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Rainbird, Merced, CA

Rainbird

4.6
4.6
77 Reviews
$50 and over
Californian
Located in the heart of one of the most productive agricultural regions globally, chefs at El Capitan prepare artisanal fare and spirits that pay homage to the ranchers, farmers, cheesemakers, bakers, brewers, and winemakers that have re-fashioned Merced into one of California’s best kept epicurean secrets.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 10 times today

Additional information

What 77 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.5Food
  • 4.8Service
  • 4.8Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Best Service

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Best Ambiance

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Fit for Foodies

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Notable Wine List

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Romantic

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Special Occasion

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  1. RM

    RobertM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent service, outstanding food and caring hosts and staff
  2. IL

    IgnacioL

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    The experience was great, the food was good but the service was excellent. Overall we enjoyed it, I think dinner would be great!! See you guys in near future.
  3. MT

    MarieT

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Creative, beautiful presentation, so delicious. Charming and helpful staff. Just a wonderful experience.
  4. MD

    MonikaD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience5
    Brunch was wonderful. The stroopwafel was the only item that was disappointing. Our server was clearly new, did not know the menu well, and was not very interactive. He was nice and polite though. Overall, good experience, we will go again.
  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Seattle

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This is an amazing restaurant. Every person in our five person party enjoyed everything on their 3-course meal. We tried a variety of dishes, all of them were delicious. Every meal was served elegantly. The restaurant was also clean. The ambience was really great. Overall we had a very positive experience. What took our experience at the restaurant to a whole new level was the service. From the moment I called them to inquire about a health concern that we have, the hostess sought to help us address it and then they went even above and beyond to make our experience great. And they did it all with Joy. They accommodated all our needs and the service was very attentive. Our servers were the best. Everything at this restaurant was on point. I am delighted that we have a restaurant like this in town now. This is one of the best dining experiences I've ever had in Merced. We will definitely be back. Thank you to everyone at the restaurant for the wonderful experience that you make sure we had. You made our Father's Day celebration extra special.
  6. SL

    SheriL

    Hawaii

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Way cool. Something completely different. A little pricey but definitely an enjoyable evening
  7. K

    Kate

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience5
    If you're looking for a fine dining experience in Merced, this is where you want to go. Portions are small, which is fine for me but could be an issue for some. Food is unique and decadent; sauces are very rich. If you're a meat and potato type of person, this probably wouldn't be a great experience for you. The bread is to die for! The service was impeccable!!
  8. CC

    ChristinaC

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We enjoyed the tasting menu of 5 courses paired with wine. Each course was delicious. I can’t explain how amazing the sourdough bread was with the sunflower butter. We ordered 3 servings of it. Can’t wait to come back one day!
  9. T

    Tori

    San Joaquin

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 11, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience5
    Loved the formal dining service and the vibe of the restaurant, but was expecting way more of both our server and the food. No one was able to answer our questions on elements in the dishes, or for recommendations on drinks or dish choices. The food was creative and the display was excellent, but as for taste we liked only two of the five courses presented and the only thing that was outstanding was the bread. Our entrees we’re disappointing, the duck was seared on the outside and raw all the way through. And of course it’s just a tasting menu so portions are small, which I was expecting but good to know going in. It didn’t help that the maitre d’ went to talk to every table in the place except for us and one other couple. We may have just caught this place on a bad night or simply ordered the wrong things, but we won’t be going back.
  10. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was great, service was great, wonderful place to have a new experience.
  11. KP

    KellyP

    Sacramento

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This was my forth visit. 2 dinners and 2 brunches. I really enjoyed both dinner and brunch. The food is the star and the unexpected pairings are remarkable.
  12. MR

    MelanieR

    Dallas

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    What a gem! Excellent service and food. Unique local ingredients. A welcoming staff. An all around excellent meal.
  13. A

    jeffA

    Sacramento

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding evening out in Merced. A foodie delight with taste, presentation, and service all hitting the mark.
  14. H

    Heather

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This place is a gem in Merced. Definitely comparable to tasting experiences we have had in Napa and San Francisco .
  15. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 3, 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience5
    The dining staff were exceptional. Sommelier could’ve been more attentive. Overall excellent and will return for next special occasion.
  16. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything about this restaurant was exceptional! We will definitely be going back very soon!
  17. TW

    TomW

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We loved it. Food and service were exceptional. We plan to return.
  18. L

    Lynette

    San Joaquin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This is a special-occasion splurge that won't disappoint. Every dish showed extraordinary attention to detail and no effort was spared in making each bite a treat for the eyes as well as the palate. The food showed creativity and inspiration with the use of produce from local farms. The staff was more attentive than any I have experienced, in just the right ways. I especially appreciate how seamlessly and skillfully they accommodated a few special dietary needs at our table. If you are gluten free or vegetarian, you can still have the full experience of the tasting menu without any compromise.
  19. e

    emkc

    San Joaquin

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 28, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    A welcome breath of fine dining “fresh air” in Merced. Delightful to experience food of this quality artistically curated for sophisticated palates. Only drawbacks are lack of vegetarian options for entree, somewhat small portions for the price, and way too costly cocktails… when you pay $15 for a glass of wine, you expect more than 4 ounces! This was our second visit, and service had noticeably improved (faster and still gracious).
  20. AL

    AnthonyL

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The service was the best I have ever had at a restaurant in our area
  21. AR

    AndreaR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Had a wonderful experience at Rainbird this weekend celebrating my birthday. The staff is very professional, friendly and knowledgeable of the menu. Our brunch was delicious and we enjoyed every bite. My family is excited to come back for dinner next time.
  22. CA

    ChristinaA

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything from the ambience, plating, food, and staff was amazing! I highly recommend this restaurant
  23. SP

    SethP

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food and service were excellent! So glad to have a quality restaurant like this in Merced.
  24. M

    Mell

    Central Coast

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 15, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience3
    Service was great. Ambiance, nothing special. The food was lacking flavor. When the bread was the star of the meal, that is pretty sad.
  25. DG

    DanaG

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    The spring brunch was delicious, the atmosphere was beautiful, and the staff was very attentive. A "special occasion " place for us due to the price, but we look forward to coming back to try their seasonal menu. I highly recommend their Spring Thyme cocktail.
  26. J

    Juliet

    San Francisco

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience5
    We had a wonderful mother's day brunch. Our server Rachel was kind and knowledgable of the menu.
  27. HW

    HerbW

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The Rainbird was a pleasant surprise. Even in large cities, it is uncommon to find a restaurant that explores food to this level. The portions look small, but after all the courses it is plenty. I was full, and I can eat quite a bit. The flavors were great! Many of them explored new twists and combinations of flavors I would not have thought of. It was great!
  28. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and ambiance. Definitely recommend trying at least once.
  29. M

    Mari

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    If you love trying new foods and flavors, this is the place to go! Waiters were helpful in recommendations and were great guides. The portions are small but at the end of dinner you will be full. Presentation is amazing. Service is excellent.
  30. RS

    RickS

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 7, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    Unique food, smaller portions, excellent service. Do the wine pairing with the food. Chairs were uncomfortable and not compatible with the dinning experience.
  31. ND

    NorbertD

    San Joaquin

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had brunch here for our anniversary and it didn’t disappoint. When you dine here, be prepared to have an adventurous palet, no large portions, and not bargain prices. The quality is definitely there and is certainly a treat to have a true culinary experience in Merced!
  32. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The Sunday Brunch food was excellent, everything we had was top notch. It's a little pricey but worth it.
  33. C

    Christine

    Exclusive

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Want a change ? This is it!! Everything about it was a great experience !
  34. K

    Khan

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This was an amazing experience. I went with my wife and two kids and we had the best time. Their service, food, presentation, the cocktails were all fantastic. Highly recommend it. Stay in the hotel El Capitan and dine there. Both are amazing.
  35. SD

    SandraD

    San Joaquin

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 1, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Dishes were delicious and creative, and presentation lovely. Although not huge portions, there was plenty for the two of us to share bites of each course. At the end of the evening I was full and my husband satisfied. I chose the smoked cauliflower first course and the duck entree. My husband had the mushroom risotto and the poached cod. We both had the chocolate dessert. We enjoyed all of the courses very much. The service was excellent. Unfortunately there was a loud party near our table so it was not easy to hear our server. She was knowledgeable about the day’s menu and very pleasant. All the staff members were friendly and polite. The wine list seemed a bit over priced so we went with the suggested wine pairings. At $35 each this in our opinion was reasonable. The pours were the right size for us. If you want a dining experience a couple steps up from the usual fare I recommend Rainbird. We will return for our next special occasion.
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    So fun trying Chef's creations with local products. The atmosphere is so light and relaxing and I like that the music is only subtly audible. I feel the pricing is very fair for the energy that gets put on the beautiful serving dishes. And every dish is excitingly something I've never had before. Brunch was wonderful a couple weeks back and this dining experience was as well. I already have another reservation booked for my brother's birthday in a few weeks. Can't wait to see how the menu shifts with the seasons. Also, I’m a lightweight so went in over my head but the cocktails were so lovely — light and refreshing, balanced and so 👌. The wine pairings were perfect. Thank you
  37. TS

    TravisS

    San Joaquin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful and fun experience. Loved the ambiance and the food was amazing
  38. TK

    TonyaK

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We enjoyed the brunch tasting menu and atmosphere of Rainbird. The French press coffee service feels decadent and the selections are varied. In our party, we tried the pancake, grits, salmon eggs benedict, steak, stroopwaffle, beignets, fresh fruit with lavender syrup, bacon and crispy fried potatoes with fondue. One thing to note is that the house-made bacon isn't bacon in the traditional sense. It's a slab of glazed pork belly. Deliciously different.
  39. B

    Brad

    San Francisco

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 24, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience3
    The portions were to small for The price and the food has too many conflicting flavors to the food. They are trying to cram a bunch of flavors into each bite and it is not a good experience. The food was served at a snails pace and the waitress was just as slow. We were there for two hours and most Of the time was spent waiting for the next tiny course. Both desserts were inedible with one being made out of a potatoe and the other one being too salty with the ganache and no flavor with the cake. They served me old bitter and cold coffee. I asked for fresh coffee but it tasted like Folgers coffee and was only slightly better when they made a fresh pot. Not worth the trip and not worth returning. I cooked for a living for over ten years and cannot believe what a terrible experience it was and believe they should make drastic changes to be able to have repeat customers.
  40. AR

    AndrewR

    San Francisco

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on April 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absolutely amazing ! A must try !

FAQs

Rainbird is rated 4.6 stars by 77 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 10 times today
Google Map for Rainbird

609 W Main St Merced, CA 95340

Additional information

  • Neighborhood

    Merced

  • Hours of operation

    Sun 9:00 am–2:00 pm Dinner Thu–Sat 5:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Californian

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Parking details

    None

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