Maritana at Don CeSar
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Before dinner, enjoy cool libations including local beers and craft cocktails at our newest addition, The Rowe Bar (located on the Garden Level), where southern hospitality meets the modern bar. The Rowe Bar offers great views of the sunsets St. Pete Beach is famous for.
Bottom line up front - disappointing experience at a very overrated restaurant. I dont understand the rave reviews unless written by people with no knowledge of good food. We are guests at the Don Cesar on our honeymoon and decided to do fine dining at the "four star, diamond rated" Maritana Grille. First - the decor. NOT fine dining. Not horrible, clean and modern but not in any way romantic or "classy." Feels like an upscale diner or the place you go to for the free breakfast buffet at a nice hotel. Sadly the food matches the decor. We ordered the bread (paying for bread at this level of restaurant?), the roasted oysters, the garlic shrimp and the grilled octopus. The bread was really good, warm and chewy, came with some nice accompaniments including a delicious pear jam. The other appetizers were over priced and terribly bland at best. The octopus wasn't really a bad portion and it was perfectly tender, but cold and nearly flavorless. I ate half of it rather than wait on a new order - if they had reheated it in the microwave that would have been worse. The plate had an odd sauce on it that looked like a blob of battleship grey paint - didn't add anything and visually unappealing! The shrimp were just ok. Not bad but worth maybe six or seven dollars at a ham and egger seafood place. The oysters were terrible. Bland, oddly cooked, a strange and unsatisfying dish. Almost sent them back but, well, honeymoon. For main meals we ordered the duck breast and a bison rib eye and to be fair they were decent, good flavors and nicely cooked, but at premium steakhouse prices. The star of the evening was the side order of French fries, hot, crunchy but tender, perfectly salted, really among the top two or three pommes frites I've had anywhere. We skipped dessert. The service was friendly but a little inefficient- shouldn't take that long to get water refills among other minor issues so I cant really give high marks for that either. Summary- way over priced for what you get
Amazing service and experience
We had a great dinner. Will definitely do it again.
Ok. Apps, salads and small plates were great. Main entrees were average. Over priced. Service was good bu slow.
It was a quiet Monday evening and we were very well attended to by Don and Donner. The extra attention, recommendations and wine pairings made for a delightful evening! Our compliments to the Chef as well! Food was fabulous and perfectly portioned!
We were quite disappointed with the Maritana. The noise level was much louder than any bar I've ever been in. You could not have a conversation with the person across from you if you were not essentially yelling. The noise bounced off everything. It was at the point we couldn't wait to leave because it was uncomfortable sitting there. The hard surfaces may be easier to keep clean but it is a complete negative for the patron. The Don CeSar/Maritana should certainly reconsider their decision to renovate. We were expecting a quiet lovely evening - it was not.
Chef Emily is Absolutely Brilliant! The waitstaff was the best in the business ! Donner, our waiter became an instant friend and answered our every need along with all of the wait staff ! We are fortunate enough to have eaten all over the world, and Maritana is in the top 5 on dining ! Can’t wait to return !!!
Ask for Don. He is amazing!
Bad acoustics and difficult to have conversation. Our server was slow to get to us but busy and pleasant. Our food, which was fish, was under cooked and had to be reheated. They literally took the fish to a microwave and put it on a plate with only the rice instead of creating a fresh entree. I expected so much more! Really bummed....
We had an excellent dinner, loved the ambiance and our waiter. It was a little noisy in there. We enjoyed it so much we made a reservation to go back with out guests the next week with the same outstanding waiter, Jess.
The meal was very good. Bison steak and Red fish are highly recommended. The prawns were disappointing. The service staff were top notch.
HORRIBLE! What have you done?! Maritana used to be the BEST restaurant in town, without question. Now, I’m simply not going back. The renovation is horrible, it cheapened the restaurant and experience, and certainly does not elegant nor refined. The food? Horrendous. Underwhelming menu, and the quality was atrocious. I’m just don’t understand why? Why did you ruin what used to be an incredible experience for all the senses? Whoever decided to make these changes is simply, and sadly, a fool. You never fix what is not broken. I am truly sad at the passing of the Maritana. I just hope it resuscitates someday.
We stayed at the hotel, Don Cesar. I inquired about an earlier reservation. They were busy but they found a time a little earlier. When another one opened even earlier, they called us and let us know. Very nice.
Food was delicious and waiter, Jeff, recommended a great wine when the one I requested was discovered to be out.
Have already recommended the restaurant.
Best days are behind it. Mediocre food meets desperate but well meaning service. Filet was underdone then overdone. Wine list was the standout. Stay away.
Kitchen was overwhelmed. My wife and I waited over an hour from the time we ordered until when we received our appetizer.
The waiter did all he could to make up for delay and manager finally (after numerous requests) stopped by our table and we ended up having our meal comped.
Food was very good.
Would try again on a less busy night
The service, food and overall restaurant has gone downhill since the renovation. They are changing for bread service, not able to use the computer to check out your bill within the restaurant which causes the service to be slow.
Visited during our babymoon. Service and food were excellent! I forgot our waiters name but he was great!
The kitchen went down, the service was even worse. Extremely overpriced and the chef is lacking any talent whatsoever. I would much prefer to have eaten downstairs at the sports bar and had a burger, they can’t handle a crowd it’s pretty obvious.
Couldn’t have asked for anything better. I had smoked grouper. My husband had redfish. We both thought it was the best we ever had. Perfectly seasoned. We shared a gem salad first. Delicate but lively. Perfect to proceed the food.
We had excellent drinks: a gin martini and rye Manhattan (which came with brandied cherries—-a sign of a very good cocktail). Pl
We shall return.
Visited for Valentines Day. Set small menu which is common for this day. The set menu offered a choice of appetizer, main dish and dessert. Only 3 choices of each. We literally waited about 30 -45 minutes between each course. My main dish came out cold and had to send it back. Even the check process took about 20 mins. If it wasn't for how amazing the food tasted this review would have been a zero. I though the whole purpose for small set menu is to be able to push out dinners. I would hate to see the wait time on the full menu. I would try again because the food was good but it would not be on a special occasion.
We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day dinner. I had called the restaurant to see if they were doing anything special for Valentine’s Day and they said they were just going off the regular menu. We decided to come anyway and lo and behold they had a three course fixed price meal. I had the tuna tartare appetizer which was a generous portion and delicious followed by the duck which was also very good. It was a little rarer than I am used to but I ate it and enjoyed it. Dessert was a chocolate something with beet ice cream which was also fantastic.
Our server was excellent but we didn’t see much of her during the last part of the meal. I think she was swamped.
Valet parking was included.
It was a very enjoyable night out.
Booked through OpenTable for Valentines day after looking over the menu. When we visited we found out it was a special limited menu of three choices, I was really looking forward to scallops but only had a choice of Duck, Pasta, Mudfish. It was a nice place and the staff was excellent, our total bill for two was $265.34 and if the normal menu was allowed we would have been half. It felt like they tricked us but I assume if I would have ordered directly through Maritana they would have told us they were running a special menu which was why at 6:30 pm on valentines day the restaurant was only 35% occupied and made us feel like it was not the place to be. The Duck had good flavor and the portions of salad, duck and desert were really small, Since we were done by 7:00 it left enough time to eat a light evening snack at another location. While at the Don CeSar we toured the bottom floor that had shops and another restaurant facing the water which looked much more interesting and might give it a try as the Maritana only had windows on one side and all you could see is the parking lot!
I have already written a review but will tell you again. Do not go here!! We overpaid for slow service, okay food, poor management responses and a ruined Valentines Day experience. We did not know there was a fixed menu. When booking online about 7 weeks ago this was not mentioned. My wife has celiac disease and if I had know I surely would have booked someplace else. So with a very limited menu especially for my wife we ate salads that were embarrassing to be served at a fine restaurant. My wife’s monkfish came out cold but since it took so long to get it she did not want to send it back. My pasta was okay but nothing special. And desert was supposed to be strawberries and cream and I really don’t know what the heck we got but it did not resemble anything I have had before. And they remodeled which it now has a “diner” feel instead of a fine restaurant! And it is quite loud now. Used to be such an amazing dining experience. And the manager who we complained to did apologize but took no actions or comments to address the ruined evening. We got married at this hotel so at least we will have those fond memories but we will not be returning to the Maritana. Oh and we paid $236 so we could leave HUNGRY!!
There was a special menu for Valentine's Day so our choices were limited. The choices were diverse and nicely prepared. I would have given 5 stars except for a huge faux pas the server made with our wine that added over $100 to the bill. The mistake was not acknowledged until the next day and no adjustment was made to the bill.
First of all, our server Rocco was exceptional. I asked for flowers at the table and I received 5 red roses which really surprised my wife. The food as always was delicious and we will definitely be back. Thank you
Great service from Charlotte!!!!! Knew all of the food so well. A pleasure.
We had a fabulous time! What a great space with great food and service!
Excellent in all areas.
The wait staff was very knowledgeable about the dishes and preparation methods. The setting fairly quiet and decor modern by design. Would highly recommend to friends and family.
An outstanding meal made truly excellent due to the outstanding service provided by our waitress, Charlotte Stone Kelsey. Bravo Charlotte!
The oyster appetizer was not good, had a strange flavor combination, and the oysters were tiny.
Main dishes were much better. Bread service and dips were a very nice beginning.
Our first time dining there. Excellent!
The oyster appetizer was excellent as was the ruby lettuce salad!
The main dish red fish was quite salty, and came with patches of uncooked rice that was hard on the teeth.
The chocolate dessert was extremely good.
3 excellents and a good made for a decent evening, though the prices are somewhat high - to be expected at such a renown location.
Don Von was our server and he was outstanding! He is very knowledgeable and was quick to make recommendations, all of which were perfect!
We felt like we were eating in a cafeteria. Lighting was waaay too bring. Not a cozy romantic atmosphere whatsoever. Food was just average. A $45 steak should be amazing but it was just average if even that. Price points very high for quality of the food. Honestly can’t recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for a great culinary experience.
The new owners ruined the ambiance and "warmth" of the old restaurant. The lighting was bright but under repair.
The food is unbelievably outstanding
The service staff are pros and really make it an wonderful experience.
We loved our dinner at Maritana! The food was delicious. We had a wonderful time. Our waitress, Charlotte was so happy and fun; she made our evening beyond enjoyable she made it memorable!!!
We were treated soooo well! My wife and I travel a lot. We eat out a lot. Folks at Con Cesar were so kind and polite, I'd go back just to be with them! I have health-related dietary restrictions. I would suggest a killer vegetarian/vegan option to put on the menu for folks like me. Also, maybe turn down the lights a bit...? Forgive the suggestions, I'm a retired marketing prof.
Love the Don Cesar! Reminds me of the Nacional Hotel in Havana!
It was the second night Of service after having been renovated . Having dying to hear many times in the past we were excited to visit the new Maritana. Let me start off fresh by saying the food was excellent nothing short of excellent however it all ended there the seating is not intimate it feels like you’re in a diner rather than in an expensive romantic dining room it was so loud that we could not understand what the waitress was saying or what the person across the table from us were saying it was crazy crazy loud the clientele was loud they were yelling they were raucous wearing baseball caps and shorts and T-shirt’s. There were other tables that were obviously out for a nice dining experience dressed appropriately who also we’re probably experiencing the same upheaval that we were hoping that people would just leave so the place will quiet down which it never did. The management Team needs to address acoustics perhaps some rugs on the floor to absorb some of the noise carve out some intimate dining space so that at least some people have privacy as well as perhaps institute a dress code or encourage a dress code so that beach attire is not welcome at the same time that you have people in suits and ties it was just a disappointing experience overall but the food again was excellent could not say anything bad about the food it was super expensive but superb and our waitress was wonderful as well but again difficult to work with because we couldNot understand a word she was saying because the noise level was so out of control and new management spoke to anyone to quite a town so while it was an enjoyable dining experience in the sense of the food the entire evening to us was egregious.
Maritana at Don CeSar is rated 4.5 stars by 1412 OpenTable diners.