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“Great kitchen, dining room needs help”
Review of Ports Cafe

Ports Cafe
Ranked #1 of 91 Restaurants in Geneva
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$15 - US$28
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Description: An informal setting overlooking Seneca Lake, featuring savory and unique dishes made from fresh, ​locally sourced ingredients.​ ​Finger Lakes wines and craft beers are available by the glass. Reservations Recommended. Maximum group is 8.
Hilton, New York
Level 6 Contributor
174 reviews
114 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Great kitchen, dining room needs help”
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Had another delicious meal at Ports Café. From apps to dessert, everything is well prepared and seasoned. Great variety on their menu and a whole additional list of specials. Especially well liked were the pork belly sliders app., chipotle duck breast, Thai shrimp and chicken, leg of lamb, and monkfish with prosciutto. The servers in the dining room were attentive and knowledgeable. They have a great choice of wines, with an appropriate listing of local products. That's the good news. The bad news is that the organization in the dining room was a disaster. They accepted our reservation for 8 pm but we waited 40 min. beyond that to be seated and another 15-20 min. to have a server show up at our table. Several other parties waited an hour past their reservation. The parties leaving the restaurant assured us that it was "worth the wait" so we hung in there. In my opinion, they misused their host, who often disappeared from his station for lengthy periods to assist servers or bus tables. Tables sat empty for 30 min. waiting to be cleaned and reset while a crowd waited in the foyer to be seated. Servers passed through this crowd to get to and from outside seating. These were just some of the inefficiencies in the dining room. Another time waster is the need for their staff to recite a long list of specials. Our server actually gave us a couple of hand written copies of this list so she didn't have to reiterate the list in the somewhat noisy dining room. A better idea would be to make the list at the beginning of the night and give each table a few copies, along with the regular menu. Then servers would be able to attend to other customers or get empty tables turned around more quickly. Lastly, they need to finish their construction project. The place looks the same as it did a year ago. Get it done already! The food is so good that we will go back but they need a manager to watch an evening's worth of fiasco in the dining room and then revamp the team assignments.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tripdokta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
London, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Worth a trip!”
Reviewed 7 August 2014

This is a wonderful restaurant. There is a long specials list and everything sounds so good that you will have trouble deciding on your meal. We shared the cherry salad with goat cheese, and I chose the swordfish while my husband had the scallops.Everything was outstanding and not overly pricey. We would go out of our way to have dinner at this restaurant. You will not be disappointed or think you could have had better if you'd stayed home.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sandra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hawley, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Simply Amazing!!!”
Reviewed 7 August 2014

While on a weekend getaway my wife and I made reservations (a must) at Ports. She had been there before and said it was great so me being all about a good me was all in. The menu is quite limited which I prefer but each night there is a menu of chef specials that will leave you drooling on yourself. I went with fresh Prince Edward Island mussels and a Cobi dish entree. I had the best dinner of my life I think. My wife had a fresh fish entree as well with a house salad and she loved it also. The atmosphere is crowded and rather tight which I had a problem with due to claustrophobia issues but as I sat there for about 10 minutes I got used to it and settled down. The amount of people in this place is a testament to how good it is. The prices I thought were on the high side but in the end I have to say it was worth every penny. If you are in the Finger Lakes region this is a must do. Dont miss out on this hidden gem!!!

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tom W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Highland Park, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“A local gem”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

What an excellent restaurant! I was on a five day golf outing with my father (in his 80s) and my two younger brothers. My youngest brother found this place and I would say that as far as we all were concerned, it was a hit. It's casual and slightly rustic. Also a bit off the beaten path, but well worth it.

Although there were a number of interesting items on the menu, the list of specials (which are provided verbally and in writing) are extensive and fantastic. Great selections of fresh fish, including escolar and halibut. A nice selection of meat dishes as well. I had a New York Strip Steak with pecans and blue cheese that was wonderful (the nuts and cheese were added in moderation and did not overwhelm the steak) - exactly medium rare and the right size: enough to finish without being too full. Fun deserts as well - blueberry crème brulee; was my favorite - there was good ice cream as well, and a variety of other slightly unusual things.

Only beer and wine from the bar - no hard liquor. We tried some wines from the Finger Lakes area. They were fun, although not great. Enjoyable, but not very complex. (I suppose that's another discussion altogether) but they went well with the meal. Our waitress was terrific. Friendly, without being 'in your face.' She made good recommendations and checked frequently to be sure we had water, etc.

In nice weather there are a few tables outside, facing (unfortunately) the parking lot. But on a nice night, no one would care (all of the outdoor seating was full when we were there).

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank AEBlumberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Ontario
Level 6 Contributor
74 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Already thinking about a return visit!”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

I had the best pasta dish I've EVER had when I ordered the Shrimp Sauté. The dish was amazing, there were lots of shrimps and artichokes and the sauce was absolutely perfect. Hands down the best I've ever had. My husband had the cracked pepper and garlic seasoned rib eye steak and the other couple with us each had Delmonico steak cooked differently (one med-rare and the other well-done). Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals and I do mean that emphatically!. Another thing that impressed me about this place is the daily menu selection - no question that some restaurants on their regular menu have fewer items than on Port's daily specials, plus they still have their regular menu which is on their web page. The restaurant was busy and a bit noisy but we had a later reservation so it was starting to thin out a bit by the time we arrived. We had been told and also read on Trip Advisor that it can be difficult to get a reservation. We happened to be driving by it on our return from our wine country touring on the Friday and stopped by to see if we could get a reservation for 4 - and we're glad we were able to. I would definitely recommend a visit.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ontari0Canuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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