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Gemmell's

4.2
464 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary French
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Neighborhood Gem

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About

An oasis by the sea, where dining is romantic cozy, comfortable, and highlighted with personal service. Like dining out should be - Gemmell’s is a Dana Point Harbor dining destination, an experience for the palate not to be forgotten.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary French, French
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Hours of operation
Brunch: Sunday: 10:00am - 3:30pm; Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 3:30pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 3:30pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 3:30pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(949) 234-0063
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Byron Gemmell
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Private party facilities
We have a private banquet room that seats a minimum of 20 to a maximum of 80. The room has it own private facilities, as well as it's own full bar. It has a partial view of the Marina and lots of windows.
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Private party contact
Barbara: (949) 234-0063
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Catering
Catering events such as: Sales Meetings, Corporate Events, Group Luncheons, Graduations, Cocktail & Receptions, Weddings, Holiday Parties, Rehearsal Dinners, Anniversaries, Birthday Events, Baby Showers, Business and Social occasions. Call us, no matter what the occasion, our chef has a selection of creative menus or we can customize one for your occasion.
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Cross street
Dana Point Harbor Drive
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Parking details
Parking lot holds anywhere from 50 - 250 cars. It has handicap parking as well. On weekends there is Valet Parking (Friday, Saturday and Holidays) We also have access to Marina Parking (please inquire within).
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Public transit
Public transit stops in front of the Harbor of Dana Point.
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Entertainment
Thursday nights.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, High Tea, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 464 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on March 18, 2017

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.

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5.0Dined on March 8, 2017

Great salmon and very good service

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3.0Dined on February 25, 2017

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.

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2.0Dined on February 24, 2017

The ambiance is very good. The place is clean and comfortable. But the food has no flavor

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5.0Dined on February 21, 2017

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!

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4.0Dined on February 18, 2017

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!!

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1.0Dined on February 14, 2017

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!!!!

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3.0Dined on February 13, 2017

Nothing special ; used a groupon; the food was just satisfactory

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4.0Dined on February 12, 2017

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.

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4.0Dined on February 11, 2017

Consistently good food and service,
Menu has many selections to please everyone. Business Lunch menu is a great deal.

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4.0Dined on February 10, 2017

Great French cuisine at Dana Point Harbor! Recommend trying it!

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5.0Dined on January 28, 2017

The service, food, ambiance, and staff were amazing. This was our first time here, so I used a Groupon for the 4-course meal - an amazing bargain! Everything was perfect. The staff was very helpful and friendly. I will definitely be back to eat there again. It is very quiet there, as the waiter said they usually get busy a bit earlier than 830pm, and they close at 9pm, which I didn't realize. Either way, I will definitely be back! Thanks again for the great food and overall experience.

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5.0Dined on January 17, 2017

I've dined here many times, and the food is always delicious and well presented. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone.

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5.0Dined on January 13, 2017

Great food and service. The Living Social Deal is the best.

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5.0Dined on January 10, 2017

We were celebrating a very special birthday. Luigi was excellent in providing service. He was helpful in suggesting French wines and local wines. The menu was totally delicious from Feuillette mushroom asparagus appetizers, onion soup, lobster Bisque, delicate fresh John Dory fish, savory crepes, perfectly prepared rack of lamb to their famous amazing Harlequin Soufflé Dessert. Thank you Gemmell's for a wonderful evening and memorable celebration. We will be coming back.

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5.0Dined on January 7, 2017

It was a pleasant experience. While there were others in the restaurant it was quiet, which is unusual these days for a restaurant. We could actually carry on a conversation.

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4.0Dined on January 5, 2017

We we enjoyed the French cuisine and thought the dessert souffle was fabulous. The interior of the restaurant is getting shabby and could use an update.

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2016

We went for NewYearsEve. 2 great choice of 3 or 4 course meals. Wines are very reasonable. I had duck pâté. Excellent. Lobster bisque was a little bland. Needed sherry. Rack of lamb was excellent. Nice choc soufflé. Friend had tenderloin oscar( crab& asparagus) bernaise . Very good. Onion soup was good. Friend had shrimp & pasta in sauce.
All very good.
They decorated very nicely for the holidays too.
I highly recommend this restaurant.

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4.0Dined on December 30, 2016

While I understand gratuity is based on the original value it was not appreciated that the waiter automatically added a 20% tip and presented this with the assumption this was what we intended to pay. After several bottoms of wine which brought the bill up considerably. I would prefer having a choice especially for a small party. I would not recommend for this reason.

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3.0Dined on December 24, 2016

We waited 45 min for our reservation. Food so so. Probably won't go back.

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3.0Dined on December 24, 2016

I'm not sure what the deal was, but their service was very slow and very inattentive. We went there for Christmas Eve....our once a year special occasion for seven of us and our family. We had to ask for water four times. Our second bottle of wine three times. And then we were told 20 minutes after we ordered, that the cappuccino machine was broken. At that point the waiter came over to tell us it's not broken. The bus boy just didn't want to do it but it's too late now anyway. Sorry. Not to mention the fact that we were sat outside on the patio and there were people standing in line to get their table. Not very peaceful and very disruptive. Not sure I will ever go back.

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5.0Dined on December 23, 2016

We recommend Gemmel's for it excellent menu to anyone who enjoys classical french food prepared very expertly and will certainly go back again soon!

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3.0Dined on December 20, 2016

Way understaffed for the customer level. Only provided one round of drinks, never offer again. Meal sat on our table after for 30 minutes before pick up. Desert was pre- made, ice was melted.
Eaton here many times, this was the worst experience. Others had been good.
Groupon made the value good or I would have complained.

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5.0Dined on December 19, 2016

Birthday celebration

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5.0Dined on December 10, 2016

Went with a Groupon, menu had enough choices, food was great

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5.0Dined on December 9, 2016

Excellent food and phenomenal service. I took my mother to celebrate her birthday this weekend and we were in for a delightful suprise. This restaruant exceeded all of my expectations. From start to finish the service was a nice pace... not too rushed. The courses of the meal were timed perfectly and the server we had was friendly and made us feel like we were at home. The decor of the restaurant was very festive and romantic. We sat in the outer area next to the fireplace. It gave a nice touch and put us in the Christmas spirit. My favorite parts of the meal were the fresh, hot french rolls which came right out of the oven, the lamb chops, and the roasted garlic baby red potatoes. All I can say is delicious!!!! We will be back again when the next time we visit Dana Harbor! Great job, Gemmells!

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5.0Dined on December 1, 2016

Wonderful experience - food excellent - Professional, knowledgeable and attentive wait staff!!

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5.0Dined on November 24, 2016

one of our favorite restaurants, and really a great Thanksgiving meal

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5.0Dined on November 17, 2016

The food and service is consistently very good. A great place to have a nice meal in a quiet atmosphere that allows you to have a conversation.

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2.0Dined on November 12, 2016

So-so in overall, I like that they have white cloth on the tables and my wife liked their duck dish, so we go their couple times a year. This time was OK, but not great

Food was decent. I believe I got wrong glass of wine. Service could be better, they got a party of either friends or regulars and kind of abandoned us.

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5.0Dined on November 6, 2016

Consistently great food and service. The new server Mark, (I think that was his name) was very, very good.

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5.0Dined on October 18, 2016

Great food and service right on the Harbor!! Starting from the bread through all the courses including dessert, it was all great!!

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5.0Dined on October 16, 2016

This is a lovely restaurant with great atmosphere. We were recently here to celebrate our 45 anniversary. The soups are wonderful and so are the sand dabs. Also surprise it is reasonable. I would return

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5.0Dined on October 14, 2016

One of the few places you can share a conversation with friends.

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5.0Dined on September 29, 2016

One of the few quiet restaurants left. You can actually hold a conversation without outside noise. Great menu, all fresh and delicious.

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4.0Dined on September 28, 2016

The food was very good. The service was great. If we different have a Groupon coupon for $39 for two dinners it would have been $122.00. It is a bit pricey considering you could go to the Chart House and have a fantastic view of Dana Point Harbor for less.

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5.0Dined on September 17, 2016

This is a favorite "go to place". Always quiet, great service and food. Highly recommend.

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5.0Dined on September 4, 2016

Great atmosphere, food and service. Will go back soon!

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4.0Dined on August 28, 2016

Overall good experience except for the fact you were out of the wine that was reasonably priced. We ended spending more and that took us out of the loop for the future.

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5.0Dined on August 16, 2016

Gemmell's does not disappoint, Luigi provide outstanding service and makes a great martini. The food for my daughter's birthday was as before wonderful. Highly recommend!

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