Sea Porch Restaurant at The Don CeSar

3.6
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594 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Enjoy fresh Gulf catch and local comfort food infused with coastal flavors at our seaside dining spot. With indoor and outdoor seating, the Sea Porch Café is the perfect place to gather for a relaxed breakfast, lunch or dinner. Host a private event at Gatsby's, our exclusive upstairs dining space for up to 30 guests. Then join us at the Pink Palace for Sunday Funday with our satisfying Sunday Champagne Brunch, from 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM. The famous Don CeSar brunch offers a traditional menu a la carte menu as well as a buffet. Then meet friends at the Rowe Bar for a classic cocktail, Julep or hand-crafted Ade.
What 594 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.6based on recent ratings
3.7
food
3.8
service
3.9
ambience
3.2
value
Noise · Moderate
67% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Poconos
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall1food4service5ambience5

Since 2006 I have dined here. Parking was always complimentary with a two hour stay for dining


This year they have implemented a No Complementary parking on weekends. It cost us almost $29 to park while dining at the Sea Horse Cafe.

Needless to say, I will not dine there ever again. Management made a very poor decision.

Paula Whitney

s
vipsuzyt
Pittsburgh
24 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Can't go wrong at the Don! The Sunday Grand Buffet at the Don was a great place to celebrate a birthday. It was a beautiful day, live music was playing, and the mimosas were flowing. While the selection is not huge, there are enough breakfast/lunch crossovers to meet most diets.

BM
vipBobbyM
Atlanta
16 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing Buffett!

Report
BG
BigGVT
Tampa
10 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Calamari dipping sauce could use a flavor boost, Ciopolini was also light on flavor

DB
DesireeB
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Overall the service was good. I requested two mimosas under the special request section but we never got them. Not sure what happened there. :-/

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Food great, service perfect. A good evening ruined by a charge of $ 27.00 for parking.

SD
SallyD
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Food great.. service excellent.. Too noisy & quite cold.. .....................................................................................................................................................................

EB
EdwardB
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Have eaten here several times, always good. This time food was very disappointing. Service was good, albeit slow. We will likely give them another chance, but repeat food quality would cause us to not return.

MI
MIchelle
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience5

Very chaotic. They need more staff and up their game on food; nothing special considering the Don is a beautiful place!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Poor service, poor quality

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food and service.

J
Jarhead
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall3food5service2ambience4

The food and atmosphere were both great. My daughter and I were in St. Pete for the weekend, and were happy to be able to reserve a table on Saturday night. We each enjoyed our meals, but we were both frustrated by the slow service.
On Sunday, we were trying to find a table elsewhere, but couldn't find any availability, so we checked out the Sea Porch on Open Table again, and were able to get a reservation within the hour.
Again, the food was great. However, once again, the service was slow. It seems that they may be under-staffed and that, maybe, the staff isn't properly trained how to prioritize.
I'd recommend this restaurant, but only if you're willing to be patient.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience4

Awful! The only thing worst than the food was the service. And then they insult you with $28 for parking. It’s a shame because it is a beautiful restaurant. Skip this one

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience2

We were here for Valentines Day dinner, staying at the Don. This was by far the worst dining experience we have ever had anywhere. The wait for horrible. Most of the food was inedible. My pork porterhouses was overcooked, tough to cut, and lacking any seasoning. My wife had the cioppino, which tasted like it was cooked hours earlier. The scallops were wilted you nothing and the pasta tasted like spaghetti-os from a can Everyone around us was complaining and being offered concessions. By the time we were done and received our check, all our waiter said was sorry it was a bad night. But what you ordered is usually my favorite. We’ll never eat dinner there again. Breakfast was ok. But really it makes us question whether we’ll even stay here. They have a captive audience with guests at the hotel. There’s really no excuse for offering this kind of dining experience.

VT
VT12345
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience2

Too windy and cannot get the table you want even when there is clearly enough tables to spare.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food4service1ambience2

Service was terrible. Poorly managed. Extremely slow service. The restaurant was not staffed for the busy Valentine’s Day crowd.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience2

Extremely slowwwwww service. Waiter was not attentive to our food being delayed over 1 hour. It was truly ridiculous. Fairly expensive for drinks and food. Not impressed!!

S
vipSteven
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food1service4ambience2

Can’t say it was the worst experience for Valentine’s Day but certainly an strange experience. We go out quite often and live in St Pete. We waited 39 mins for drinks. We waited an hour and and half to be served and dinner came before the appetizers. Then the dinner was missing half the ingredients. We cancelled the appetizers and waited for the check. Everyone there had the same experience. The manager cancelled the drink charges and validated the $28 parking fee. We paid the bill and gave the sever his tip un cash as it wasn’t his fault. We left the parking and could not get out with the validated card. Pressed the button and the attendant let us out and acknowledged there were issues in the restaurant tonight. We went down the street and had drinks and appetizers there. The dive bar was better. Shame on the Don tonight for a bad experience.

CK
CaroleK
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful time. The food was great.

PD
PmD1037
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience1

In a word......TERRIBLE, in every way. Hostess was abysmal and was caught lying to my wife, our reservation was at Sea Porch and they seated us in a sports bar, service was incredibly slow and inattentive, food was mediocre.

This is supposed to be a high end establishment at the world famous Don Cesar hotel. Don’t waste your money and more importantly, don’t waste your time.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved this restaurant! We were a few minutes late but Carmella held a table for us and made our date happen! We sat outside and enjoyed the fresh air and food. Our service was excellent and our food was soo good. Definitely going to return!

C
vipChick
New York Area
54 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything perfect

L
Lizabyrd
Miami
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience4

Pretty place. Lousy food. Mediocre service. Good ice cream in their candy shop....that was the food highlight

M
Mary
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall4food4service1ambience2

We have been coming here for years. We had special guests in town and decided to go to the Seaporch for lunch. We waited about 20 minutes before a server even approached us. Personality was not his strong suit. He took our order and after about 20 minutes food was brought to our table and placed on the table until they realized it was the wrong food. We waited about 30 minutes for the correct order, and it came out cold . After The lengthy delay previously, we decided just to eat the food. Our server never even came back to check on us, so it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. This happened at 1 PM on a Monday, so I can’t imagine what service would be in like when they are busy. Very disappointed, and will not utilize this as a special occasion restaurant again.

IM
vipIMPRESSME
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Good service with good but not exceptional food. I had the pompano with coconut rice which was prepared nicely. For some reason two small uncooked peppers were put on the plate either as a filler or just to add color. The peppers were not seasoned and did nothing to enhance the dish. My wife had the swordfish which she enjoyed. The flat bread appetizer was very nice as were the specialty cocktails

T
Tinker
Charlotte
8 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Poor! Cold food, seats at table were stained, poor menu selection - no craving station, waiter service slow, omelet station took 15 minutes- should be two stations.
Parking was total RIP-off at $29 for one and one half hours!

CB
CherylBeachHeart1
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What an absolutely lovely evening! Made reservations and was dining with 3 elderly friends. One is unable to walk any distance and the staff was totally understanding. On arrival a gentleman, Willie, met us at our car with a wheel chair for her. He escorted her all the way into the restaurant! He also wheeled her back down to my car after our meal was completed!
A new employee, Kylin, was our server. She was completely familiar with the menu and answered a lot of questions about the offerings. She was delightful and upbeat, even while attending to a cranky member of our group. The meal was beautifully presented and the seafood was fresh and delicious.
The staff here is giving 100 percent, and it shows. So accommodating and kind! I will be bringing others back to this venue. Thanks for a wonderful dining experience!

JR
JaneR
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall2food3service3ambience4

Yes, the property is iconic, but the café is overpriced for what you get and you have only 2 hours to get your parking for free on the weekdays (and then it's gouge city!)...but at least, for these reasons, it's not crowded

JE
JamesE
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We reserved a table for Don Cesar’s Sunday Brunch and were delighted by our choice. Often very good hotels have very good brunches and this one was excellent: lots of buffet and a la carte choices, outdoor seating in the sunshine, attentive service by a pro, bottomless samosas, and even a polo match on the beach! The place was buzzing and everyone seemed to be having a great time. Highly recommended!

m
marmac
Tampa
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

A very enjoyable dinner to celebrate a birthday, butternut squash soup was delicious, pompano entree was quite skimpy, but chicken entree, and pork "porterhouse" very ample, personally I chose the cioppino, which was very tasty, but I have never had cioppino before with noodles, let alone udon noodles, the dish would have been much better (and more authentic) without the noodles and with a crusty piece of italian bread instead. Otherwise, a very pleasant dining experience.

KM
KenM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was excellent, great menu and the food was delicious. Beautiful setting.

RG
RGB96
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience3

We arrived for our 8:00 dinner reservation and were immediately seated, but we we waited 15 minutes for anyone to show up at the table with so much as a glass of water. The restaurant was nearly empty, but no servers were in sight. A couple at a table adjacent to us was becoming increasingly agitated about their own wait. An apologetic server finally showed up and took our orders. We waited 40 minutes more for our food to arrive, during which time the aforementioned couple left without ever being served their dinners. The soup was cold. The food was mediocre. My drink (a Manhattan) was watered down and terrible. The manager came over to apologize and took one of the entrees off the bill, but we still left with a bad taste in our mouths and will certainly never return. This place is at a high-end hotel that ought to know how to prepare and serve a meal. If they can't figure it out, they should shut it down and stop pretending.

CF
CindyF
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

For a very special Christmas dinner we were very disappointed based on the price point. Food fair, staff very nice but extremely under staffed. The waiting line for dessert was more then a 1/2 hour and not even worth the wait. As a family we choose this restaurant over Ruth Chris. Next year we are going to Ruth Chris.

BG
BarryG
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Restaurant advertised open on Christmas but did not indicate it would be buffet only. Had we known we would not have booked there. Buffet was decent and well run however a charge of $325 for 3 average quality buffet dinners with no additional drinks was a bit excessive. I realize it’s The Don but it’s hard to justify. Merry Christmas to their bank account I guess.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Christmas Day dinner

CE
CarrieE
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Came for the Christmas buffet. While very expensive, there was a lot of cold sea food such as crab legs and shrimp. Hot dishes were not replenished often, so the meats were pretty tough. While it came with wine, we were charged extra for coffee. Who charges for plain coffee on a buffet?? Had to ask for soup spoons and sea food forks despite eating at 3:45pm. They needed a lot more staff to help with the dessert station and other stations. Good ambiance but not worth 229 for 2 people!! I would not go again.

CW
CharlesW
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

we were sat I. the bar area, no service, buffet food was minimal and cold. Never going back

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food1service5ambience5

We came on Christmas day for brunch. Our server was fabulous! The gentleman making omelettes was wonderful as well - Yum! However, the brunch buffet was sparse. The eggs, bacon and potatoes were cold. We would not recommend- especially for the price!

DF
DavidF
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience2

The service itself and the the food was very good. We had a reservation for 5 people. We asked to a table by a window when we got there, as about only one other table was taken, but we were told they were all set up for 4 people. So they took us to a table with a view of the wall ... that was set up for 4 people and added another place. Here we are at the beach with overseas visitors and it is just a table in a room. It just seems disappointing.

CC
ColleenC
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful hotel! Restaurant was very good, service and food excellent! The view and grounds of the hotel are beautiful. Very varied menu with many seafood , salads and sandwiches. Enjoyed walking around shops and beach before and after eating.

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Sea Porch Restaurant at The Don CeSar is rated 3.6 stars by 594 OpenTable diners.

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