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“Where's the Service”
Review of Stillwater Inn

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Stillwater Inn
Ranked #13 of 28 Jefferson B&B and Inns
Reviewed 3 January 2010

We dined at Stillwater Inn this past weekend. The food was amazing. The service was unbelievably bad. We've had better car hops at Sonic. It was so bad it ruined our anniversary experience. At those prices one expects far, far better service. In addition, the lethargic hostess could have just as easily been working on an assembly line. Overall we do not recommend this restaurant, will not be returning and would not recommend it, especially if you are looking for a special dining experience. This is definitely not a "dining experience"!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank daadaddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
smokedpeppers, chef/owner at Stillwater Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2010

We greatly regret this person’s unfortunate dining experience.
It was New Year’s Eve, the restaurant was very busy of course, and far from being “lethargic”, the hostess (co-owner and my wife) was juggling many tasks with a smile. The problem arose from a missed table assignment between my wife and a waiter.
These guests seemed to enjoy their cocktail by the fire in the bar before going to their table. Once there, most regrettably, they were seated for quite some time, unattended. When the gentleman pulled a waiter aside, the matter was brought to my wife’s attention and she went to the table with apologies and assurances that they would be taken care of at once. Unfortunately, the gentleman was too angry to put the mishap aside and chose to leave instead.
While we regret the oversight, it was due to the exigencies of the moment and not characteristic of our level of service. Had the guest allowed us to serve him, perhaps he would have been somewhat ameliorated. In any case, leaving the restaurant on New Year’s Eve, on the occasion of their anniversary especially, would seem to have been the worst of all choices, as there would be no where else but Sonic open.
We did comp the guests their cocktails, and would have welcomed the opportunity to make further amends.
It is an unfortunate fact of human nature that one will give vent to a grievance (especially when it can be done so anonymously) far sooner than remark upon an expectation exceeded. We have been striving to meet and exceed expectations for 25 years, and I consider this hyperbolic description of the restaurant and its staff to be over the top. I do understand how he feels however, I would have been miserable as well dining at Sonic on my anniversary, on New Year’s Eve. No offense to Sonic-for fast food, they are the best!
Bill Stewart
Chef/owner

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13 - 19 of 20 reviews

Reviewed 1 January 2009

We dined at the Stillwater Inn on New Year's Eve as we have done several times over the past 10 years or so. It was excellent as always. We were met at the door by the owners, and waited by the wood burning fireplace while we waited to be seated. It is quaint and very homey. I love the fireplace in winter. The food was wonderful and they had a special menu for New Year's Eve. I can tell that many of the people dining are repeat customers, some who drive from the DFW area and spend the night. It is every bit as good as eating at a fine restaurant in Dallas or Houston. Suggestion: eat at the Stillwater Inn, and then go downtown, park your car, and take an open horse carriage ride at night through historical Jefferson. Even in winter it is a blast, with blankets provided by the carriage owner.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank RoseCityTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Dallas, Texas
11
Reviewed 3 January 2005

We have always enjoyed our dinners at the Stillwater Inn. The food equals or exceeds that found in Dallas. Sometimes the wait service is a little lax. We find the rooms to be unique and tastefully decorated. The breakfast is served by the chef/owner who prepares old-time favorites with a touch of country charm.

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2004

The relaxed feel of the wicker chairs and the elegance of the table setting mix together perfectly for a romantic evening. The Stillwater Inn has the perfect balance of small town charm and gourmet excellence. I have dined at the Stillwater Inn twice and have always found the food to be superb. The first time we stumbled upon the restaurant, we were unaware of any dress code and my poor boyfriend had to remove his hat. The hostess was less than ideal both times, but we were quickly met by a courteous waiter. The wine list is impressive, and the escargot is my favorite item on the menu.

2  Thank stacysrm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
San Antonio Texas
12
Reviewed 19 October 2004

Jefferson has always been a unique town, but there are many quaint small towns. The Stillwater Inn helps make Jefferson unique. With all of the charms of small town America, great food and wine remains elusive. The fact that there is a chef owned restaurant able to survive so many years (at least 16) in this tough business, is remarkable.
Having dined on several occassions at the Stillwater Inn, I am sorry to read that only the detractors seem to be willing to voice their opinions regarding their experience. Unfortunately, those who can complain anonymously are somehow empowered when they express their greivances, while the happy diners may pay their compliments on the way out the door and leave it at that.
Unlike a franchised operation, with many layers of management to keep the dining experience,if not outstanding, at least consistant, this restaurant can become very busy, especially on the weekends. This is also true of fine restaurants in the metropolitian areas.
I have always found the staff to be genuinely personable in a small town way, and attentive to our needs. We recommend the Stillwater Inn to our friends that enjoy dining rather that simply eating. (A great bottle of Pinot helps pacify the appetite.)
Perhaps the Stillwater Inn should limit their seating on the weekends. This might allow for the more appreciative diners to have a larger stake in the opinion poll.

2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2004

Our rating is for the B&B. The restaurant has served consistently excellent food for all the years I've been dining there. The service can be hit or miss. But, if you're patient and just wanting a good meal, it's a great place. Back to the B&B: this is one of our least favorite ones in Jefferson. Our room was spacious and had everything we needed, but it just didn't have the charm that the others do. Another strike against this one is it's proximity to the RR tracks - very close. The trains will definitely wake you up unless you are a VERY heavy sleeper. The breakfast is good, but it's more like something you would fix yourself at home - half a grapefruit, bacon, and scrambled eggs with some green onions sprinkled on top. Not the "fancy" gourmet breakfasts of egg casseroles, fruit concoctions, and pastries that you get at most B&B's. Regarding the location, it is on the "outskirts" and isn't as convenient to downtown as some of the others. Some would probably find it too far away to walk. It's not a bad place to stay, but the owners and the accommodations just didn't have that something special that others do.

  • Stayed: December 2001
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank LeoneFB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
smokedpeppers, Owner at Stillwater Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2010

The train crossings that encircle much of Jefferson do create an issue for many lodging guest (and owners), and we are careful to point this out when giving a discription and answering questions. These guest specifically requested the cottage, and therefore I assumed they had been refered by friends.
In the morning, they were demostratively unhappy with the trains and due to their somewhat agressive insistance, although I did not feel it was called for, I decided not to charge them for the lodging. I am sorry that these guest did not see fit to mention this fact. As to breakfast, it is true that I put most of my creativity into the dinner meals and serve a straightford but carefully prepared breakfast. We bill ourselves as an "inn", not a bed and breakfast, and there is a fine distinction.

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Reviewed 26 July 2004

We dined last week at Stillwater Inn expecting superlative service and exceptional food. Everyone in town recommended Stillwater Inn as the very best restaurant in East Texas. We were very disappointed.

Overall the food was bland. The duck was tough and the fish was not cooked completely. No regrets were forthcoming from any of the staff.

The Inn itself is lovely and offers a warm and intimate atmosphere. The service was fairly good but not attentive, which was unfortunate since the restaurant was far from full.

The Inn is fairly pricey which would make one wish for better service and a more impressive meal. I will say that the chocolate mousse and the Concord Cake were excellent.

I can't agree with the majority that The Stillwater Inn is the best restaurant in East Texas. Perhaps they were having a bad day...

4  Thank QOE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Stillwater Inn

Address: Jefferson, TX 75657
Region: United States > Texas > Jefferson
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in Jefferson
Price Range: £56 - £93 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3

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