We've gone to Rovers for both brunch and dinner and in both cases were blown away. Without a doubt the best brunch in Seattle, handily beating out Tilth, which was our previous favorite.
For dinner, we had a fantastic meal, where everything was perfectly cooked, including the best lamb I have ever had. Across the board, ingredient quality was exceptional and everything was perfectly cooked. They also went above and beyond on the wine service, being generous both on the amount and the quality of the wine poured.
Pros: Amazing food and wine
Brilliant, brilliant food! 'Nuff said. Ambiance/service == a 3 star Michelin restaurant without the stuffiness. Definitely my new favorite restaurant in Seattle. The best part was talking to the chef in the hat at the end of our meal. He was so funny and cool!
Rover's is an amazing restaurant. We visited on a weekday night. The tasting menus are expensive, but everything is available a la carte, so if you don't want to splurge, you don't have to. This restaurant IS expensive, but you have to expect that from a fine dining joint. White table cloths, polished/super sophisticated service, orchestrated dining... that all comes with a price! The plates are gorgeous, delicious, and leave you wanting more, and then voila! the next course arrives!!! There isn't any other restaurant in Seattle that serves food at this caliber. Appetizer, entree and dessert, isn't really how Rover's works, but it was a welcome change! This place is for people who know how to dine and have a sense of adventure!
Pros: Local food, great wine list, unpretentious staff
We recently dined at Rovers. First, we would like to comment that the food was excellent. However, it was either lukewarm or cold when brought to the table.
We were VERY disappointed by our dining experience. Rovers is a very expensive restaurant. We ordered the most extensive tasting menu with wine pairings. When spending over $500 for two on dinner, we would like to savor our meal. Our experience was absolutely the opposite. Eager to get us in and out - we went through approximately 6-8 courses (cannot remember exact number) in 1.5 hours. At one point, my husband held his fork in his hand so that the current course would not be whisked away. It was quite obvious that on a Saturday night, Rovers wanted to use that table. At the end of our meal, with food shoved into us and the wait staff eagerly waiting for us to leave - we did so.
We are two professionals who enjoy dining out. However, NEVER again will we give Rovers our business. If they want to treat patrons that they are unfamiliar with like a McDonalds drive through - then fine, but not for us.
Pros: Excellent food
Cons: Rushed Service; Cold Food
The food first of all: nonpareil. A real symphony of tastes, every dish with several: sweet, tart, salty, savoury, fruity. Like giving different combinations of instruments in the orchestra little movements of their own. (Do I wax rhapsodic?) Scallops with soy beans in a soy dressing. Caviar and lobster on a shredded cucumber salad with a champagne dressing. Coho salmon on caramelized turnips with bacon -- extraordinary bacon. Foie gras floating in a sea of savoury goose fat (the gras in foie gras) with fruit coulis that set it off wonderfully. A whole panoply of exquisite tastes, some delicate, some bold. The green apple sorbet was superb and captured the taste of green apple perfectly, although I wouldn't say that it was the best thing on the menu by any means. Excellent presentation for every dish. We were there promptly at 8:15; they seated us promptly at 8:15. Very attentive staff, clearing one course and serving the next efficiently. Very pleasant dining room. Clearly very expensive, but in my estimation worth it. The chef came by every table to talk very personably with everyone. Great service although with one faux pas in our case: When ordering our meals, I requested the cheese plate instead of the Symphony de desserts. When the time came, I got the Symphony -- but to their credit, they had wished us a happy anniversary in chocolate lettering on the plate.
Other reviewers have off-handedly put forward their qualifications as reviewers, so I suppose I should lay out my bona fides as well: I've eaten at the Herbfarm a couple of times, at Chez Panisse, at Spago in Hollywood, at Cal Pep in Barcelona, at La Mansion and the San Angel Inn in Mexico City, at Hacienda Xcanatun in Merida, Mexico, at La Risacca in Milan, at George in Toronto. I lived and ate in LA, San Jose, Boston, in Germany, Spain (in Salamanca, the pisto manchego at the Viuda del Fraile and the lechon at El
Candil were great) and England (forget it).
OK--it wasn't bad, everything was...good. Unfortunately, I had been led to believe it would be great. You know you're in trouble when everyone in the party agrees the most memorable course of the evening was the hibiscus sorbet palate cleanser! We had the same experience as the reviewer who complained that espresso arrived long after dessert was over. Considering the price, the food was unexceptional, and the service was lacking both the flawless timing and the subtle sense of warmth and welcome that is the mark of a real professional. You would be far better off just down the street at either Harvest Vine or Crush, both of which serve superior food, have great wine lists, friendly and knowledgable staff, and ask a more reasonable price, or try one of the other fine French restaurants elsewhere in the city. I will give Rover's another chance based on their reputation, but I am in no hurry to do so.
Pros: Lovely presentation, great wine list
Cons: just not worth the price, flawed service
Lived in France for 3+ years. Ate good/great most of the time.
When comapny (in Texas) said "go out and have dinner on us, no limits", we selected and were looking forward to a long evening in Rover's hands, with true French dishes (rich food, no regard to anything than your mental wellbeing) and great meats.
Unfortunately, this place failed grossly to live up to its reputation. We had an "OK" dinner for two, nothing spectacular, apart from the price. North of $400!
Well, the most inspring we got was an asperagus soup,and the inspiration was in the written message (nice/great presentation) on top of the soup, not its taste.
I am always a big fan of lamb when it is avaialable. Few meats can provide such aroma when cooked correctly. This time, it was a r-ck of lamb that was very dry. Wife had some chicken concotion.
Dessert was a few (home made) ice cream boules. Same here, great presentation, but neither flavor or size was anything to beg for. You can actually do better running down to your local Freddies and buying the stuff.
Wine: French OK
After this we ended with coffee/tea. I am a big fan of espresso (un petit noir) and can have a few after a dinner . But I REALLY like to have it TOGETHER WITH my dessert, not a long time/wait afterwards.
At these price levels you really expect PERFECT attention to details and great food. We did not get it. Unlikely to come back again and give Rover's a second chance (can't affort it now).
Other places in the same league, but better is the Herbfarm (very $$$ but worth it) or in my opinion even better yet, due to its more acceptable price and far cosier setting; Cafe Juanita (can be hard to find but that is one of its treats). Both of these places are on the Eastside.
All in all, I am sad to have to give Thierry & Co. such a poor rating, but I really had far better food at many of the small local village restaurants in France - better setting, more memories, and prices that were only 5% (five) of Rover's.
Pros: Great setting. Love old houses
Cons: Food and staff's attention (are they maybe too snobby?)
My wife and I went to Rover's for New Year's 2006 and quickly discovered that this was our favorite restaurant. We have been there 3 more times since and every time we are more amazed at the excellent, excellent food jampacked with flavor. But that is just the beginning, the service is second to none, the owner is extremely friendly and they will always make you feel welcome and important. In a city were there is so much tough competition, Rover's takes the top spot.
Pros: Service, Food
I loved my visit to Rovers with my husband for our 2nd anniversary. We quite forgot to talk about anything other than food after our first course and each course was almost 'beyond food'. Talk about a sensory experience - I love to cook, but nothing, ever, in 15 years of daily cooking has come in the remote vicinity of the flavors and texture of the Rovers menu. We walked home in silence - I think we just said wow over and over. Expensive - yes, Formal - very, a 'special event' - indeed... but the best food I've ever - bar non- tasted - DEFINATELY.
Only complaint would be that the dining room is a bit bland. The flowers are lovely, but for a French resturant, it felt 'cold' rather than sophisticated. Would benefit from different lighting.
The food was tasty and the staff nice, but for the total price of over $400 they should at least attempt to come close to the Herbarm's 5 hours of 7 courses with perfectly paired wines...
Rovers will only give you a fleeting memory of a decent meal, but the Herbfarm will AMAZE.
Pros: Conveniently located
Cons: waste of an evening for so-so service, food and an unbelievably high bill.
A tasting menu that provided a variety of local produce and catch, expertly prepared, and beautifully presented. An attentive wait staff and a chief/owner that took the time to circulate to each table and exchange pleasanties with his guests. An absolutlely pleasurable and relaxing dining experience.
I've been to this restaurant at least 15 times for the past 5 years, and everytime I left the restaurant I have a big smile on my face. Yes, I'm very satisfied. The food is always superb, no matter what kind of dish he serves. Chef Thierry Rautureau is definitely the best chef I've ever known. I've been to so many fine french restaurant around the US (SF, L.A, N.Y, Chicago) but so far this is my top favorite coz the food is always consistently superb.
Now I don't live in Seattle anymore but gosh I miss the food that's why I'm writing this review.
Pros: Top quality food, location, friendly staffs
Cons: Far from my home
If this seems condescending, I apologise but, as a chef for over 30 years, I will categorically state that Rover's is so much in a class by itself that all the restaurants listed ahead of it should feel ashamed of themselves. I've had the pleasure of working in Terry Rautreau's kitchen very briefly and he operates on such a high plane of accomplishment that some people simply don't get what they're eating. I hope it's no surprise that Seattle is NOT, by anyone outside Seattle, considered one of the top restaurant towns in the country. Not even in the top ten. And there is a TON of mediocre food that gets fawned over here that wouldn't cut it elsewhere. Terry's food is so casually expert and replete that it doesn't arrive at the table with any kind of pomp and hot air. It just shows up, unassumingly perfect, and those who have eaten widely and well will recognize immediately that they're in the presence of The Real Thing. The main thing that Rover's suffers from is the same thing that afflicts The Herbfarm, Canlis, Januik Winery, Macrina Bakery, and every other place that's been consistently at the top of its game for over a decade: they're not the Flavor of The Month. On an off day - which rarely happens to somebody who makes food like Mozart made music - Rover's is still the class of this entire region. Period.
Pros: World-class food, expert service, GREAT wine list
My wife celebrated my birthday at Rover's. Despite our expectations, the foods were just good and the service was also just OK. Servers tried to behave humble to the customers, but I did not feel their heart. Similarly, we did not feel passion or committment to the food quality. Champagne was not cold enough, service was slow, and we had to wait for more than 30 min. outside of the restaurant for a taxi cab in the rain. A bit miserable birthday dinner, although my wife paid more than $400.
Pros: Good ambience
Cons: Price, Foods, Service
its been years, but the place stillhaunts me as the best meal i have ever had in spite of the waiter who was trying his damndest to be pretentious but collapsed into absudity after he dropped his platter. why bother? youre waiting tables, get over it and get on with it.
gorgeous presentation, flawless execution of perfect cuisine. obviously expensive, but if you have to ask...
Pros: food, food, food
Amazingly fresh, great for special requests. They are perfect for birthdays & anniversaries. Our waiter was so sweet & attentive & made my boyfriend's birthday special
Pros: Fresh Food, Attentive Staff, Amazing Wine List
A few months ago we had a party of 4 and had a nice table towards the back of the room. We liked the ambiance and the food was very good. What through us off was towards the end of our dining. We were asked to move to another table in the corner so that another 4-person party could take our table. Made no sense. We would've made a fuss about it, but were so surprised at this we just paid our bill and left. Maybe this was a one-time oddity, but it was enough for us to never go back.
Pros: tasty, intimate
Cons: , table shuffing
Due to the mixed reviews, I came in not knowing what to expect. My date and I ordered the $125 9-course meal and were, overall, quite disappointed with the food and service. The food is good, but certainly far below the quality of what one would expect of any major city's "best french restaurant." Some dishes were great, but they not outweigh the shortcomings of the others. Specifically, the lobster meat they had in one dish was the worst I've had in any fine dining establishment. The greatest sin of the night however was the service. Although we had reservations, it took 20 minutes for us to get a seat. The same thing happened to the couple who came in shortly after. Second, there wasn't enough staff on the floor, and their training was suspect. Consequently, the service was fell far short of expectations.
Pros: Some dishes
Cons: , Mixed-quality food, Wait time for seats
Its about time Seattle had a decent dining experience. The food and ambiance is quite excellent. I appreciate being served by a staff without tattos on their faces and jewlery through the nose. No screaming ill manered children to ruin your evening. Leave your dockers and dress-for- less outfits at home. A fist class place for first class people!
But just not sure it's worth it. 4 people, $700 (with 2 bottles wine & tip). We had a great time and the service was outstanding - it's just, well, too much!
Cascadia is a far more reasonable and balanced experience. The equivalent dinner would be more along the lines of $4-500. Still great food, great service, excellent atmosphere - but not so completely over the top.
If you want to do something like this just once the HerbFarm is a bigger 'experience'. Where you leave thinking, "I could see how we got to ~$200 person." I'm still wondering about Rover's.
Pros: Service, Atmosphere, Food Presentation
Cons: Expensive, Expensive, Expensive
Absurdly overpriced. At $90 for a five course fixed menu dinner our expectations were understandably high -- but we were sadly disappointed in the qualtiy, presentation, and originality of the food. For example the Bainbridge lamb was described as lamb sausage and loin but seemed to contain selected pieces of lower quality lamb (maybe shank meat) all in a very heavy, dominant gravy with a splash of mashed potatoes on the side. The lukewarm coffee served with the so, so dessert left us very unfulfilled.
Pros: Good ambience
Cons: Over priced, Unexciting menu, overly prompt servers
First time was in August 2002. Second time was the early seating on New Years Eve 2002. Service and ambience both times was superb. Everything about the 5 course menu we sampled the first time was done to perfection. By comparison, the tasting menu we sampled the second time wasn't up to the standards set by our first visit. Don't know which of the two experiences is more typical.
One of the best that I have eaten in, The French Laundry is the only other that comes to mind. The food was wonderful and although the cheese platter (extra) made for far too much to eat, well, it isn't for everyday anyhow. A true Luxury!
If only the bread had been warm.
Pros: innovative, delicious, worth the price
Cons: cold bread, cold bread, cold bread
Maybe the kitchen staff had an off day on our visit. But we were expecting French Laundry/Gary Danko calibre food. We were greatly dissappointed. We had the 8-course sampler and were expecting to be dazzled with each plate. Food presentation was top notch, but the taste was just very good, not great. The only high point was the fine 1999 McCrea Syrah, but that is not enough to warrant a return to this restaurant. Save your money and go elsewhere.
Pros: food presentation
Cons: expensive, poor value
I haven't quite decided if Rovers surpasses the Herbfarm, but either way Rovers is an unforgettable experience. I highly reccommend the 8 course tasting menu, and as long as you come hungry go for the cheese plate as well. It's expensive, but well worth it if you're looking for an extrodinary dining experience. If you come at the right time you might even get a personal visit from execuitive chef Thierry Rautureau.
Rover's is truely a dining experience. An elegent and classy restaurant, in a comfortable yet dignified atmosphere. Their food represents the best of classical french cuisine, and some might consider it expensive, is definately well worth it.
Pros: Romantic, Elegant, French
My husband and I ate here for an anniversary a couple of years back and found it to be the best dining experience we have ever had. The staff was friendly and attentive and bent over backwards to meet our needs (removing offensive ingredients, substituting a completely different main course, and writing "Happy Anniversary!" in chocolate sauce on our plates!). The chef is friendly and the food is exquisite . . . fresh and flavorful. You won't regret eating here. It's expensive, yes, but worth it.