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My bookclub met and everyone loved this restaurant. They make you feel at home. Many live close by and had never been before. Needless to say, it is on their list now.
A nice romantic secret in Dana Point. Old school French cuisine and service you can count on.
I can’t stop raving about the meal we had Friday. The dinner was the best I’ve had in months and I dine out all over the country. It’s a local treasure.
Excellent food,excellent ambiance and friendly staff. Gemmel’s is a gem.
Our Mother's Day choice! And it was a good one. This Mom had the Chilean Sea Bass. Absolutely scrumptious! Dad was kept happy with the nice warm bread. He's hooked on good bread! Son had the Duck with the Grand Marnier reduction. At least I think that was the one he had. Good wine, good food, incredible company. A perfect Mother's day!
The best local gem in Dana Point. Great food and quiet.
I had the distinct impression that the waiter was not happy to have a solo female guest. The place was not full on Saturday night, and i had an early reservation to make it easier for them, but several guests who came in after me were given menus, water and bread before me. Two of the dishes were superb - 5 out of 5 for the asparagus feutille and the Grand Marnier souffle - but my scallop main course ($32) was overcooked with a blah sauce.
nice quiet, good food when looking for something different
Very enjoyable French dining
Very nice place, our waiter Burton was wonderful. The food was delicious! We live close so we’ll be back.
Great place for a quiet, elegant lunch with delicious food at a great value! I only gave 4 stars because it is a little out dated in decor but still ever so charming! Give it a try:)
Fast efficient service. Good menu choices. Quiet music in background. Delicious food. We will return.
Fantastic service and the soufflé was incredible!
Our extravagant meal to celebrate our Anniversary. Wonderful as always. Service was great, food a favorite.
Had a delicious meal. It was a dining experience. Very nice
This was my second time returning to this fabulous restaurant. The food is delicious and well prepared. It's so romantic with wide selection of fine wine. Service is nice and attentive. It's highly recommended for date and a place to enjoy great food and make conversation.
Food was good but the service was so slow and the server seemed like he'd rather be anywhere else. We had also ordered the souffle early knowing we needed 25 extra minutes for it and it never came. We waited half an hour for a slice of chocolate cake with no explanation.
Great hidden spot in Dana Point. Make sure to grab a bite when down in the area.
My wife and I love the food at Gemmell's. It's undoubtedly the best restaurant in South County. But things are a little slow... I'm not sure why. We will be back many times in the future. But taking friends presents is a bit of a problem; because most people don't like to spend two and one half hours on dinner. But the food is fantastic... if you have the time make a reservation.
It was obvious the minute we walked in that the restaurant could not handle regular business while hosting a private party in the back room. No one from the restaurant staff greeted us, someone from the private party told us we could probably sit anywhere in the front room. The hostess FINALLY acknowledged us and let us know we would be given some bread and water. I had to ask for menus. After 10 minutes of waiting, we were served water and butter by the busboy. We did get menus but after 15 minute of being ignored, we left. BTW-we did have reservations.
We took some friends who had never been there before. They eat out a lot and have high expectations of food and service. They loved it. They were very impressed with the food and service and loved the look of the restaurant. They remarked they would be back! It was a wonderful evening.
If I could, I would have given this a 3.5, but I can't and to give this place a 4 would have been a disservice to other 4* places. Food was very good. Our party of 4 had John Dory, Sand Dab, Pasta, and Crepe with Chicken. All the main dishes, as well as the appetizers were very well prepared with a very traditional french flair (i.e. excellently paired sauces). It wasn't spectacular but I would be happy to come here again for their food. Unfortunately, the staff and the service left a lot to be desired. It took much too long to take our orders and unacceptably too long to bring the main course. This was not a case of intentional slow pace and that of an inattentive service overall. The main hall had 15 to 17 tables which were all occupied and they had two Servers, a busser, a hostess, and a manager(?). And yet, there were too many occasions where I could not see any staff in the dining hall. Considering that the bill comes out to be in the high 40's to low 50's, I expect better service. Finally, the one vig positive is that the portions are surprisingly large. We all arrived really hungry and yet we all struggled to finish our main course.
Excellent food, flavors, and service.
We had high expectations for this restaurant. However, we were highly disappointed.
We asked for some hot water and got charged 1.50 for the cups. We sat for well over 30 minutes before the server took the orders. The duck and sea bass were fair.
After we were done, it was another 30 minutes before the dishes were taken away.
We had to ask the server repeatedly to prepare our bill.
Love this restaurant! Had a wonderful dining experience here and will definitely come again! The service was wonderful and the food was outstanding. I had the French onion soup for my entire and am addicted! My husband ordered the lamb and that is a dish I will order next time. We went on a Friday night and it was moderately quiet, warm and romantic. Can’t wait to go again!
My favorite place to eat in Orange County! The food is always amazing and the ambiance is perfect for a date night
This is a "go to" spot for us on special occasions but our first New Year's eve dinner. 7PM seating arrived early and seated at 6:50 after a 20 minute wait. Drinks arrived at 7:20 and appetizers at 7:50. Entree at 8:20. I believe the restaurant was overwhelmed and did the best they could. People at the next table had a dog on NYE dinner. Music duo playing in jeans and sandals stating at 8:00+/- . Probably offer a prix fixed menu instead of full menu may help alleviate a similar situation. The food is always excellent and service great so this I believe is a "one off" situation. We will be back. Interesting night with customers dressed from jeans and beanies to suits and dresses.
My wife and I have been going to Gemmell’s for over five years and we’ve never been disappointed until now. We ordered French martinis and instead received regular martinis. The food didn’t taste fresh and we ordered soufflé for desert as we have for years. Our server forgot our order for soufflé for dessert even though we where the only patrons in the entire restaurant at the time. We went to celebrate our anniversary and next year we will continue to go to Ramos House, RAYA at the Ritz and Marche Moderne, but sadly I doubt we will return to Gemmell’s in the future.
I would comment on the service, but there was none. Got dressed up for Friday night with my husband , braved the holiday traffic and was appalled by how blatantly we were ignored. Came in for my 7:30 reservation and the restaurant was mostly empty, should have been an obvious red flag but we were already there so why not just try it. It took close to 10 min to even get seated, and it was the bartender that sat us since no one else came up to help. We were then passed by over and over again by multiple staff members, repeatedly. No greeting, no water, nothing. The table next to us received a lot of attention, but not us. After 15 minutes we had enough, and walked out. Leaving only three occupied tables in the whole restaurant, in hindsight I understand why and I'm glad I didn't waste my money. If you wish for the same experience then by all means come here. If you'd like efficient, friendly service and perfectly cooked seafood, do yourself a favor and go next door to The Harbor Grill. I also wrote this on Yelp, I'm so appalled I felt the need to review here as well when I received the email.
Fabulous! Thank you to everyone who wrote a review that helped us find this restaurant. The food was excellent. Everything was cooked perfectly and they honored every special request and dietary restriction we had. My favorite was the special of the day sea bass in an herb champagne dressing. It's a beautiful setting so licking the plate wasn't an option but I was tempted to. We were celebrating birthdays and they went out of their way with hospitality. It's not a large restaurant but we didn't feel crowded. There's a cute booth in the back for two and a covered patio in front. The food and service will draw me back.
Great salmon and very good service
The food was very good. The mushroom appetizer was superb; flaky, crusty and outstanding.
The waitstaff was courteous but obviously understaff. We waited an extraordinary time between courses others around us were also complaining.
The ambiance is very good. The place is clean and comfortable. But the food has no flavor
One of the best places in town. Always great food, always quiet. You can actually have a conversation without yelling. You can hear each other. Nice for a change!
Food was very good except for mustard sauce on fish way to salty. A table of 6 came in and way to noisey. Service was outstanding!!
My wife and I were sooo shocked at how bad the food was. We went for valentine date. We returned both our meals and asked for something different. We had a chicken and veal dish that tasted like it was cooked in the microwave. We are not demanding people and I never write reviews, but I feel like I should let everyone know. This place is a Scam!!!!! Do not eat here!!!!
Nothing special ; used a groupon; the food was just satisfactory
This place has been here for years and could use a face lift. That being said, the food was very good. We had the 4 course meal on a Groupon. We started with the duck pate. A very generous serving for 2 people, nicely plated and delightful. Our entrees were the Pork Tenderloin and the Sea dabs. The pork came with a nice variety of vegetables and some roasted red potatoes . The sand dabs came with the same vegetables and rice. Everything tasted as expected and was very warm. We also tried both the Lobster bisque and the Mushroom soup. I recommend them both. This is a place you come to eat slowly & relax. There was only 1 server for the entire restaurant . We were told someone called in sick. But I have read this same complaint in other reviews. I wonder . . . We have no complaints about the food. It was delicious and for having only one server, the service was actually pretty good. We may come back for lunch in the near future.
Consistently good food and service,
Menu has many selections to please everyone. Business Lunch menu is a great deal.
Great French cuisine at Dana Point Harbor! Recommend trying it!