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“Unique French-style Restaurant at Dana Harbor”
Review of Gemmell's

Ranked #37 of 148 Restaurants in Dana Point
Price range: US$20 - US$40
Cuisines: French, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, View
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Dana Point Harbor Drive
Transit: Public transit stops in front of the Harbor of Dana Point.
Reviewed February 23, 2018

Lived in the area for over 20 years and never tried Gemmell's. Maybe the white table cloth tables, fancy (faux-French) interior or the menu kept me from going inside. Being at the harbor I was usually dressed in shorts and tee-shirt - so did not seem appropriately attired to partake. A Groupon offer prompted us to try it at last. Gemmell's is located at the end of a row of shop in Dana Point Harbor. Its a little nondescript, has some outside seating but no view of the harbor or ocean. Our reservations were for Tuesday at 5:30pm - we were the only customers at that time. So we were seated promptly and had attentive service. Our server was Briana and was very knowledgeable and helpful. The Groupon offered us a 4 course dinner and we started with the shared appetizer - we chose the mushrooms - Mixed wild mushrooms sautéed with an herb butter drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. But the mushrooms seemed to come from a can, but the sauce was good. The salads were excellent. I had the romaine with walnuts and blue cheese dressing while my partner had the fresh green salad. By this time a few more customers entered the restaurant and did not feel so alone. The ambiance is low key, old french decor, red cloth upholstered chairs, white linen table cloths. For the main course I choose the Sand Dabs - a mild white fish, lightly breaded, fried and covered with a rich sauce, served with rice and steamed veggies. My partner ordered the pork tenderloin with roasted potatoes and steamed veggies. Both tasted good and were full portions. We ended with desserts of meyer lemon tart and a Grand Marnier Souffle'. Both were good.

We had a glass of wine each and the total bill was $140.00 (without tax/tip) but with Groupon we paid $60 plus $25 for drinks for a total of $85.00 (without tax/tip).

Bottom line: Unique eating experience but not a price/performer. If the food had a little more 'zing' or special flavor it might be worth the price. But if you want to pay for faux-fine dining at the harbor, this might be your place.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Fred D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 145 reviews

Reviewed February 1, 2018

Pleasant, different, nothing so exciting you would look forward to a return visit, or would even go back again. You have to take in to consideration that we had a party of about 10.

Thank mamiefiere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 29, 2018 via mobile

The food was great.The staff was friendly and attentive.Everything was well prepared and tasted great.We used a groupon deal which saved us $50.

Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 22, 2018

Four course dinner for two for our anniversary. Mushroom appetizer was very good. Hearts of Romaine Salad was very good. Potato Leek soup was very bland with no taste of leeks. Pork Loin entree was great, the portion was large and the leftovers were just as good the next day! Sand Dab entree was over sauced, it completely covered the taste of the fish, would have been better with lighter sauce and a wedge of lemon. The soup and entrees were served hot. The soufflé was superb and the Key Lime Tart was very good and "tart"! The peach Bellini was also very good. The service was reasonable and prompt, our only complaint was we were not offered coffee or tea with dessert. The restaurant was very empty for a Thursday night. We will definitely visit again.

Thank Joleen F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 4, 2017

I came upon this sweet place by chance and really enjoyed my lunch. It seems a step above most of the other restaurants in the area.

1  Thank marjorie v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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