Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Florida >
Dec 25, 2006 03:01 AM

The Black Pearl in Dunedin

After going there for 3 years in a row for Christmas Eve dinner we will not be going back. In the past the service has always been tremendous and the food mostly very good.
It started with the wait for the table we had reserved over 3 weeks ago. Yes I know it's Christmas Eve and the place is small so you would expect a wait. We were told 3 times that a particular table was leaving (loud enough for that table to even hear it.) When they left we were told we could not sit there it was a table for 4. At that time we were already waiting a half an hour but they wouldn't hear of it. After 35 minutes we were finally seated and waited an additional 10 minutes for a waiter. Considering there were only 9 tables and 4 servers I don't think that says much for the service.
To add insult 10 minutes after we were seated a table for 4 was given to a couple.
As for the food. Onion soup and Lump Crab Bisque were great.
Rack of Lamb excellent. Veal Porterhouse on the small side and very dry.
Not once were we asked how the meal was and water glasses were empty most of the time
We will be making a reservation at Armani's as soon as they are accepting them for next year.
Someone in a previous posting stated that the prices were very reasonable.
I'm sorry but for $150.00 for two people without appetizer I expect a little bit better service.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm sorry you had a bad dinner experience!
    We were at Armani's on Sat night and I can testify it is still excellent as was the service. For apps we had buffalo carpaccio, escargo, and lobster bisque. All were excellent. Entrees were the duck, venison, sea bass, and my father in law had the surf n turf which was the feature. Everything was wonderful except his MR kobe filet was a tad tough and his lobster was overcooked and stuck to the shell. They were gracious and nice and offered to take the lobster portion off the bill which satisfied everyone.

    1. My husband and I went to the Black Pearl for the first time recently and while the food was fine, I don't know if it warrants the price. The restaurant is in great need of updating; we were amazed that the 80s-era fabric-padded walls still reek of cigarette smoke! It definitely detracts from the food. The service also seemed dated to us (a little too stuffy), although the waitstaff was perfectly attentive on our visit. Not sure if we'll be back for these reasons, especially with the number of high-quality high-end restaurants in the area with fresher, more contemporary digs.

      1. I had xmas dinner at China Yuan in Tampa. Forget those fancy-pants places, I ate like a king with great service--- $40 for three hungry patrons. Seems to only add trouble when trying to eat at these fancy places on a very demanding night of the year.

        1. on a positive note, we just had a wonderful dinner at Cafe Alma.
          Coming from northern Pinellas we don't get to down town St. Pete as often as we should (the place was hopping tonight).
          As far as Cafe Alma, the service was fantastic. The next time we go we wil defineatly ask if Kiesha is working. Every dish from Ap to entree were perfect. We will be back.

          1. I'm sorry to hear of a bad experience at The Black Pearl. I was the previous poster who commented that the prices were reasonable for the quality of the food (and service). I visited on a weekday evening, pretty late. We were one of two tables, and the service was impeccable, as it should have been. I won't go into the food again, but it was phenomenal -- there's just no comparison to the quaint, quirky-upscale environ of this place in the area.

            There's no excuse for a restaurant to gear up for a big holiday only to create subpar experiences, but it does happen.

            I'd keep them on your list for 2007, even if not on the special holiday you've previously chosen.