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“What a disappointment!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Manor House Restaurant

The Manor House Restaurant
9245 Rogues Road, Casanova, VA 20139
8004907747
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Ranked #1 of 1 Restaurants in Casanova
Price range: $60 - $80
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Casanova Road
Potomac, Maryland
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“What a disappointment!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

This was my 5th visit in the last 2 years to The Manor House Restaurant (see my previous review). Each of the other times it was absolutely fabulous. I enjoyed meals that I raved about to friends. I really looked forward to returning. This time, I certainly don't. The price of the different menu options has not changed, but the quality and selections have gone seriously downhill.

The evening started with great promise. The amuse bouche sent out by the chef was delicious and my crab cake starter course was excellent. The service was good - attentive, but certainly not obsequious or overbearing. The wine steward helped us pick a delicious, reasonably priced bottle. But then...

We waited and waited and waited for our main courses. Eventually, about a half hour after clearing our starter dishes, we were served what was supposed to be a palate cleansing sorbet. Nope. Instead of a small taste of a citrus-y, snappy sort of palate cleanser, we were served a sweet, creamy vanilla ice cream. So wrong! But, that was only a precursor of what came next. My main course, a sliced duck breast, was served swimming in a kind of rice wine vinegar (perhaps mixed with Asian fish sauce??). It was absolutely inedible.

I asked the server if this is how the duck is normally served and he said that the chef "often changes the presentation". Okay, maybe this was just one of those bad ideas that happen sometimes. (Though, for the price of this meal, this kind of "experiment" should never have found its way to the dining room!) I was asked if I would like to return the dish and I said yes and to please replace it with anything that could be cooked quickly. (Others at my table had been served and I certainly didn't want them to have to wait for me.) The "replacement" steak did come out in about 10 minutes, but it was tough and fatty. The reduction in quality of ingredients was quite apparent.

Desserts were okay. My almond cake was rather dry, but my husband's chocolate souffle was very good. In the past, diners were brought a tray of assorted "delices" along with the bill. This time, there were a couple of truffles - okay, but nowhere as good as in previous visits.

All in all, this meal was a real disappointment. I noted that the restaurant was only half full on a Friday evening. I understand why. A lot of money for mediocre food. I can't imagine returning any time soon.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    30
    7
    3
    5
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Cozy Place By Fireplace”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

Great goatcheese/beet salad, great wine, great short ribs, skip raw oysters and corn chowder. Cozy place, great if you are staying at hotel, their burger & fries are outstanding.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Disappointed!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

After reveiwing all the wonderful reviews we chose this restaurant on the Sunday of Valentines day weekend for a special dinner out. We were visiting the Virginina wine country with another couple and thought this would be a perfect ending to our wonderful weekend. Whether it was an off night for the chef, or because it was Sunday night, or maybe the stars weren't aligned with the planets correctly, or the ingredients weren't as fresh because it was Sunday, I can't say for sure. But what I can say is that this was a very poor and disappointmenting dining experience for all of us. Having dined at Claires at the Depot the night before, and enjoying an amazing meal, we were expecting no less after reading of the great experiences of past reviewers. I suppose because of the holiday we could only order from the prix fixe three or four course menu. One of our guests mentioned that they weren't feeling hungry enough and wanted less food than the three courses. No flexibility on this request. Our waiter was aloof and NOT ONCE while any of our 12 dishes ( we all chose the three course menu) were served or cleared inquired whether we needed anything, or asked how our dish was. Some of our dishes were barely eaten and no inquiry or concern was expressed. I have never seen a waiter in a restaurant of this caliber show so little attention or concern to the guests they were serving. I had the lobster with some sort of vanilla infusion. I was open minded but the chef was off on the pairing and combining of these two ingredients. Lobster should be memorable. This was not. Pan seared stiped bass should have tasted fresh and moist. It did not. We all had a variety of the menu items and not one of us could pick one of the items that was exceptional. We were trying not to be negative, but it became impossible as the dinner progressed. The positive aspects of the evening were that the dishes were presented beautifully and the restaurant is gorgeous and romantic. But we left feeling really ripped off with a bill over $400 and we only had a few glasses of wine priced by the glass. I could go on and on, but all I can say is that we dine out frequently and haven't had an experience this bad in quite a while. You only get one chance to make a first impression and we won't ever dine here again based on that impression. Go to Claires at the depot instead. You don't be disappointed there.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Extremely overpriced and inattentive service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We ate at the Manor House over President's Day weekend and were extremely disappointed with the experience. Overall the food was low quality and the service was virtually non-existent.

It was a 3 course prix fixe menu starting at $75pp. My husband was not very hungry so he asked if there was an al la carte menu instead. Our waiter gave him a condescending look (as though he felt we were trying to be cheap) and replied "no." We thought it was a reasonable request given that we were a party of 4 so he was guaranteed a minimum of $225 check before drinks and it was not at all crowded. Our waiter also seemed annoyed when we asked for clarification about a couple of the items on the menu, as if we were wasting his valuable time.

The menu looked great, the food sounded interesting and complex and very high end. However, when we got our orders we were very much disappointed in the taste and the quality of the ingredients. I ordered the Lobster vichyssoise, braised short rib risotto and new york strip - rare. The first course tasted like cold, smoky clam chowder and there was no lobster in it. The risotto was nice and I enjoyed it, but it was not to the level I would expect in such an expensive restaurant. The steak was over cooked, tough and generally lacking in flavor.

Our waiter was virtually non-existent the entire meal (which for a 3 course meal is a long time). He never once came over after a course was served to ask if we needed anything, or if we were enjoying the meal. We all wanted to complain at various times, however we never got the opportunity.

The atmosphere of the restaurant was also frustrating, while the decor was amazing, it was one of those places where you felt you had to really keep your voice down so as not to disturb the other guests, we were even afraid to laugh too much! It didn't help that there were only 3 other groups eating in the restaurant so voices really carried.

At the end of the day, we spent $400 (before tip) on our dinner and nobody left feeling like they had remotely enjoyed the meal. None of us would go back to this restaurant.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Meade, Maryland
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Little Late But Need to Review!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

My wife and I ate there in on 14 Feb of 2012 and I can tell you that that experience never left our minds. We drove in from Woodbridge, VA for a early evening Valentines Dinner and we were not let down! It sits on an old farm/mansion and has quite a bit of history. The main dining area is large and inviting. The only reservation that I could get was around the 1700-1800 range and we were the third couple there--in the hour or two afterwards, the restaurant filled! We chose the course-meal plan and without a doubt, was exquisite! If you have an opportunity to get out there for a special date, this is the place. You will not be let down! Service, excellent--never was asked, "who had this or who had that." It's as if they remembered and I mean, a few different waiters visited us and placed the correct plate in front of the correct person without asking! GO!

  • Visited February 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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