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“Excellent establishment with some drawbacks”

J. Gilbert's Wood-Fired Steaks & Seafood
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Ranked #1 of 98 Restaurants in Glastonbury
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$60
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Steakhouse, Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic, Groups
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Main
Description: J. Gilbert's is an "upscale casual" steakhouse serving prime-aged beef cooked over a mesquite wood-fired grill. Guests enjoy various cuts of steak, fresh seafood (including award-winning crab cakes) & other house made favorites like the Maytag Blue potato chips & chocolate velvet cake. The cozy atmosphere includes fire side dining, rich wood, brick & soft lighting where you can enjoy dinner for two or host a large party. The extensive martini & wine list offers the perfect compliment to an excellent meal delivered with attentive service. J. Gilbert's is open for dinner seven days a week, beginning at 4pm. Reservations are highly recommended.
Reviewed 15 June 2018

First, Kelly is a professional. She arrived at the table with whatever we needed before we asked. The food was exactly as we ordered, drinks were refilled promptly, and used tableware was removed and replaced for each course - simply excellent service. A big five for her, and the rest of the staff. They should open a school on how to train servers and hostesses. Oh, and she avoided those irritating comments -"You got it", or "No problem", or "That's a great choice". Three cheers for Kelly!

We had reservations for 7 PM. We had to wait about 10 minutes after seven, but given the crowd, that was acceptable.
Mary and I went there upon recommendation of an acquaintance, who also recommended sharing a rack of lamb. We did.

For appetizers, Mary ordered and enjoyed an absolutely scrumptious bowl of crab bisque. I had a huge dish of tender calamari served with two tasty dips.
The lamb was beautifully presented with sauteed spinach on the side.
This is where some concerns arose - remember this is our taste - not necessarily yours. The spinach was over done. It was tasty, but I prefer it a little dryer and crispier.

Lamb has a distinct, but mild flavor. Perhaps because I had calamari with jalapeno, my taste buds were fried, but I couldn't pick up the lamb flavor at all. Mary liked hers, so maybe it was my taste buds. The lamb was cooked perfectly.

The major downside of this J. Gilbert's? NOISE. We could hardly communicate, particularly over a table of six next to us yelling at each other. But, even before they arrived, the noise level exceeded what would be expected for an establishment of this quality. They should engineer some sound mitigation.

The decor is quite nice - not opulent - but suitable for the menu.

The lamb was $39, the calamari was $12, and the bisque $9.50.

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1  Thank jrubicon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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26 - 30 of 615 reviews

Reviewed 11 June 2018

The food at J. Gilbert's in Glastonbury never fails to please nor does its wine list and big selection of interesting wines by the glass. The best place to sit is at the bar which is always packed and make sure that Sam, one of the best bartenders I've come across anywhere, is on duty. He runs a professional bar for grownups! But when he's not there, look out! Washing dishes with averted eyes before serving customers is one of the things that sets me off at this place, when there are obviously thirsty and hungry customers (like me, damn it) trying to get some attention. But the latest saga played out at the bar last night (Sunday, a night Sam doesn't work) and then backed up at the reception desk, is to allow minors to eat with their parents sitting at the bar--very much against the law in CT. Several of us (we didn't know each other) discussed this (most grown-ups do not like to share a bar with children; many go to a bar to get away from their kids or those belonging to other people!), and the only man among the 5 strangers addressed the bartender with the question. His response was totally made up stuff, obviously to take the heat off of himself: he said it's totally up to the discretion of the bartender (tell that to the liquor licensing people who'll slap a restaurant with a $1000 fine if any minor under 21 is found sitting, at a bar in CT). That was his answer, as family number 1 with a minor several seats away from us was paying their tab and his tip (generous one from his reaction). When family number 2 came in with 2 minors a few minutes later, he welcomed them heartily, gave us a side-ways glance, and we all paid up and left. On my way out I complained at reception, and the response was: J. Gilbert's is a family restaurant, so we welcome families with children in our bar. They need to stop this silly business of playing with the truth...we get enough of that from the White House on a daily basis, and we don't want it in our bars, too! J. Gilbert's minus the bull and the much-too-young bar companions is a very nice place to have a drink and a meal....and those who like it want it to continue to be, and to thrive. Read the law, J. Gilbert's and follow the rules. Give your bar back to the grownups!

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Thank ladyjaat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2018

My wife always reminds me that you get what you pay for and while J Gilbert's is no bargain the food is spectacular. From the warm sourdough bread to her massive Ahi Tuna, my crab cakes it just doesn't get any better. We've eaten at many of the best Manhattan restaurants and J Gilbert's stands above most of them. Every year I get my birthday discount and on Monday a half priced bottle of wine. Just the best!

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Thank DWOtruth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2018

Recently my wife and I celebrated our 61st wedding anniversary hosting a party for our family. It was disappointing. Service was uneven. Slow at the start, inattentive. Dinners were a disaster. My wife had to send her steak back twice to get it right. It was served virtually raw at the start (she wanted med. rare). My daughter-in-law had to send hers back once - served almost raw at first. Our daughter's meal was cold at service. My baked potato was so cold it did not melt the butter it was served with. The asparagus was mushy. Service was slow. Gilbert's is expensive but this was outrageously bad for an expensive restaurant. We all walked away feeling overcharged and poorly treated.

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2  Thank justbill2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2018

I do not have a bad thing to say about J Gilbert's. I have been here numerous times with small and large groups and have always had an outstanding experience. The food is consistently delicious and the service is always extraordinary. Whether you come here for happy hour or dinner, you will not be disappointed.

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Thank kleighdrum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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