Pond House Cafe

4.4
2151 reviews
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$30 and under
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Fusion / Eclectic
Nestled on the pond in historic Elizabeth Park the Pond House is surrounded by gardens & offers four seasons of charm with a menu to match. Changed seasonally we offer eclectic comfort food that reflects the down to earth but playful spirit of our staff. Announce Spring's arrival with a walk through the park followed by brunch on the patio. Stop and smell the world famous roses then linger over dinner as sun slowly sets over the trees. Lunch, Dinner, Brunch & Take out. The Pond House Cafe- stylish, fun & playful.
What 2151 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New England
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great brunch!

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CM
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The valentines menu was a real treat, expensive but worth it, I went to another restaurant the following night River and they had poor service compared to Pond House. Would definitely prefer Pond House next time. Would have been nice to have real flower arrangements instead of fake. Can’t wait to come back when gardens are in bloom. My favorite was the appetizer and dessert, I had the latkes and flourless cake. Although soft jazz music in the background would have been real nice. But overall real nice, our waitress did a great job making you feel welcome. As opposed to River where they were snooty, shame because they have a good view. Will definitely come back.

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OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 5

Went out for Valentine’s day with my girlfriend. The food was absolutely terrific and the ambiance was great. The room wasn’t too loud or crowded. My only complaint is that the service was horrendous. We had an 8pm reservation and had to stand around and wait for our table even though the restaurant appeared to be about 50% full. Not busy at all. Then we sat down and waited even longer for our waitress to make contact. Spent half the dinner without water. Way too much time between finishing dinner and getting our bill even though I asked for it right away. I paid half in cash and half with my debit card. Not difficult to handle but the waitress charged my debit card and applied the cash to a different table’s bill. Finally after almost 2-1/2 hours we left and couldn’t wait to get home. Again, AMAZING FOOD AND LOCATION, but the pace of the service left much to be desired.

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OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was absolutely delicious and they had some awesome choices from the bar as well.

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LC
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

While always a nice place for dinner, the Pond House Cafe really exceeded our expectations on Valentine's Day. Several days later, we are still talking about what a fabulous experience we had.

We can't wait to go back!

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WH
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 2

We have gone to the Pond House a half dozen times or so. It has always been very good. Valentine's night was terrible. Food tasted like it had been reheated. Are appetizer was undercooked and overcooked. Wait staff was not very knowledgeable. Very disappointed. My girlfriend I always like going there. I have a much different outlook on it now.

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J
New England
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our meals were delicious and the service was excellent. A perfect Valentine dinner.

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D
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Nice presentation, very tasty. Great value. Excellent, attentive waitstaff. We are frequent diners.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot with interesting menu and friendly staff.

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h
New York Area
50 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a spur of the moment decision to go out to lunch. With a recent lunch menu update, we have always been fans, but this took it to the next step. I'm glad I had made reservations. ( Aside from problems with the open table app on my iphone, I found a work-around). We were seated fairly quickly and given our menus. For the second time, I had the very delicious duck confit salad with the greens and lentils. The only other place I've had duck confit cooked to similar perfection was in a small old restaurant known for its duck confit was on the Left Bank in Paris. Crisp and cooked to perfection!! My husband again had the quesadillas with chicken. We both enjoyed our meals. I also splurged and had the winter sangria, which was excellent as well. We didn't have dessert, as we were not asked and not offered menus.

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C
New England
14 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Good food. A bit slow, but a nice place to wait.

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j
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brunch was fantastic. The Crab omelette and choclate croissant were delicious. Enjoyed dining in the banquet room near the fireplace.

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BD
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great as always. We love the variety on the menu for brunch, lunch and dinner.

Can’t miss!

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TZ
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s always great at the Pond House! Took my family out to dinner and then went to see a show at The Bushnell.

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RX
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I had a late lunch at the Pond House Café in West Hartford, Connecticut on Tuesday, January 29, 2019.

As always, the food was high quality, nicely prepared and delicious. The portions were also quite generous. My husband had the Pond House Burger with fries. I had a tuna melt on a croissant with salad. We also both started our meals with a cup of soup. My husband had a beef stew soup and I had a corn chowder. In addition, I had a side of mac and cheese. We really enjoyed our meals and even had some to take home. The meals were also a good value because we were able to make use of ‘Pond House Cash’ coupons.

The overall service was excellent with our waitress being very friendly, polite, attentive and efficient. The atmosphere at the restaurant was very relaxing with nice comfortable seating in a booth.

We have enjoyed many meals at the Pond House for both lunch and dinner, including such entrees as braised short ribs, Osso Bucco, meatloaf (prepared different ways), salmon, the Pond House Burger with fries, crab crest salad, the tuna melt on a croissant, their house salad, as well as mac and cheese. The Pond House is a great restaurant with a nice variety of different type of entrees, even gluten-free items.

We highly recommend this restaurant and look forward to going back again. We like going for a late lunch (at 4:00 PM) or an early dinner (at 5:00 PM) in order to avoid the traffic getting there and the busy times at the restaurant. These times have been great, both nice and relaxing for us!!

We also like going to this restaurant because it is located in scenic Elizabeth Park, which is quite beautiful in the spring, summer and fall and even in winter. In addition, it is close to some of the museums that we enjoy going to including the Connecticut Historical Society, the Mark Train House and the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. Overall it has been a great experience visiting this restaurant for us!

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AH
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I have been to the Pond House for weddings and parties but never been to the café till now. Brunch was great, service was wonderful. A nice surprise when the chef came out and introduced herself. Loved the Cubano Omelette.

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JS
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was so delicious! The wait staff was very attentive and they were very accommodating with my food allergies!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Waitress could have been a little more attentive

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was very excellent. Unusual preparation and delicious. Casual atmosphere great service.

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SG
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Excellent food and service at reasonable prices. Duck was great.

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R
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I had a wonderful lunch at the Pond House Cafe. The salmon burger was a special. It was excellent. I had mine without the bacon and tartar sauce on the side. For a beverage I had ginger tea. It was great.

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MH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

My boyfriend had the special for restaurant week.the Brussels salad with Gorgonzola, bacon and apples was fantastic and easily served two.
His scallops were delicious but only 3, was specking four. His dessert was a cranberry apple tart which he raved about.
I shared the Brussels salad and had a fantastic rack of lamb cooked perfectly with a spoon bread and delightful vegetables.
My cocktail was a mint tulip, bourbon, amaretto, bitters, a splash of oj and mint. It reminded me of an old fashioned but not quite as good.
We have been there several times and always have the same lovely waitress.
I would definitely recommend 5he Pondhouse Cafe.
I’ve never had a poor meal

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KN
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Another marvelous meal, served by attentive and friendly staff. Even on a busy Friday night, the atmosphere and noise level were perfect for socializing at your table without yelling.
My only complaint/suggestion is.....Your table complimentary bread is so good, it should be available as a starter also.

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K
New York Area
41 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We always love eating at the Pond House, and our meal met our high expectations. The food is always delicious and the service friendly.

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VS
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always my wife and I enjoyed our lunch at the Pond House. Staff always friendly, helpful and efficient.

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P
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the chicken pot pie ! Karen, our waitress, was superb! Our friends enjoyed everything!

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B
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

The maitre d' was clueless and useless. He looked very confused when I told him I had a lunch rez for two people and didn't ask me if I wanted to be seated. I asked him and he confusedly took me to a table. My friend was uncharacteristically ten minutes late, but it turned out she was waiting in the lobby line that had been created by the man's confusion.

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JE
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Ahi Tuna was outstanding, as was the kale salad. Our waitress was so nice and accommodating. We were there for a pre-theater dinner. Lovely presentation and atmosphere.

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R
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Enjoyed lunch, at the Pond House, during West Hartford restaurant week. $12, for main course, and dessert. Good value, and happy to know that a portion of proceeds goes to Foodshare. I enjoyed the chicken pot pie, although it was not hot enough, and had to be sent back to the kitchen for heating. Delicious pear dessert.

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B
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Consistently good. We enjoyed a tasty brunch. No issues. Service good, not exceptional. Will return.

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AV
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 5

I was grateful to get a reservation as I booked on Jan 1. Due to choosing a later reservation the menu was limited.

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RC
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The meal was good, but when we arrived they were not notified by OpenTable that we had a reservation. We brought a copy of confirmation and luckily they had room for us.

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MR
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 5

Pond House seemed to have a bad night.

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KN
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

As a long time regular. Pond House never fails to offer a delicious, eclectic menu and a very friendly staff. Great ambiance and never to noisy, so you can talk at your table and hear each other.

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a
New York Area
38 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Ambience is very casual but food is way above that. We felt we were getting 5 star food and service for very reasonable price. Definitely worth it. It's in the park but we we're there at night so couldn't see the scenery. Highly recommend.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

I love coming here, especially with family at holidays, etc. Although service was good, the waitress did not check on whether we wanted more coffee. We had to ask. Overall service was very good and we enjoyed our meal.

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S
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

The Pond House has always been a special place for dining due to the fact that it was in a park on a pond. What has changed is the menu. The Pond House used to serve traditional American dishes of good quality. The menu still serves lamb, swordfish, beef, crabcakes, etc., but are now created with an Indian, Asian and/or Mexican twist. For example, crabcakes come with curry flavored rice. The curry overwhelms the tastebude and distracts from the subtle flavor of the crab. Other dishes are flavored with other overpowering spices like cilantro, a typical Mexican spice. The dessert pastry had a filo dough that was made with oil and no butter and was more like a Mexican dough, flat not fluffy. The oil used in the fried calimari was old and dark. The olive oil served with the bread tasted rancid. One would expect better quality of food at these prices. The witresses attire was not at all flattering, but she was nice and even though there were very few customers we never had our water refreshed and had to ask.

When it comes to dining in this area it seems to be the way of world. The Goodwin Hotel, once the bastion of American cuisine and the only hotel left in town that has a doorman! has gone the way of Spanish cuisine. Tito's on Main, which served traditional Italian, is gone. There is only one restuarant in the area that you can still get a whole lobster. Basic New England seafood has been replaced by sushi. If I wanted Indian cuisine I would go to an Indian restaurant, if I wanted Mexican, I'd go Mexican. It is great when it is done well, but not when not. Unforutately, like so much of "American culture" - authentic dishes have gone by the wayside.

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TZ
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s always a great experience at The Pond House. I love it there! The food is excellent and the staff are great!

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MT
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went there with my family before a show at The Bushnell. This was our 2nd visit. We went at noon so had choices from the lunch and brunch menus. Lots of interesting choices made it difficult to make a decision. I had the Chicken eggs Benedict , it had polenta in place of the English muffin and bbq chicken, potato pancakes & hollandaise sauce....so delicious and satisfying. We all were interested in the creme brûlée French toast but didn’t think it was substantial enough, on its own, to get us through the day to a late dinner so we ordered it in addition to our more substantial choices and all shared in tasting it. It was also very good and was like a dessert for us. I also feel the food is a good value being reasonably priced. Satisfying but not heavy. Would highly recommend this restaurant!

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SH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 4

I've eaten here a few times. Food is good, view is beautiful, but the service always lacks something. I try and give a restaurant a few shots, but Sat. was probably my last one. We arrived on time for our 11:00 brunch and were seated promptly. However, it was almost 20 minutes before someone even acknowledged us, and that was only AFTER I asked the hostess if we had a waitress. We sat there with not even so much as a glass of water. There was no apology for the delay from the hostess, and the waitress basically said she didn't realize we were here table. Again, I try and give restaurants some wiggle room. Mistakes happen, etc. However, an apology for our wait would have been nice at a minimum. Instead when I inquired about it I was almost made to feel as if I was being a pain.

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