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“Wonderful experience.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Freemason Abbey Restaurant

Freemason Abbey Restaurant
209 W Freemason St, Norfolk, VA 23510-1213
757-622-3966
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Ranked #11 of 621 Restaurants in Norfolk
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dessert, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Located in a 140 year-old renovated church, Freemason Abbey Restaurant has been a local's favorite in the heart of downtown Norfolk for 23 years.
Hampton Roads VA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2009

Not knowing what to expect after reading the reviews, we had a really nice time. We had a reservation and were very glad we did as it was quite busy on a Friday night. The service was outstanding! The food was delicous and the atmosphere was lovely. The only detraction was being seated next to a very large, 3 table party that was very loud. We will definetly return.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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422 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    191
    128
    68
    23
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chesapeake, VA
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“An old church converted to a restaurant - unbeatable atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2009

Freemason Abbey gets a bit of a bad rap based on expectations brought on by advertising, in my opinion. The food is reliably good if a bit pricey. We usually go for the lobster special on Wednesday nights. If you find the menu to be too pricey, try this - have a salad, appetizers and dessert, skipping the entree. The wait staff is cheerful and stable - we usually ask for one waitress who has been there for years. Ask to visit the kitchen - they're happy to oblige. Our visits have always been enjoyable.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Panama City, Florida
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“The restaurant is a converted church (136 years old) so the atmosphere is quite elegant. Menu has a wide selection...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2009

The restaurant is a converted church (136 years old) so the atmosphere is quite elegant. Menu has a wide selection (highly recommend the she-crab soup). I had the special for the evening which was yak (yes yak) with a demi-glace. Ordered it medium-rare but was still a little over done. Good but not great wine selection.

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Lakehurst, New Jersey
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“What a Disapointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2009

After hearing so many good things about this Norfolk landmark restaurant, my husband and I were very excited to finally have the opportunity to dine there with our neighbors - what a disappointment it turned out to be. It was a Saturday evening and we had reservations for 7:45 pm. The first thing I noticed was that the restaurant was very empty for a Saturday night (not a good sign). We were seated promptly upstairs in a booth. The booth would be comfortable for two people but it was a bit tight for four people. Our server had no personality whatsoever and her service was definitely not on par with what one would expect from a restaurant of this price range. My husband and I both ordered the WHOLE NEW ENGLAND LOBSTER ($24.95) which is (strangely enough) served with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans. I asked our server if I could have broccoli in lieu of the green beans and was told there would be $1.00 charge to make this substitution (seriously?? $1.00 charge???). I agreed to pay the $1.00, as green beans are the only vegetable I don't care for and I wanted to get something I'd enjoy. A salad is not included but can be purchased for an additional $2.95. I am very glad I didn't order one after I saw the house salad that was served to our neighbor. His salad consisted of a wedge of iceberg lettuce drizzled with dressing and served with a small block of cheddar cheese (bizarre). A wedge of iceberg lettuce? Seriously? It was the strangest "salad" I have ever seen. My husband and I each ordered the she-crab soup. The soup was OK (overpriced for sure), but too spicy in my opinion. I much prefer the she-crap soup served at the Lynnhaven Fish House. Our entrees were served promptly enough. The menu describes the lobster as "A whole, fresh 1-1/4 pound live lobster, steamed just right to make the meat sweet and tender" I am not sure what their definition of "tender" is there, but our lobsters were anything but. They were obviously overcooked and very tough - truly disappointing. Our server was very slow to clear our table and again, didn't provide the level of service one would expect from a restaurant with such a pricey menu. She brought out the tray of desserts. They apparently do not make any of the desserts there. I ordered one of the cakes offered and it was not at all impressed. The coffee also left much to be desired. My husband and I each had one drink, soup, an entree and a dessert and our bill came to $99. I do not mind paying that much (or even more) for a good meal and good service but Freemason Abbey provided neither. From the other recent reviews I've read, the food at this restaurant has apparently gone down hill from what it once was. Such a shame. The food at Free Mason Abbey is no where near worth the prices they are charging. With the number of really good restaurants in this area I will not be returning to this high priced disappointment.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Chesapeake, VA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Disappointing, not worth the price”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2009

Wanted to do something special for the son's graduation. Picked Freemason Abbey due to proximity and reviews on the net. Out of my party of eight, only one diner was satisfied with thier dinner (they had a seafood dish). My Primerib was fatty and tough, two of my guests had steak and it was tough. The kids and my wife had fettucini and none of them liked it "Dad- it tasted like it was made yesterday and reheated today". Service was poor, even though it did not seem busy, not sure since we had a party of eight if the mandatory 18% gratuity remove the incentive to provide good service. Will not go back.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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