1799 at The Clifton

4.4
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154 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Farm-to-table
Set in a charming and historic house on a ridge overlooking The Rivanna River in Charlottesville, Virginia, 1799 at The Clifton is committed to cooking beautiful, locally sourced food in a warm yet chic atmosphere. Chef Matthew Bousquet and his team are dedicated to giving you the best of new Piedmont cooking in a special way. Come and explore the offerings of our Chef’s seasonal menus, featuring the bounty of our own organic vegetable and herb garden. We look forward to making your visit truly memorable!
What 154 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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S
New York Area
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Fantastic Sunday brunch! Our group had the smoked salmon & roe pancake, roasted vegetable hash, Eggs Benedict, spinach omelet, Bosc pear & arugula salad, and the house-made pastries and everything was DELICIOUS! The pear salad was a tad skimpy, so I'm glad we ordered the hash for the table. We were hosting another couple from Chicago, and they left feeling a great appreciation for Charlottesville and for the Clifton Inn. Sitting on the patio enjoying good company and good food made for a memorable event!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Steak was burned charred on outside and rare when asked for medium. Cut was grissly and not what you’d expect for the price. Two person tables are all inches away from one another, you could not have a conversation at all.

SB
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We dined in the Library, seated on comfy green velvet chairs, at a large table not too close to others. The salmon and halibut were delicious and the service was excellent.

B
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

It was a very enjoyable evening. The food was delicious, and the waiter was very nice. It was a little slow, especially in the end waiting to receive the bill. We would definitely go there again.

AA
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

It’s a beautiful place but the staff seem unorganized and inexperienced

LG
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our second visit to 1799 at The Clifton, and will not be our last! The escargot with bone marrow was the highlight of my meal, although the duck was spectacular as well! But I was not expecting the escargot to be presented like this. It was amazing, and delicious! I highly recommend it. I also had the Laguvulin 8 Single Malt Scotch that was great but not as fantastic as the Lagavulin 16. For the money, all the way around, the meal was one of the best we've had in Charlottesville area dining. One of the best part . . . no kids. Sorry, but whenever my wife and I dine out, the last thing we want to see is kids. Especially if they are loud and unruly. Not a place for kids anyway.

IN
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice ambiance in a beautiful setting. Outstanding service and the food was excellent. Would definitely repeat.

KJ
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful dining experience. We had the tasting menu and it was exceptional! Service and atmosphere were incredible too. Highly recommend.

AM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

We always enjoy outdoor dining at The Clifton. The food and ambiance never disappoint. This was our first experience with poor service so I am guessing they had new staff and it was a one off occurrence. They were very kind but just a little unorganized. We had to ask for our table to be cleaned, we had to wait on a spoon for soup, and they were slow to clear our plates which caused a few issues with bugs. This is one experience out of 10 so it will not keep me from going back. This is one of my favorite places and a go to for entertaining out of town guests. I have a food allergy and they are amazing at catering to that. A must for people with allergies or dietary restrictions.

AJ
Richmond
8 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious, well prepared, and beautifully presented. The wait staff was attentive and informed. The decor and surroundings are beautiful and peaceful.

AF
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Restaurant Week, good value, good food. The bartender is accomplished and the drinks were excellent.

JE
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great meal in an excellent setting. Add the fact it was restaurant week made it even better.

TR
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding.

RH
Richmond
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Actually, except for the "overall" experience, we cannot rate Clifton Inn. Why, you ask? Well, we made our reservation on Open Table and confirmed the day before. Then when we showed up for brunch, we were told, sorry, we're closed for a private event. They hardly seemed to care. Certainly they did not offer a gift certificate or something of that nature as an "I'm really sorry this happened" thing. Over the last 3-4 years, we have dined at the Clifton Inn maybe 3-4 times. Honestly, never has it been all that great (once the AC wasn't working and it was hella hot, once the service was so so very slow) but we keep giving it a chance. Well, no more. Sorry.

1799 at The Clifton
Responded on July 15, 2019

Hi Richard, Thanks for your repeated patronage in the past. I'm sorry this occurred-- it's inexcusable, and this is certainly not how we aim to treat our guests. I'll reach out privately to seek a path to recovery. We do hope to serve you again soon.

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R
Washington DC
37 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time! We sat on the porch and had amazing service and food from start to bottom.

JH
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My father recently passed away and he loved Charlottesville. I took my mom for an overnight. I wanted something “special” a little more quiet. Dinner was pretty perfect. Thank you again. We’ll be back.

MC
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing staff, great waiter, lovely atmosphere. Wonderful place for history, beautiful gardens, great food and amazing southern service.

ND
Richmond
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a great place to celebrate something special! We had a wonderful dinner.

EC
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Creative takes on classic dishes. The Clifton is never disappoints.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Beautiful setting. Service was attentive and friendly but a bit rushed. It was graduation weekend but did not appear that crowded by the time we were seated.

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Since we were dining during a graduation weekend we had to have the 3 course fixed price menu. We would have preferred a regular menu as an option as everyone’s tastes are different but that was not an option. The setting was lovely, essentially a private room for our party of 5. The biggest complaint about our meal was that the portion size was extremely small, lacked flavor and was way overpriced. Of all the years we have been going to Charlottesville, this was one of the nicest settings, but among the most forgettable food. We had much better meals elsewhere the entire weekend at a much lower cost.

M
London
8 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely setting for a dinner and the food is good so you won’t be disappointed although it’s a shame there’s a marquee covering the veranda area so it’s closed in (but maybe that’s because it was raining?), the restaurant’s payment system also blocked 3 of our UK cards so we spent the next morning calling our bank to get them unblocked so be careful when paying with international cards

SR
Richmond
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have enjoyed Clifton Inn on many different occasions, and it has always been spectacular. I had read some negative reviews and was a bit nervous, as we were bringing my Mother-in-law for Mother's Day dinner. She had never been & is a true food and restaurant connoisseur... We got exactly what we have always experienced! Spectacular in every way... She was absolutely blown away! Thanks as always for a memorable evening!

GK
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The mushroom and asparagus risotto was very watery and obviously the plate had sat awhile before it was served as there was a pool of water around the mound of risotto. It was also very expensive for what we got. A cocktail was $15. I like the atmosphere but we didn't get much for being so expensive.

OT
Richmond
23 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 5

The food was not good. The dessert were underwhelming as well. The service staff were attentive, but they were not very aware of the food. We did go on Mother’s Day, so some of the dishes may have been new. It was not worth our time. This put a damper on a yearly special occasion. It will be hard for us to ever return.

OT
Richmond
75 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

What a beautiful setting! Food was great and dinner was very enjoyable on the veranda. The staff was a bit non enthused about us being there but we all enjoyed the evening.

r
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

Second chance within a week after bad experience first time. Second was worse--inept service, multiple wrong dishes at wrong times, even after they requested clarification. Apparently new waiter with inadequate support. Not crowded so no excuse there. Hostess/mgr not exactly contrite or willing to accept responsibility. Bar and bartender are worth the effort, but downhill after that. Unreliable open/close info on website as they host weddings but do not post.
We are locals and have patronized before with success--something has gone awry recently and we cannot take the risk of going back..

C
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 1

We have been to this restaurant before and really liked it. This visit was very disappointing. First of all we were sat at the most remote table in what looked to be like a wedding tent with wedding tent type chairs. I don’t know, but we wondered if this was because we had a lesbian couple with us. Service was very very slow although pleasant. The food was also disappointing. My steak was fine, cooked properly, but the sauce was disappointing. My daughter’s vegetarian meal was quite tasteless and overpopulated with Artichokes. My soup came lukewarm although they did replace it with piping hot soup once I asked. My husband’s trout was a very small serving and they put the sauce on top of the skin which of course is removed before eating. The salmon appetizer was generous however. The restaurant advertised a dessert bar, but there were only four selections on the buffet and we heard they ran out of the fruit tart once we were leaving and that there were no more to be had. The moose was more like pudding. Granted, this was Easter and so they were busy, but we really hoped for a more special experience given the price.

DC
Richmond
18 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Service was a little slow, but I guess that is to be expected on a special holiday meal.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 5

Food wasn’t very good!

GH
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

First time here and was very pleased. Atmosphere pleasant and food delicious. Service was a bit slow, but still acceptable.

WW
Richmond
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

My wife and I give mixed reviews. She says overall excellent I have mixed feelings. Our table setting was overall very nice, but was a bit noisy next to the swinging kitchen door.

Appetizers were both excellent with some unique qualities. Bread was good but had homemade texture as opposed to professional. My entree was just OK, a little disappointing for fine dining. Most of the ingredients, including the duck, tasted precooked and warmed up (barely) before serving. Couldn't make out the point of the pureed vegetable on the plate. Kind of bland, both taste and texture. Grilled leaks were tough and stringy.

On the other hand, my wife was thrilled with her pork entree.

Beignet for dessert was interesting and was of the choux paste variety as opposed to yeast doughnut. It was placed on top of a custard cream. The toffee cake was OK but not superior.

RC
Richmond
110 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

This is first visit since the change in decor and "feel". Still has the great service and inventive but traditional menu of locally sourced food. Library has been added as a dining room and has a nice ambiance. Wine list is more extensive but with fewer choices between top end and basics. All in all still a great place for dinner, albeit an expensive one. Major objection is addition of two large screen televisions to lounge/bar area. Seems like out of place for this restaurant and if one wants to watch television one can go to almost any other bar.

MF
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is a foodie-must.....The appearance of everything was top-flight, and the eating that followed lived up to expectations,,,,,Will be back....

MR
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

My favorite Keswick restaurant. Steeped in character and charm. Stunning grounds.

LL
Richmond
37 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

While this is on the pricey side, the food was well worth it. Staff very attentive and ambience lovely. Look forward to coming back.

S
Richmond
81 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Clifton Inn is one of our favorite spots in the Charlottesville area. On this particular evening we sat in the back porch dining room with a view of the beautiful sunset. The Inn was redone a couple of years back and is very attractive. The service is friendly and attentive. The drinks are excellent, with an interesting cocktail list. The bartender is very nice. The food is overall very good but we do wish the menu would either change more frequently or that they would offer special items to vary it a bit. We love having a great place to dine that is so close to our home!

JR
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We live in Earlysville, and we wanted to meet our Richmond friends at a restaurant. The Clifton came onto our radar—practically halfway for both of us—and what a find!!! Excellent bar tender, friendly staff and yummy food!! We will go back again when the weather warms up. Sounds like it is a very desirable wedding venue, so check online to see if they are available on the evening you want.
Cheers!!!

OT
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

I had good recommendations for this restaurant & was very excited to take my husband here for his 40th birthday. Upon arriving we were seated on a closed in porch in the back, which was so underwhelming. The atmosphere was beyond boring. Our server was nice but not excited about sharing info on the menu. She seemed unsure of herself & the menu. Our appetisers were wonderful, delicious. My husbands entree was good but mine was dry & no flavour. Upon realising I didn’t like my entree the server did everything she could to ensure I would have something I loved. I had the scallop for my appetiser so I ordered that to replace my meal. They were great, the app is just one scallop & they have me three for the entree. I appreciated the server & kitchen for this. We were going to get dessert but opted for just coffee. They brought out something for my husbands birthday, I’m not sure what is was. It was very oily & dry at the same time, not good, actually bad. Overall I was bummed by the experience even though some of the food was great.

T
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 5

Food was mediocre and overpriced

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