Walk into Clyde's Willow Creek Farm in Ashburn, VA - north of Dulles Airport - and the place appears to be more a rambling country manor house or perhaps an art gallery or early American museum than restaurant. In fact, I wondered ... what is it? Misplaced priorities, clearly!
A fortune in original Audubon prints hang on the walls ... too many to count. The original watercolors are absolutely spectacular. Each dining room of the sprawling restaurant has a different theme. There's even the horse statue from the old "21 Club" in New York.
After a nice-but-not-great lunch, we walked through the place, getting lost a time or two. I looked at all the grandeur and wondered about the owner's obvious obsession with collecting valuable artwork and whether it was misguided. Why hadn't he put the same passion into the menu, food preparation and presentation? That area needs work.
Clyde's menu is nice but nothing clever. Fish, crab cakes, steak, burgers, salads. The usual stuff.
Preparation was good but nothing special or memorable. There were no "wow" moments for my palate.
Service was friendly and genuinely cordial.
The locally roasted Quartermaine Coffee they serve is ghastly. If such coffee were served at any restaurant in Europe, people would spit it on the floor in disgust.
Desserts are heavily-laden with far, far too much sugar that masks any other flavors.
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