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Orchestria Palm Court
Orchestria Palm Court

Orchestria Palm Court Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://orchestriapalmcourt.com
  • Phone: (408) 288-5606
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: F-Sa 6:00pm to late

    Dinner: Su 4:00pm to 8:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Seafood, Steak
  • Executive Chef: Thomas P. Sheridan
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: At the Orchestria Palm Court restaurant, music comes from a variety of mechanically-played musical instruments. Piano, pipes, bells, drums, and even a violin take part in making the songs come alive. We also play vintage vocal tracks from the early 1900s era on our two period jukeboxes.

    If you"re thinking "amusement park kitsch" or "piano bar", think again. You'll be hearing bluesy jazz, catchy show tunes, pieces from operettas, clever novelty songs, and more.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 1st Street
  • Public Transit: The restaurant location is three blocks south of the Paseo light rail stop. Bus stops are location on 1st and 2nd streets.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking is available on William St. and alongside the park on Market St.
A word from Orchestria Palm Court
The Orchestria Palm Court restaurant features music from the early part of the last century, played the way it was originally heard in a bar or restaurant - on mechanical music machines. You'll probably find it to be the most unique and charming dining environment you've ever encountered.
/>But then you'll be even more surprised by the food. We don't think great-tasting food has to be bad for you. At the Orchestria Palm Court restaurant, we make rich foods using things like:

- Eggs from vegetarian-fed free-range chickens, high in healthy Omega 3 fatty acids
- White whole wheat flour, a variety naturally high in fiber yet light enough for pastry
- Vegetables from local farms that are certified organic growers
- Butter, milk, and ice cream from grass-fed cattle, another Omega 3 source.

Our food is not low-fat or low-calorie. But its ingredients are healthful and we serve it in reasonable portion sizes.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
Diner Reviews
  • "Super slow service, it appears as though they complete on service/table before moving to the next order. The food was just okay, over cooked bow tie pasta that fell apart, tough mushrooms and burnt bacon bits. As close as this place is to The Stage Theatre, you would think it would have more business, but the food and slow service may put people off."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "This is my second time at Orchestria Palm Court and I just love it. It's quite Victorian/Edwardian with the player pianos and feels like a very personal space. The food is delicious - a little spotty at times in terms of what to expect but always good. The wine list is sparing and value-priced but well thought-out. The tea and desserts are lovely!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "We went recently on a Sunday for an early dinner, so there were only a few other tables occupied at the time. The staff was very friendly and helpful in explaining how everything worked (ordering at the bar, etc.), and I think the system worked well. They even apologized for the noise after a player piano right next to us finished its performance, but we were not bothered by it. We enjoyed the music. The food was quite good and the service helpful and prompt."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Food was delicious, service great. Small but really well priced wine list. A wonderful downtown find."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "We are so glad that we read a review about this place in the newspaper. We decided to give it a try and were so pleased with the ambiance, the wonderful collection of antique piano players that work, the good food and service. However, it is not a regular table service where a waiter takes your order. At this restaurant, one person in the party goes to the counter-bar and places the order for the whole party."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "This was our third visit to Palm Court and was the best of the three. The service and timing of food was much improved over our first two visits. My steak was rare and my husband's halibut cooked very nicely. The presentation of food was very nice. This time the server was attentive and kept our water glasses filled and checked on us during the meal."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "The player pianos are a nice old fashioned touch, especially with Bonnie & Clyde playing next door. I would not go out of my way to dine here again though. No table service, other than food delivery, is odd. We got there early so there was no line for ordering, but if it was busy that would be an issue. My husband enjoyed his rib-eye, my chicken was good but the bread pudding badly burned and black on the bottom. No comment from the waiter or credit given on the bill. This is a small restaurant, that could be much more."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "The food was fine. I realize that the player pianos are part of the ambience, but they were too loud and made conversation difficult. This is a great place for dinner before attending the SJ Stage next door. "
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "A somewhat bizarre, yet interesting, culinary experience. Food was good enough, but the service almost non-existent. They hi-lite "NO TIPPING" yet they include an almost 17% tip in the bill. Have to order meals, drinks, etc at the bar, then a waiter delivers to table. Not even after-meal coffee was offered by waiter and the bartender/owner then made the de-caf, but forgot to serve it even though we told them we were on a little time crunch due to theater tics. Bottom line is that it's quite misleading and by including a full-service tip to the menu, then not providing it, left me & my wife with a less than pleased "after-taste." Too bad, since the concept along with the antique player pianos is pretty cool. Two thumbs down:(:("
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Nice ambience, close to playhouse, good food at fair prices."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "At Orchestrion Palm Court, the dining area Is surrounded, on the first and second floor, by old-fashioned player pianos, orchestrions, etc. which play on a rotating schedule throughout the meal. Despite this background noise, the overall noise level is very comfortable for conversation. Dining specials are announced by typed index cards on the tables, and diners place all orders, for drinks and food, at the bar. Waiters deliver the orders to the tables. There's even a menu of old-fashioned soda drinks. The food is good, made with fresh and often local ingredients, and prices are fair; they include taxes and tipping is not permitted. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking to celebrate a special occasion or share a good meal."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Quirky little restaurant near downtown San Jose, filled with palm trees and old player pianos that play periodically. You order your food at the back bar and they bring it to you. Extensive local beer and wine menu, and very good entrees. I plan to go back every time I go to the San Jose Stage Theater next door."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "We love Orchestria for its delicious food, fun ambience and the pianos. Sometimes the pianos interfere with conversation but the piece is soon over and the talk continues."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "As Stage patrons we wanted to try out this restaurant, conveniently located next door to the theater. Intriguing decor--set up as an old-style saloon with an abundance of player pianos and other antiques throughout the venue, but the music that would burst out intermittently was too loud and interrupted conversation. No one told us to order our food at the bar, so we waited too long to form a high opinion of the service. I enjoyed my meal (salmon with reduced pomegranate juice over a bed of kale, whole wheat pasta and some sort of fruit salsa), however my partner's steak with mashed potatoes was not particularly noteworthy. The pricing was too high for the overall delivery of dining atmosphere and so-so food."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "really enjoyed our dinner in this one-of-a-kind spot convenient to the SJ theaters"
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "We were there late and there were few people in the restaurant. You order at the bar. The 18-20% tip and tax are added to each item ordered. I had the pork chop which was pretty good, not outstanding. My friend liked her shrimp puttanesca. Our wine was not delivered for about 20 minutes and several requests. The bartender was flirting and talking with two women and not attentive. Getting the waiters attention for other items was quite difficult. The bread pudding was actually chocolate and not persimmon and it was just a overcooked cupcake. The food prices are high for what you get, (my $21 pork chop was $26 with the tip added in).. Presently there is no incentive for better service since the tip is automatically added to the bill."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Truly enjoyable, great food experience. Enjoyed player piano and old jute box collection. Will eat here again."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "This was another great experience at Palm Court. The root beer float was a huge success with our seven year old guest. Her suggestion was that the pasta primavera needed more zest."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "The food is delicious and the player pianos fun to hear (although a bit loud for conversation, but intermittently enough that chats can take place). Love to see them open more evenings!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Orchestria Palm Court is a gem for its interior and the orchestria. The food is fine, nothing to gush about, but one comes for the ambience, not because it is an outstanding place to eat. We had the pear salad - very good, nicely presented - , and the salmon tartine - an unusual offering of smoked salmon and very tasty. We both had the pork shops, which came with a lovely creamy polenta and trimmings of apples. The chop was perhaps a tad on the dry side. The service was excellent; the two young men behind the fountain counter were very attentive and unobtrusive and brought drinks quickly. Close to one of the orchestria, it can get loud. Overall, it is a unique dining experience."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "I had dinner at Orchestria Palm Court with three friends Saturday night. We had reservations and were fortunate to get the table we requested (#1) which is by the window and quieter than the other tables. My friends were quite put off by having to go to the bar to order our meal. In addition, the service was very slow. On the other hand, the food was fantastic. The maitre de comped our desserts to compensate for the slow service, so all was well in the end. I will definitely go back, but I don't think my friends will."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Wow. 4 of us had dinner on a Fri night and we all loved it! Organic farm to table too! The food is exquisite, service perfect. This is a place to go If you want conversation and interesting atmosphere. We had steaks and pork chops, perfectly cooked and delectable. We will become regulars."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "This place is darling. went for valentine's day & just loved it. The ambiance with the player pianos/recorders/etc is really unique, & the from-scratch soda drinks are fun. The place was empty when we got there @ 5:45, but packed when we left @ 7:15pm. The poor rating for service is b/c it's really slow- there were only 2 guys working the whole place! However, they were very nice and trying hard. It's also a bit weird to go to the counter to order/pay when the rest of the place is a sit-down dinner kind of feel. The menu is interesting and tasty. I got the puttanesca and it was super flavorful. My husband got the steak and it was cooked correctly (always a good sign). I would definitely come back- lots of character & really charming."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I read about this restaurant in Via Magazine and was happy for the opportunity to try it. We came for an early dinner just after they opened for dinner. We came past what seems to be a 1900s soda fountain into their light and airy dining room. We noticed that there were many player pianos and other automatic mechanical musical instruments as well as a long bar with a mirror behind it. The staff person was pleasant and seated us rapidly. He explained that we should review the menu then order at the back bar then staff would bring it to our table which was numbered. He also explained that our bill would include tax and service fee (tip). I had a smoked salmon tartine on whole grain bread as well as a ratatouille stuffed pepper - just great!"
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "I learned about this "hidden gem" via a brief mention in a travel magazine. Along with its culinary appeal, the special draw is the impressive collection of vintage player pianos, phonographs, and other antique entertainments which offered a lovely accompaniment to the meal as well as a wonderfully nostalgic atmosphere. Orchestria Palm Court is an eclectic dining experience on a variety of levels, so come with an open mind and a willingness to embrace something a little different. The menu is kept to a select number of choices (and changes occasionally) and I found the offerings to be executed very well. I also appreciated the wine pairing recommendations. The dining room fills quickly - so reservations are most definitely recommended."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Enter to a nicely restored brick and wood interior, period decorated, with 12-15 Player Pianos and Mechanical Music-makers controlled by an old stepper-relay control box on the wall....each playing its tune, in turn. Great Food, service by a friendly and attentive wait-staff, all festooned with armband garters and warm smiles. A grand old-fashioned Fountain selection...nice wine list.... beautifully prepared food...exquisite desserts. On Theatre nights...have dinner before the show (San Jose Stage and City Lights Theatre Companies are walking distance), and come back afterwards for and after dinner drink, coffee and dessert. Treat yourself to a Grand Orchestrial Dining experience......"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "My 2nd time there in a week. The food was great. I tried something different than the first time. The restaurant was full and poppin'!"
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "This restaurant was just around the block from City Lights Theater so we went here both for dinner and for an after play snack with another couple. We enjoyed the player pianos, and even though the restaurant was about 80% full, the noise level was low enough that we could carry on a conversation at normal speaking tones. The food was good but not great. One goes to the bar to order and to pay, then your food is brought to your table. Tax and tip are (around 25% total) are added automatically. The women shared an order of shrimp puttanesca and felt their servings were generous. I had the chicken gruyere which was mild in flavor; my chicken breast was on the dry side."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "We needed this in San Jose! Great spot and great food. Go eat here so it stays here! The player piano's are quite a treat!! Cheers!!"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "The food was excellent and the music from the marvelous collection of player-pianos was entertaining."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Went w/group of 4 prior to theater at City Lights Theatre. The food is creative & tasty, but the service is dicey. You order at the bar, they bring the food and drinks out to you, sometimes 1 plate at a time. The serving staff has clearly never been trained,but are very nice. You have to go back to the bar to ask for the bill and you better plan on extra time as the kitchen is pretty slow. If you love player pianos with songs from the 20's, this is your place, but not too loud or obnoxious (I was worried about that). The plates are about $20/each for entrees, and not as good as an Il Fornaio (even though similarly priced), but not bad. I sense they're still finding their footing, so a great place to experiment, a neighborhood find."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Great find! Good food and deserts and drinks of the non-alcoholic kind."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "We both had the shrimp dish. One of the tastiest I've ever had. We had different salads: the pear was excellent as was the smoked salmon which had an abundance of smoked salmon with a nice light dressing. The wine list was small but very interesting, featuring several Santa Clara county wines. I had a California chenin blanc that was perfect with the shrimp: juicy with good acidity. We plan to come back soon with our small dining group."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "I'm glad we discovered this place. The owner has refurbished 15+ player pianos. They are installed throughout the restaurant and play various tunes. It was so unique. I like places that are built with a great imagination. The place was obviously developed with great forethought. The food was very good. I had the pork chop and it came with creamy polenta and grilled grapes, pears and an apple compote of sorts. YUM! My wife had a vegetarian choice that she enjoyed. Treat yourself to the ambiance and when you're done have the profiterole for dessert. The prices were reasonable and we included a bottle of wine. It's in the San Jose theater district so would be a good place to go for dinner before the show."
    Dined on 1/2/2014
  • "A definite plus for the downtown area. This small farm to table place is like eating at a good friend's. The nuance and the player pianos and victrola's are lovingly restored. And the music is familiar but not too familiar. The food was very well prepared and hit the spot just right."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "This is not an ordinary restaurant. It is museum. Unforgettable experience. Thank you!"
    Dined on 12/1/2013
  • "If you are an antique buff, you must see and hear the player pianos."
    Dined on 12/5/2013
  • "I always feel like I am walking into the 1890's when I walk into Orchestria Palm Court and hear one if their restored player pianos or Victrolas regaling the diners. The menu keeps you in this mode when deciding to get a Chocolate Phosphate, Sour Cherry Phosphate, or California Cream (organic only in this place) from their Fountain. I felt completely comfortable bringing my pregnant cousin to dine because all the meats and dairy products served are grass fed, sustainably raised or organic. You get a lot of value for your dollar here in that the food is delicious, elegant, good for you, and good for the environment. Great steak! It's a lovely place to hang out since you can actually hear each other (even when the player pianos are on)."
    Dined on 12/1/2013
  • "This is our third time at Orchestria.....still love it."
    Dined on 11/30/2013
  • "We found Orchestria while leaving San Jose Stage. We noticed that it was open for business as we walked to our car. The atmosphere is extraordinary, the food great and the service excellent. The no tipping, no tax feature is helpful. We'll definitely be back."
    Dined on 11/24/2013