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“Wow . . .”

The Inn & Garden Cafe
Ranked #7 of 15 Restaurants in Onancock
Price range: $12 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Rochester, NY
Level Contributor
41 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Wow . . .”
Reviewed May 2, 2009

My wife and I had a wonderful dinner at the Inn and Garden Café – a bit off the beaten track in Onancock, Virginia. We were able to have a dining experience that rarely occurs – an almost-private dinner prepared just for the two of us. Since we were eating early during the low season, for most of the meal we were the only diners in this cozy, yet bright, dining room. The gracious owners of the Inn (Sandra and Paul) were our waiter and host, plus we able to meet and talk to the charming and talented chef, Gary (he stopped by after the main course and the dessert to chat and get first-hand feedback).

We started the meal with a delightful lobster bisque that was loaded with crab meat. It was lightly creamy – not too thick – and, at the recommendation of our host, we added a bit of sherry to it, which really took the flavor to a new level. The homemade olive and cheese herb bread was fresh from the oven and lightly toasted. The simple, yet effective, transition to our main course was a salad of arugula, radicchio, scallions, kalamata olives, diced mushrooms, and grape tomatoes in a light, balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The main course was lump crab cakes served with bok choy and jasmine rice. The crab cakes were absolutely delicious.

You will note that we only discussed one appetizer, salad, and main course. That’s because my wife and I (both relatively light eaters) usually split all our selections so that we can enjoy all the courses offered. This has been handled in the past in many ways. Usually, we either trade the plate back and forth or are provided a second plate that we use to apportion the food provided. Here, each course came out already separately apportioned and perfectly presented on twin bowls (soup) or plates. One side benefit is that this sometimes allows room for two desserts for us to share, which we did this evening, to our delight. The desserts were a lifetime-best key lime pie and an out-of-this world crème caramel.

This was about as good as it gets - delightful service, wonderful food, and a very charming setting. The overall experience made us think that this must be the way the president eats with his own private, first-class chef! Definitely worth the trip if you are anywhere along the Virginia Eastern Shore.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank psawicki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Skillman, NJ
1 review
“Best Restaurant and Inn on the Eastern Shore of Virginia”
Reviewed June 5, 2008

Chef Dennis of the Inn and Garden Cafe in Onancock, VA rates four stars for his creative cooking, fresh ingredients and beautiful presentation. Our dinner and breakfasts at the Inn were perfect in every way. The service was flawless and assistant manager Paul Fox's wine recommendations were excellent. The restaurant has a full bar and a beautiful gazebo dining room. The crab cakes were the best we have ever eaten. All baking is done on the premises including breakfast pastries and sinful desserts. Our two night stay at the Inn during the last weekend in May was an experience in total relaxation. This Inn provides thoughtful amenities, beautiflully decorated and large rooms, very comfortable beds, and hospitable service comparable to a top notch hotel.

Thank BlueSkillman_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York State, US
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“delightful place for lunch”
Reviewed May 26, 2008

Finding this cafe was a delightful surprise. We were driving north and hoped to find a nicer place to have an upscale lunch, and we found this place completely by accident. We sat in a lovely sun room on a Sunday, and we both enjoyed our meals very much. I had crabcakes, and they tied for the best I have eaten. Highly recommended!

Thank mollyparker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
“Excellent preparer of seafood!”
Reviewed October 28, 2007

This was a great opportunity to eat food prepared in an exquisite manner (certainly not what I could have done at home!). The prices were very affordable. The service was exceptional.

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

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