Having read several negative reviews on the Redwoods Restaurant, I was reluctant to spend an evening there. However, as a favor to a very good friend that wanted to dine there on her birthday, I did not mention my reservations about going and went with my wife and one other couple who was also celebrating a birthday. Our server, Dennis, was attentive and very helpful. Each couple had an internet coupon for $25 off the cost of their dinner and Dennis explained that we should have a card from the discount book with the coupons, but he would talk with the chef and see what he could do. I was suspicious that I would not be able to use my coupon. However, Dennis came back to the table and told us that the coupons would be honored.
We all ordered pre-dinner drinks, dinner, and a couple of desserts. Our bill with discounts was about $110 per couple (including drinks, a bottle of wine, and tip). The food was excellent but a bit pricey. One of the drinks was brought without the alcohol (server thought an order for vodka and 7-up was for 7-up only), and another was overly strong. The overly strong drink was weakened, but too much. then our server said he would be willing to add more alcohol, but the offer was refused.
I felt that the service was very good to excellent and the food was excellent. I would be willing to go again even without the discount. The entrees ranged from about $23 - $32, salads from $7 - $10. No on-line menu seems to be available at this time. I have dined at the Mise En Place in Tampa and feel that Redwoods is a better value for the money. There is open lot parking about 3/4 block to the east for $5.
You will NOT feel welcome here. By far the WORST restaurant experience I have ever had. Both times horrible. It's not so much the terrible quality of the food (the only remotely tasty food was the butter that came with the bread), rather the snooty, rude, and haughty attitude of the servers. Now, I can understand such attitude emanating from someone who is awesome at what they do, but the service was so bad that I would have rather spent the time standing in line at the post office or waiting on hold with Verizon to dispute a wrongful late fee and then trying to eek some sympathy out of a teenager sitting in a cubicle and filing her nails in Idaho. The staff at Redwoods makes you feel very unwelcome to be there. You will be made to feel like an a*%$*le for imposing yourself upon them for dinner. Your server will not likely provide water for the table upon your arrival. He will eventually saunter over, take your drink order and then go stand at the bar (in plain view) and arrogantly chat with his co-workers for at least 10 minutes; all the while slowly sipping from his own refreshing libation, eyeing you out of his peripheral vision tauntingly. When he returns another 10 minutes later to take your order (sans beverages of course) your polite inquiry as to the status of your drinks will be met with a look that says "how DARE you. I'm VERY busy." He will then return to his perch at the bar to carouse with his compatriots to his content. Nothing comes fast at Redwoods. It is an awkward experience to look around the small, quiet room at the forlorn faces of the three other tables, all frequently glancing towards the bar in the hopes of signaling for assistance. But alas, to no avail. The servers are too involved in their important conversation. They appear as a nest of angry birds, yapping over each other and defensively peaking out on occasion as if worried that a predator might interrupt their carrion feast at any moment. Fine dining my eye. Redwoods reeks of the wretched stench of wannabe regality.
Arrogant Service-Overpriced Food (Truly not what you pay for).
This place has slow, snobby service and the food is always below standard culinary expectation for such prices. Horrible Experience both times we went-especially with the slow, arrogant service.
Cam St. Pete
Outstanding service and food. This is a consistently good restaurant. I've enjoyed bringing business colleauges here from out of town to give them a taste of downtown St. Pete and what it has to offer. The waitstaff is very attentive and the owner is there frequently ensuring that everyone feels welcome and gets great service. We almost always try the specials, including the wine recommendations which have always been really good. The menu is very interesting. Location is perfect - walking distance to all the downtown attractions.
HIT & MISS. Wine chosen from wine list was not available anymore....in my opinion, it should have been removed from list. Server's suggestion for substitute was from completely different region. Also wines were overpriced....four times store prices! Food presentation was great and creative. Desserts were disappointing. Strawberry napoleon consisted of unripe strawberries, stale piece of pastry and whipped cream from a can....certainly not the chantilly cream it was supposed to be. Service was slow and not very friendly.
Ambitious upstart surprises patrons with highly unusual and memorable fare..
Redwoods boasts a highly ambitious menu, good culinary technique, beautiful presentation and a nice locale and setting. The interior is done in light wood, accented with leaded windows and lit gently to create a warm, buttery cocoon. Its prosperous patrons seemed comfortable in nice sport coats and simple dresses.
Only nine entrees were listed on the menu, but were very distinctive: Where else in the Tampa Bay area might one find venison, served with green papaya salsa, as a regular offering? Where else can you order the fabulously expensive Kobe (Ko-BEE) beef, a delicacy imported all the way from Japan? We started with a phyllo pastry pouch filled with big bits of lobster, shrimp and scallops-crisp and packed with meat; alas, it was oversalted. The Kobe beef (which will cost you nearly $50), however, arrived perfectly spiced accompanied by a pile of white and black rice and topped with a smooth Bearnaise sauce. Dessert was a floating island of white chocolate and green tea mousse with hazelnut nougat. The meal displayed a most impressive effort, and was well worth the money.
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