best way I can when ever they do happen. Cheers!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great dinner”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

This restaurant is located in a shopping center about 2 miles from Wrightsville beach. The menu includes a few fresh fish and seafood dishes to go along with many beef dishes. Our food was very well prepared and presented. The service was excellent. The wine list was almost entirely California wines though varietals and price points were varied.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Barry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanibel, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Outstanding”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

The food, wine list, service and atmosphere was excellent. This restaurant is by far one of the best food places in Wilmington NC . The management of this establishment should be given high praise for an outstanding experience

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kevin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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