Founders Inn Swan Terrace Grill

3.9
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388 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Founders Inn Swan Terrace Grill presents an American Grill House menu combining the freshest product from Virginia’s best artisans. Our Award Winning Culinary team expertly creates dishes inspired by the culinary heritage of Virginia and the Eastern Seaboard. Special events include an award-winning Sunday Brunch buffet, our Wednesday night BBQ on the Terrace (with appearances from local breweries) and beginning in July every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm a traditional New Orleans Jazz Brunch! Please call for reservations.
What 388 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on recent ratings
4.0
food
3.9
service
4.1
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
75% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Richmond
10 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday celebration. The food is always fresh, tasty, and excellent quality. Service is amazing. Very professional and courteous staff.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

The food was not warm and I have had shrimp and grits with better flavor. My husband and mom felt the same about the filet

AL
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall3food2service1ambience4

It was not too bad!! But service was bad and the folks were not happy serving us! I was not impressed at all and I have always like this place except this one time!

h
Denver
24 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience5

We've been to this restaurant MANY times for brunch and lunch. People have told us it's great for dinner. Our family made reservations for dinner and arrived only to find out they had recently changed their menu and it is no longer a fine dining dinner by any stretch of the imagination. We decided not to stay and went elsewhere.

MG
New England
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience3

Arrived for 345 pm seating. Band stopped at 4 = very disappointed.
Only raw, salad and dessert bars were above average. Hot food (basic breakfast food and other hot food" were hugely disappointing and def not worth the nearly $60pp price.
Most customers were incredibly underdressed for festive occasion and recommended attire from Swan Terrace website. Felt like we were at basic buffet restaurant (except for awesome raw bar).
Also, website did not mention that Terrace seating stopped at 3 pm. Therefore, we were sent to an
overflow ballroom with absolutely no atmosphere.

c
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience4

This was the third time I have spent a holiday at the Swan Terrance. The first two times were excellent. This time was average. First, turkey and mashed potatoes were not offered. In the past, I looked forward to the various desserts. I was very disappointed with the limited selection. The couple I was there with had been there with me before. They were also disappointed. In the past, I would have urged people to go for the holidays. I don't feel the same. I may recommend the Swan Terrance for a meal but not for a holiday event/

RP
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience5

Disappointed. 2:30 reservations for Christmas buffet, checked in at 2:25 By 3:05 I had to inquire regarding seating and was told they are prepping our table now. No issue really since it's a buffet and you cannot control customers. However, we were led to a table that wasn't prepped, just cleared of dishes, but not wiped or restocked with utensils, drink menu, etc. There were at least 8 to 10 other tables with dirty dishes, terrible execution. About 5 minutes later we were greeted by our server. She clearly did not want to be there, took our drink order and we were pointed towards the buffet. The food was very good. The folks tending the buffet were great. We ate and ate. Our dirty dishes were not picked up, so we had to stack and stare at them. The folks next to us ordered tea and they got hot water, no tea, no cups and were clearly annoyed waiting for our server who disappeared. They interrupted another server for help and got it, happily. He also gave them 25% off the ticket. We didn't complain, I guess we should have. We rarely don't, but since I got a request for a review, here we are. The other servers seemed very happy and were providing great service. I guess we got the short straw. For $53 per person, we were expecting better than average food and we got it, but at that price, I am also expecting a great experience on Christmas Day and that we did not get. The whole experience seemed to be disjointed. No leadership was on the floor, no one asking about meals, service, etc. The facilities were gorgeous and 5 star. The food attempt was a good attempt at 5 star. The service, one star and the experience as a result, 2 star. Again, For $53 per person, we expected much more.

LW
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall4food5service2ambience5

We attended the Christmas Day brunch. Decorations were lovely, welcoming staff happy to take pictures by the tree, and the food was delicious. Unfortunately, we had a really terrible waitress. We had a great bus boy who told the manager of our troubles and she took 25% of the total bill. I thought that was very good customer service. It was VERY busy, so I am sure they hired extra help for the day.

BL
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The Christmas brunch/lunch was excellent, great variety, and outstanding service. We would attend again in the future.

F
Richmond
29 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

I was not impressed with the Christmas Eve dinner here for 24 Dec 2019. I expected better quality of food products and more selection.

The salad bar was sad with one type of lettuce, 4 toppings, and 4 dressings. Sad cheese tray selection with no crackers. The hot bar was OK but the best part was the turkey. They had no chicken, prime rib, or anything fancy I was expecting. Brisket, turkey, and some beef shank or something loaded with fat. The bread rolls were hard as a rock and my boyfriend's 11-year old daughter commented reminded her of a dog bone. She wasn't wrong.

Lacking in good veggies. Roasted potatoes that were very dry, plain corn with some bacon pieces, roasted Brussel sprouts and acorn squash. None were great. Best part were the roasted squash. All were fairly bland and disappointing.

The raw bar was good with raw oysters, salmon and shrimp. The shrimp were a highlight for me. But not for $40 a person.

The dessert bar was awful. Terrible display outside the main area on a table - not manned, not refilled at the end of the night that was out of most items, the cakes were hard and lacking in flavor with whipped cheap icing, and there were no plates, no utensils and since no one was manning it the children trying to get cake slices had spilled them everywhere and torn up the cakes. I even had difficulty. They should've been separated neatly to allow easier pick up or smaller bites.

None of it was good. For $200 total. Not worth it and I would never come again. This was disappointing because I've always wanted to do this on Christmas Eve. Nope, now I know better. The other reviews are right.

j
Richmond
15 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful Christmas dinner buffet & delightful wintery, holiday decorations.

OT
Richmond
11 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing as always. This is our annual Christmas Eve family tradition for brunch. The food is fresh and delicious, service is fantastic and the ambiance is spot on. Highly recommend Founders Inn Swan Terrace Grill brunch buffet on Sundays and holidays. Free mimosas and cider for the kids.

LM
Richmond
13 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is the 12th consecutive year we have attended the Teddy Bear Tea at the Founders Inn. This event never disappoints and remains a beloved Christmas tradition for our family. The buffet is perfect for the child-centric audience with every detail fully considered. The service is quick and kindness abounds at every turn. Thank you for another year of cherished memory!

RS
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The Swan Terrace was excellent!! The service was excellent too!

PC
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience2

The food was over seasoned masking the flavor of the crab cakes, the salmon and the tomato bisque (too much pepper).
The wait staff is under staffed and not uniformly dressed. Looks sloppy. They were however, very nice and helpful.
The decor was all mismatched, but the fire in the fireplace was lovely.
We were disappointed since we had not been there in 2 years and felt that it has fallen in overall quality. With minor changes, it could be classy again.
Please go easy on the pepper!!

j
Richmond
12 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

As a party of ten, we arrived at 6:30 PM for a reservation made 3 weeks in advance. There was no table set for ten. Instead, the staff pushed together two mismatched square tables and a round table, awkward at best. The Tuscan buffet was good. My grandchildren enjoyed it very much. Our server, Marina, was very good and provided the best service that we have received at Swan Terrace in a long time.

PN
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

The lunch buffet is much better than the dinner buffet. The food was consistently warm not hot. Service was not as I expected each day we were there. Some days we were ignored although I’m sure not intentionally because they were very busy.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Breakfast with Santa

LB
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

We Were very unhappy with the service we received. It was difficult to get anyone’s attention for anything we needed. We sat for a long time before anyone came to take our order. We received a breadbasket with two rolls for a table of three and it took forever to get someone to notice when we attempted to let someone - anyone - know. It was my husbands birthday and no reference of that was made even though it was noted in our reservation. Very disappointed.

OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience4

Service was quite disappointing today. We waited for over 15 minutes for a server. When we ordered mimosas we waited another 20 minutes for that and didn’t see our server for quite some time. When we finally got our servers attention we had some questions and (it was not busy at this time) Marina came to our table, answered our questions and she was wonderful! Sadly she got moved to another section. Again we were left with what seemed like no server. Bus boys were there but no signs of the waitress. Waited at least 15 minutes for the check to be processed after giving it to the original server. Normally service is on point here as we dine here frequently, hopefully today was an off day. If this were my first time dining here, regardless of the food I feel like I would not come back. However, since we do enjoy the quality of the food we’ll come back and hope we get better service or ask to be seated in Marina’s section.

RG
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The reason my group chose the Founders Inn is because the atmosphere is quiet and we could talk, laugh, and enjoy each others company without loud music and interruptions.
At christmas time this is the perfect restaurant to get together with friends.
The breakfast buffet was excellent and the newly added omlette stand was outstanding.
It was a bit expensive, but worth it for the elegant atmosphere.

OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent Thanksgiving buffet. Lawerence provided top notch service. Overall a great experience.

BS
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

We enjoyed the food very much, especially the mashed potatoes and stuffing. My husband appreciated that there was ham, which he loved. It was festive and we felt relaxed. The service was not great, however. We asked for refills on our water several times, but always had to ask again before they complied. The area around the buffet needed to be wiped more often as there was food dropped on the the counter. And by the time we got there, the dessert selection was limited. Overall a nice dinner.

GT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience5

Ambiance was lovely. Food a traditional Thanksgiving day offering. Brined turkey wasn't to our liking. Cheese and salad boards were tasty. So was the house-made zucchini bread. Dessert table was tasty, but a bit lackluster.
Overall, we plan to not judge a place by a hectic holiday and plan to go again on a more average day.

J
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall1food1service5ambience2

We arrived to celebrate my wife’s birthday. We noticed the matching dining chairs missing and were replaced by something found at a conference hall. We then noticed the Short menu. The menu consisted of soup salad and the main course—hamburger. That’s right. Hamburger. It appears their General Manager made the decision back in the summer to make it Tuesday Hamburger Night. I felt like was on live television being viewed by millions watching my expression of being at a 4 star restaurant for dinner and all they had to offer was hamburgers.
The staff was kind and generous and appeared to be as perplexed as we were as they tried to explain the casualty of a failed idea. Hamburgers. They were kind enough to present a larger menu after thirty minutes had passed as we were debating whether or not we would agree to a hamburger date night. Almost one hour later the meal was served. We were able to order flank steak that was undercooked with mashed potatoes and and a green vegetable. Coffee was later ordered after the meal which was mildly warm.
The staff again was doing their best with what they had which apparently was limited. A small round birthday cake was given and appreciated with the warm coffee. A gift card was also given by the staff as an apology for the madness which was appreciated.
We have always enjoyed the atmosphere and food in the past as we have wonderful past memories with this restaurant. However after experiencing Hamburger Night we have decided to stay away until there’s a new General Manager and or Chef that knows how to cook something other than a hamburger and a staff that knows how to serve hot coffee.

CB
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience2

After years of visiting Swan Terrace, this was the worse experience, even the table behind us said the same..I was embarrassed for our 3 guests.

DP
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Food was great! Staff was so so but definitely not at the level the atmosphere calls for.

SD
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Seafood outstanding! Oysters, shrimp and crabcakes. Prime rib roast good, but not the best I have had. Nice salad bar with fresh berries! Excellent pecan pie, and other desserts. would suggest adding small bowls for use with bread pudding with sauce, and strawberry crisp. Also add a plan dessert like individual servings of flan or creme brulee. Beautiful setting! and a piano player! Complimentary mimosa. Roasted vegetables needed to be warmer. Mac, in Mac and & Cheese, was overcooked.

JR
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

My wife and I met at the Swan Terrance on 11/09/2018. On 09/22/2019, I made a reservation for 11/09/2019 to celebrate our one year anniversary of meeting. I then made a reservation at a hotel at the Oceanfront that evening because we live in Richmond. On 11/03/2019, I received a phone call that my reservation was cancelled due to a wedding. They offered another day or another restaurant. I had no desire for either. The person I talked to on the phone was very unsympathetic. We were extremely disappointed.

CM
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome first time experience. A “do over” for us!!

CM
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I love going to this restaurant for events either for myself or to celebrate a milestone for friends. This food is great , however on this visit, the prime rib was cold. I alerted the service so there would be no complaints and he immediately notified the chef. Additionally, the deserts were not as appetizing as they usually are. I would suggest to go back to the traditional desserts that everyone know and love. Overall, a great experience and I love the new chairs!!

MB
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful quiet place with fantastic food and outstanding service. All of the staff were extremely kind and personable.

OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It’s a very traditional environment and basically a large hotel restaurant, but it was quiet and friendly and very well-received by my elderly parents, especially the quiet part. My Dad said his salmon was excellent and my wife’s shrimp and grits was really good.

DM
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience3

I have been here several times and this by far was the worst service ever. We had to clear our own plates snd take then to the tray. The food was very bland and had no taste. The quality of selection was terrible. Did not have adequate staff. I am hoping this was just an off day.

SC
Richmond
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We’ve had an amazing experience with each visit. We will definitely return!

B
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall1food1service3ambience3

I had been to the outdoor music and dining in the past.. and had expected a live band and a barbecue feast according to website was to include chicken and sausage gumbo (not available) lemon pepper cod ( not available) the potatoes were so hard i could not even mash them. The chicken was dry .Vegetables were so undercooked I could not put my fork in them..pulled pork was tasteless unless you drowned it in sauce..I did have a cold hamburger for $19.99...The one man show was so loud we asked to sit outside, the table was not cleaned,just threw a few place mats on it and the door leading out near the music was so full of cobwebs it had not been cleaned in some time..
I have been to The Swan Terrace many times but this time was a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT ..
We waited for our waitress to bring the check for over 20 minutes since she was busy inside and outside.
I am not one to complain but this dining experience was awful and we took our out of town guests since I have always bragged about the SWAN TERRACE being so good...
Not coming back anytime soon unfortunately..

MR
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated birthdays with friends. Swan Terrace made the day special. We enjoyed good food and were able to have conversation over coffee and dessert.
Looking forward to going back.
Thank you

OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

We had the barbecue buffet. Food was good and filling.

DF
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had great service. A fine gentleman put tables together to accommodate our group of ten! Thank you again for great service! It was wonderful to have Emily help out with serving us also! We hadn't seen her in a while.

Donna

M
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Not as good as I expected. There was a buffet, when I expected to order off the menu. Had to run someone down to get the check. Very loud atmosphere. Food was fine, but not for the price. Nothing special.
The guy who sang and played the guitar was great!

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