My two mistakes: First, I really should have asked for a different table.
After a cocktail in the bar area (beautiful view - there was a wedding with an inflated, lit balloon), we checked in for our reservation, and we got "the look" - kind of like Ferris Bueller’s experience at Chez Paul. (I know it was not intentional, and barely noticeable.) I thought it might have been just me but my wife confirmed the same feeling.
We were placed way back and out, what later seemed to be the server training area.
After seating, we received different dinner menus. "I think I'll have the grouper." "That's not on my menu." "Hey, we have different menus! That's weird!"
After getting the menus straightened out, I asked for a wine list and server gave us the by-the-glass list. Server was away by the time we realized this. Finally got the bottle list, and pricing is insane. I expect that for by-the-glass, but the bottle prices were just as out-of-line.
I settled on a nice Chateauneuf with some bottle age - I can live with the premium they were charging for an aged bottle. Our server returned - "we don't have that wine" - so, back to the list.
Forty-five minutes have now passed. "I'm sorry, but we're very busy tonight." HUH???
After a struggle, our bottle is opened and I finally see our appetizers on the way, with our entrees right behind!!! Our server has the same expression I do.
I don't know if our server knew that we knew, but entrees were diverted back to the kitchen (prognosis unknown).
After a few minutes I asked the server to send the entrees on - I'd rather pile it all up than risking the wait for our mains.
The food was really good - surprisingly good after our experience so far. So I really can't give this a terrible rating.
And no, we didn't complain. We just got to the point of cutting our losses and bailing out.
So there's my second error. But I've corrected that one now.
The Homestead presents a standard for a dining experience, and this one this fell so short of that. I really do hope they can renew and maintain the standards that you come to expect from this Virginia icon.