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“High Expectations - Bad Experience”
Review of Clifton Inn

Clifton Inn
Ranked #117 of 582 Restaurants in Charlottesville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Route 250 West
Description: At Clifton, it's all about delicious discovery. Our culinary team offers guests the chance to taste the world with daily departures designed to thrill the palette and capture the imagination. The elegant atmosphere and attentive service at Clifton is perfect for transforming any occasion into a special one. Executive Chef Tucker Yoder regularly assembles tantalizing tasting menus that turn a meal at Clifton into a fine food lover’s dream. Clifton diners can also have front row seats for the culinary action at the Chef’s Table. Designed for groups of 6 to 10 people, the Chef’s Table puts you literally front and center, allowing you to watch the culinary team make their magic.
Reviewed June 14, 2013

Stayed at the Inn in late May due in part to the rave restaurant reviews. Based on my experience and other recent bad reviews it appears that the "incredible chef" left a couple of months ago. In a way I am glad there is an explanation because while we are not "foodies" by any stretch my husband and I were both baffled as to how what we were served could be considered even average. As others have said the portions are small, but I understood that going in....what I did not expect was flavorless, poorly presented selections with up to 25 minutes between courses. It took us 2 hours to eat and I even returned one of my courses (soft shell crab) as it was practically inedible.
Server (Kara?) did a great job under the circumstances.
Hopefully they will sort this out sooner rather than later, but I am unlikely to return.

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Thank Sandy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
___027, General Manager at Clifton Inn, responded to this reviewResponded June 21, 2013

Dear Sandy,

Thank you for taking the time to come and dine with us and write a review. Naturally we are disappointed that you did not enjoy your experience.

We do get a lot of rave reviews, as we really strive to make innovative dishes from local organic ingredients. Our aim is that each course must dazzle, be a feast for the taste buds but also for the eyes.

We also listen carefully to our customers, and we have instituteded some changes both on the kitchen and the service side so that your issues will not be repeated.

Niall Reid
General Manager
The Clifton Inn

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (166)
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89 - 93 of 166 reviews

Reviewed June 10, 2013

I'll start with a compliment- the grounds are beautiful! But....the food was comically bad and I would strongly advise anyone against going there for dinner. I have never written a review, but was so appalled by the food tonight that I was moved to do so. Even if you have tons of disposable income-you would be better served buying five guys and giving your money to a homeless person instead of dining here.

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Thank bonvivant80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2013

I been fan of this restaurant for many years, I booked it for graduation dinner and for my surprise , we found that they accepted more people that they can handled the look of the restaurant was cheap ( many tables with rental chairs) that got out the flair of the place. the dinner was comercial and very expensive ) dont do it in this weekend the rest of the year is a lovely place to expend the evening

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Thank Bellis60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2013

Very marginal quality and portion sizes, particularly given the extremely high prices. We are not "foodies" so it is possible that we just didn't get it. The beet soup with tuna chunks will live in infamy as an inside family joke. I had the grouper and others had steak. Portion sizes were EXTREMELY small....and we are not big eaters. On the positive side, the wait staff was outstanding, the wine selection was excellent, and the desserts were tasty. Overall, very unlikely that we will return. Cost per person ~$100+ with one glass of moderately priced wine, dessert, tax and tip.

Thank Louisianagirl99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2013

What a major disappointment! This gorgeous Inn once had a fabulous Chef, Dean Paulin, who made magic in the gorgeous open kitchen. For reasons unbeknownst to me he has left the Clifton to new ventures. And unfortunately the Clifton did not advertise the fact that their great chef had departed...The menu left behind is a ghost of the Clifton' glorious times, times where it easily earned its place among other Relais-Chateaux. The presentation of every single dish on our four-course-meals was pathetic and showed little more creativity than a truckers' stop. Everything was blend as if the Kitchen had been robbed of all its herbs and spices. Some of the ingredients were barely fresh as in asparagus shavings that were as rough as tree bark, stale raisins, sorry looking kale, tired raw tuna that was not even properly seared, among other things. Despite the valiant effort of four waiters, the service was all but mediocre and certainly not dignified iof a relais-chateaux. The only part of the meal that was up to par with the standards of that elite group of establishments was of course the price peaking at $190...A very sad and expensive way for my wife and I to celebrate our wedding anniversary that I do not wish on anyone. If you feel like spending a night at the Clifton for its gorgeous setting at a mere $300 go ahead but make sure you head for downtown Charlottesville to eat at the incredible Fleurie or its sister establishment Petit Pois for a true memorable culinary experience.

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Thank Ocalas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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