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“outstanding service and food”
Review of The Four Swallows Restaurant - CLOSED

The Four Swallows Restaurant
Price range: $0 - $40
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
healdsburg, CA
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“outstanding service and food”
Reviewed April 28, 2013

This restaurant is my most recent favorite in the area. Previously it was Hitchcock but the last visit to Hitchcock was marred by overly creative and ill tasting food, like coffee flavored pasta, plus too much salt. At Four Swallows they stuck to just making traditional fine food excellently indeed. I had the Alaskan Halibut and it was perfect, light fluffy, and obviously extremely fresh. Others had lamb, gnocchi, and clam linguini, and all seemed happy except perhaps the friend with the clam linguini. She didn't really complain and actually is not a fan of seafood so I am not sure what to make of her experience. The desserts were a big hit as well, so good as to be shared somewhat reluctantly by those who received them, with those of us who had not been honest enough to order them.

We were greeted and seated by Mike (apparently the owner/manager?) who also had taken our reservation, and the subsequent wait service was excellent. We were also allowed to bring in two bottles of our own red wine at a reasonable $20 corkage, although the house list is excellent. We ordered a fine bottle of white wine from the menu, which featured an appealing bottle of Mouton Rothschild, but a little out of my range.

I have one remark on their policy, not really a criticism, just a quirk of mine. There was an automatic 20% tip added for our party of 8, quite reasonable, but which took away my pleasure of adding the tip, since that is about my usual rate. Moreover my slight annoyance at losing this privilege, may have partially caused me to make an embarrassing error.

I.e. I usually tip as well on the value of the wine I bring in, since bringing in wine unfairly lowers the tab for the waiter's tip. Unfortunately after seeing a 20% tip already added, although I usually tip 20-25%, I became tight fisted and forgot that I had not added a tip on my wine, thus shortchanging my waiter. I will try to make it up on a later visit, but in this case the practice of insuring a minimum tip backfired against my waiter. My apologies to her. This was really my fault and not the restaurant's.

Our whole group would recommend this restaurant quite highly. The impression is not that the chef is trying to show off his originality at the expense of your taste buds, but simply to deliver premium quality dining. Adequate decanting was offered for our wines (a 2010 Oregon Penner Ash pinot noir and a 2007 Tuscan Argiano Brunello). The restaurant was not noisy and our table was in a semi private alcove. Thank you for a delightful evening!

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

83 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    62
    13
    4
    1
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bainbridge Island, Washington, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A wonderful place for a date.”
Reviewed April 22, 2013

The Four Swallows is small, well lit, and homey restaurant. I've been there several times and on the last occasion I went with my girlfriend. It is wonderful to have a place such as the Four Swallows to dress up semi formally with people you love so close to home. The waiters and waitresses were very friendly and we never waited for more than 10 minutes for food or drinks to arrive. The food is very flavorful and there are many different options to choose from when ordering. If your looking for a nice cozy atmosphere and good food, this is the place for you. You can sit indoors, or out front on the little deck featuring heat lamps for those beautiful cold Bainbridge days.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bainbridge Island, Washington, United States
Level 6 Contributor
238 reviews
132 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Bainbridge Charm, Excellent Dining Experience”
Reviewed April 10, 2013

Our friends were visiting from out of state and took us to dinner. We had just moved to Bainbridge a few months back and had not been able to make it here yet. It was an excellent experience, food was terrific. Upon arriving, we were greeted and quickly seated. The staff was attentive, friendly and made the experience enjoyable and memorable. We started with drinks and although warned the bar was limited in some items, they accomodated all our orders. The bread came quickly as we tried to decide on what to order. Then we pretty much all ordered the same entree, the Filet, we all raved about our dinner. The sauce served with the filet was perfection. They offered excellent wine choices with a pretty extensive offering. We decided to sample a few desserts and share. The Butterscotch budino was great but my favorite was the warm bread pudding. The atmosphere here is great. You dine in this historic home converted to a restaurant, perfect for couples, friends, a romantic date but I would not recommend this for families with children. They accomodate dress attire, but denim was fine, dressed up a bit obviously. Overall a great experience with an excellent menu, delicious food and wonderful staff.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Heather A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“A real Bainbridge Gem”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

I just love the Four Swallows. From the warm welcome to the great food (butterscotch budino for desert - unbelievable) - it's just perfect. The room is so pleasant, the wine choices are great and the staff is wonderful.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank MichaelJKelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
228 reviews
192 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Best of Bainbridge”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

Best restaurant on Bainbridge Island, very high quality food and great service/atmosphere. We save for special occasions.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank AustinEEE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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