Phoenix >Vincent On Camelback
Less than average service, spendy, average entrees. The soups at this aging French Restaurant are excellent, in contrast to the average beef tenderloin entree and a fair creme brulee for dessert. From the time we were seated, we were greeted with staff that were either less than enthusiastic or best described as aloof. The cocktail waiter offered no wine suggestions. We were told that they ran out of the lobster bisque, which appears on this online menu. The entrees were lukewarm.
Great experience!. My wife and I wanted to have a good meal for our last night in town. On a TV program, Bobby Flay was enjoying a creation by Chef Vincent. The French/SouthWestern style was something that we had to try. We went early because we didn't have a reservation. I would recommend arriving before the rush which is 6pm. We were a little surprised that the tables didn't have salt or pepper on them. When the food arrived we realized that everything was seasoned perfectly. The slightly spicy lobster bisque was excellent. The entrees (braised lamb and braised short rib) were flavorful. The service was fantastic. One of our waiters, Mark from Orange County CA, recommended that we have some desserts. The desserts were over-the-top, GOOD... The lemon crepe with raspberry sauce was light and satisfying. The chocolate souffle was also very good. Chef Vincent was so cool too! It's nice when the owner/chef has the time to meet his customer's and even take a picture with them.
Please ignore the negative reviews.
I am appalled by the overwhelmingly number of negative reviews to this restaurant. I am convinced that these people spend their time writing negative reviews that don't make sense and are not true because they find joy in writing lies or they lost their job in which case they would have nothing to do but write lies. Either way, it is a lie. The way that I know that they are liars is that I am a good friend of Vincent and I know for a FACT that the words written by past reviewers are simply not true. For example, JulieLev, wrote,
"The owner is nowhere to be found. He's too busy trying to obtain publicity to manage and cook at his own restaurant."
What a bunch of bs. I dine regularly at Vincent's. He has come every time to the table except for one in which he was at a catering. If the reviewer thinks he is "nowhere to be found because he is trying to obtain publicity to manage and cook at his restaurant", he/she can go to hell. It offends me to read these words because as a friend of Vincent, I know that he is not like that. And it offends me even more to know that people who read this actually believe it. How can you believe something if you've actually never experienced it? This is preposterous!
My recommendation to all you readers out there - go and dine at this restaurant. In response to JulieLev's words of "Don't be fooled by the awards this restaurant has received," I sincerely hope you aren't. If Vincent's wasn't a good place to dine, then why did he receive all the awards that he did including the James Beard Award? Again, don't be fooled or misguided by what you hear. They are just cheap people looking for a free meal and a reason to complain. Year after year, Vincent's has been at the top of the list of fine dining restaurants not only in Arizona but across the US. Why wouldn't you go eat at one of the best restaurants in the US? Because of a stupid negative review written by someone who wants a free meal? C'mon folks...
One of the worst dinners of my life. I had heard that Vincent's had great food and was excited to eat my birthday dinner there with my husband. Yikes! What a horrible experience. Shall I start with the broken chair and dead mosquito on the table. Perhaps, I should mention that the pear salad that I ordered didn't have any pears in it. No, maybe I should let you know that the lobster was overcooked to the point that it tasted like jerkey. But wait, they brought out a horrible dessert to acknowledge that it was my birthday. Let's not forget the broken toilet in the ladies room. Oh, and yes I called to complain the next day, and didn't even receive a response back from the management, until I complained a second time. Then, I received a form letter from the owner's wife (my name was spelled incorrectly) with a thank you for eating at their restaurant. ....Not even an invitation to come try them again. What nerve. It's now a mission in my life to inform everyone about the horrible food/service/management at Vincent's. Don't waste your money or time in this past its prime establishment. Don't be fooled by the awards this restaurant has received. The owner is nowhere to be found. He's too busy trying to obtain publicity to manage and cook at his own restaurant.
Good food, bad service.
Okay, not all bad service, the bartender was pleasant and can make a good cocktail. I would know this because it took forever to be acknowledged by anyone else to get our table so we sat at the bar waiting.
Let's start at the beginning. The valet was nowhere to be seen and there was no parking. We took a chance and parked in a business parking spot figuring it was afterhours. Going inside we were pretty much ignored except by the bartender. My friend asked for a glass of water and it was the worst tasting tap water you could imagine. Seriously we would willingly pay for the bottled water if we knew. During this time at the bar, one of the waiters kept coming up for drinks and while standing there proceeded to complain about it being busy, shorthanded and the customers. He even looked at us and kept going. We prayed he wouldn't be one of our waiters. (Thankfully he was not) After finally being seated, our two waiters (you're suppose to have 2) took turns coming to our table. Lest I say, after telling them that I was going to have wine they didn't bother giving me the wine list until it was time to order and I asked for it. Ordering probably took at least 15 minutes, that doesn't include the time to make up our minds. The redeeming part of this was the food. It was cooked perfectly. I liked the lobster chimi, I know there is another review to the contrary. They were very good on getting us ready to go. I had always known Vincent's to be one of the top restaurants, but I wonder if Vincent actually knows what is happening.
It's Just Not all That. I was very disappointed when I learned Michael's at the Citadel closed--this had been our "special occasion" restaurant. So we tried Vincent's on Camelback for our anniversary dinner, and frankly we were disappointed. Although it was during the week and the restaurant was not crowded, we were stuck in a very dark back room which used to be a porch. It was freezing and we (and other couple seated near us) repeatedly asked for them to turn up the heat. The service was inordinately slow. The bread was cold and the butter was darn near frozen. Our wine came out AFTER our food and we had to remind the waiter that we had ordered wine. We ordered an appetizer that we heard the waiter telling someone else about (didn't mention it to us) and although it sounded good it was very greasy and not that great. There was nothing on the menu that was particlarly compelling so I ended up ordering filet mignon. The steak was good but nothing to write home about. Final analysis: this restaruant does not justify its prices and will not be replacing the much missed Michaels at the Citadel as our special occasion restraurant.
Great entrees, good customer service..
French food has long been my favorite, and we (four of us) were all looking forward to our first visit to Vincent's. Having dined in other French restaurants, we wanted to save room for dessert. That was difficult because we couldn't stop eating the delicious croissants. The lobster bisque was quite tasty as well. Then our entrees arrived and they were excellent. My favorite is the scallops with butternut squash. Then we ordered souffles, chocolate and grand marnier. Much to our dismay, they arrived undercooked and were unedible due to raw egg whites. However, the coffee was pretty good and they did not charge for the uneaten desserts. They also brought out a little chocolate pastry that was not bad. Some of the other desserts were probably good but I cannot comment on those we did not try.
At any rate, we truly enjoyed the ambiance and would have liked a second cup of coffee if anyone had asked. The service was not the best although the servers were very pleasant. Just not attentive. Would I go there again? Probably, but not any time soon. It's not the very best , but it's good.
A look at Southwestern cuisine on a sophisticated level..
Back in the '80s, this small place put Phoenix on the culinary map thanks to Chef Vincent Guerithault and his sumptuous fare, which marries Southwestern ingredients and French technique. Come for a quiet business lunch, a romantic date or a special occasion. Guerithault is still famous for signature appetizers like smoked salmon quesadillas with horseradish-dill cream and duck tamales stuffed with Anaheim chilies and raisins.
I cannot say enough about this restaurant. The service, the food and the ambiance is something others should model themselves after. I have been both with a small party of 3 and larger parties up to 18 and in all cases, everyone was thrilled with the dining experiencve.
For the average diner, it may be a bit high priced but, as a special occasion, it will not disappoint.
Flash From the Past.
Our first impression after waiting 30 minutes for dinner menus was to pay for the wine that was already delivered (warm from the 'cellar') and leave and go somewhere else. We should have gone with our gut.
Vincent's may have been the deal in its day, but its best days are well behind it. From the badly tarnished silver to the dirty wine and water glasses there was nothing positive to remember about this dining experience. The food was average at best. The lobster chimichanga, desribed as lightly fried, was soggy with the grease it was fried in and looked like it was prepared well ahead of our order. The entree's (Artic Char and signature Duck) were nearly flavorless. The food, service and ambience were charicatures of better days gone by. We would not recommend Vincent's to anyone looking for the best Phoenix has to offer, you will be disappointed.
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