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“Yearly family visit... just ok this time ”

Van Rensselaer's Restaurant
Ranked #2 of 49 Restaurants in Wellfleet
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, Groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Description: Incredibly fresh seafood, creative fare, great salad bar, homemade desserts, an early bird menu served nightly 4 PM to 5:30 PM. Reservations accepted, Breakfast daily 8 AM to Noon featuring a variety of Benedicts, cranberry walnut pancakes, fresh fruits and great omelets.
Reviewed 28 June 2018 via mobile

For qualification, I’ve given two 5-Star reviews previously on Trip Advisor and added Van Rensselaer’s to HappyCow.net (vegetarian/vegan site). I take make my extended familiar to Van Rensselaer’s every summer (8-12 people).

A few things were disappointing this visit. I ordered a decent bottle of French wine... a different bottle was brought out than each was listed on the wine list. While this may have been an honest mistake, I shouldn’t be the one to realize that the bottle is a different Chateau/wine than what is on the wine list... this should be pointed out by the server, and the server should ask if the substitution is acceptable. Also, it took quite awhile for the bottle to be brought out, and we were sitting around for an extended period waiting for our drinks.

Second, I ordered the fresh catch “Large” portion. ($24 for “Small” portion, $32 for “Large”). Another person at the table ordered the “Small” portion of the same fish (striped bass). They both came out, and were nearly identical in size. I felt screwed for the extra $8. While $8 may not seem like much, on a $220+ tab, it adds up. I inquired with the server, and got a pseudo-snarky response.

Third, while some of us were still eating our meals, the server started cleaning away plates. It felt like we were being rushed out, and is certainly bad etiquette to clear away some plates while others are still eating (see Emily Post’s writings).

Food was good and well cooked. Owners were friendly and welcoming, as always. Only giving 3 out of 5 stars this time as my expectations for Van Rensselaer’s are very high as I’ve had exceptional experiences multiple times in the past, and I consider Van Rensselaer’s one of the higher-end restaurants in the Outer Cape. I hope that this visit was just a fluke and next year’s visit meets/exceeds my expectations. #don’tbecomecomplacent #keepupyourstandards

2  Thank andrew r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dianeelizabeth2015, Manager at Van Rensselaer's Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2018

Andrew - We are sorry that your dining experience with us was not up to par with previous visits. We are working with all 2018 staff on proper service and consistency. We try to check every party to make certain they are pleased with our food and service. We regret that we missed the opportunity to address problems at your table. We look forward to your next visit and hope to gain back your confidence in our establishment.

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29 - 33 of 542 reviews

Reviewed 25 June 2018 via mobile

One of our best meals on The Cape! I highly recommend the Shrimp Scampi. Huge shrimp! The salad bar was yummy!

Thank Kelly B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dianeelizabeth2015, Manager at Van Rensselaer's Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2018

Kelly - Thank you for dining with us - we are so pleased that you enjoyed your shrimp scampi, as well as our salad bar. We look forward to your next visit !

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Reviewed 24 June 2018

We really enjoyed our dinner here. The waitstaff and management are very friendly and prompt. Our dinners were very tasty and reasonably sized, and the salad bar was very nice--lots of options and kept very fresh.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jenny_in_Palo_Alto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dianeelizabeth2015, Manager at Van Rensselaer's Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 25 June 2018

We are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed dining with us. Thank you for your nice comments on our staff, our food and our salad bar. We truly appreciate your reflections on your experience at our establishment.

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Reviewed 23 June 2018 via mobile

Classier than most restaurants on the Cape this establishment truly delivers. The famous Wellfleet oysters were fresh, cold and meaty. The NE clam chowder has a delicate clam flavor with just the right amount of potato and cream. The extensive salad bar was fresh with a large selection of everything including a wonderful honey sesame dressing. I had the seafood linguini - again, with a delicate fresh flavor. I was pleased to order a lot since they offer bistro size servings for many of their menu items. Wonderful desserts too and try the most perfect Mai Tai. Pair a great dinner with superb service and you have a perfect evening on the Cape. Thank you Peter and Diane!

Thank Chiquis926
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dianeelizabeth2015, Manager at Van Rensselaer's Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 25 June 2018

We are absolutely delighted that you enjoy the many tastes of the sea that our menu offers, as well as our signature Honey Sesame salad dressing and the South Hollow Rum, from Truro, used in our Mai Tai. We feel fortunate to be able to offer our guests wonderful fresh seafood choices and we appreciate the business you bring our way more than words can say.

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Reviewed 23 June 2018 via mobile

Consistently good food, friendly service, reasonable price. Our go to when we visit the outer Cape. Breakfast is okay too!

Thank Luvtobikeacadia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dianeelizabeth2015, Manager at Van Rensselaer's Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2018

We LOVE being your "go-to" place on the Outer Cape - thank you for coming back time and time again - we so appreciate your patronage !!!

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