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“Great atmosphere” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of McLoone's Boathouse

McLoone's Boathouse
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Ranked #10 of 96 Restaurants in West Orange
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: American, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Large groups, Families with children, Scenic view, Bar scene, Kids, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Drinks, Brunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Northfield Ave
Transit: NJ Transit 73
Description: Located within the South Mountain Recreation Complex, McLoone's Boathouse sits on the banks of the reservoir, showcasing spectacular views to our customers. McLoone's Boathouse features seating for 240 inside, with an additional 80 to 100 outside (FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE BASIS ONLY),as well as semi-private dining area that is perfect to host your next party, corporate function or other special event. Please know that reservations will only guarntee inside seating in our main dining rooms and does not include outside dining. Thank you!
West Orange, New Jersey
Level Contributor
85 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2013

This is a beautiful restaurant in an excellent location. Large stone fireplaces, heavy wood beams, and a spectacular view are highlights in this large restaurant. It is located between South Mountain Reservation and the Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex (Turtle Back Zoo, Codey Arena, and Safari Mini-Golf). Behind the restaurant is a scenic lake (actually an unused resevoir) that now has rental boats available. The setting is picturesque. There is outdoor seating in good weather, and large windows for better views indoors. I have eaten there several times, most recently for an excellent Sunday brunch. Even though this restaurant is fairly large, reservations are definitely recommended for peak times (like Sunday brunch). During the brunch, there is a live jazz band playing... they are good, but depending where you are sitting you may not be able to see or hear them. The food selection is very good, featuring an array of seafood. You should easilly be able to fill your plate with delicious selections to your taste. The regular menu is pretty good too. In general, the food I've had there was good to very good; but there is room for improvement (especially for the price). The prices are above average, so the value isn't always there. The brunch has enough unlimited choices to make it a better value for the price ($35/person). Staff have been polite, but service has been average to a little slow. In general, this is a very good restaurant that could easilly be a great restaurant with a little more attention to the kitchen and pricing. Still, recommended (especially for the Sunday brunch or special occasions).

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Lester242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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411 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    126
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    50
    33
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
“Incredibly overpriced for less than average food.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2013 via mobile

Although the restaurant has a nice atmosphere, the food is underwhelming and overpriced. We ordered two appetizers, two entrees and 2 desserts and were not impressed with any of the food. Plain and simple, it lacks taste. That being said, the service is good and I enjoy their house Chardonnay.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Agunn21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
585 reviews
398 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 221 helpful votes
“Outstanding Views in Adirondack Style Setting - Food? Could be better!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2013

It's about time this area got a restaurant with water views and expansive outdoor seating in an atmosphere reminiscent of the Adirondacks. Built on a former reservoir with great water views and paths that wind through the restaurant grounds and around the water the visual experience is outstanding for the area. Just walking into the place with huge ceilings, log pillars, and a great fireplace you'll feel transported to a different place immediately. The outdoor seating is on a beautiful and huge deck that's just breathtaking. In fact, it's next door neighbors the paddle boat docks on one side and the Mini-Golf Safari attraction on the other is just a brief walk from recently improved Turtle Back Zoo. All this makes for a perfect day-long outing that is rare for the area.

We went for their Sunday brunch (offered at $35pp) with unlimited Mimosa’s and a good variety of both breakfast foods as well as carving stations for roast beef and turkey. An omelets station whips up creative omelets and there is plenty of fish, shell fish, and smoked salmon sure to please the hearty eaters.

Our server (Hassan) was outstanding in the way he took care of our table and his knowledge of the place (though he's only been there a couple of weeks). His interaction with us made the experience even more rewarding.

Now, is only the food matched the visual excellence. To think of the money spent on building the place and the grounds, one would surmise that they invested in the food they served with equal effort! Unfortunately the brunch buffet was disappointing: the smoked salmon was less tasty than it should have been, the carved beef was overcooked and dry, the shrimp tasted like they had freezer rot, waffles were cardboard like and the breakfast potatoes were in large part burnt and dry.

In spite of this, I truly want to return in the future and experience the entire location again. Hopefully 'Tim' and the management team will address the food issues and improve on their already spectacular property.

When you go, go for a whole afternoon and enjoy not only the restaurant but the nearby attractions as well!!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TonyK300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth Amboy, New Jersey
Level Contributor
167 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2013

We found this restaurant by accident and initially thought we had lucked out. The dining facilities are beautiful and the setting next to the reservoir wonderful. The hostess and who sat as and the initial introduction by the waiter made is think we had really stumbled onto to something. Bread was brought to the table and the smell of the garlic butter it came with was incredible. Everything went down hill from there. The bread that had been put on the table was almost stale. We looked at the buffet and found the choices boring so we ordered appetizers, a sandwich and a salad from the menu. The appetizers were never delivered to the table. Somewhere around 45 minutes after we ordered, sandwich and salad were delivered to the table by a person dressed in a ripped and stained T-shirt and filthy jeans (this is a nice restaurant and the waiters are uniformly well dressed). The salad came with the wrong dressing and none of the requested condiments were with the sandwich. When we finally flagged down our waiter and asked for the correct dressing and condiments we waited another 10-15 minutes for the condiments and a different dressing, still the wrong one, for the salad. The food that we finally received was not very good. The grilled chicken in the salad was rubbery and had a "gamey" taste to it that was not enjoyable. The sandwich was just average, no better than you would expect from a mall food court or cafeteria. At the prices this place charges we expected more.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank mbrichter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chatham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
386 reviews
299 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Just ok, but not the prices”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2013 via mobile

Impressive building, good service, but a bit overpriced. Manhattan clam chowder was too thick with big chunks of potato, portion was small for $7.95. Club sandwich was ok, but cut only in half and difficult to eat. My wife said her crab cake was very good, but at $16.44 I'm not so sure. Cup of coffee $2.95 is a but much. Nice view of reservoir ... No rush to go back.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Quinnscommentary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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