The Reluctant Panther Restaurant

4.7
395 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
The Reluctant Panther Restaurant features locally sourced American cuisine in a relaxed yet elegantly upscale atmosphere. Menus are complemented by a multiple year Wine Spectator award winning wine list. With excellent service and outstanding ambiance, the Panther Restaurant boasts the highest Zagat rating in northern New England. The Reluctant Panther is happy to accommodate well behaved children but does not offer a children's menu.
Reservations Recommended
What 395 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.8
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, gracious & friendly service, nice atmosphere.

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

Was greeted and had my coat taken, my date and I were seated by the fireplace. We enjoyed our cocktails with our appetizer and a glass of wine with the meal. Our food was excellent and the service was prompt and attentive.

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L
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food & Service was amazing!!
Great experience Can’t wait to go back

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SF
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our food was creatively prepared and presented couple with exceptional service.

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VT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We greatly enjoyed the beautiful dining room, warm ambience and outstanding service we received at The Reluctant Panther. It was a quiet mid-week night, with only a few other tables in the dining room. Lenny K, our server, was fantastic, personable and professional. The short ribs were fork tender, bursting with flavor and perfectly accompanied by potatoes and crispy brussel sprouts. The pheasant was equally outstanding with interesting and well matched side dishes. The wine list by the glass was excellent! This was a truly excellent meal and dining experience.

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OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

The restaurant was excruciatingly noisy due to some big parties; it was difficult to find something to eat on the menu which was much too esoteric for our palettes and the prices were high. We have been here before; once we enjoyed it and once our experience was similar to this occasion. We decided to give it another chance but won't be doing so again. We were very disappointed that with an Israeli chef, there were really no no Mediterranean options on the menu. It was heavy, winter New England.

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RP
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great for a special occasion

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d
Las Vegas
19 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding service complimented by creative and high quality menu! We ate here two nights in a row and everything was amazing!

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KE
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took my family to Manchester for a quick Christmas get-a-way and wanted to take them out for a special dinner. The Reluctant Panther was the answer! Cozy...fireplace...great menu...gluten-free options for my daughter. The staff couldn't have been any more friendly and accommodating! A special night we'll remember for years to come! Highly recommended!

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K
New York Area
50 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

By far the best meal to be had in Manchester, VT. Beautiful dishes very well executed. Had a fabulous pheasant entree this time around. Highly recommend.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Family Christmas

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S
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Three lobster raviolis and two shrimp for a $30+ dollar meal is just not enough. Left hungry .

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M
New England
24 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful meal in a comfortable and lovely environment. Our meals were delicious, beautifully presented and prepared. Wonderful service. Great food and wine.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were here on a quiet, snowy night in mid-December. There were only a few other diners in the restaurant, but the room still felt cozy, cheery and inviting. Upscale, but not intimidating decor. The service was extremely personable, warm, and down-to-earth, as others have mentioned. Felt like dining with an old, good friend. Food was delicious - everything was perfectly cooked. The homemade bread and butter at the beginning kicked everything off on the right note! We split the Lobster and Brie Fondue as an appetizer - couldn’t pass it up, given all of the reviews! Our server gave us a spoon and told us to eat it right out of the pot if we didn’t want to fill up on more bread - we took her advice; it was amazing. I had an Arctic Char dish and my partner had the short ribs - both entrees were superb. For the level of service and quality of the food, we would have gladly paid double - the Reluctant Panther is a gem. Don’t miss it if you’re in Manchester!

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CC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love this place. Very classy, interesting menu choices expertly prepared.

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MB
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect fine dining experience. Excellent service.

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JF
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place cannot be missed! Everything was delicious, and you can tell how much passion the chef and the staff put into the menu.

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K
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and very good wine selection. Worth coming back!!!!

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CP
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Second time here and took my parents as a birthday present. Never ceases to amaze, Chef Sigal is a master of their craft. The first time I had lamb that was so good it brought tears to my eyes and the buttermilk semifreddo on the pumpkin bread dessert conjured the same response. Bravo!

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PB
New England
6 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent from beginning to end!

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PB
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely all around.

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OT
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a gem. Very sophisticated decor yet warm and comfortable. Food was exceptional and service was impeccable. Terri was a true pro and lots of fun.

We tried the Reluctant Panther cocktail - it was strong and flavorful. My wife had the scallops and I had the short ribs. We ended with the flourless chocolate cake. Everything was fresh and really tasty.

If you’re coming to Manchester, don’t miss this gem.

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TW
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Fall treat with my Mom. Excellent duck and homemade breads are worth every calorie. Nice decor and great service.

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s
New England
11 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal. Steak and duck was fantastic. Service was very good. Highly recommend.

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SM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Second time going here for our Anniversary dinner. Great cocktails, great food, great service. Will be back again and again. Service is always fabulous!!!!!

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F
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious dinner in a great setting. Excellent service!

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Laitano Birthday

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M
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had one of the most perfect meals in a long time at this restaurant. Everything was perfect - and that’s really saying something. The interior is elegant but in a very spare way. Our server was attentive, funny and knowledgeable. Food - the food was terrific, from the Middlebury Blue cheese cheesecake (which was a truly divine appetizer) to the main courses (beef rib on mashed potatoes and scallops - both perfect), all the way through our desert (a chocolate flourless torte), the meal seemed perfectly paced and effortlessly great. We are very experienced diners in exceptional restaurants and this experience was way up there on the list of the finest meals ever. I also have to comment on the wine list which was good (not great, but well-chosen) but particularly that their mark-up is fair, generally in the 2x to 2 1/2 x range. When I see restaurants that mark a $15 bottle to $55 or so that is when I know I’m being gouged. Not so at Reluctant Panther. We were so impressed and wish we lived closer than 2500 miles away - rest assured, our next trip to Vermont will include a visit to Reluctant Panther.

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z
New England
33 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I expected the Reluctant Panther to be good but it really exceeded expectations. Everything about our dinner was excellent! The room was very pretty and charming. Low-key but not sleepy. There are two corner fireplaces which were not lit during our visit (it was unseasonably warm) which I would imagine make the place even more welcoming. Our server was very helpful, efficient and also quite friendly and down-to-earth. The food was exceptional across the board, from chicken to seafood, appetizer to sides. In fact, the Brussels sprouts were the best I’ve ever had—good enough that they could have served as a satisfying entrée. From the décor to the people to, especially, the food, the Reluctant Panther sparkled. Wonderful.

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RM
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A must whilst in Manchester! Highly recommend the food was fantastic - wine selection perfect and staff very friendly and accommodating. Thank you!

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BA
Austin
2 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous restaurant! All the food was very fresh and prepared to perfection. The waiter, Hunter, was very attentive without hovering and offered great suggestions - very professional service. If ever in Manchester again we would definately return to this restaurant.

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r
New England
27 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Amazing food and wine, very expensive but worth it.

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EM
Baltimore
9 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Expensive for the size and quality of the meals. For example, The gem salad consisted of 2 leaves of Romaine, a small Spanish anchovy and thin Caesar dressing. The short rib entree was 3 small slices of short rib on a smear of mashed potatoes accompanied with several small charred Brussels sprouts. The apple dessert was flavorless.

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OO
Columbus
39 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We rarely leave a restaurant without a small thought about something that could be improved. Not this time - the Reluctant Panther was simply perfect. From the host's greeting to the service to the delicious (and beautifully plated) food to the pacing of the meal (not too slow, but not too fast), it was a delightful experience. We will definitely go back.

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J
London
29 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

Compared to other restaurants in Manchester that we enjoyed during our recent trip, the Reluctant Panther just didn't meet or exceed expectations. We arrived 20 minutes early for our 8:30 reservation and proceeded to wait for 5 minutes alone at the reception podium while staff moved about. When someone did come to help us, he informed us that we were early and that our table would not be ready until 8:30 (despite four clearly empty tables immediately behind him). We presumed that this was a staffing issue, which would have been fine, but rather than just offering this or some other explanation, we were made to feel as though we were an inconvenience. No suggestion begin given, we asked if we should instead have a seat at the (empty) bar in the meantime. With no cocktail menu and a fairly standard selection of liquors, I settled for a dirty martini that was somewhat lacking when it came to the brine. As for the meal, it had its highlights and its disappointments. The lobster and brie fondue was amazing, as was the bread course. But the portion size on the short ribs was relatively small (not quite two full short rib pieces) and the veal chop was particularly fatty (nearly 1/3 was left on the plate - all fat). Overall it wasn't a bad experience, but it was not a positively memorable meal either. If in the area again, we will almost certainly choose other very nearby locations where the experience was much more enjoyable. (Of note, our waitress was actually really great - pleasant, happy, insightful about recommendations, attentive - but the service rating reflects the gentleman who initially set the tone at reception and at the bar. Perhaps it was just a frustrating night, staffing, etc... but it certainly affected our experience.)

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J
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I enjoyed every bite of our meals. We split the signature appetizer: a brie and lobster fondue, which was absolutely amazing. Our entrees were delightful, and the dessert was pure bliss. We will be sure to be back the next time we are in town. Be sure to make reservations. I saw several people turned away who were showing up asking for a table. We were there on a holiday weekend and they were booked up the entire time. I'm so glad I made a reservation when I did.

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T
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely the best dining experience we have had in recent years!

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SW
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Very nice dinner after traveling to VT. Len was an attentive server. Enjoyed short ribs raised locally with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans. Good wine selection. Desert for us was blueberry ice cream. Quiet atmosphere. Lovely inn operated by friendly people

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JC
New England
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Truly inspired food. I knew it was going to be a good meal when they brought the bread, and I was like I could just eat this all night. Excellent traditional fare (meat and seafood). Worth a visit anytime you're in Manchester Vt. (a 2 hour drive for us).

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w
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent wait staff, attentive but not intrusive. Food is excellent, especially the risotto and the fillet mignon. Quiet enough to hold an intimate conversation. Highly recommend.

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