This restaurant was a major disappointment in just about every aspect. Supposedly according to Travel and Leisure it is 1 of the top 5 winery restaurants in the world. Travel & Leisure must have only reviewed 5 restaurants. It was that bad.
It is a beautiful setting as others have commented. It is a outdoor restaurant. The restaurant itself is a long concrete terrace with a beautiful view of the lake on one side and a view of the courtyard on the other side. Tables are on both sides of the terrace and there is an outdoor kitchen at the end. We were here for dinner celebrating a special anniversary. If you come in the evening, forget about the view as they pull down black mesh screens and it really blocks the view. Service was not very friendly. An amuse bouche of 6 pitted dried marinated cherries was presented - not very interesting. Bread was brought to the table. We were each given 1 piece of the 2 breads they had that evening and it was not offered again. The wines are outrageously priced considering that it is their winery. I had a glass of their pinot noir - $14.00 for a small glass and my husband had a small glass for another of their reds for $12.00. We had gone to wineries during the day and most of the wines that we tasted were far superior to the wine at Mission Hill. I think that the small wineries generally have far superior wines. We did not see any appetizer that appealed to us so we went straight to the entrees. I ordered the game hen and my husband ordered the pasta of the day. My husbands pasta was linguine with smoked ham & mushrooms with a chicken glace. It was a decent size serving but my husband said that the pasta itself was uninspired. It cost $28.00. For this money I've had pasta with lobster at other high end restaurants that was exceptional. We also had to ask for a large spoon for twirling the pasta when he was part way through the meal. It should have been brought with the entrée. My game hen was a joke. It was a very small thigh and about 4 tiny pieces of meat about the size of the tip of my thumb. It came with beets and polenta. We mentioned to the server that we thought the portion was pathetically small and her comment was that game hen is a small bird. The manager came to the table and he offered to give me a salad to provide a bit more food. I said another 2 oz. leg would be better but he could not do this. For this the cost of the entrée was $35.00. We were still hungry when we finished our entrees so we asked to see the dessert menu. It consisted of 3 items - carrot cake, panna cotta and red velvet cake. They were $12.00 each. Having seen their portion sizes and considering how basic the desserts were we did not feel like spending $12.00 for what would probably be a 1" cube of cake that was not very well prepared and that I could easily make myself for considerably less cost. They did give us a couple of small plates of cherry sorbet. My husband said it was probably the palate cleanser they offer if you ordered an appetizer before your meal. We ate at Bouchons the evening before and they provided a palate cleanser that was better than what we had a Mission Hills.
The table beside us also had issues with their meals. The woman had ordered the pasta like my husband did and she called her server over and asked her to please have some ham in the pasta. You would think that at $28.00 you would give your guest more than plain pasta. They never did ask her companion about his meal. After waiting about 15 minutes we saw him pick up his plate and walk it back to the kitchen himself. The wait staff was MIA and he couldn't have flagged someone down if he wanted.
The restaurant had some sort of function going on in the main winery the evening we were there and we could hear the tune "Land of Hope and Glory" being played over the speakers. It just takes your breath away doesn't it - looking out over and black mesh screen and hearing a tune like that being played. At some point in the evening I think the guests from the winery were free to wander the grounds because the winery rang the bells for a good 5 minutes to summon their guests back to the winery.
Overall it was probably one of the worst dining experiences that I have endured. If you go in the evening and you like to sit outside with a very restricted view, poor quality of food, indifferent service and outrageous prices than for it. For myself there are too many really good restaurants to give this one another shot. I doubt that they would win another award from Travel and Leisure unless the magazine takes bribes.
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