I had really good expectations. That's the way is was suppose to be? Right? I have scoured yelp! Google reviews, even here on trip advisor. After all, this was suppose to be our parent's night out.
Our daycare holds, every two months, a 'Parents Night Out' where we drop our little ones off at the school for pizza and a movie for a few hours and us parents go out for a dinner without my impatient toddler and jumpy newborn.
My husband and I wanted to try a place to eat that was above our normal Bob Evans type dinner - since they tolerate our kids. We chose the Fox's Den Tavern because we wanted to finally see Middleburg, and the ratings were above average. Plus it was one of the few restaurants that didn't have an abundance of seafood on the menu - my one allergy.
We made reservations in advance. After dropping off our kids, we drove about 30 minutes down Rt. 50 to Middleburg. We parked and arrived right at our coveted time. Upon arriving, I was pushed out of the way by a male patron, who must have been a local and a regular to be seated before us, even though we were patiently waiting there first. The waitress asked us for our name, and when she checked the book we saw our name had been crossed out and our table had been given away. We wanted a nice adult semi-romantic dinner. Instead of the white linen tablecloth dinner we had been expecting, we were placed at a table in the bar area. I turned to my husband and said 'well, at least we have a table and don't have to eat in the arm chairs and the coffee table area'.
Once seated, the countdown began. We were on a time limit before we had to return to the school to pick up our children. After being seated and given our menus, we waited 25 minutes before our order was taken for water and wine. Granted, from what we could gather there were only two waitresses for the entire tavern...they might have been understaffed. My husband had to flag someone down. I enquired if what was fried of mixed with shellfish...turns out a good deal of the menu, which wasn't too bad as they had other good options. After ordering our wine, it took another 10-15 minutes before we could even order from the menu, it was that hard to flag someone down.
From the bar area we were able to view the area of the tavern we had hope to sit in. Over on the other side, tables who had been seated after us already had eaten their appetizer and received their main course, whereas we just managed to order our meal. Water and wine had already been refilled. Patrons at the bar had received better attention than us. My husband and I speculated that since we were from out of town, obviously not part of the Middleburg town establishment, or maybe we didn't look like money lined our pockets enough to warrant the excellent attention and service the other patrons in the tavern received.
The appetizer was ok. My husband was happy with his salad. I had the soup because it was one of the few items that wasn't cooked with shellfish or had elements that would be fried with seafood. My one happiness was the soup was not salty. It was seasoned just right.
As for the main, I had the risotto with wild mushrooms. The rice was mushy and overcooked, but the entree itself had great flavor. My husband ordered the red snapper, which looked fantastic on the plate but when his fork when into it, the entire inside was raw and cold. We had to wait about 10 minutes before we could flag the waitress down to let her know. The fish was sent back to the kitchen and returned. It was still raw in the middle, but at this point we had been in the Fox's Den Tavern for over an hour and half and needed to allow enough time to drive back down 50 in time. We skipped desert and asked for the bill. My husband's fish was taken off the bill since it was raw the first time and not cooked all the way when sent back.
Overall, I felt the wait staff really needed another person on duty. We felt slighted that parties that arrived after us received faster and better attention than we did. The whole establishment had the feeling that the more money and influence in the town of Middleburg you had, the better attention you received. Such a shame. We were also asked to test out this eating establishment and refer our experience back to our co-workers and friends who have never been to Middleburg. Sadly I have to say this time I cannot recommend it unless you have the local influence and air of money to speed up your service, because that is the impression we received.
We do plan to return to Middleburg one of these days when our kids are in school and perhaps try this place again during the day and during lunch. The food that did come out was very flavorful, and their menu is slightly different.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.