Chapter One - Guilford
Excellent food, service and value
Variety of food. My wife is a vegetarian, also gluten free, and has a few options. A full menu for others.
Attentive and friendly service from our waitress Wendy, comfortable inviting decor. Menu descriptions made all dishes tempting. Execution was mediocre. Stonington seared scallops appeared cut in half and only one scallop in the dish had a nice carmelized sear, risotto lacked any depth in flavor, cavatelli bolognese sauce was bland, highlight was the meat. Churros were soggy and chewy, albeit tasty sweet. Highlight was the ceviche appetizer.
Wait staff was exceptionally attentive. Good experience.
My raw clams had pieces of shell in them and my steak was cold
Decided to try Chapter One again after a couple of bad experiences because I heard the owners were trying to improve and I love their rear patio. Everything was much better. The food was great and our waitress couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful. The only downside was that there was a noticeable smell of manure, maybe from a nearby garden. I hope they take care of that! Can’t speak to the noise level inside, but I will go back.
The room and location was great as was the service. The food did not measure up. My date had a salad which was basically croutons with a few pieces of asparagus on top- saved by the shrimp which was good. But with out the shrimp, it was a $14 crouton salad. $23 with shrimp. I had the linguini with clams which was good- and a nice presentation with steamed clams around the pasta on the dish. The clams, however, were inedible ( unless you like to swallow large hunks of chewing gum).
Our first time to Chapter One. Food was creative and very well presented. Service was very friendly and helpful. Our server even made some wine and cocktail recommendations based on our food selections. Homemade bread pudding was delightful. Will definitely be going back.
csd2, thank you so much for this amazing 5 star review! We greatly appreciate the feedback. We are so lucky to have such an amazing staff, from our servers to our kitchen staff! We're so happy you thoroughly enjoyed your experience with us here at Chapter One. We really do strive for excellence, from food to service to decor, and are so grateful when our guests want to come see us again! Thank you & we hope to see you again soon!
Excellent food and service.. outside dining very pleasant. No bugs! Wait staff very attentive...
CarolG, thank you SO much for your kind 5 star review! We greatly appreciate it. We strive for excellence, from food to service to decor, and are so grateful to hear when our guests have so thoroughly enjoyed their experience. Thank you again for your feedback & we hope to see you again soon!
Went for lunch. Dates with bacon appetizer was delicious. Patio was great for a nice summer day.
Not a good experience. We've been twice before and felt mixed about the place. This time, the restaurant was less than half full on a July Sat eve. Ordered our drinks, chowder and dinner. Drinks came, then chowder, which was overly salty. Then we waited. Nearly an hour later, just as we were about to leave without eating, the new GM brought out our dinners apologetically (which was nice), but we decided to leave when one dinner arrived undercooked and not as requested and we didn't want to wait for it to be corrected. At each table around us, diners were complaining about the food---too salty, too sweet, too spicy--- and about the long wait for food. As a local, I really miss having a good restaurant in that spot. Chapter One needs a real overhaul on food and service.
I wouldn't recommend. My bouillabaisse was very salty, our friends french fries which he asked to be very crispy were soggy. The Thai Calamari was not fresh, rubbery in consistancy and not a lot of Thai flavor. The drinks were fantastic
The waitress was outstanding and the decor is casual elegant. The AC system worked perfectly on a very hot day. Appetizers are delicious and can be shared as they are mostly very large. The salmon entree was over cooked and dry, but the bouillabaisse was just right. Someone at the next table sent their steak back as it wasn’t cooked properly, so entrees are hit or miss.
NY Strip was excellent however the price included nothing. Potato and vegetable were extra. Ordered their baked potato, which was on the menu, only to find out I couldn't get it. They said it wouldn't cook in time.
Chicken in my wife's sandwich was thick and rubbery.
Drinks were very good, however even though we were there during happy hour, we were told happy hour was not available to us because we were not at the bar.
Service was very slow Iced tea had no ice in glass. Had to ask server for ice and sweetener
Two of four dinners ( steak ) were completely over cooked Asked for medium and medium rare. Both meals were well done. Both meals were comped by Mgr
Other two dinners were fair Lacking seasoning Nothing special
Great outdoor space but poor service and below average meals will not bring me back again
Mahi Mahi was exceptionally dry with very little flavor. Chicken piccata turned out to be nothing more than a grilled chicken breast sitting on mashed potatoes and asparagus with a few capers. Very little if any lemon piccata sauce.
This could be an incredible dining venue; however, they will definitely need a new chef and professional host staff.
Slow, poor service. Food and drinks were subpar and without taste.
Go! Great menu! Great wine list! Great atmosphere! Great level of service! We will be back!
Service was great and food was delicious
Our most recent visit was on Father's Day. We frequently visit Chapter One and this time it was just as good. The specials are always worth trying...both drinks and food...and each of the five of us had something different (that's great for sharing!) I highly recommend the Seafood Bouillabaisse as an entree and my husband had the Mussels. A very nice special was the Lobster in sauce over Pasta. The young persons' favorites were the Hot Lobster Roll and the Chapter One Burger. Our dessert choices were excellent...Cheesecake with toppings and the Churros!!! The service from the bar (thanks, Chris!!!) and at the table was friendly and prompt.
We waited way too long for our drinks, then our appetizers and finally our main course. Staff was young and inexperienced. All 4 entrees were cold.....the restaurant is over its head and poorly managed. Very frustrating experience
Great outdoor dining spot in Guildford. Tasty burgers and the salmon is delish! They also have an unadvertised kids menu. My son loves the desserts, too.
Good food, good ambience, good service
We had a table in the window, which looks out on the Guilford green, a very nice view. Shared the mussels appetizer. They were quite small, rather plain, with an indifferent broth. The bread served at table (none specifically with the mussels) was a rather crumbly, flavored focaccia that didn't work well for sopping up the broth. The burger I had, ordered medium rare, was underdone. The fries were very like frozen shoestring potatoes you might make in the oven at home. My son had a bolognese he pronounce quite good.
The food and service were quite good. Wine was fine too. Desserts looked great but we couldn't eat another bite. It was early so the noise level was moderate. Can get very noisy when the restaurant fills up. My only request is that the temperature be more appropriate for people sitting and eating. We are not exercising. I always bring a sweater.
We decided to try Chapter One after reading that the chef de cuisine from Livs, one of our favorite restaurants, had been hired to repair Chapter One. Hallelujah, it happened! We have dined at all the iterations of this space over the years, starting with Esteva, which was a seriously good restaurant. It was all downhill from there, but I’m happy to report Chapter One is now the real deal. The decor is lovely, the chairs and tables very solid, comfortable and attractive. The much needed sound absorbing stuff has appeared in the ceiling. Went on Friday night, with 2 empty tables, and the place was quiet. Fresh flowers on the table, starched white cloth napkins, table ready at reserved time: great start.
The menu has a wide variety of appealing items (some not surprisingly reminiscent of Livs), including veggie items, and the wine list has good wines available by the glass. Loved the Reserve Rioja.
The bread was fantastic focaccia, fresh, soft and chewy at the bottom, nice herbed crust on top, served with olive oil with roasted garlic. They really did this right!
Panzanella salad was obviously freshly cut and assembled from fresh ingredients bursting with flavor topped with refreshing light but very tasty dressing.
Lemon Chicken Picatta was great, tender, accompanied by mashed potatoes sprinkled with crisp little bacon pieces for nice contrast.
Seafood Bouillabaisse was a delicious combo of shrimp, clams, mussels, white fish, and “cold water lobster” (Sounds like a euphemism. Should tell us what it really is) served right off the stove in its own pot, steaming. It was great. Having lived my life in New England, I’d prefer a CT or Maine lobster tail and would be willing to pay more to have that. Anything less is...less. Regardless, the dish was a masterpiece.
Service was attentive, polite, prompt by a young waitress eager to please. Only issue was she cleared my wife’s dishes while I was still eating. Should know better.
We’d go back anytime for the same dinner.
Our entrees took a very long time to come out. I had ordered my filet medium, but it came out rare twice. My husband's drink was incorrect , and we were not given the option of bread, I finally asked for some while waiting for my entree to be corrected. Our server was pleasant, however the kitchen seemed to be overwhelmed. We were not the only table outside with issues with entrees.
Fantastic service and great food. Always a solid option!
The server was resistant about addressing the AC. In my serving experience, you do not say NO. You either make it happen or you soften the blow or you call the manager. Asking about the wine, she told us to look at the list.
Food was superb!
Very enjoyable because the food is always good and the service Is excellent l.
The bar is very noisy and there is no separation from the dining room. Why not put up a divider to make it quieter for the diners.
Best hot lobster roll! I highly recommend Chapter One when you want a fabulous hot lobster roll. The lobster was tender, sweet and perfectly cooked, and the butter broth was divine. And the truffle fries were excellent. Good wines by the glass. Extremely friendly service. It was extraordinary that the kitchen beautifully divided a shared salad. We did not expect that. Most restaurants charge for the service or don't offer to do it. The shared salad came out on two plates that looked great and tasted superb. Two small reasons why I did not give a 5-star review. The tables are too close together. And the first round of drinks should have been served much faster. We waited quite a while before our wines were brought to the table. The important thing for restaurants to note is that many customers of beyond ready to relax - and that sometimes takes a sip of delicious inviting wine after a long hard day.
We waited 1.5 hours from the time we sat down to the time our food arrived. After that sort of wait, the quality of the food doesn’t matter.
Great dinner and excellent service
Great food and great service
The food was salty, small portions and over priced.
The food was so oversalted. The Caesar salad tasted like a canned version rather than restaurant made. The onion soup so incredibly salty it was barely edible. the "bread" used was soggy as could be and gummy with almost no broth in the shallowest bowl I've ever seen for a soup tureen. $40 later, Very disappointing.
So much potential, but must still be working out the kinks.