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“What a surprise!”
Review of Tastings

Tastings
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Ranked #79 of 553 Restaurants in Charlottesville
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: When Tastings started in 1990 it was the only fully integrated Wine Shop/ Wine Bar/ Restaurant on the East Coast. About twenty years later, there is still only a handful of establishments in the U.S. such as Tastings. Besides being an outstanding wine shop in its own right as well as a fine restaurant, Tastings offers a large selection of wines by the glass. Wines are offered in flights for experimentation with a meal for a modest fee over the retail price of wines in the shop. Tastings' restaurant serves simple, direct cuisine that allows each customer a gustatory and educational experience in a friendly but professional fine restaurant.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“What a surprise!”
Reviewed July 24, 2012

I was a little trepidatious about sharing an afternoon bottle of wine and cheese plate out of a wine shop, but it was awsome! The helpful clerk took our completely unhelpful suggestions and picked out a stellar bottle for us. The cheese plate was also one of the best I've had. A great spot to while away the afternoon on the patio.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank cancemini4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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81 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    51
    20
    4
    2
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
AndWhere2Next
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Limited menu, prices on the high side. But, delicious and relaxed. Dog-friendly.”
Reviewed July 15, 2012

A little bit off the mall, Tastings was a delightful experience. The menu was limited and a bit pricey, but everything was prepared perfectly and the service was excellent. Nothing was rushed and we were able to enjoy the experience. We had mushrooms in puff pastry, brussel sprout salad, and crab dip as appetizers. For dinner, we had pan-seared chicken in a mushroom sauce, pan-seared cod, and a pasta with chanterelle and morel mushrooms. Not a restaurant for every night, but great for special occasions.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank AndWhere2Next
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Coast
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Diamond in the rough?”
Reviewed June 25, 2012

We give Tastings 5 stars for its food and wine selection/pricing, but, at the same time, have to acknowledge a few issues. First, the good: Bill Curtis, the owner/chef, clearly loves great food and wine, and has a high degree of dedication to finding the best ingredients and passing the county on to his customers. At a reasonable price, he routinely offers fresh morels and other noble wild mushrooms, soft shell crab, quail, duck confit, fresh lobster salad, and other delicacies that are not all that common on local menus. Everything is prepared at the quality level (and in the style) of a good French bistro, which to say, not elegant, but very tasty.

For wine, Tastings cannot be beat. They have a huge selection of wine by the glass, they offer flights of matched wines to broaden your palette, and they will serve you any bottle in the shop for a small surcharge.

Now the "rough" part. This place does not always do a rollicking business, so, when it does, the number of customers can quickly outstrip the capacity of the kitchen and wait staff. This means that you may have to be very relaxed about how long the food takes to get to the table, if you go when they are crowded. The other issue is the decor, which is a bit dated, bordering on shabby -- but, the place is clean, the tables are comfortable, and it's about the food and wine, rather than the atmosphere.

In short, we highly recommend Tastings, especially on a warm Saturday, when you can sit under the trees and umbrellas outdoors, and quaff a series of interesting flights of wine, while savoring some of the specialties from Bill's kitchen. Tastings is a highly individualistic enterprise, reflecting the particular tastes of the owner who loves good food and wine, rather than the corporate conception of a marketing and financial team. Go, and enjoy!

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Macroscope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
227 reviews
175 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Sip and Dine”
Reviewed June 2, 2012

Fine food and fine wine. A great place to sit and enjoy the fine wine and fine food. Not a lot of tables so be sure to call for reservations.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank Caroline Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
143 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Wonderful food. Incredible wine selection. Fabulous staff.”
Reviewed May 28, 2012

Tastings is a treasure. It is small, intimate and the food is delicious. It's conveniently located just off the pedestrian Downtown Mall with easy parking next door in the downtown garage. Tastings is also a wine store with countless bottles from all over the world. The owner, Bill, is a walking wine enclycopedia and a heck of a nice guy. The food here is tops: elegant, generoulsy served and creative and not the least bit pretentious. His famous crab dip is divine as are the mussels with frites, the fried oysters, the morels, the veal chop, the soft shell crabs, etc., etc. They also have beautifully prepared seasonal and local items. The cuisine is a combination of French and American. The staff: friendly and very helpful. If you have a meal here you can pick out a bottle of wine and receive a discount. Or let Bill or Jason recommend a wine (bottle or glass) and they will get you something that will pair perfectly with your meal. They will not try and sell you the most expensive one if that is not in your budget. They also host wine tastings and have a wine club if you're interested. We feel like old friends when we come here.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Andiamo_38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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