Visiting town for a few days, 5 of us (ages 30-56, from mixed backgrounds and with mixed tastes) popped in to Anthony Wayne's at 5:30 pm Thursday evening. We had no reservations, but the charming hostess standing on the front steps of the gorgeous building assured us that was no problem. We were seated immediately, greeted by a spirited waitress (Laura) quickly, and had prompt but not overbearing service throughout the meal. The decor of the early 1900s former Masonic Lodge was impeccable. The lighting and ambiance was appropriate for our conversation but could just as easily be suitable for a romantic evening for 2. On Thursday nights, the restaurant offers a 3 glass wine tasting for $10, during which the somellier comes to the table and discusses a white and two reds he has chosen. They are poured each after the one before is finished, there was never a rushed feeling. The full service bar also accommodated one in our table for a cocktail and another for a domestic beer. The food was incredible. We had the chef's appetizer of the day (a giant ravioli filled with a sweet acorn squash compote), a main course, and fabulous desserts handcrafted by the pastry chef. This American cuisine was tasty and presented beautifully enough that we ALL thought this could easily be a 5 star restaurant. Entrees varied from the "stacks" on gritcakes, this restaurant's version of a chicken cordon bleu, crabcakes, and a fresh catch of the day (Sheep's Head caught that morning in a NC stream). Thoughtfully and creatively prepared, the food was gone from each plate before the head chef and owner came out to the restaurant to visit with each table. He was very modest, bragging on his staff, thankful for his opportunity and blessing to be cooking and serving in this environment. We had homemade gelato and creme brulee for desserts before paying our checks. We would have never guessed this fare in this environment could be this reasonably priced at about $35 per person! I would recommend this restaurant to anyone. Each one of our party has traveled in various parts of the country and the world, and can, as a group be difficult to please all in one place. Anthony Wayne's is a 5 star restaurant in our eyes, and you would be doing yourself a disservice to not stop in and check it out! Happy Eating!!
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