Sea Porch Restaurant at The Don CeSar

3.6
478 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 478 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.6based on recent ratings
3.7
food
3.8
service
3.9
ambience
3.1
value
Noise · Moderate
62% of people would recommend it to a friend
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TK
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We booked the restaurant but because of an “event” we were out in the anteroom or bar area. The employees told us the event had priority or the other customers. The food was okay at best except for one entree of mahi that came out of the freezer, stuck in the oven for a couple minutes sat on a shelf and waited to be delivered. It came at room temperature and cold in the middle without so much a a parsley leaf.

The staff was completely overwhelmed. I guess the event must have been booked at the last minute and the manager forgot to have their staff come to work.

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RE
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Good service, excellent buffet options, seated where we wanted, very pleasant hostess.

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s
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 2

Food was expensive and mediocre

Noise level was high and service was average at best. Many better places to eat in the area at far less cost

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DK
Orlando
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

We had reservations and were told kitchen was backed up. Food was pretty good when it came. Overpriced for what we got. Six children were sat alone at a table across from us, they were roudy and disturbing. Considering our meal was 135.00, we did not expect the lack of ambiance and delay of food.

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JM
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

For the price we paid - it wasn’t worth it. The service was super slow, there was a bread shortage and the food was good but not great.

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FL
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food choices were awesome. A good variety and good prices. The wine list was small but varied to different tastes. Very informative about food allergies.

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

I would never go back. I’ve been a few other times and experience was great. This time I went on Valentine’s Day and it was the worst time I’ve ever had in my life at any restaurant.

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I
Tampa
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

It took an hour and a half for our main course to arrive. That was after the waiter initially forgot our order. When it finally arrived, the food was cold. This is not what I would expect from this level of restaurant

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c
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 2

We invited our friends to join us for our annual dinner at the Sea Porch at the Don CeSar. ( party of 6) We have been celebrating Valentines dinner at the restaurant for years. We were so surprised that the service was terrible.. 0 stars! They appeared to be understaffed and the manager on duty was not in control of the situation. The meal was not served for 1.5 hours! The wait staff was harried and consequently unfriendly. At the conclusion of the meal, we notified the manager on duty who said he was sorry... I am surprised that there was not even an offer for compensation. This is a 4 star resort... and cannot afford to have 0 star service restaurant. So disappointing!

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IB
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

The food was exemplary; truly 5 stars. The service, however, was poor. Sat for 45 minutes before even getting a drink order taken. Server claimed no one told him we’d been seated, but used the exact same line on the neighboring table when they had waited upon their arrival.
The crowning glory was being told only two hours parking is complimentary so, due to their slow service, had to pay $29 for the privilege of self parking a car for 3 hours.

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m
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Dinner at sunset with a martini and spectacular view on the sea porch outside highly recommend

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M
Indiana
30 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

The lobster roll was sufficient in lobster but severely lacking any sauce, seasoning or accompaniment...just meat in a bun. I used my friends aioli to moisten it a bit. Our waiter was very attentive and informative. Was hoping for a better view than a poolside under construction.

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TB
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Expecting a nice quiet meal with my wife and her sister. My wife was looking forward to eating at Don Cesar. Sea Porch was nice. Too cold to sit outside but looks like it would be a very nice setting. First we ordered soup which was good. My wife and I ordered Don Cesar salad which we expected to be a signature plate. Wrong assumption. Salad was served with little or no dressing. Server was very nice and brought us more dressing but the greens were watered down enough to thin out even the added dressing. My sister-in-laws pasta was good. The icing on the cake was that halfway through our meal a very large party was seated at the large table next to us. It was so loud that we could not converse and then had trouble hearing the server explain the deserts. We wanted to sit and relax and have desert and coffee but decided to leave. Went somewhere else for our coffee and desert. At the very least I would have expected someone to have advised that it may get loud in that area and offered a choice for another location in Don Cesar. We were very disappointed in the experience. We would not recommend to anyone that wanted to enjoy an actual meal.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The service was nonexistent. Our server was the only one for the entire restaurant and the bartender. She took our order and we never saw her again until shortly after our food arrived (which took quite a while for 3 sandwiches). I never got my soup. The fish tacos were horrible tasting. The turkey BLT was ok but not 16$ OK. We told our server we never got the soup and she was sorry. She said the manager was also the cook today so things were confusing. When we got the bill the soup was still on the bill. The server took it off when it was brought to her attention. I and my friends were severely disappointed in the atmosphere, food and service for the Don Cesar. We continued on to the spa and were delighted with the service and attention. The spa treatments were excellent. I won't be going back to the Don to eat again

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G
Miami
6 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a really nice experience! Was a great place to enjoy a beautiful new years day lunch with the most perfect weather in a beautiful environment! Our server Kenny was terrific, a really nice guy and very attentive on a busy day for the restaurant! Our food was delicious and drinks refreshing!

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CD
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

$6 lemon slices. Water was free. Only if you have money to burn.

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KH
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Food came cold. Food took over an hour to get to table!!!!!! Had reservation and they didn’t have it set up very nice. Took 10min to bring us menus.

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BS
Detroit
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent drinks from Allison and upbeat/efficient service from Sarah. The hostess, Tiara, seemed confused and was difficult to understand when she spoke....couldn't hear her and mumbled...not very friendly.

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S
Jacksonville
3 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 2ambience 4

On vacation tried this restaurant. Snooty waitress, long wait for food although small crowd. Ordered the 12oz N.Y. Strip at $35.00 and it looked like a frozen steak from Golden Corral.

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LB
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our waiter, Joey, was amazing! Great service and very attentive. Good food.

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DM
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Had reservations for buffet, and was put outside in back and forgotten about. Had to get own drinks at bar, and food was not very good. Recommend doing your homework before spending your money at this restaurant.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 2

I had the oyters from the buffet and got very sick last evening, I only ate one out three that picked there were not very cold. Also I have to say the buffet was not like they posted on their menu for Christmas Day dinner. For the price of $75 per person we were four my wife and daughter and son they also charged a non disputed 18% tip increíble disappointed and would like to have the hotel reimburse me for the bad food buffet.

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KA
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

Dined at Christmas Day buffet. Service was good, but quality of the food and variety was poor. Not worth the price.

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OT
Tampa
4 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Since it was Christmas they offered a buffet at The Sea Porch. The buffet was supposed to have crab (what we wanted most) but we had 7pm reservations and they ran out by then. When we first got plates and headed to the crab table, someone had just taken the last of them. Since it was early we expected more crab to come out but instead they said they ran out and doubled up on some disgusting (inedible) oysters. Really disappointing. The sea scallops were amazing though. The desserts were also not good. We love The Don Cesar. It’s been quite awhile since we had been there. While this experience was disappointing we will try it again, but not on a holiday.

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Christmas Buffet - total flop.
75$ there wasn’t enough food, the buffet area was honestly the most disgraceful mess I’ve ever experienced. Butter and Dressings etc not replenished and completely mangled from too high of customer volumes to staff and supply of food.
Lowe’s very disappointing - can’t believe you’d put your name on this mess of an offering.

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r
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Christmas buffet. Food was great and our champagne glasses were never empty.

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CT
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Met all of our expectations! Can’t go wrong by going to the Don Cesar. We went for the Christmas dinner and it was amazing. A little pricey but worth the experience. Looking forward to making this an annual Christmas tradition.

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DM
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

We dined here for the Christmas buffet. The historic hotel has a lovely setting, but this was a disappointing meal for $75. each (parking and champagne included/excluding tax and gratuity). The servers were overwhelmed and had difficulty keeping up with refilling the buffet tables and clearing used plates. There seemed to be little attention to detail, such as proper spoons to serve the sauces and one sided access to the buffet tables. It was the food quality, however, that was most lacking. The soup, although tasty, was barely tepid. Some entrees were inedible, such as the tough and stringy short ribs carbonara, the gluey risotto, and the bland potato/cauliflower "smash". The "artisan breads" were dry round rolls. Others dishes just looked too unappetizing to try such as the too-dark roasted chicken breast and dry-looking cobia fish. The veal "prime rib" was tasteless and overcooked. The barley and kale salads were good, as were the scallops. The raw bar had potential; often there were piles of ice with nothing on top as we waited around for staff to refill the food. Crab claws, oysters, and seared ahi were excellent when they arrived. For dessert-the mini items were nicely presented, but not adequately refilled as people waited in line. While we were waiting, a beautiful unsliced and unlabeled cake was then placed on the table for diners to slice themselves. This quickly created a messy cake which became another unappetizing item. On top of this, a surprise $27.00 (18% gratuity) was added to the bill! This, for a buffet, where we were all serving ourselves, slicing our own cakes, all the while dodging frantic staff! At the very least, adding this gratuity is deceptive advertising. We we would have preferred to decide what amount was appropriate. Better still would have been knowing before going in that the 18% gratuity was going to be added on. Nowhere on the website explaining the details of this buffet dinner was this mentioned.

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TR
Denver
17 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went on Christmas day for the 3:00 pm seating with six people. Unlimited champagne and wonderful food selection! It was not your typical buffet and it was awesome service. We sat outside under the balcony next to the poolside and had a great time!

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MM
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

I have to say the overall experience was ok but the service with the automatic grutuity on a buffet in unheard of I thought that was crazy to lock you in to an 18 percent gratuity I thought was a little extreme

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N
St. Louis
9 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

It was an okay restaurant. Price for the meal in relation to the quality of the food was "off".

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NS
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

I loved the relaxed atmosphere. I will definitely go back for Sunday Brunch.

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OT
Naples
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

We had very high expectations going in, being that we’ve heard great things about it... however, it did not quite live up to our expectations. Breakfast was slow and there wasn’t much variety; the menu was short with little with about four breakfast options. The only upside was the ability to order a side of an item. Overall, probably wouldn’t dine with them again.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 4

Expensive, not a lot of variety.

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L
New York Area
143 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We had a light dinner on Christmas Eve. Service was very slow, but friendly. We found the service rather slow during all of our various meals at this hotel restaurant. The food was always good - breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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DC
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

We dined at Sea Porch Restaurant on two separate occasions while staying at the Don CeSar, breakfast and dinner. The service was slow on both occasions, so slow in fact, that I did not order another drink because I was afraid it would not arrive in time for the meal. During both meals, the food arrived cold. My partner never sends food back, but if he receives cold food, he tends not to return to the restaurant. During both breakfast and dinner, his food arrived cold and he told me as we left after dinner that the next time we visited the Don, we would find another place to eat. It was a shame since the food, once we received it, was good.

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ES
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. Beautiful setting. Beautiful historic hotel on a beautiful clean beach.

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OT
New England
17 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

Very disappointing. Food was just barely OK and way overpriced! Red snapper was over cooked and dry. I could complain about the small portion, but no one would want more! Waiter was very good and personable, but even that couldn’t make up for the lousy, expensive meal. Bad experience at an otherwise lovely resort!

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed the atmosphere. The food was good, but not “outstanding” and was a bit overpriced for the quality. Overall it was great and the service was awesome!

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SV
New England
9 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We were seated outside which was quite pleasant and not too hot or noisy. The menu is somewhat limited but the food is good. We enjoyed the fish sandwich and fish tacos. There were 3dessert choices and we tried two. Key lime pie was tasty but didn’t look anything like conventional key lime. Fruit cobbler was right out of the oven and delicious

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