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Rainbird, Merced, CA

Rainbird

4.7
4.7
136 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
Experiences are available.

Additional information

Experiences

  • Wine Dinner

    $155.00 per person

    Nov 3, 2022 - Apr 6, 2023
    Price is $155++ per person
  • Wine Dinner

    $155.00 per person

    Multiple dates available
    A taste of Wine Country. Experience a four-course, chef-inspired dinner with wine pairings.
  • Valentine's Day Tasting Menu

    $155.00 per person

    Feb 14, 2023 only
    Don’t miss this unforgettable evening as you explore the amazing flavors of Chef Garcia’s four-course culinary adventure. Inspired wine pairings will make each dish shine, along with a few extra surprises guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds.

What 136 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

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

4.7
4.7 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.8Service
  • 4.8Ambience
  • 4.1Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Best Overall

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Best Food

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Best Service

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Best Ambiance

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Innovative

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Great for fine wines

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Romantic

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Filters

  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Joaquin

    24 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on January 29, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Best collaboration dinner yet! Such a special evening.
  2. d

    david

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 21, 2023

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Great ambiance, excellent service, a changing menu adding novelty to the slowly changing merced.
  3. B

    Bill

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 15, 2023

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    The meal is amazing and everything is presented well. We all enjoyed eveything we had, but the price prohibits most of us from eating there on any regular basis.
  4. TS

    TinaS

    San Joaquin

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on January 13, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love these dinner pairings which highlight a different winery each time. A rep from the winery takes the time to give the guests background info and answer questions. The pours are generous!The staff has always been professional and courteous. The chef’s unique menu items are delicious and creative. The restaurant has a nice ambiance. Looking forward to more of these in the future!
  5. j

    johnv

    Sacramento

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 13, 2023

    overall3food2service4ambience3
    We have dined at Rainbird 3-4 times over the last couple of months. Last night at the wine pairing, staff was attentive, as usual. Very surprised at the pairing choices, the pork was the wrong play for the main! I was with a party of four friends and we got charged 18% gratuity for large parties? We left a $200.00 tip, and I got home the next day I reviewed the receipt, and much to my surprise the 18% was included, wait staff did not mention the additional charge? Food was lacking, desert was inedible? Thanks John
  6. BT

    BrianT

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 8, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great dining experience, service is absolutely amazing, food is delicious albeit extremely petite portions but expected for high end dining experience. You’re paying for something unique in Merced so once or twice a year it’s worth paying 3-4 times what you’d pay for a great steak dinner elsewhere. Overall it was a great date night and although most people were dressed very casual we used it as an opportunity to get dressed up. I’d definitely recommend just be prepared for the bill!
  7. AR

    AnirbanR

    Phoenix

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing restaurant! I highly recommend this place!
  8. BB

    BeverlyB

    San Joaquin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 1, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    There were several choices for each category of food item, so that diners could be assured of something they would enjoy. The items were cooked just as the diners ordered. The skirt steak was tender and well-seasoned. The chef clearly puts a great deal of thought into what flavors, seasonings and cooking styles will blend together for the best taste for the diner's enjoyment. The waiter enhanced the experience by answering questions attentively and offering explanations that were interesting. He treated us with respect and kindness. The seating was comfortable, and the surroundings were aesthetically pleasing.
  9. JH

    JohnH

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 1, 2023

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    HI, the steak was cold and tough.. Service as excellent. Ancillary prices seemed high
  10. AM

    AaronM

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 1, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It’s wonderful to have such a great fine dining option in the valley! We will definitely be back!
  11. KP

    KellyP

    San Francisco

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on January 1, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absolutely fabulous New Years Eve dinner. Perfect start of the new year
  12. WD

    WilliamD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 1, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    A nice gemstone. You don’t even feel like you are in Merced!
  13. MR

    MercedResidentUC

    Washington DC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absolutely terrific. Can't remember the last time I was so impressed with a restaurant -- the service was exceptional, the presentation was outstanding, the food was innovative but not too crazy and it was delicious. We did the wine flights and the selections were spot on. Can't recommend this place more highly for any special occasion. The price is high but fair (we went a little wild with the add-ons & pre-dinner cocktails -- the Mariposa is worth it! -- so next time we will be a little more judicious so that we can come more frequently!). Definitely interested in trying the brunch as well; the price for that seems like a bargain. Also, given that we are still in COVID times, we didn't take going to eat indoors in a restaurant lightly. This was one of 4 times we've done so since March 2020, & I don't regret it, as it was a very special occasion. About half the staff was masked (wish it were 100%), but the tables were spaced far away & my request for a table by the door was for airflow was easily accommodated. We were >15 feet from the next table.
  14. DM

    DonM

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 17, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food and service, nice atmosphere. Wine pairings were good. Big city dining with big city $$$. A bit pricey - SF/LA pricing. Comparable with Erna’s Elderberry House in Oakhurst.
  15. SK

    ScottK

    San Francisco

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on December 4, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Enjoyed dinner. Did the wine pairing with it - great value especially with both dinner and the wine pairing. Service was perfect throughout. Server clearly explained each dish and the wine that was paired with it. Restaurant had a mix of locals and hotel guests - nice to see it drawing locals in for a really good meal. The plating of the dishes was fun to see. Those too were paired with each dish. Overall a great experience! Well done!
  16. CJ

    CaylinJ

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful. Playful & delish. Our server was very friendly and polite. We will be back
  17. o

    oaklandauthor

    San Francisco

    81 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    81 reviews

    Dined on December 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We were absolutely delighted by Rainbird! The food was delicious, the presentations spectacular, and the service friendly, informed, and professional. Plus there was a full vegetarian tasting menu in addition to the standard one. A meal like this in San Francisco would easily cost three times as much. This was a real find and well worth the trip to Merced, where we also very much enjoyed the wildlife sanctuary.
  18. C

    Chris

    Dallas

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding experience, fantastic service, and imaginative food.
  19. b

    brandyeats

    Las Vegas

    11 reviews

    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on November 26, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    The meal was quite expensive for Merced. Very expensive glass of wine. I asked for the halibut to be cooked “soft”. It was over cooked and dry.
  20. E

    Erynnm

    Caribbean

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a wonderful dinner experience at Rainbird. The Halibut with the chorizo oil was delicious and we both especially enjoyed the fresh sourdough bread course with sunflower butter, fresh honey comb, and ricotta - sooo good! Everything was prepared and presented beautifully and the flavors were all very well executed. We did the wine pairing that went along with each course and also enjoyed cocktails at the end of our dessert course, which were both delicious and yet again, beautifully presented. If I only had one critique, it would be that our wine pairing wasn’t always poured prior to plating. Other than that, it was a fantastic experience.
  21. A

    Abby

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Rainbird was such a fun experience. The food was delicious and the drinks were heaven! Highly recommend.
  22. R

    Rjdaley

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Phenomenal food, great service! Loved the paired menu! Definitely a treat!!!!
  23. TG

    ThomasG

    Cincinnati

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    A delightful evening! We had the tasting menu and everything was cooked perfectly, presented perfectly and service impeccable. This restaurant should be on everyone's must do.
  24. LE

    LorenaE

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Tasty & stylish. Service is top notch, food & ambience were delightful. A bit loud, seating to close to others. Otherwise, fantastic.
  25. JH

    JamesH

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My tastebuds are still dancing with joy. This was not a meal but an experience. Every course was exquisite, and the wine pairing was perfection. Oh, and the bread! The service was extraordinary. I'm looking forward to trying Sunday brunch.
  26. TS

    TinaS

    San Joaquin

    7 reviews

    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on November 4, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Overall good evening—service & food were excellent. We enjoyed all the Rombauer pairings and the pours were quite generous. Check-in was a bit disorganized given that this was a pre-scheduled event with only two time slots for reservations. We appreciated the personalization of Chef Garcia during the whole dinner event providing the guests an insight to the food prep and choice of ingredients.
  27. BT

    BryanT

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great dining experience. Amazing tastes. We were pleasantly surprised to find Rainbird.
  28. A

    Abby

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 16, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    Overall, I'm glad we tried Rainbird! It’s nice to see a new restaurant come into Merced. It was incredibly pricey for 3 people, and each of us ordered two drinks. I think for the value, I'd prefer a restaurant like Fleming's where you get more for what you pay. But it was a fun experience and I enjoyed trying new foods I probably wouldn't normally try! I'd come again once they change up the menu to try new things!
  29. C

    Calli123

    Miami

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on October 9, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience4
    I would try again... although both meat entrees were under cooked And the sauces lacked punch . Overall concept is good.
  30. MF

    MaryF

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    A Really great experience! The only place in the foothills area doing what they are doing. The dishes were elevated, unique and well thought out, and the service was exceptional although a little fast paced. (Dylan was our server, he was delightful) The vibe was perfect, I can’t recommend rainbird enough!
  31. SR

    SashaR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 9, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Restaurant was great. Loved the food and the wine parings were excellent. They staff is superb.
  32. PH

    PaulaH

    New York Area

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on October 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    An Oasis in the desert! This is a first of its kind in Merced, and hopefully not the last. The brunch tasting menu was adventurous, yet accessible, taking advantage of local food producers to provide a delicious take on traditional brunch fare. The cocktails were imaginative and original and the wine list impressive. The room is beautifully appointed, but not pretentious. Can't wait to come back for dinner!
  33. W

    Wendell

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    A wonderful venue to share with out of town cousins! Food is certainly surprising and creative with combinations of differing ingredients combined to surprise the taste buds and please
  34. TK

    TimK

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    None - we enjoyed the experience very much. Brunch was delicious
  35. b

    becntod

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wine pairings with the food were delicious. Food was excellent, but very small amount of food for the money. Example, I ordered the Rainbird duck and it was one small slice of duck.
  36. s

    suzieg

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on September 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food is excellent! Waitstaff is outstanding! You need this place!!
  37. JC

    JohnC

    San Joaquin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    First time ,excellent over all experience, the servers very professional ,personable and attentive.
  38. JM

    JoanneM

    San Joaquin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We quickly discovered that you don’t go to Rainbird for dinner. You go there for a dining experience! The service was outstanding, from start to finish. The food! Oh my!! The food was extraordinary! Every single bite was delicious beyond words. We were there to celebrate our anniversary and they made us feel like we were the most important people in the dining room. An awesome evening!
  39. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Joaquin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We celebrated my husbands 75 Birthday on Sunday. So glad we choice Rainbird for brunch . Pancakes were delicious, Pork Belly was slamming!!We will be back .
  40. K

    Kathie

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Six of us enjoyed a three course brunch and we each enjoyed our choices. The cocktails were a great start and finishing off with Opolo sparkling wine wrapped up the brunch with joy. The wait staff were top notch and could not have been more attentive. This is a special occasion restaurant, give it a try!

FAQs

Rainbird is rated 4.7 stars by 136 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
Experiences are available.
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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