I've been to Tuscarora Mills three times in the past three months, all for special occasions. We always made advanced reservations. The first two times, we were satisfied with the whole experience but didn't feel moved to rave about it. It was just a very nice dining experience but nothing stood out (good or bad) that inspired me to write a review.
However, this past weekend a larger party of us decided to celebrate a birthday there, and I cannot rave highly enough about the food, the service, the ambience, and the attention to detail (including the birthday girl's name on all our menus). From the complimentary little appetizer the chef sent to the coffee and decadent dessert, everything was delicious and perfectly prepared. In our party we had one child, one vegetarian, and five hungry adventurous eaters (one of whom has several food allergies). All were delighted with the options. Everyone at the table ordered something different for appetizers, entrees, and dessert, so we had an excellent sample of the menu offerings.
Best appetizer in my opinion: flash fried oysters with spinach cream sauce. This dish would be easy to ruin with too much salt or cooking time, but they nailed it perfectly. Least favorite: spring roll (too wide - more like an egg roll than spring roll-- and not as flavorful as it could have been).
Three items worth noting about Tuscora Mills: They now waive a corking fee for any Virginia wines brought to the restaurant. That means you can swing by your favorite vineyard and pick up a bottle to have with your dinner without paying the typical markup or hefty corking fee. Secondly, Tuscora Mills offers the entrees in two sizes, which in my opinion is an excellent idea more resturants should embrace. Lastly, I would actively avoid being seated in the alcove-type area on the main (2nd) floor. It looks and feels like a poorly designed add-on for more seating. That little nook removes diners from the experience of the restaurant as it lacks decor or charm, but it does not offer privacy as tables are crammed in there.
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