Boulder >Food & Dining > Dolan's Restaurant
2319 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO | Directions 8030240.014652 -105.264050
Neighborhoods: Central Boulder, Goss - Grove
Try Dolan's chef's specials – We had a wonderful seafood meal, both small plates and entres. Food is artfully presented with creative combinations such as seared scallops over a done-just-right risotto cake infused with a fragrant sauce. We tried about 4 of the chef's creations and all were awesome. Service was friendly. We liked the casual yet classy atmosphere.
Not worth it – A family friend took us to Dolan's for a special night out. We were seated in a room all to ourselves (there were 13 people). The menu consisted of a three course meal, where you could choose a dish from each course. I ordered a spinach salad, crab cakes with couscous and veggies, and strawberry sorbet for dessert. I thought the salad was average. The crab cakes had a little spicyness to them, but the temperature was just warm. The couscous was somewhat greasy and very salty. For the veggies all I received were four slivers of squash that were also very greasy and salty. The strawberry sorbet was excellent; it was creamy and came with a shortbread cookie. Service was excellent, and the restrooms were clean. Swing music was played in the background. I don't know how much the meal cost, but I would guess that it was way too expensive for the amount of food I received. Each course of the meal took about an hour, which is way too long when you are hungry. I would not go back to Dolan's.
Poor food and the worst service in town – I've given Dolan's many chances over the past year. Each time I've been, the food has been undercooked and overpriced. They do have a few decently-priced drinks during happy hour, but only a few. The most annoying thing about going to Dolan's is their inability to handle multiple bills at one table. There is some nonsensical rule about one tab per group, and should your group spill over to multiple tables they will still give you only one bill. It makes keeping track of your own portion of the bill very confusing, and the three times we have asked for help from the wait staff we got an earful about how inconvenient it is that we would like to split our tab fairly. The last time my friends and I went to the restaurant, we each got charged twice on our credit cards for the amounts we owed. The waitress had a poor attitude and acted very hateful towards us about it to boot.
The food is blah, the wait staff are rude, and the billing system is a ridiculous hassle.
There are too many good restaurants in Boulder that have happy hours with cheaper prices, better food at anytime, happier staff, and enough mathematical ability to handle billing correctly. There's no reason to mess with Dolan's!
Can't Believe We Waited so Long – We haven't been to Dolans before and I don't know why because this was one of the best meals we have had in a long time. We started with Happy Hour in the Bar and had the steamed mussels and Ahi Tuna Quesadilla. My husband eats mussels whenever we go out and he said these were the best he has had in a long time. The tuna was fabulous. The dining room so pretty, the woodwork beautiful and it was great not to have to scream over the table to hear each other. The waiter was quick to get to us and went over all of the specials for the night without reading from a card. They all sounded so good. We ordered the Cedar Plank Salmon and the Filet. Both came out perfect. The steak was so juicy and the flavor was unbelievable. The salmon was to die for again the flavor was fabulous. We were so full we didn't dare have dessert, at least not this time. We definitely will be back!
Over priced and under cooked – Dolan's does not live up to the price. You can get a much better meal at a chain steakhouse. I ordered beef filet to be cooked medium, which was not even medium rare with average flavor. My wife had a special of halibut and crab that was overcooked for fish. If you are looking for an overpriced restaurant that offers a nice atmosphere with below average food, this is the place for you.
my favorite in Boulder – I love Dolan's! Its our favorite when we want a special dinner to celebrate an important event. The food is wonderful and the atmosphere is elegant, but inviting and comfortable. We have always had excellent service. The happy hour is a particular favorite among our family and friends - its a fun atmosphere, comfortable for all three generations if that's who's available, or just with friends. The happy hour food is delicious and a really great bargain. The wait-staff is always friendly and add to the fun environment.
Poor marketing, poor service – This "review" is an open e-mail to Michael Dolan (since his e-mail address is not posted on the restaurant's web site): Michael, you are doing your restaurant a tremendous disservice by the appalling spelling and grammatical errors in every one of your promotional e-mails. The one sent today to advertise your Easter Brunch had six errors in a single paragraph. You desperately need to hire a marketing firm or at least use spell check. Also, you don't need to end every sentence with an exclamation point. I've attached the e-mail in questions below.
Also, I agree with the other comments -- I stopped going to the restaurant because of two experiences with arrogant, inattentive waitresses. I loved your food but the service ruined the dining experience.
The following is the exact text (errors and all) of the e-mail I received today from Dolan's:
"You are invited to come to Dolan's and spend your Easter Sunday with us! We will be serving a brunch buffet from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. with our last seating being at 1:30! We welcome large and small parties alike and we are children friendly! The prices are $23.95 for adults, children 6-10 are $8.95 and little ones under five are free. The buffett will inlcude and carving station with ham and prime rib, a chilled seafood bar inlcuding King crab legs and oysters, a made-to-order omlett station, a french toast bar, plus much more! The price does not inlcude alcoholic beverages, tax, or gratuity. Reservations are needed and we are filling up fast, so give us a call and spend your holiday here! "
Wonderful meal...ruined by the restaurant's OBNOXIOUS investor – My husband and I had just arrived in Boulder after a long trip from IL to buy a second home. I had to eat at Dolan's because Dolan is my maiden name. We were promptly seated in the intimate, casually elegant dining room -- dimly lit, quiet music, nice artwork, very romantic. The wine list was good, all California wines, but that's where chef Mike Dolan hails from. The menu was fabulous...fresh fish, red meats, duck, inventive salads and a great selection of appetizers. We had PERFECT calamarie for starters, one of the best salads I've ever had, delicious creamy clam chowder with perfectly cooked potatoes and big chunks of sweet tender clams. I had scallops that were perfectly seared outside and tender and moist inside, and my husband had lamb that was outstanding. What luck! Unfortunately, the restaurant's investor was dining there with his wife and another couple, and they were loud, rude, and obnoxious beyond description. They kvetched about insuring their $20 million beachfront property somewhere, their two Bentley's that were on the showroom floor because the dealer hadn't sold the old one so they couldn't afford the downpayment on the new one, how "disgusting" it was that one of the wives was carrying a 7 year old purse from Neiman's, "collateralizing" this to pay for that, and on and on and on. They sent almost everything back to the kitchen and treated the darling, young waitress we shared like something you'd scrape off your shoe. And then they complained about how doctors are "raping the poor." Everyone in the restaurant took notice and we moved to the opposite side of the dining room. Call ahead to insure this guy won't be dining there, and you'll have a lovely, lovely dinner. Mike Dolan takes great care of every detail, but unfortunately he has to open his doors to such a creep.
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