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Clifton Inn

4.4
460 reviews
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$30 and under
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International
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Fit for Foodies

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About

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 Aris Cuadra regularly assembles tantalizing 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 2 to 8 people, the Chef’s Table puts you literally front and center, allowing you to watch the culinary team make their magic.
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
International, Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Nightly: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(434) 971-1800
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Aris Cuadra
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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.
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Private party contact
Fotini Willimas: (434) 971-1800
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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.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Route 250 West
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Parking details
No covered parking
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 460 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Quiet
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on December 31, 2017

We went for New Year’s Eve, our first visit to the Inn, because we wanted something special. They delivered. Ambiance is lovely and low key in this historic country home. Food was very good, including lobster bisque, lamb chops or rockfish, a yummy salad. Service was attentive and very cordial, though it could have used a bit more polish...the waiter took the orders in an odd way and I had to ask for a soup spoon. The only thing that made me a tad concerned was that they weren’t busier on what should be a big night out! When we left at 1030 pm, we were the last guests to leave!

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3.0Dined on December 31, 2017

Lesson learned. From now on I will call ahead for holiday menu options anywhere I go. I spoke to Clifton at least twice confirming our new year's eve reservation but no mention was made by phone or on their web site regarding a Prix Fixe menu. We drank modestly and still dropped $282 (20% gratuity factored in) for 2 people/6 total in our party. Just two entrees: a rockfish or lambchop and neither were spectacular. For this price I would expect a phenomenally prepared surf and turf, beef wellington or chateaubriand perhaps and musical accompaniment! It was a five course meal but none of the selections justified a $98 per person price tag. The bread crust was even burned in some places. The food was good, but unfortunately nothing memorable or so remarkable that we would want to try again. All six of us were first timers that had been looking forward to trying Clifton Inn for a long time so this one really stung. We apologized to our friends for not doing our homework . . .

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5.0Dined on December 24, 2017

My partner and I were staying at neighboring Keswick Hall and thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience at Clifton Inn. Beautiful decor, attentive service, and an overall wonderful atmosphere.

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5.0Dined on December 2, 2017

Wonderful dinner in a quiet but festive holiday atmosphere. Love the ambiance of Clifton Inn and food is always first rate.

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3.0Dined on November 23, 2017

We have been dining at Clifton Inn for years and experienced its various formats, menus, personnel and decor. This time three of us went for Thanksgiving. The main entree -- we all ordered the turkey option-- was fine. Not exceptional, but fine. I did not care for my appetizer, the smoked trout spread. My husband did enjoy the soup. We each had a different dessert, and were satisfied with all. Problems: No bread served until requested. (forgotten) No soup spoon, missing a butter knife, had to request water refill. In short, disappointing service. That said, they were busy, but when one pays this price, one expects more from the staff.

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4.0Dined on November 23, 2017

Excellent thanksgiving meal. Ruined by charging for coffee. After spending over $200 for dinner did they have to charge for coffee and not give the change due after bill was paid

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5.0Dined on November 23, 2017

From front of the house to the back - excellent service. Welcoming. Thoughtful, well executed holiday meal choices. Highly recommended for a special occasion. My dining partner and I both ordered Lamb chops that could not have been more perfectly prepared and presented with carrot pure' and perfectly roasted broccoli. Lovely Thanksgiving meal.

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4.0Dined on November 23, 2017

Very nice quaint old historic house turned to B&B and restaurant. Very old but turned into a beautiful setting. Building while old and historic could use a little facelift.

Food was very good but a little eclectic for some tastes. Plenty of staff waiting tables but we did experience relatively slow service. We were not in a hurry so not a problem.

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2.0Dined on November 23, 2017

We booked this for Thanksgiving. We had to give a $60 deposit up front which was fine. The meal was $72 per person for a set 3 course menu. The food was good but not great. Portions were adequate but not abundant. Service was great. Bar- charge $15 per ounce of alcohol. So, two people with 2 glasses of wine and 3 oz. of vodka- our bill was over $250 with the $60 deposit already applied. I would not eat there again.

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5.0Dined on November 18, 2017

Our evening at the Clifton Inn was amazing. Polite and attentive staff, delicious food and a quaint quiet setting. We had dinner and then had a drink at the bar area. It was a fantastic evening out!

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2.0Dined on November 4, 2017

Unfortunately we were disappointed with our dining experience. We have been to Clifton Inn more than 20 times in the last 20 years. The dining experience has changed considerably in that time period. Twenty years ago it was an event with a prix fixe menu headed by chef Craig Hartman. He left and the chef has changed multiple times and we have continued to give the restaurant a chance because of the history and ambiance. It is now Ala carte dining but this will be our last visit. The service was lacking, the waiter did not understand the wines on the wine list and they have no sommelier, waters were not refilled (they brought food and really never came back) food was ok but not for the price. We were celebrating a birthday and they were not even able to place a candle on the dessert. It was simply not the higher end experience we expected or paid for this last time.

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3.0Dined on November 1, 2017

With the new menu format, Clifton is no longer the really special dining destination it used to be.

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2.0Dined on October 26, 2017

Third stay at in...nine years ago was fantastic in all respects. Last year was markedly less impressive. This year was pathetic. Poorly trained waiter was trying hard and friendly, but overmatched. Tapas appetizer was not creative and a poor value. Entrees were very pedestrian and not quite large enough. My wife ordered decaf coffee after dinner and waiter returner five minutes later to inform us they were out of decaf coffee. This place used to be very inventive and high-end. It is a shell of its former self, in all categories. Huge disappointment.

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4.0Dined on October 20, 2017

We enjoyed our meal immensely. We ate in the dining room while a large crowd occupied the outside veranda. We were warned in advance about this group but felt our evening was not impacted much but the activity.
It is a very charming and intimate place to eat.

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5.0Dined on October 14, 2017

Having lived in Keswick for about twenty years, I can honestly say that Clifton Inn is the best restaurant in central Virginia. The atmosphere is elegant, the service impeccable, and the food is to die for. We have the halibut in season, and have never been disappointed. A bottle of Chardonnay from the Yamhill-Carlton region of Oregon is reasonable in price and unsurpassed in richness of taste and fragrance. The scenery is magnificent–perfect for a special occasion.

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4.0Dined on October 14, 2017

Nice meal, but sun in our eyes marred the first half. Too bad, servers lovely. Food was good, but also not quite up to expectations.

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5.0Dined on October 13, 2017

This is an oasis, a friendly inn restaurant with well made food that is creative but not imposing or overly celebrated. Nice bar service. Food was just perfectly done and served. Wine list is broad and with many excellent choices at each price point. We return again and again.

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5.0Dined on September 28, 2017

Clifton is absolutely one of the most charming settings one can find. Historic mansion, superb service and farm to table dining that is outstanding. My favorite for every season as the covered outdoor deck is very special. Never noisy, very relaxing. Excellent wine list.

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5.0Dined on September 17, 2017

We would go more frequently if the menu had a couple of specials. We truly enjoy the main entre selection (wonderful). But, we would truly appreciate a surprise entre special to add variety to those guests who would like to make this restaurant a more frequent destination.
Also, it would be an added feature if the small bar is set up to have a cocktail before dinner. There use to be four or five bar stools so that guests could have a drink before dinner.
We truly appreciate the new chef and the entire staff. Thank you!

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5.0Dined on September 7, 2017

When in Charlottesville always stay at the Inn and have dinner. VERY VA. IT'S THE HISTORY and the scenic views and great food brings us back each year.

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5.0Dined on September 6, 2017

Clifton has always been a top pick for dining and an absolutely beautiful setting. Service is outstanding and the Farm to Table menu is a wonderful treat.

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5.0Dined on September 2, 2017

My wife and I had a wonderful birthday meal at the Clifton Inn. Our server, Ali, was welcoming and knowledgeable. Highly recommend.

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5.0Dined on August 21, 2017

What a wonderful dinner to send off our son to school at UVA. We have been to several restaurants in Charlottesville and this one tops them all - very inventive food beautiful atmosphere and nice service in an historic site.

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4.0Dined on August 12, 2017

I booked the Clifton Inn for our anniversary dinner. We were traveling and it was recommended to us by one of the wineries in the Charlottesville, VA, area. We were warmly greeted and service was very good. Our meal was excellent. The view was lovely and we walked around the grounds after dining. It was our first time in Charlottesville and my first visit to Monticello. I was asked at least 3 times by the restaurant staff if this was a special occasion and I told them that it was our anniversary. I was curious why they asked since nothing special was done for us to celebrate this event.

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4.0Dined on August 5, 2017

Our recent visit included six people for dinner (including 2 vegans). We had alerted the Inn both when making our reservation and in following up a few days later and were assured vegan options would be available. The setting is lovely, tables spaced well for conversation, very comfortable. That said, the service is odd and disjointed. Wait staff came for drink orders moments after giving us one drink menu for six people. We asked about the vegan options and then were told nothing at all, and asked again moments later to order. It was fine, our vegan friends found an option that worked, but it came across as awkwardly disengaged. One of the party ordered a drink during the meal that was not delivered, and so more than 15 minutes later tried again. Then both drinks showed up within a minute of each other and were served. Lots of tiny issues like that.The food was excellent, let me make that clear. Absolutely spot-on main courses, interesting desserts, fresh, clean flavors. Bread with a lovely, smoky crust. Several of us had the halibut and it was cooked beautifully. The only issue is that the service seems to be a work in progress. If the service had been more engaged, this would have been a 5 star dining experience, without question. But it is absolutely worth a visit.

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5.0Dined on August 5, 2017

I live nearby and enjoy taking out of town visitors and local friends to Clifton for a great meal. They are always pleased and impressed, as am I.

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5.0Dined on August 2, 2017

Lovely evening and ambiance with delicious food - what more can you ask for? Perfect!

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5.0Dined on July 31, 2017

Clearly one of the best meals my wife and I have had in years. The duck appetizer, the scrimp and grits appetizer, the halibut, and the scallops were prepared to perfection.

Great ambiance and service.

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2017

We loved everything about our experience at the Clifton Inn. We were seated on the terrace overlooking the lovely garden at sunset. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. The staff was courteous and attentive. This is a place that we will return to.

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5.0Dined on July 26, 2017

Our first time there and look forward to a return visit. Delightful setting, ambiance, and food.

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5.0Dined on July 23, 2017

First time visiting Clifton Inn, enticed by Restaurant Week offerings. Spectacular in every regard. Will definitely return.

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5.0Dined on July 23, 2017

We went for a Restaurant Week special and it was very very good. Looking to go back.

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5.0Dined on July 21, 2017

The Clifton surpassed their usual excellence for this restaurant week meal. Delicious, imaginative food, well prepared and served in the lovely historic inn. Even though they were very busy, the pace was unrushed.

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4.0Dined on July 21, 2017

Indoor and outdoor seating available and we chose to eat indoors because of the heat and humidity (though the outdoor seating looked lovely). We went during restaurant week and all three courses were very good (for first course, we ordered duck, shrimp and grits and salad; second course: chicken and fish; desserts: toffee, chocolate mousse and gelato). Our food was served promptly and service was good; however, our waiter and people serving us our entrees and filling our water glasses didn't smile at all. It seemed that most people working there seemed unhappy or extremely formal. We noticed one waitress smile, but everyone else looked miserable working there. The hostess were friendly and smiled.

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4.0Dined on July 21, 2017

First time we visited. It's in a beautiful and historic inn with both indoor, veranda and outdoor seating. Service was excellent and the food was very good. We walked the grounds afterward and visited the pool area and pond.

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2.0Dined on July 18, 2017

This was our first trip to this restaurant for Restaurant Week and looked forward to it. The Prix fixed menu was lovely... 4 of us ordered steaks... the waiter never asked us how we'd like them cooked. When we brought this to his attention, he said, "we typically just do them medium rare" I was stunned and then disappointed, as they were served well done. The waiter seemed to just want to turn the table over as soon as possible. It was lovely to sit outside as the gardens are lovely. But sadly, it will not be a place that we recommend to others.

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3.0Dined on July 17, 2017

We went during restaurant week and realize it is difficult to serve a 3 course meal and stay within the price constraints for some. However we use the week to explore new dining options. What Clifton featured was rather tasteless and VERY small portions. I would have expected much better. Venue is outstanding, as is service.

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5.0Dined on July 15, 2017

We ate on the patio and absolutely loved the view and the music. It is probably our favorite restaurant in Charlottesville. My husband absolutely loved his first course of shrimp and grits. His halibut was divine and I loved my mushroom risotto. The sticky toffee pudding is always a must. We can't wait to go back!

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5.0Dined on July 15, 2017

It was a perfect celebration for my sisiter's birthday. Thank you for the great service and very tasty food!

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5.0Dined on July 15, 2017

The food was excellent but the service was unlike most restaurant experiences, it was exceptional.

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