I get restaurant-owner magazines and year after year it's clear that the most important things to diners, in order, are service, ambience, cost, reputation, and then quality of food. I'm a foodie so to me, the list should read quality of food, service, cost, ambience, and then reputation (aka ""is the place considered hip?"")\r
That said, Caldera is just killer amazing in ambience & service, but 2 of the things that are important to me, the cost and quality of the food, is where they fail pretty badly. I'm surprised the price is listed as ""$"" when it's easily ""$$-$$$"", 4 of us spent over $120 with a bottle of wine and some appetizers. Both were worth it.\r
But the main courses are just expensive and sub-par to horrid. There was nothing we ordered that we didn't agree we'd cook for ourselves at home 10x better. I had read a review here saying ""I ordered the cheese stuffed pasta (manicotti) that was reminiscent of the foil pouch meals of my Jenny Craig days. It was clearly frozen and warmed enough to take off the ice, but the middle was still cold.""\r
I made the mistake of mentioning this to the server, who told me it was her favorite dish and she'd read the same review and didn't agree. What came out was something not even as good as Jenny Craig. It was cold, more pasta than filling, flavorless, bland bland bland, esp. the sauce, which was like watered-down tomato paste from a can. I ate the damned thing and pretended to like it as not to offend. My friends ordered other dishes, and all were disappointing, esp. the beef stroganoff, with meat too tough to chew and overcooked pasta. Yuck.\r
To end on a positive note, the decor is super cool and arty and different, the staff are extremely nice, and they have an excellent selection of beer and wine, albeit again on the high side of prices. I'll go back for a drink in a second. But I'd never eat there again, none of the 4 meals were worth $10+ each.
Pros: Amazing Service and Ambience, Great Selection of Beer & Wine
Cons: Main Courses are Awful & TV Dinner-ish, prices are $$-$$$, not $.