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1799 at The Clifton

4.2
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268 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Farm-to-table
We will be serving a 3-course price fix menu at $65 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
What 268 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
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
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 5 days ago
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
25 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
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 6 days ago
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
2 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
21 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!

R
vipRick
Washington DC
50 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This is our first visit to 1799 at The Clifton and a welcome first visit. The first course was wonderful and fresh. The homemade bread was served warm and just the right portion for the two of us.
Our main courses were delicious and well garnished. The wine we choose was perfect for a summer evening.
We both ordered the cheese cake dessert and were not disappointed.
We hope to return soon.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

This was an anniversary dinner. Food is wonderful, service wonderful, a slight lull, too long, between courses. The music was an one thing that I felt was not appropriate. This was dinner time, 7:15pm and they were playing Pop music, just didn’t fit with the occasion, with the elegant setting and beautiful grounds. The Cicada’s would’ve been just fine. But it was overall a wonderful experience and I would certainly go back for special occasions. Jb

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A true destination treat! The presentation of food was meticulous and well thought out. The taste complimented the artful plating of the courses.

JV
JenniferV
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Exquisite restaurant with local food from their own garden. Very romantic and great covered patio. The ultimate Virginian experience!

K
vipKari
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience4

This is by far the absolute WORST meal we have had in Charlottesville. The restaurant coasts on the reputation of its boutique inn/hotel. In spite of a very pleasant ambiance, the food is amateur and completely uninspired. Cocktails and salad/soup (first course) was promising, but the meal went downhill quickly from there. I ordered trout, which was slightly over cooked, but the prep was bland/tasteless. This we could have accepted had my husband also not had such a disappointing meal. He ordered a steak of rare/ medium rare and sent it back well done. When it did arrive correctly, the meat was tasteless. The waitstaff did NOT ask about our satisfaction with our meals, in spite of our sending items back to the kitchen. We took dessert to go, (apple cider donuts). It is NO exaggeration to say they were inedible. We threw them away. This restaurant was an utter disappointment.

EC
vipEC123
London
16 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2020
Overall4food2service5ambience4

Great space, beautiful renovations. The food is ok. I think overpriced. My steak- I asked for medium rare and it was nearly well done and my tomatoes salad starter didn't have much flavor, but dessert was lovely. Service was perfect.

ML
MatthewL
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went here for a birthday celebration. The service was perfect and the food was to die for. Some of the best food I've had in a long time.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing experience! Food was perfect & so was the service.

MW
vipMichaelW
Naples
6 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience5

Beautiful Restaurant. The Chief though wants tobe known for creative design and preparation. Unfortunately it doesn't work for the patron.

M
Marci
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience3

Overall, my husband and I had a really nice time here, and we felt safe sitting outside, with tables set well apart. With that said, the experience wasn't flawless. We were the first diners to be seated on the desk outside; it was 95 degrees and the hostess tried to sit us at a table in the sun. I asked if we could instead sit in the shade; she chose another table but seemed annoyed. (She also didn't give us one of the tables with a fan directed toward it, which would have been appreciated.)

Our server was wonderful, no complaints there. The appetizers (salad for me, asparagus for my husband) were great. The entries were disappointingly bland. (I had the vegetarian option and he had the swordfish.) Deserts were good but nothing special. Drinks were good.

We had a lovely time, but I think part of that was perhaps just being out for a nice dinner; something we haven't been able to do in a long time. Objectively, it was a lot of money to spend on a so-so meal.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience4

The people on the phone were awesome. We were excited to try. 1799. FYI. Online says up to 50 a person. Dinner was 65 a person set menu and we had dirty dishes in front of us for 20 minutes at each stage of the 3 course meal. Food was okay. Temperature was warm at best. Service was very, very slow. Good thing they added to 20% on their own. I would have not tipped that having to go get my own drinks twice and looking at dirty dishes hoping the next plate would come. Ambiance is really nice. Expected a lot more for the price. Don’t blame COVID. It was just a sucky experience.

WA
vipWillA
Memphis/West TN
3 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful property. Great place for a special night out!

K
vipKh25
Wilmington
26 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had dinner here twice while staying at the inn. We really enjoyed the halibut, steak and dessert. Service and ambiance were excellent.

n
vipnanddusa
Raleigh
9 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

-Great service-Staff was knowledgeable and careful to follow safety procedures for COVID-19.
-Food was well prepared with just the right amount of creativity to not be overly trendy.
-Menu was 3-courses & although very good, was limited.
-Previously offered wine-pairing menu was not available.

JL
JohnL
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful plate presentation and tastes as wonderful as it looks!
The halibut entre was presented with a bacon/clam topping and dessert was creme brûlée. What more would a diner desire?

V
Virginiagal
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went to The Clifton for our anniversary. All staff were wonderful and were wearing masks. We had a table inside and were the only ones for quite awhile. There were three or four tables outside, but a good distance apart. When the next group of indoor diners arrived, they were seated on the opposite end. It was a Monday, so I imagine a bit quieter than most evenings. Started with The Virginian cocktail - delicious! The menu was three course meal and everything we selected was delicious. Always nervous to try a new place on a special occasion, but we will be going back to The Clifton for many more special occasions in our future. Highly recommend!

SS
vipScottS
Richmond
17 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Good food and service

JB
JohnB
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Outstanding and unique cuisine and libations. Our server was excellent as well. Very enjoyable experience!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
11 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful dinner. Did a great job with the physical distancing.

PB
PeteB
Richmond
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience4

First let me start by saying the Service and the Atmosphere were terrific. My rating was exclusively based off the food. It was a 3 course price fixe for $65 per person. I received 1 scallop, a NY strip cut into pieces and a small creme brûlée. My wife had a arugula salad, pork loin and chocolate cake. I didn’t feel like there was value for $65 and the way in which our meals were prepared was to foo foo for our taste. This restaurant gets high marks so I am sure this is more about us that 1799. I just wanted to be transparent.

MD
vipMrsD
Washington DC
28 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was lovely to sit out on the porch appropriately socially distant from other patrons. The food and service were excellent. So nice to be out again in such a lovely atmosphere.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
13 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Celebrated a sister birthday. Had a lovely evening on the covered porch. Service was wonderful. Burger was a bit over done, but halibut was excellent. Overall a really great place, good meal, good service. Really enjoyed meeting and chatting with Stephanie Saperstein. She was delightful and added a special touch to our evening.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Terrible service and mediocre food

J
Jewel
Richmond
15 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

1799 is a jewel. We had a wonderful meal: my NY strip steak was beyond delicious, though my husband's pork loin was dry. Everything else was superb! We sat in the glassed-in porch overlooking the patio, and watched a rain shower during dinner. The French champagne was perfect for this celebratory dinner. We had a terrific waiter, Eric, who took us on a tour of the wine cellar afterwards. We'll be back for dinner in the cold weather in the cozy library, by the fireplace.

m
vipmsjudy
Richmond
40 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We arrived at 5:40 pm and our table was in the sun. Rather than move us to a readily available table nearby as requested, they told us the other table was set up for more diners and we would be out of the sun in 15 minutes. It was closer to 45 minutes and it was unpleasant until we were in the shade. The setting is utterly lovely and the food was unremarkably good, but we found the hospitality to be unimpressive - no offer of coffee or an after dinner drink, no farewell upon departure. It would be unfair to be harsh during the COVID-19 period, but it seems that hospitality is their game, and it fell short of our expectations.

DM
DMW1
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great, service is friendly and it’s a beautiful inn.

j
vipjlse
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2020
Overall3food1service5ambience5

The ambiance and service were very good. However, there is a disconnect from the service and food. The meals were plated beautifully, but were improperly cooked. My poached egg had a hard yolk, the halibut was overcooked, the steak was properly cooked at medium rare but was tough (it was like they cut the steak in half to check the doneness then put it under a heat lamp), the doughnut was tough and the creme brulee was more a ricotta cheese than a traditional creme. The cocktail was good. It's a lovely place with good service. If the food doesn't improve, I would only eat there if I was staying at the inn. Definitely not a destination at this point.

FAQs

1799 at The Clifton is rated 4.2 stars by 268 OpenTable diners.

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