Thornton River Grille

4.4
482 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
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About

Serving great American food with a worldly flair, we’re open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 3pm for lunch and 5pm to 9pm for dinner. We also serve a lovely brunch on Sunday from 10am to 3pm and dinner from 5pm to 8pm. The atmosphere is at the same time elegant and casual. The richness and warmth of the hand-planed wood-paneled walls provides a comfortable dining experience that can be enjoyed equally in dressy-casual attire or hiking shorts. We are located in the heart of historic Sperryville, Virginia, 75 miles west of Washington D.C., at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We look forward to serving you soon!
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Farm-to-table
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Hours of operation
Breakfast
Sat 7:30 am–10:00 am
Brunch
Sun 10:00 am–3:00 pm
Lunch
Tue–Sat 11:00 am–3:00 pm
Dinner
Tue–Sat 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
Sun 5:00 pm–8:00 pm
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Phone number
(540) 987-8790
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Neighborhood
Additional
Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 482 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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j
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

This restaurant was closed when we arrived. Open table did not notify us that the restaurant was
closed and we drove quite a long distance to get there. Our friends also drove many miles. We were
very disappointed in the incompetence of Open Table reservations and will never use them again.
The restaurant was close down completely and the small store that adjoined the restaurant had a manager
that informed us that this closure had happened at the beginning of November. Open table did not inform
us and offered no explanation as to why they made a reservation at a restaurant that was no longer in business. Our reservations for December 22 were confirmed in November by Open table. This reservation
company is useless and should not be relied upon for any reservations you plan.

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JC
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

It was not open! Luckily there were alternative places to eat.

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CB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The restaurant no longer exists. It is now a pizza place.

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NP
Washington DC
30 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As usual, I give the Thornton River Grille 5 stars across the board, but I can't recommend it because it just closed. A loss for the neighborhood and for the region. It will be replaced with an expanded Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen, which will continue to offer terrific pizza and, when it reopens in Spring 2019, also creative salads, sandwiches and pastas. The owners are talented and knowledgeable, so here's hoping the reimagined space will be as successful with customers as TRG was for so many years.

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a
Washington DC
70 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The Thornton River Grille has been a long time favorite. I am heartbroken that it is renovating and reinventing itself.

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s
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

You can go back through my reviews on trip advisor and here and see I don't normally write bad reviews. It was the worst dining experience I've ever had in terms of service. We've eaten at Thornton River Grille quite a few times (more than 10) but have never experienced the service we received during our dinner there this time. There were 5 of us and we ordered our food and were waiting quite a while for our food. We all noticed that the table next to us with 4 people had been seated and ordered their food after we had arrived and ordered our food. They received all their food and we had not gotten anything. I waited maybe 5 minutes more and our waitress was standing behind us and I asked her where our food was and she laughed at me. She didn't say anything she just laughed. I said to her "why are you laughing at me?" and she just walked away. When we did receive our food she didn't deliver it and she never came to our table again that night.
I have to mention in our reservation that we were celebrating 3 birthdays, my daughter in law and both of my sons birthdays were around that time and they were all visiting from out of state. There was no mention of any of our birthdays.
My 35 year old son who is in hospitality and will never criticize slow or poor service was the first to express his surprise at the poor reception we received at Thornton River Grill.
I don't know if I could ever go there again and it was my go to place when visiting Skyline Drive.

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MB
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

We've eaten here numerous times over the last few years. Food has always been quite good. Service sometimes spotty but generally good. The last time we visited, the restaurant was out of bread, out of desserts by the time we wanted to order them (at the end of our meal) and, shockingly, out of decaf coffee. Our server was attentive and apologetic. I spoke with her afterwards to express our disappointment in the seeming inattentiveness to having basic staple menu items available, and she confided that the restaurant was actually closing the following week. It apparently is going to be remodeled a bit and reopen as a pizza place. This was really sad news for us. When we come down to the Skyline Drive to hike, which we do often, there is now no really good close farm to table option in Sperryville between the Before & After Cafe/Coffee shop (wonderful) and the new Three Blacksmiths (a rare special occasion place for sure: very trendy, very pricey, totally excellent but booked months out with very limited days of operation). Farewell Thornton River Grille. We are in mourning. You will be sorely missed!!

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EE
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great place to eat. The food and atmosphere is always great.

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E
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Thornton River Grille was a nice surprise on our trip through the Shenandoah region. We had the steak and the duck and both were cooked to the correct temperature and really nice cuts of meat. The mussel appetizer was also great. The only weaker link was the onion tart, the flavor was good but it was really tiny and didn't seem on the same level as the other food. The lemon creme brulee was also a highlight. It's a very casual atmosphere and a bit bright for a restaurant in the evening but that was not an issue for us as we had just hiked Old Rag and changed/freshened up in the car on the way there. Definitely worth the drive from Luray if you aren't staying in Sperryville.

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CC
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

We usually go for dinner; this was a lunch with friends. Food was okay but not great. Waitress was inattentive and rude. Some of the food we ordered wasn’t brought out. Had to ask for drink refills. One order was completely wrong. Two dessert choices were offered. She returned a few minutes later to say there was a third choice. One in our party changed her order. One person was in the restroom so she said she’d come back. She came back about 10 min. later with desserts. We told her the person who had been in the restroom also wanted the other dessert. She rolled her eyes and asked sarcastically, “does anyone want this other dessert then?” She was snarky, rude, unfriendly, and inattentive. She ruined the experience for us.

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d
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

My wife and I dined at the Thorton River Grill on a Tuesday evening. We were fine with it being busy for a weekday. The restaurant was understaffed but the staff tried hard. My wife started with a warm spinach salad and I had creamy tomato soup, both excellent. We both ordered duck breast. My wife ordered it medium and I ordered mine medium rare. My wife's came out rare. Mine was so raw that there was no browning noticed on the outside at all. It uniformly was the same coloring of duck before being cooked. Not appetizing and certainly not safe. We know from experience that generally food will be served one level rarer than ordered. Even with us compensating for how we ordered it, this was ridiculous. Our server graciously took it back. It was returned to us able to be eaten, however not particularly good. Both orders were dry with a universal light brown coloration. What made matters worse is that the potato pancake preparation which was fine to begin with came out dry with parts of it burnt. I'm assuming our plates were just thrown in a microwave. We did finish with a wonderful berry crisp.

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RG
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An amazing experience! The food was excellent as well as the service and the ambiance. Will definitely be going back when visiting Shenandoah next time!

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B
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

We've been here several times before. this was the first time for brunch. Just so so. I had a frittata that was watery and not very tasty.
My friends had burgers which also they rated as ok.
Not the usual quality we've had here. Hopefully, it was just an off day.

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TR
Birmingham
26 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Calamari appetizer is not good.

Had a good margarita pizza but our waiter never told us the specials (we overhead them from another server), we had to ask for waters numerous times, and had to ask for a second round of drinks after looking for our waiter for a while. The restaurant was not that busy.

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RM
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We’ve been to the Thornton River Grill many times and it never disappoints us. The food is wonderful, the restaurant itself is small and cozy. You can talk in a normal voice and be heard. The staff is very good, attentive without being intrusive.

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AW
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Very limited brunch menu. Things missing. Inexplicable long wait while others were served. They did discount by $7 unasked.

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JC
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Flavors are good. Service was excellent. Ate early so noise level was acceptable. Still pricey by comparison with other comparable restaurants in area.

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r
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great place in a quaint town. Pizza was some of the best I’ve had.

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TF
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great food and atmosphere in a fabulous little community

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t
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Thorton Grill is our favorite stopover during our wine tasting sojourns! Highly recommended!

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N
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

We have eaten at TRG in years past and enjoyed it a lot -- the food has always been outstanding. This visit was a disappointment, the quality of the food, while good, was not outstanding by any means, and with smallish portion sizes and quality, the prices seemed high. There was no desert menu. When I made our reservations I specified that we were celebrating our anniversary. No desert menu, so no little bonus slice of cake with a candle -- nothing special at all from TRG, except our server wishing us a happy day and telling us our daughters had phoned to pick up the tab. That was special, but had nothing to do with TRG. In addition, the restaurant has an adjoining store (same owners), and the clerk there was quite rude to us when I asked if the bread was fresh, she replied 'comes in frozen Thursdays.' With a scowl. Not sure why the attitude, she seemed offended that I had asked. I regret that we chose to celebrate our anniversary at TRG, and will chose differently next time.

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BS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Over time, the portion size at this restaurant, and the vegetables accompanying entrees, have shrunk to miniscule amounts. My recent sausage and pasta entree amounted to five or six thin slices of sausage and a small scattering of pasta, in a large dish. Fresh bread is good but one small loaf is provided for four diners, enough for one bite each. Service is friendly and the atmosphere is pleasant. But we’re not going back to pay $40 or $50 and leave hungry. Oddly enough, the only thing served of adequate size was the desserts. Skimping on portions at these prices in Sperryville, a country town, is a bad idea. Put some food on the table.

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PC
Nashville
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Great meat on the burger, but fries were lukewarm. No spicy mustard when I asked, and no hamburger pickles. Waitress was the best part of the visit. She was very friendly and provided good service.

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m
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Chef Nick's entrees were fabulous, TRGrill has long been one of our favorites and with Nick cooking now it is better than ever.

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g
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

as others have said, dinner menu is pretty limited and over-priced...but the food was very good and the service was fine

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DM
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

My husband's meal was great - grilled rack of lamb. My pizza sucked terribly. I would never order their pizza or at least their veggie pizza ever again. My pizza was literally laughable. My husband asked was funny. I was thinking to myself that my personal sized $5 happy hour pizza from Scarlet Oaks in DC had more ingredients than this piece of baked dough with red sauce on it.

The waitress was more a server than a real waitress. Not sure if I would come back here again.

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EB
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food - Good service - Friendly staff - Great setting

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NP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We were visiting the area last week and so we were not familiar with the options for dinner out. I’m very glad we found this place. My filet mignon was cooked to perfection and was very tasty. The wine we selected was very good and reasonably priced. We all enjoyed our dinners - my wife said the duck she had was very good.

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6
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The wood fired pizza was terrific. We had a supreme that had veggies, local Italian sausage and we added pepperoni. the crust was perfect. Paired with a cold glass of Barboursville chardonnay made for a pleasant afternoon on the outside deck.

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RS
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was great, small portion though. I like the breakfast better.

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a
Washington DC
70 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We return again and again. It keeps getting better and better.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

I specifically asked for a romantic table for our anniversary .. no personal touch or acknowledgement from staff.

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DE
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

We had a terrible experience at this restaurant. We were not welcomed. Our waitress was not kind. It was a special occasion for us and we drove quite a distance. Our food was practically thrown at us. The service was cold. We will never return.

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3
Richmond
9 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We celebrated Father's Day having brunch and enjoyed it very much. The only complaint I have is that my sons' pancakes did not come out with the rest of our dishes. There were only three of us and I would think pancakes are the least of the preparation since my husband had the chicken wrap, I had the eggs benedict with salmon. It was a good 10 minutes after our dishes got there that the pancakes, sausage & side of home fries arrived. Everything was delish besides!!

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a
Washington DC
70 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are frequent diners at the Thornton River Grille. We love this place but this visit was truly exceptional. They keep getting better and better -- enough so that I sought out the owner to tell him.

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PJ
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Busy restaurant is welcome in rural local. Perhaps a little overpriced with big city prices.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Service was extremely slow. Waitress messed up our drink orders. Food took over an hour and the restaurant was not busy.

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d
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

Consistently good food, but offering a more limited menu...

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FF
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Thornton River Grill is our go-to restaurant in Rappahannock County; can be counted on for locally -sourced food, well-prepared, and sometimes interesting though not avant-garde choices. No sound baffling, though, so it is always noisy.

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AE
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We have eaten at the Grille do or many years. The food is always excellent, but we are disappointed in the new abbreviated summer menu. Trout and/or a local fresh water fish is no longer offered. There are no appetizers just small plates and large plates. We are seniors so I expect not a target customer. But if they are going to advertze local ingredients how about fish, lamb and pork- all missing.

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