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.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.