1799 at The Clifton

4.2
296 Reviews
$31 to $50
Farm-to-table
We will be serving a 3-course price fix menu at $69 per person. We will have our full wine list, and cocktail menu available as well.

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!

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Social Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking

Featured specials

Select a special by choosing a date, time and party size

Thanksgiving Dinner Special Menus & Offers

Dine in
Starting Nov 26, 2020

$79pp Pre-Fixe Menu with an optional +$30pp Wine Pairing supplement. Please call 434.471.1800 for Inquiries. Credit Cards Required for all Reservations. There will be a $20pp Cancellation Fee for any cancellations made in less than 48Hours to the Reservation Day

What 296 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JR
JoshuaR
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful place to spend an evening especially with someone special.

BB
BrandyB
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful restaurant , I would go back again!

J
Jannemieke
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Dinner was delicious. Seating was very Covid-safe, though I was glad I had dressed very warmly as the porch, even with tent cover and heaters, was a bit drafty.
I was disappointed that there was only 1 seafood item on the menu. Since I don't eat meat that only left me with 1 choice. Service was fine but not outstanding.

C
Christian
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service was simply amazing. My fiance and I came here to celebrate our engagement this past Saturday night, and were treated to an amazing meal with an amazing server. The manager came and congratulated us and made sure everything was to our liking (it far surpassed it), and would absolutely come back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderfully renovated estate with amazing food. Our chef prepared delicious dishes along with a sample of a mojito and provided a nice champagne to finish the meal. Definitely recommend and will be going back.

LK
LoriK
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

if you are seeking a worthy place for a memorable dinner experience during COVID-19 restrictions, this will exceed expectations. Our biscuits looked like they were in the over too long - but the beet salad, incredible escargot with bone marrow were creative and memorable. My sea bass was perfectly cooked, still fresh of the grill and hot at the table. My husband had the short rib and it was tender and a generous portion. Dessert is worth every calorie.
They make their own sorbets and ice cream. Part of my dessert was a ginger sorbet that I will never forget and would come back for. The service was professional, friendly and attentive and all accommodations for safe distance and minimizing risk were well executed. We sat outside and luckily it was still around 70 degrees even after nightfall. There were distanced tables inside by the fireplace that were also seated.
We were not guests of the Inn but I did consider trying to book there. I’d definitely return - and try to stay a couple days for a fuller Clifton In experience.

MM
MiriamM
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Food was inconsistant...excellent entree, average salad, below average appetizer, weird desserts. Our waitress was good, but in general, staff was oblivious to the comfort of customers, continually leaving the door near our table to the outdoor patio wide open on a cold night. One staff member (blond with pony tail) was overtly rude when we asked her to close it behind her. From then on, she banged it closed loudly each time she used it. Very expensive for that level of amateurishness.

RB
vipRonaldB
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience2

We were looking for a good meal while seated outside during COVID. Got the good meal, and though the back porch is pleasant enough, it was a very cold night, and we shivered in our coats. The lack of heaters, which would have worked well in this space, was hugely disappointing. Don’t go and expect a pleasant outdoor experience unless the temperature is above 60.

JM
JohnM
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience4

The staff were very accommodating when we asked to move inside due to the wind. We sat in the library which is a lovely room. The food was well prepared and very good. The service was S...L...O...W... Over two hours from the time we were reseated until the desert arrived.

T
Tracy
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Great ambience. Very friendly staff. I ordered the burger which looked delicious but there was so much sage /herb in the burger you could not taste anything else.

g
goodfood
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Great dinner for 4 after a couples day visiting wineries. Service was great, ambiance was terrific. Appetiser and main course were outstanding, dessert was good. Great service!

PB
PatrickB
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great location.
Gorgeous room.
Food was somewhat below expectations.
Complex presentations but some just didn’t come off well to me.
Transportation home after meal can be a challenge. Recommend arranging pre-meal

JS
vipJosephS
Oxford
3 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Clifton Inn always has a lovely ambiance and service offering. The food is always consistently great.

M
Mark
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience3

Solid and quant local place. Service lacking in areas but will return.

P
vipPierre
New Orleans
9 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We requested a porch table which had a beautiful view of the mountains. Everything we ordered was delicious! Escargot, foie gras, sea bass and dessert. The entire evening was lovely.

JH
JanetH
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful experience . Great service, fabulous food , covid-19 cautious. Highly recommend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing from start to finish!

D
Debbiann
Richmond
12 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

I rarely offer negative feedback, so, for the positive, the cheesecake dessert was yummy, as was my before dinner gimlet cocktail. After that, not much good to offer. Our server was nice enough but nervous, had to ask numerous times what we ordered, & was nowhere to be found when we needed assistance-learned later it was his first work week. Overpriced for quantity & quality of food. My beet salad included too much cheese, & my risotto was rather tasteless-would be a $3.95 side at most restaurants. The price fixed menu-the only option-is $69 per person, and not worth it. Wish we had read reviews before dining at 1799...most not good. While in the Charlottesville area, we dined at 2 other restaurants that were amazing for half the price. We also stayed at the Inn-overall, everything there needs attention. A beautiful location filled w/ history, I hope the owners make improvements.

l
viplauriej
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

So disappointed! The service was attentive until our main course was served, then the waitstaff disappeared for about an hour. Amuse bouche was interesting and appetizer was delicious, however main course ("risotto") was flavorless and skimpy (about the amount most restaurants would serve as a side item) with no side items. Waitstaff never asked how the meal was or whether we needed anything after we got our main course. I ate two bites and went home hungry. The dessert had more food on the plate and, while not great, was certainly better than the main! The patio was lovely and tables very spread out; all employees were masked and gloved.

M
Marykatherine
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2020
Overall1food3service3ambience4

The chef was amazing to accommodate my vegan eating! He was amazing & created 2 of the 3 corses for me on the prefixed menu! The poor server was overwhelmed & I barely got water refilled, our desert came out before our dinner plates were taken & then we were asked to move inside because they needed our table. They did mention when booking on open table that we had a 2 hour window for 2 people, but we were asked to move prior to that window. And the ONLY ones asked after multiple tables seated around the same time... yes I asked another table seated within minutes of us. Local and disappointed.

MY
MaryY
Charlotte
7 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

This was not the experience I was expecting. With our very early reservation and the only people seated inside for most of our dinner, we were seated in the worst location possible for the evening sun. Our server, McKinley and the bartender are terrific! The food for the most part was good, the onion crackers, which I believe were house made, were outstanding. My husband raved about his salad. His salmon was flavorless and the pork tenderloin while tender lacked any interesting flavor. The presentations were very nice though. Another highlight was the 'cheesecake' (which while flavorful was the size and height of a standard sugar cookie) The 'cookies and cream' was disappointing mainly for the supermarket tasting cookies. The homemade ice creams, while I only truly cared for one of the flavors were creamy and flavorful. Overall, for the $70 fixed price, I would not recommend this restaurant.

PM
vipPhilipM
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had tasteful service, wonderful meal. We were here in time of COVID, so dinner was outside under tent on a rainy night. Tables were well spaced. It was our anniversary dinner and was a special night. Even with cool temperatures and the rain, the ambience was very special. We'll come back to 1799.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

We are guests at the hotel. I heard great things about the restaurant, so I made a reservation for dinner. Unfortunately, the service and food that I received was severely under par. I do enjoy the ambiance & experience by having a long 3 course menu..... however I was very under impressed. Our steaks came out cold after we waited over an 1.5 hours. When we sent the steaks back, they came back severely over cooked. No one offered an apology. My sister in law also tried to surprise us with a bottle of champagne for our anniversary, only for it to be delivered to the wrong table. Thankfully, the guests beside us realized it was a mix up. Overall, I was under impressed for the cost of the food & lack of attention to service.

G
Garth
Richmond
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Dinner at 1799 is always a nice experience, but we find ourselves leaving with a feeling of mild disappointment. Minor details, like the lack of outdoor heaters on a chilly evening, a little bit of inattention to detail in the dishes being served, or even not-quite-clean water glasses, make us feel like we overpaid for a nice (but not exquisite) meal. Regardless, the restaurant is in a nice seeing that is quiet, comfortable, and cozy. We just wish it were a little bit better.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Beautiful setting and wonderful staff. Food was a little pricey for what we received - my husband had mushroom soup and it was average and only lukewarm; dessert was salty and had to be replaced.

PA
PeteA
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The friendly staff made for lovely evening for our anniversary dinner. The bartender recommended and made delicious cocktails; the server answered all our questions about the unique ingredients in the 3-course dinner; and we thoroughly enjoyed our relaxing meal on the veranda!

s
secondvisit1799
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience4

We had a lovely visit the first time we came to 1799 but our second trip, this trip, was frankly not worth the money. The food was not very special, identical plates had items missing from one that were on the other, and the timing between plates was quite long despite being among the first in the restaurant. The venue is great and we hope to return next year to see how things are again. I cannot recommend that you spend so much money there at this moment.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Others seated that arrived after us while we waited and had reservation and were on time. Wait staff changed during service. One of us had to go point out beverage at bar to get what was ordered. Server was very nice. Sat on deck of hotel so was a nice experience. Quiet. Enjoyed our time together.

JH
JoeH
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience2

The Good, bad, & ugly.
The good...possibly the best swordfish I have ever eaten. Otherwise the balance of food was just ordinary!
The bad.....the service was lousy. There were numerous times we were without water, or sat talking over finished salad or entre dishes and waited way too long for the check and signatures!
The ugly.....can you imagine a 18th century colonial home built by Thomas Jefferson for his daughter, decorated and furnished contemporary and modern. The current owners and/or management cannot make up their mind who is their customer base.
ADD to all above a 3 course pre fix for 2, plus bottle of wine, totaling $260 and you have to seriously reconsider the value.

d
vipdayl
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Very few selections for a main course and why is one of the 5 a burger in a prix fix? The menu is awful.

M
vipMilan1
Charleston
25 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

My wife and I had original reservations at 7:15pm, but after a visit to a winery, which was close by, she called and the gracious person change it to 5:30pm. The 1799 at The Clifton is a beautiful Inn. My wife ordered the salmon and I the strip steak, medium rare. She said the salmon was delicious; however, my steak, cut into strips was closer to well done. I usually make a comment, but decided not to at this time. The menu was price fixe, with a starter, entree and dessert. Other than the steak, the food was very good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Austin
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We spent our anniversary here and couldn’t have picked a better place to celebrate!

N
Nick
New Orleans
3 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience5

Beautiful property and ambiance. Service was quick. Food was okay and a let down for the price.

KW
vipKrisW
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Old works charm with modern cuisine. The ambiance on the deck in on a warm fall evening was incredible.

LO
LadyOwen
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience4

Ambiance was lovely, we were seated on the back porch area overlooking the yard. Server was attentive and focused but not very welcoming. Had the 3-course meal with a friend and our experiences were very different. Her first plate was a arugula salad which she said was flavorful and well executed. My first plate was a foie gras that was combined with peaches very interesting sweet and savory combination that was just okay I was confused by the fennel salad on the side that seemed to not go well with the rest of the elements. Her second course was the Burger which she said was delicious with an amazing cheese sauce. My second course was the New York strip. The steak was slightly over cooked but flavorful (I received medium and I asked for medium rare). I was confused yet again with the sweet and savory take of the meal, there was a syrup that seemed to battle the steak's flavor as opposed to compliment it. The potatoes seemed to be dressed in honey? Then the final course for both of us ended with the chocolate cake. It was deconstructed and had soaked strawberries, butterscotch, and chocolate cream. The cake was dry but tasted good with all of the other components. Overall, I won't go back again because the food is just not worth the price.

JM
vipJuliM
Tulsa
4 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience3

I sent my parents there for a celebratory dinner, having been told it was a good place. I feel terrible now because my parents said it was the worst meal they have ever had. Not one of the worst, not in the top worst five, but literally THE worst meal ever. Apparently the food was already not very good before Covid and now the restaurant has just given up. The risotto tasted like it was old and off and to make matters worse it was prix fixe menu for which it seems they charged them separately for the small plate, entree and dessert. My mother in-law had an inedible cup of bean soup that cost $19 and somehow the food cost my parents over $200 for the two of them. So it was the worst most expensive meal they’ve ever had. I’d avoid the restaurant until they get their act together. There are plenty of really great restaurants in Charlottesville to choose from and unfortunately, 1799 isn’t one of them.

SP
SueP
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary out on your covered back porch. It was a delightful, very memorable evening. The food was delicious and your staff took really good care of us. Thanks again!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

It was a lovely experience. Service and ambiance we’re definitely the highlights. We expected the food to be excellent but overall was hit or miss. NY Strip and Pear salad were the clear winners. Tuna appetizer was kinda meh although beautifully plated. Swordfish tasted fresh and almost great but was overcooked. We were staying at The Clifton and it was nice to just head downstairs for dinner and enjoy nice cocktails and wine with our dinner. We would give 1799 another try but we were not as blown away as other exceptional Charlottesville restaurants.

RL
RobinL
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The venue is lovely but the food is just not worth the price. The waitstaff don't really seem to know what's on the menu, nor can they help with the wine list. Timing of the courses was way off.

We were outside on the lovely deck, with loud techno music: a puzzle at a place built in the 1700's. It is a great place to watch the sun go down but where are the fans on a hot summer evening? Only two small fans mounted in the corners of the ceiling. Glad I didn't have to attend the previous night's wedding reception that the waiter mentioned multiple times.

The bread and the first course were fine but the main course was overcooked swordfish too dry to eat and a steak that was cold and not medium rare as requested. The swordfish was accompanied by cedar cakes, which would have been helpful to fill a crack in the wall but not to eat, and some kind of foam. Sea foam, I suppose. And then topped with an limp slab of fennel: seaweed?

One dessert was tasteless and inedible: how can you screw up cheesecake? Another option was homemade (again dry) cookies with - wait for it - bacon and egg, and parsnip ice cream.

It would be great if they would limit the multiple, ill-matched ingredients on each dish. It was a waste of some nice local summer ingredients which were lost in translation. Keep it simple and let the ingredients shine.

BH
BenH
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent experiebce-food and service were first-rate!

FAQs

1799 at The Clifton is rated 4.2 stars by 296 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.