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“Disappointing”

Bruno's Chef's Kitchen
Ranked #298 of 641 Restaurants in Eugene
Price range: $25 - $65
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed November 14, 2010

The only pretentious thing about this restaurant is its prices. Between four of us, we had: two bottles of pedestrian screw-cap wine, two miniscule salads (they were supposed to feed four), a standard gnocchi appetizer, two orders of "OK" chinook, and two literally inedible raw orders of duck, and our bill (before tip) was $230. Our server was very good (and I tipped her accordingly). However, I have given this place a 1 out of 5 because, after shelling out a 5-star price for a 2-star dinner, the cigar-smoking owner rushed us out the door at 9:00 because we were the only people in the restaurant.

I'm sure that others have had better experiences than we had, otherwise Bruno's would have gone out of business long ago. All I know is that I will NEVER go back to the Chef's Kitchen. I have had much better meals in better environments that cost a third of what we paid for the "privilege" of having cigar smoke blown over our meal.

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3  Thank Hadrons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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33 - 37 of 40 reviews

Reviewed February 10, 2010

Such a popular place, not sure why. A very small place, felt like we needed to whisper to not disturb other customers. The reputation is that the chef shops for seasonal local foods on a daily basis. But in the second week of Feb., garnishes and side dishes contained tasteless watermelon, hothouse tomatoes, and cherries! I thought the seasonal citrus might be tasty, but it was very sour. No sign of local seasonal vegetables except maybe the fingerling potatoes with the beef.
Our crab appetizer had 1 crab leg segment, the rest of the dish was bland, watery and tasted nothing of crab. I gave the food 3 stars because the people who ordered the beef said it was very good, but at the same time they were talking about how they themselves could have prepared it a much better way. The other entrees were not so special. Good, but not gourmet great. For Eugene, entrees priced in the high 20s had better be special. Therefore the value is 2 star. Wish it had been better.

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1  Thank jbeeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2009

The food here is great...but the chef only cooks when he wants to....So go early and they should probably still be open.

Thank OnTheRoadEugene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2009

Sometimes I see Chef Bruno shopping at the neighborhood grocery or farmer's market or fresh fish market and it's fun to see artistry come to life. He does that chef thing, where he examines the produce by touch, scent, and look, then fills his basket and you see the light go on as a recipe is created or remembered and he adds complementary items that you'd never thought of, but make perfect sense once you see them paired. And that night you'll see a special at the restaurant and understand a bit about how it came to be.

The restaurant is casual but not cheap, though the quality and variety of the offerings can't be beat. There's a wonderful outdoor patio. The menu changes weekly, which is a treat for foodies like me who like to mix things up but not take chances with flavor or quality. There's a lot of return customers and folks who eat here every week (or would if money were no object!)

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Thank aaardvark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2009

Bruno's is my favourite restaurant in Eugene; now I've moved away I still miss the place! Found it by accident whilst looking for a nice but not bank-breaking place to take my sister, and we fell in love. Bessie suggested a wine to go with our meals and showed us pictures of her and Bruno's trip to the place they discovered it (where you can see Bruno with a glowering Wolfgang Puck--apparently Bruno beat him in whatever contest they were there for, and I'm not surprised!). The food is utterly sublime; Bruno designs his own very original dishes and the menu changes enough that he doesn't get bored making them. We make this our specia occasion restaurant, now.

One of the best experiences was when there was a dish I'd really wanted to try and it hadn't been on the menu for a while. I emailed to ask if it would be coming up soon, and got a text from the chef that same afternoon saying with 24 hours notice, he'd make it for me whether it was on the menu or not! (The next week it WAS on the menu, and that was after payday, so I had it then...) Touches like that make you really want to support local places. And it's not that expensive in the grand scheme of things--a bit at the top end for Eugene, but not at all unreasonable; we had a lovely dinner for 3 with wine and dessert for under $100. They've never spent any money on advertising, but the place is always full--what does that tell you? Book ahead if you're in a large group, prepare to linger over a delicious dinner, and try the amazing seared tuna starter.

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

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