Cafe Ponte - Clearwater
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The Zagat rated Caf� Ponte in Clearwater takes its name from its chef who has created a distinct fusion cuisine based on American ingredients and an array of global influences. It is an open kitchen establishment that allows each visit to be equal parts viewing and dining pleasure.
Serving lunch and dinner, Caf� Ponte in Clearwater also offers tasting menus and a prix fixe option as well. A fabulous wine list perfectly complements the seasonally based dishes and promises a new experience with each visit. Meals can include sharing plates, appetizers, salads and main courses. Vegetarian as well as meat and seafood dishes are available, desserts are a true delight, featuring options like toffee panna cotta that show the global influences of the Caf� Ponte in Clearwater menu.
We always enjoy very special fine dining at Cafe Ponte. Our six-course tasting menu started with delicious, velvety cauliflower bisque. Next, a piquantly seasoned salad of shredded brussel sprouts; then savory cavatelli in tomato-lamb ragu. Our selected entrees included NY Strip steak (spouse) and Faroe Island salmon (me). Both were lovingly prepared to perfection, creatively presented alongside exciting and unique sides. 5th course was a superb selection of cheeses plated w apple butter, honey-almonds, and cherry-crostini. Dessert was heavenly flourless chocolate torte. Service (by Scott) was impeccable and attentive. Several complimentary extras were provided including an amuse-bouche of beet puree, an apricot and passionfruit palate cleanser, and the cafe's wonderful choices of breads. We purchased a lovely Riesling to accompany our dinner.
We went here for our 10th Anniversary and it was amazing! Staff was very personal and friendly. When we told them that we were celebrating an anniversary, the hostess immediately sent over 2 glasses of champagne and a handwritten card thanking us for celebrating with them. The Chef sent over a sample of the black mushroom soup with truffle. Delicious!! Also highly recommend the asparagus appetizer. Restaurant is quiet and relaxing. Lots of people were there celebrating anniversaries and birthdays. Looking forward to going back again!
Some selections were excellent (mushroom soup; bananas Foster cheesecake) while others just ok. The crab cake needed seasoning and was served with a mustard "smear" which I did not care for. When I asked for another sauce, the reply was "You have it on your plate." I reply I did not care for it and was brought ranch dressing. Ranch dressing?
The food is beautifully presented and you can tell that the chef and staff have great pride in their product.
My son introduce us to this restaurant some years ago so for either our birthdays or anniversary we go here. The service is great and the food awesome.
It was our anniversary and we were greeted with the hostess wish us happy anniversary then shown to a booth Our waiter was the bartender he was great and always checked to see if we needed anything as he was very busy.At our table we were greeted with 2 glasses of champagne and a very nice note from the staff.You could not ask for more.
It was our first visit and from recommendations and reviews our expectations were quite high. We were not disappointed. Our table was ready, the service was efficient, informative and pleasant. The food was excellent. We intend to go back often and will encourage our friends to do so as well. We have found a new favorite!
Perfect as always! One of our favorite restaurants.
Incredible food, the staff is a 5 starts treatment. Best wine list... Chris Ponte is one of the top chefs in the country...
I read good reviews, but was surprised to find the restaurant in a nondescript strip mall on busy Ulmerton Road. Hard to find when you pull in as well. But once inside, it looked promising with a pleasent contemporary vibe. The food was excellent (loved the Korean BBQ short rib sandwich), the service competent and a nice, but pricey wine list. All in all,a very positive dining experience.
My first time at Café Ponte. The food was perfectly prepared and presented. The service was excellent. My waiter recommended an excellent wine to go with my dinner. I couldn't have had a finer dinning experience.
We were in town and celebrating our wedding anniversary here for dinner. After being underwhelmed at a couple of other highly regarded restaurants in the area, we were very impressed with the outstanding service and quality of food and presentation. They also went above and beyond by having a "Happy Anniversary" card waiting for us at our table, wishing us well and thanking us for spending our special evening with them. I can't recommend Cafe Ponte highly enough.
Of all the restaurants in the Tampa Bay Area that my group has visited for monthly luncheons over the last five years, none is more universally liked than Cafe Ponte. Great food choices on their extensive lunch menu, beautifully served in a truly first class restaurant.
While visiting the area from New York, we wanted to go somewhere nice for our anniversary. The food here is really good. Probably some of the best food we've had in Clearwater during our stay. The service was great. Everything about this place was great. My only criticisms, especially coming from New York, are the location and layout of the dining area.
The restaurant is in a strip mall. Kind of odd for a high end establishment. This should really be a standalone restaurant. Because it's in a strip mall, the place seems kind of small and dark. They won't open the blinds to let light in, because...it's in a strip mall so people can just look right inside. The restaurants are by the entrance and not tucked away in the back. So now everyone in the place can see who's coming in and out the lavatory. All of this seems very odd. Maybe this is just what happens in Clearwater and I'm spoiled by the high end New York steakhouses.
Overall, the good is great. No complaints whatsoever.
Great food, great service, overall very pleasant luncheon.
Certainly #1 restaurant in the area and in the top 5 in St. Petersburg! Atmosphere, ambiance , service and the food is devine. Cafe Ponte has catered for myself and two other homes in my neighborhood . Unparalled wislity and service . Thank you!
Café Ponto is a hidden gem – we like to visit on our own, but know we can always impress our visiting clients and partners with an outstanding meal and great atmosphere.
My review of Cafe Pont: simply amazing and perfect in every way!
Had reservation had to wait a short time to be seated then it took a long time to get a drink and the appetizer, the entrée time was reasonable. Enjoyed the salmon, others had duck and were somewhat pleased. Sides seemed overpriced. Since I am writing the review I gave a 4 star rating others I dined with may have given it a 3 star.
I made a reservation for one. I got the impression from the descriptions I read about Cafe Ponte that it is a very upscale restaurant so I wore a suit to show respect. The place was packed, which is to be expected in a successful restaurant. There was piano music playing and the atmosphere seemed a bit noisy to me. Can't do much about that. You can't tell the patrons to whisper.
Before I even ordered my meal, I was given a complimentary truffle bisque served in a demitasse cup. It was delicious. I don't normally eat soups but this was like nothing I tasted before; a pleasant surprise. I don't eat at restaurants like this often so I get confused when I read the menu. I usually have no clue what I am about to get. I ordered the calamari appetizer, salmon entree and the sweet potato side dish. Everything was perfect and had an interesting, vibrant flavor. The sweet potato side was so powerfully rich it seemed more like a dessert. I didn't have room for dessert so when the waitress offered it I declined. Then I was graced with another surprise. I was served two small complimentary dessert items; a piece of fudge and a tiny green biscotti. She said, "We never let anyone leave us without a dessert". Next time I will be sure to leave room for dessert.
It was all quite affordable. The bill was just over $60. I expected it to be well above $100. From beginning to end, Cafe Ponte was an unique dining experience. Try it sometime. I'm sure you will feel the same.
Consistently great service, a very reasonable and delicious lunch, nice ambiance--Cafe Ponte is terrrific!
I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fine dining experience. We were there in the early evening so we were able to take advantage of the early bird special (soup/salad/entree/dessert) for only $35. Great value for what we received. And I can't say enough about the high level of service and attention. What a treat!
Terrific food and service. Very comfortable private booths too.
We dined on Mother's Day and despite how busy they were, the food was the usual exceptional fare that we have come to love at Cafe Ponte and the service was excellent. The Kale salad was enjoyed by several of our party and each of the entrees was perfectly prepared and delicious. The wine list is comprehensive and reasonably priced. We dine here several times a year and it is always an enjoyable evening.
I don't know if it was because it was Mother's Day. But we were very disappointed in the service, which is usually first class. It took a while before we were served, had to ask for the bread it seemed unorganized. We both ordered Steaks and they were pretty fatty. My Mom 's order was ok and my brother order the filet. We ordered 4 appetizers, because we love food, and four meals with dessert and coffee. We left there wondering if we would ever return. It may be some time. Sad because we recommend it to so many people and hope that they don't have the same experience that we had on Mother's day.
I went to Café Ponte three times in seven days! Love it! Excellent food! I could eat the Flat Iron Steak Salad every day, and the Lobster Omelet on Mother's Day was divine! Plus, I never drink iced tea, but I highly recommend their mango infused tea.
I guess my palette doesn’t match the opulent menu. I had a hamburger that was ordered medium and came out thin and well done. The tomatoes were mealy. My wife had a club sandwich which she didn’t enjoy either.
Stacey was our server and she was so very nice, knowledgable about the wines and what dishes they paired well with. She was very attentive but not overly. Every course we had was exceptional. We really loved how the Chef really knew which flavors went so well together on the palate. We really enjoyed the flatbread as our starter. The rest of the meal was especially awesome. This was our first time eating here and we were celebrating our anniversary, which was acknowledged by the staff. Thank you!! We will definitely be back again, and again, and again. The piano music was an added elegant touch and there weren't kids running all over the place, so we could have a quiet, romantic, lovely dinner and enjoyed the ambiance as well.
The flavors we experienced were amazing! Also, the portion sizes for a fixed price menu were more than enough
This is a terrific restaurant for any special occasion, food is great, service superb and great ambiance.
Café Ponte is our favorite place for dinner. We meet our daughter there about twice a month and it is always outstanding. The Chef always adds the extra touches with tastes like fennel ,anise or other herbs. Braised short rib. mmm. The service is always professional, polite and friendly. After our daughter scooted out to get on with her "busy" life our waiter escorted us to the piano bar where we enjoyed a nice port.
Its a gem. Great for lunch or dinner
Cafe Ponte is consistently excellent. Although the Short Rib & Brussel Sprouts are my favorite, everything else I've tried has always been delicious. Their service is superb.
Great, as always. The beet salad to the salmon entree, everything was delicious . Freshly baked bread is always your first clue to a restaurant being good. The fresh focaccia & Asiago bread are to die for.
Best restaurant in Pinellas County. Food is always innovative and delicious. Mushroom soup is to die for
THE ONLY 5 STAR BISTRO IN TAMPA BAY.
We met an out of town old friend who was very pleased with the entire experience as were we
We had a great dinner and great service. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Post REH concert dinner was top notch, all made even better by our great waiter, Adam.
The people at Cafe Ponte are always gracious and happy to accommodate my weird diet restrictions. My husband definitely enjoyed his meal too. Overall a very nice evening out after a long week.