1296 Clifton Inn Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22911Neighborhood:
InternationalPrice: $50 and over
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.thecliftoninn.com/
- Phone: (434) 971-1800
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Nightly: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: International, Contemporary American
- Executive Chef: Tucker Yoder
- Dress Code: Business Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Catering: Looking to make your next big day or night truly unforgettable? Let our talented and experienced catering team help make the difference. Whether you are looking for us to take the reins on your entire off-site event or simply deliver the fruits of our labors to you wherever you are, we are more than happy to bring you the very best we have to offer, each and every time out.
- Private Party Facilities: At Clifton, your most important days are our most important days too. All of us pride ourselves on making every occasion here a special one, and we've got an array of unique venues and experiences to do just that. You can gather 8-10 of your nearest and dearest and share our popular Chef's Table offering, providing you with a front-row seat to our nightly culinary cabaret. Our acclaimed wine cellar allows you to expand your group slightly as it accommodates up to 20 people in an elegant, gorgeously appointed setting that highlights the property's extensive wine list and serves up plenty of atmosphere along with Clifton's customary culinary brilliance. As your numbers go up, so do our possibilities, from our outstanding restaurant to a large tent in the shadows of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. When it comes to wedding days, few places can deliver dreams quite like Clifton can. We offer a classic destination wedding retreat, complete with 100 secluded acres.
- Private Party Contact: Melissa Combs 4349711800
A word from Clifton Inn
At Clifton, it's all about delicious discovery. Our culinary team offers guests the chance to taste the world with daily departures designed to thrill the palette and capture the imagination. The elegant atmosphere and attentive service at Clifton is perfect for transforming any occasion into a special one. Executive Chef Tucker Yoder regularly assembles tantalizing tasting menus that turn a meal at Clifton into a fine food lover’s dream. Clifton diners can also have front row seats for the culinary action at the Chef’s Table. Designed for groups of 6 to 10 people, the Chef’s Table puts you literally front and center, allowing you to watch the culinary team make their magic.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
- Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Clifton Inn - Best Restaurants in Charlottesville ›
Clifton Inn reviews from OpenTable diners
29 reviews since August 1, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelQuiet
special occasion (23)romantic (22)fit for foodies (20)scenic view (13)notable wine list (10)great for outdoor dining (7)neighborhood gem (3)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- Best meal in C'villewannabefoodiesDined on 11/4/2014My husband and I dined at the Clifton Inn on a Tuesday night. We each chose 4 courses from the tasting-style menu - each sized just right so that we could get a good sample of the menu without feeling stuffed at the end. As each dish was presented, the sever gave a brief description of the ingredients which was a nice touch. Each dish had a perfect balance of flavors and was thoughtfully seasonal. The only negative was that my scallops were billed as seared, but were not (though otherwise cooked perfectly). Everything was wonderful, and the beet mousse dessert was quite possibly the best dessert I've had in my life! We'll be moving from C'ville soon and hate that we didn't try The Clifton Inn sooner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Disappointed FoodieTuckInDined on 10/25/2014We are foodies and were a bit disappointed. The food temperature was off on several of the dishes at our table. Squash soup lukewarm, meats not hot, scallops and monkfish barely warm. It was an early reservation and not busy yet-uncertain why this happened-4 people at our table all had temperature issues. Also...we are very accustomed to tasting menus all over the world. The portion size for a 4 plate meal was paltry--more the size of a 6 course elsewhere. Desserts all marginal at best. We left hungry. A bit north of "meh" but definitely south of "wow". The inn is lovely and an historic setting, very pretty to look out on the grounds. I'd not put this in my top 5 in Cville...very sadly.Special Features:
- Almost 5 starDyann301VIPDined on 10/21/2014Sticky Toffee pudding was outstanding! I would say most of the food was outstanding and creatively prepared but the scallops were too small of a portion. Decor could use an uplift as well.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- dcsnobsdcsnobDined on 10/9/2014Precious culinary compositions at exceptionally high prices. Not a memorable meal. Tiny bar with too many people spilling into the patio dining space.Special Features:
- Service ReviewdrtdDined on 10/8/2014It was upsetting to know that I was served fish eggs despite mentioning that the entire table was vegetarian. Fish eggs were not mentioned anywhere on the description and that dish made the entire experience unpleasant. I was also surprised to see that the mistake was not acknowledged and no apology/compensation was offered except for replacing the dish with the one without eggs on it.Special Features:
- Very disappointingCharlottesvilleFoodiesDined on 10/4/2014We had been saving a gift card someone gave us for a very special evening, since this is our go-to for special events. Choosing to use it for our anniversary, we've never been so angry leaving a place. The food was excellent but at this price-point, you better have your game on when it comes to service. The waitress actually blew the cork off the bubbly hitting the ceiling and then the floor, proceeded to forget our tableware for all 5 courses; getting her attention while she set tables for the following nite was difficult & generally speaking, the staff decided it was a good time to hang out in the bar chatting when our table was right across from the bar area. Won't be going back. Tucker is talented but he needs to clean house up front.
- FantasticHalohopDined on 9/16/2014We eat here at least once a year, and would do so more if it were not for the 2.5 hour drive from our home. The food is absolutely exquisite and the staff very attentive. We eat at some of the world's finest restaurants and the Clifton Inn is one of our top 5!Special Features:
- Wonderful restaurantCarmelValleyDiningDined on 9/11/2014We stayed at The Clifton Inn and greatly enjoyed our dinner at its restaurant. Food was excellent, as was the service. It was a bit creepy that we were the only ones in the dining room (7:30 pm on a Thursday night). It is a special place and worth a visit for dining....but not staying overnight.Special Features:
- Memorable dinnerEjmquiltsDined on 9/9/2014We went to the Clifton Inn on my birthday, and my partner and I each had the four course dinner. We each had four different courses so that we could both sample each one. The dishes are too complex to name specifically, but our favorities were the seared tuna dish, smoked oyster dish, duck leg dish, and cheese plate. Our least favorite was the black garlic ramen, we thought it was bland. The service was probably the best I have had anywhere. I highly recommend for a special dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Special DinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 9/8/2014My husband and I dined here on the first night of our honeymoon. We did the chefs tasting menu which ended up being 16-17 courses! It was so much fun. The whole experience took about 3 hours. The service was wonderful and the whole night was very special. We hope to return someday!Special Features:
- fabulous tasting menudancindvmDined on 8/5/2014We went to Clifton Inn for our 25th wedding anniversary and weren't disappointed. The service was impeccable. We got the chef's seasonal tasting menu, as on Mondays and Tuesdays it was half price. It did not disappoint. 3 hours later we were full (but not overly full) and happy. This is a splurge restaurant, but was well worth it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 307 reviews are from the Clifton Inn reviews archive.
- Food, Service, and Viewpackers1VIPDined on 7/18/2014Visiting the area I found this gem on Open Table. The service was impeccable, friendly, and was clearly aimed to both please and respect one's space. It was neither hurried nor hovering. The food was spectacular and actually enable one to enjoy a four-course dinner without being too full half way through. The wine list was a pleasant surprise for as well. Finally, from sitting outside and seeing the spectacular scenery, I am almost tempted to return this Fall, before it gets too cold, to see the view in Autumn splendor.Special Features:
- Wonderful Dinner!Jennie35Dined on 7/8/2014My husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary here this week. Our table looked out onto a beautiful landscape. The atmosphere is romantic. The service is stellar. We had numerous people attending to us and everyone was friendly, but competent and professional. The food was great. My favorite course was probably the scallops. The fresh crab and pasta was also very good. The rib eye was very good, but either I was getting full, or it was not quite as good as the rest. We could have sat elsewhere, but my only complaint was that the rod iron chairs were very uncomfortable so I couldn't relax as well as I would have wanted. We will return!Special Features:
- KeswickdinerDined on 7/3/2014We recently dined at Clifton after 8 months following disappointment in the direction of the menu. We aren't likely to return. We had been fans of Chef Yoder and raved about his inventive cuisine, interesting use of ingredients, and cutting-edge techniques. However, the chef's culinary direction has left us craving the dishes earlier in his Clifton stint. We appreciate culinary risk taking, but unfortunately the food no longer excites the palette. In some cases it's a lack of seasoning and, in others, a promising concept that falls flat due to an underdeveloped flavor profile. Nothing is spectacularly bad, it simply underwhelms. And use of cutting-edge ingredients (like brown-butter powder) are not enough to elevate the dishes.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Five Stars, will be backOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/30/2014Not only was the food amazing, but also the setting and service were better than any place I have been in Charlottesville. I came on a bright and clear night and enjoyed the view of the woods surrounding the property and the gorgeous gardens. My meal was served efficiently, but not so fast that I felt rushed. My favorite of the four courses was actually the rib-eye, which was incredible. The beets were fresh and added great flavor and color to the plate. My date ordered the toffee pudding, which was recommended as a Clifton Inn specialty. It was delicious! We’ll definitely be back…only next time we’ll also stay the night!Special Features:
- AmazingAhahDined on 6/25/2014Beautiful garden, woods, sunset views! Superb flavors,creative ,fresh local menu. Service impeccable but warm and friendly. Sense of welcoming casual elegance.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A let-downfoodieVIPDined on 5/31/2014My business colleagues had pointed me in the direction of Clifton Inn, so I was looking forward to an outstanding dining experience. Unfortunately there were weddings going on concurrently and the kitchen seemed very overwhelmed. I was served a piece of "not rib-eye" that was freezing cold. Other courses were fine but not stellar. The service - on the other hand - was wonderful.Special Features:
- Birthday CelebrationJDRIDined on 5/27/2014If you go to this restaurant be sure to order the scallops....I think that the expression is that "they were to die for"! The service was exceptional. Servings were small but satisfying, and beautifully presented. Best of all the noise level was low and the temperature was comfortable.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Special Occasion LocationDCWahooVIPDined on 5/18/2014A prix-fixe menu was in place for UVA graduation, and we had a range of good choices for each of three courses. We were also pleased with the staff recommendations for our wine. Service was prompt, courteous, and quietly efficient. I'm sure we will visit again.Special Features:
- Most Memorable MealMaggieDined on 5/15/2014Fresh, local (including exquisite vegetables from the Inn's own garden) ingredients prepared in truly inventive and surprising ways. Tasting menu changes every day. Each plate presented is a visual work of art. The staff are delightful. Truly one of the most delicious and truly memorable meals ever.Special Features:
- Fine dining excellence!MermaydMomDined on 4/27/2014We celebrated our wedding anniversary with a stay at the inn along with a 10 course tasting menu. Superb is all I have to say. From the moment we were greeted, we enjoyed every moment to the end. We stayed in the carriage room which was quiet and off the main house. Our 10 course tasting menu was fantastic. The food was adjusted to our taste and the use of seasonal herbs, meats & vegetables were presented timely & beautiful. Esp. Enjoyed the ramps! Our servers were excellent as well. Due to a small wedding, we were seated in a cozy small dining area instead of the porch, but that gave us a more intimate dining experience. Cannot wait to come back to this historic inn in the future.Special Features:
- 15th Wedding AnniversaryBryanDined on 4/24/2014I took my wife Holly, to Barboursville early in the day to do a wine tasting and give her some diamond earrings by the ruins with a bottle of Brut. We had a pleasant afternoon and winded our way to the Clifton Inn for dinner. The staff was polite, friendly, courteous, knowledgeable and professional. They were very accommodating and easy going. Martin was our server but we were waited on by at least 5 others, clearing plates, bringing courses, etc... All very friendly. We had the Chefs 10 course tasting which was excellent in every way. We brought our own wine so I cannot comment on the wine but the selection was very broad. Look online for the menu. It was all delicious.Special Features:
- Nice eveningLaTrexDined on 4/22/2014Clifton Inn is a special place. The chef's tasting made for a special evening to celebrate our friend's birthday. Kind of fun to eat so mindfully and pay attention to each bite. Was each bite amazing? Some were great; some were okay; one (the asparagus soup) was strangely not very good. The wait staff was wonderful and delivery of each set of plates was well choreographed. Great place for a special dining experience but not sure the cost was reflected in the food--it definitely was in the service though.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lovely ambienceASL2cDined on 4/20/2014Old country inn formerly owned by Martha Jefferson--lovely old rooms, great ambience, and food is usually delicious, local, well done. We were one of last Easter Brunch sittings so was not perfect but was certainly very good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What a surprise!!HungrybobVIPDined on 3/30/2014We booked a table not expecting much because this is such a quiet rural area. The Clifton was a real surprise. Outstanding, creative cuisine artfully presented and meticulously served.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A notable night.OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/30/2014We chose the Clifton Inn because it was our 40th anniversary and we wanted to share that special occasion in a special place. Our Peruvian wait person was a gem, and she added significantly to our evening. All the courses were stylish and well presented. Our plates were warm ( when it was call for), and our meal was set to the backdrop of a gorgeous sunset. We enjoyed the "Clifton Inn" experience. And, yes we would do it again! Jim WitkowerSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful service, amazingDisappointingDined on 3/30/2014Wonderful service, amazing ambiance. Did the Chef's Meal with multiple courses. Delicious.Special Features:
- Beautiful VerandahmarieVIPDined on 3/27/2014We were seated in the beautiful verandah by the fireplace. It is romantic, warm and cozy. We started with the homemade Tofu w/kale. The tofu is soft and warm with the kale being slightly heated. It is FABULOUS!! I could have eaten an entire huge bowl. My husband went with the sweet potato soup. The second course was the seared bay scallops with golden beets. Again, it was excellent. I tried the seared Rockfish with Parsnip dashi and it did not disappoint. The fish was fresh and cooked to perfection. My husband chose the dry aged rib eye med. rare and he loved it. The combinations of the food may initially seem strange but they are perfectly matched. I do not recall when I have had such a pleasant evening with such perfect food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always SatisfyingPeanut0715Dined on 3/22/2014We've been to the Clifton Inn multiple times and it never disappoints. The service is very good and attentive. The food is always inventive. I always leave feeling like I've had a delicious meal that was very satisfying.Special Features:
- Chef's tableSueP22Dined on 3/20/2014We truly enjoyed the experience of dining in the kitchen where we could watch food being prepared and talk with the chefs about their process and ingredients. It was a special treat and they treated us exceptionally well. We had wonderful, complex and beautifully prepared food. I highly recommend this if you have a smallish group and want a memorable dining experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not for everybodyPaulVIPDined on 3/12/2014Unusual food combinations don't always result in tasty food. It's all a matter of taste. This restaurant, for all it's good effort, did not suit my tastes. Most people seem to rave about the place, however.Special Features:
- Clifton InnOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 2/16/2014Thanks for a wonderful dinner to celebrate our special ocassion! The service was great and the food was even better!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- CREME DE LA CREMEARIADNEDined on 2/10/2014MY HUSBAND AND I LOVE THE CLIFTON FOR ITS AMBIENCE, SERVICE AND DELICIOUS FOOD. THE CHEF CREATES A VARIETY OF SEASONAL DISHES....AND OH WHAT CHOICES! THE STAFF IS ALWAYS WAITING TO SERVE BUT IS NEVER IN THE WAY. THIS IS MY FAMILY'S SPOT FOR CELEBRATIONS-THE BEST OF CHARLOTTESVILLE!Special Features:
- Exceptional!LovesFood123Dined on 1/16/2014The food was amazing and the staff was delightful! The whole evening was a treat.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Everything was great, we didFoodJunkyVIPDined on 12/30/2013Everything was great, we did the 10 course Chef's Tasting and everything was deliciousSpecial Features:
- Interesting and unevenhojo5200Dined on 12/27/2013While the concept of choosing from listed courses on an ad hoc basis is appealing, we found it difficult to create a combination that delivered the level of dining experience we had anticipated.Special Features:
- Clifton InnRoyaleDined on 12/25/2013Nice location in a scenic, secluded area. Romantic ambiance. Food is uninspiring and extremely small servings, not worth the price. Too many servers attending one table distracts from the dining experience.Special Features:
- Special DinnerBubbaDined on 11/28/2013We were visiting our daughter in Charlottesville and needed a place to go for Thanksgiving, as she just had a baby and cooking was not a good option. Found this place through Open Table. I would describe it as nice, polite, southern, rather expensive, and great food and service for a special occasion.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Basement / Wine Cellar DiningSouthernDinerVIPDined on 11/28/2013If they try to put you in their wine cellar, leave. This is a beautiful restaurant with special occasion food and beautiful views. We, however, did not have that experience, as we were instead directed to our table in the wine cellar / basement. This initial dining experience did not leave us planning or even considering a future Special Occasion or Anniversary visit to the Inn. We usually dine at a country club or The Four Seasons Hotel for Thanksgiving and found this experience to be less than either of those venues.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- MrctfjrDined on 11/17/2013Every morsel of food was outstanding, some items were exquisite. The dishes we had that knocked us out: the sunchoke soup, duck liver rillettes, red snapper on grits, the duck dumpling soup with miatake mushrooms, the duck leg with ginger, the sticky toffee pudding with spiced ice cream. Kudos for using local cheeses in the artisanal cheese plate, all good and one outstanding (the blue from Everona).Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.