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“Idyllic Setting, Mediocre Food & Service”

Serendipity Gardens Cafe
Ranked #1 of 2 Restaurants in Rossport
Certificate of Excellence
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 18 July 2013

My sense is that this place is over rated. I'm not surprised since in reality, it's in the middle of nowhere and anything that's different from burgers and fries would be considered fine dining.
Here's my experience.

We stopped at this colorful café/restaurant in a scenic area of northern Ontario. The flowers and surroundings were lovely. As we entered the "Serendipity", I was impressed with the interior atmosphere, the woodwork, and the array of artwork. I noted that the restaurant was moderately busy.

I overheard patrons ordering blackened chicken Caesar salad. They also requested an order of bread and their dressing on the side. I was surprised that they needed to order bread separately, but simply thought that perhaps bread at the table wasn't offered with lunch meals. The menu had some nice looking options - sandwiches, salads and vegetarian fare.

The server came to the table and we placed our order. I opted for the aforementioned blackened chicken Caesar as it sounded good. We had plenty of time to look around at the artwork as we waited for our meals to arrive. Hubby seemed to make a better choice with the salmon feta sandwich and salad. At least he had an edible sandwich. I soon learned why people had placed orders of bread and asked for their dressing on the side. Sadly, my salad was nothing more than a soggy plate of romaine. It tasted as if it had been doused in bottled creamy dressing thinned with vinegar. The chicken pieces where white and rubbery as if microwaved. I was fairly certain that this wasn't how blackened chicken should look. I decided I too needed some bread to counteract the sour salad taste but the server was no place to be seen. I had ordered tea which was not arriving and I was later told that something went wrong with their kettle. Odd I thought.

I rarely leave salad uneaten, but could barely consume half. Nobody checked to see whether the food was fine, nor were we asked if we wanted anything else. The bill was dropped hurriedly on our table. We were unable to test their much touted desserts even if we had wanted to. Perhaps I should be grateful.

I would probably give this restaurant another chance. Next time, I'd be sure to plan ahead, order everything I could ever possibly want all at once and select a more standard dish. Burgers and fries anyone?

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Hildetoronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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88 - 92 of 116 reviews

Reviewed 27 November 2012

The food was awesome, as usual! A beautiful setting, with views out the window of the islands around Rossport, and a lovely peaceful decor within. A lovely spot to dine!

3  Thank Shannon R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2012

We have eaten here twice in the last month. The first time was just a lucky find while we were touring along the North Shore Of Lake Superior and involved coffee and dessert. It was incredible! I couldn't get over the concept of a really good restaurant in this small village so far from anything. The Next time, we went for lunch as a family and again, the meals were exceptional. The view of Rossport Harbour is gorgeous and when you look out the front window, it is hard not to think you are in Cape Breton or on the West Coast. We now live locally so this will be our restaurant of choice for those special occassions where you just have to treat yourself. Local artist's work decorates the walls and is offered for sale at reasonable prices. There is a view of the harbour from every table although the garden and front window tables offer the best. Parking is on strteet and reservations are highly reccomended in the tourism sason. This establishment has been here for 25 years and is open year round for both the tourism trade and locals with a menu for everyone including children. Truly an oasis in the wilderness and worth a stop if you are travelling the North Shore East of Thunder Bay.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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1  Thank fishingdavep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2012

Great service and good food. They do a really nice job with the decor and provide an above average casual dining experience. Great view out the window of the lake. It is perhaps a little pricey but not surprising given that it is the only restaurant in a rather small and remote town.

1  Thank djdmspit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2012

Serendipity Gradens Cafe is the place to go for succulent fresh lake trout. Our meal was delicious; the service warm and friendly; the view of the harbour at Rossport interesting. We loved it so much that we went back on our return trip from the West. I am sure other things on the menu are wonderful as well as other diners around us seemed to be enjoying their meals. Desserts looked delicious but after stuffing ourselves on the fish we had no room for any treats. If I lived anywhere near this restaurant, it would be my go to place!

2  Thank Anne G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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