Beyond Expectations!. In reading all of the reviews, my husband and I were very skeptical about what we would experience at this restaurant. We had passed it many times and always wanted to stop in. This time we did before attending a performance at the Mahaffey Theatre and we are so glad we did! My husband had the escargot in puff pastry and sea bass with crab meat. He thought it was absolutely the best he has ever had! I had the shrimp, scallop and crab dish that was cooked to perfection. We both had salads that were works of art, light and flavorful too. We finished the meal with Chocolate Souffles that were to die for. The service was professional and attentive. We can't wait to go back again! I would highly recommend this restaurant for a romantic dinner.
Wonderful Dinner and Experience.
My wife recently turned 55 and I wanted to treat her to a romantic dinner at an upscale French restaurant in the Tampa Bay area. Both of us have enjoyed cooking for many years. I consider myself a very good cook, especially for a man. But my wife is in another league and an outstanding chef, as attested to by everyone I know who has experienced her cooking. Consequently, I wanted to find the best French restaurant possible.
We have driven by Chateau France many times, so I thought it would be a good time to try it out. But after reading the reviews, which were oddly split evenly between extremely positive and absolutely terrible, I almost decided not to risk it. I am writing this review, however, because we did decide to go to Chateau France and had a wonderful experience, as outlined in the following text.
We were walking up the front steps when the door was opened for us and we were warmly greeted. Although we were about 20 minutes earlier than our reservation, we were seated immediately in an enclosed second story porch. We had the porch to ourselves and I noticed that although several parties arrived and left while we were there, the management did its best to seat them for the maximum amount of privacy. Our waiter appeared immediately and was totally attentive to our needs throughout the evening; we couldn’t have had better service. An overview of our dinner follows.
We both had the Escargot baked in a puffed pastry as an appetizer. Escargot is my all-time favorite appetizer and this was one of the very best I have ever had. The pastry was very light and when you broke through it the steam rose from the hot contents. The snails themselves were very tender and the sauce they were in was absolutely delicious. In fact, I would love to have the sauce served separately as a soup course.
As our entrees, my wife had the Sea Scallops in a caviar sauce and I had the Menage A Trois, which included a very large Australian tiger shrimp, sea scallops, and lump crabmeat. Both entrees were served with au gratin potatoes, spaghetti squash, and baby mixed vegetables. The vegetables were done al dente just the way I like them, the sauces were wonderful, and everything else was prepared perfectly and served piping hot from the kitchen. The scallops were large, sweet, and especially delicious. Oh, and the portions were ample, unlike some French restaurants I have been to before.
Although we enjoy cooking and eating, we live a very healthy lifestyle and rarely have dessert. However, I have dabbled with baking souffles and wanted to try their Grand Marnier Souffle, so we each ordered one. Wow! The crust was perfectly bronzed and rose well above the edge of the ramekin it was baked and served in. It was served with a white chocolate sauce that we drizzled into the souffle as we ate it. Absolutely superb, although I’ll have to put in many miles on the treadmill to make up for it!
The total tab was in the $250 range, which included a nice $50 bottle of Riesling, bottle of Perrier, salad course, lemon sorbet as a palate cleanser, and an appropriately generous tip. We are definitely not wealthy and rarely spend anywhere near that much money going out for dinner, but this experience was well worth the cost.
My only suggestion to the management for improvement is to add a few reasonably priced bottles of champagne or sparkling wine to the wine list ($50 - $75). The least expensive available was Dom Perignon, which would have more than doubled the cost of the evening. Although I love champagne and have tried most of the very expensive brands a few times during my 60 years, in my opinion they are not worth the cost. Anyway, a less expensive champagne option would be appreciated.
Overall, our evening at the Chateau France restaurant has to be rated as one of our very best dining experiences and we will certainly return for another special occasion in the future. Thanks!
VERY GOOD PLACE.
Is realy the best restaurante that I have been.
The people that say bad, donÂ´t have an idea what is a fine dinning and what is realy food. They just know what is a hamburger and coke, finish!
If you donÂ´t have pedigree enought, please donÂ´t go there, you must have culture to know what you eat.
Chateau France is still open for business?.
Fine dining on my anniversary is a given. For 4 out of 5 anniversaries, we have spent our romantic dinner at a well-renowned bistro in Holmes Beach. Two years ago, we opted for a change and landed at the Vinoy. Having read the reviews of Chateu France, I made reservations.
I must say I'm really confused on how well I can trust these reviews because our experience was so bad that I still can't believe the doors are apparently open. We showed up and were escorted upstairs while dodging a leaky roof. We ordered tea as a beginning refreshment, cocktails to come later since it was very humid and hot outside. No tea...we asked for water and after a long while the waiter brought out a dusty bottle Fiji water at room temperature. We looked curiously for other diners, but now I'm thinking the "ghosts" must have abducted them. We decided to stay for an appetizer. The pate was ok if you are used to grocery-store style. It soon became abundantly clear that we needed to depart before we were sucked in any further. They say first impressions are huge; well that would be true. We fled and went to Marchand's at the Vinoy, which was good, but let's just say the romantic mood had been ruined by then. We sat there in disbelief at the experience. So as I read more recent reviews again that rave about this restaurant, I'm really confused. Is it a lure to get people there? Was there something going on the night we visited this restaurant. Had the "ghosts" had a party the night before taking the staff and clearing the pantry? What gives?
Needless to say, we have spent our more recent anniversaries down in Holmes Beach where consistency is not an issue. If anyone has insight into what the roller-coaster ride is about I'd love to know. I hope we just went on the one worst night possible and the restaurant has restored its charm and quality to those of the reviews I had previously read, but I don't think I'd make the drive across the bridge again to take that chance.
A wonderful experience. Where do you take your girlfriend for dinner on her birthday when you've been dating for two months? Depends on the relationship. I offered up three suggestions and my boyfriend and I both wanted to try Chateau France. We chose it before I read the scathing reviews of the restaurant on this site, and decided to stick with our decision so we could judge for ourselves. We went June 23, a Monday. We were greeted warmly as we pulled up to the valet area by our server, and inside, by the owner. The place was empty. One other couple was seated upstairs; we passed them on the way to our table. Hmmmm, I thought, is that a bad sign? Happily, not in our case. Once we ordered champagne and water and they had been served, privacy descended upon us. However, our server would appear just when we needed him. We began with escargot in puff pastry, which was delicious. (We passed on the salad.) I had the sea bass entree and my BF had the duck. His was good; mine was phenomenal. The fish was cooked exactly right - delicate and moist - and the sauce was flavorful, but not overpowering. For dessert, we both had souffles - mine with chocolate sauce and my boyfriend's with Grand Marnier. Again, his was good, and mine was phenomenal. (His opinion as well as mine.) Closer to the end of the meal, my BF, being an easygoing, friendly guy, struck up a conversation with our server, who told us that not long ago, a waiter who worked at Chateau France for one month quit after falling down the flight of stairs. The server said the restaurant was haunted, and that the former employee didn't fall, but was pushed by a ghost. He told this story with a grave face. Whether he honestly believed what he was saying or it was BS, didn't seem to matter, because he was very convincing - and entertaining. Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves immensely and will return to Chateau France. I highly recommend it for couples.
Great Quality Fine Cuisine! Excellent atmosphere!. Had a wonderful with my family and friends! I recommend to anyone who wants to dine at a place that will guarantee excellent service and superb food everytime!
Worse service ever!. We were a group of 8. Arrived at about 6:30, placed our orders soon after. Once the orders were placed, the waitress was nowhere to be found, two hours later, we had had the appetizers but no food had yet arrived. Despite numerous inquires no information was provided, no apologies, only "its coming". Water and wine glasses remained empty, with only very sporadic visits by the very unpleasant waitress. We requested the maitre d', but he/she never came. We left at 9:30 without eating desserts. The restaurant was mostly empty (middle of the week) so kitchen overload was definitely not the reason. Never again will I set foot in this restaurant!
BEST ROMANTIC RESTAURANT! OUTSTANDING FOOD!.
Romantic, candlelight, wonderful service, delicious food, incredible wine list...... even the bathrooms were cute!!
We had the greatest time on our anniversary night:)
So thank you "Chateau France" for making it happen!
Biggest rip off I've ever experienced. I'm still so fumed about my horrible experience at this restaurant that I take every chance I get to write about it again. I took my wife there for Valentines Day 2008 and got so thoroughly ripped off that I'm still furious about it. The food is actually okay, but the restaurant itself is dirty and the staff is incredibly rude and condescending. The chairs are old rattan, the tables are small and rickety and the silverware and settings are old and beat up. When they brought me my bill which was over $400 for two of us, I was totally blown away. With soo many great restaurants in St. Pete steer clear of this one!
Spoiled fish. Poor ingredients.. Our server was distracted, condescending, and ineloquent in his delivery of the menu. He was too forceful in his recommendations of things we were clearly uninterested in. The table was beautifully arranged but my setting was missing two forks and my wine glass had a previous patron's lipstick on it. Lights were dimmed too low, perhaps the disguise the food quality mentioned below. Listed below are description of our selections: -Fromage: Chef's selection of 4 cheeses with honey and a few berries. The cheeses were fair and were not creatively paired with complimentary flavors like nuts, olives, a good selection of fruits or the appropriate serving utensils. Neither the menu nor the server offered any names or descriptions for the cheeses which were as unimpressive as the ones available in the grocery store. -Wild Sea Bass, La Mode: The worst fish I have EVER been served at ANY restaurant. The texture was so poor that it was impossible to eat without a knife. The flavor was so fishy that even the rose wine sauce could not cover it up. It was spoiled and the server made no attempt to find out why I had eaten no more than a bite and had coldly refused when he offered to box it up. -Gruyere Potatoes: One of the best dishes of the evening. Rich in flavor, great texture. -Vegetable Pastry Boxes: Pastry was soggy, vegetables were a bland mixture of carrots and snow peas which claimed to be organic but clearly were not -Squash: Strangely sweet shredded squash. Very odd. -Prime Filet Mignon Rouge, rare: The flavor was unremarkable, the texture was terrible, again, requiring a sharp knife. The Camembert cheese sauce, however, was delicious. -Souffle au Chocolat: Excellent texture and flavor. Rich, smooth, and generously portioned. -Souffle au Grand Marnier: Even better. Overall, the food was inconsistent, and the service poor. Better meals, service, and ambiance can be found elsewhere and with less damage to the wallet.
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