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“Tough ticket, but worth it.”

Thornton River Grille
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Ranked #1 of 12 Restaurants in Sperryville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $29 - $31
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Kids, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast, Lunch, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Serving great American food with a worldly flair, we’re open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 3pm for lunch and 5pm to 9pm for dinner. We also serve a lovely brunch on Sunday from 10am to 3pm and dinner from 5pm to 8pm. The atmosphere is at the same time elegant and casual. The richness and warmth of the hand-planed wood-paneled walls provides a comfortable dining experience that can be enjoyed equally in dressy-casual attire or hiking shorts. We are located in the heart of historic Sperryville, Virginia, 75 miles west of Washington D.C., at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We look forward to serving you soon!
Greenbelt, Maryland
Level Contributor
40 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Tough ticket, but worth it.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2013

We walked in for brunch yesterday (the planned bushwhack hike was giving us no views in the fog). The place was filling up, but we were seated instantly.

The only way that is likely to happen is if you don't drop in for dinner on the weekend. This place is known, for someplace so small and deceptively out of the way, and the wait time on a Saturday night should prove that to you. But the food. The closest I have come to dying from sheer eyes-bigger-than-stomach stuffedness was here. One of the best brunches I ever had in my life was yesterday. Devils Backbone Vienna Lager helps with that. So do eggs that are the dictionary definition of "over hard" and so does sausage and hash browns that know supporting roles and play them well. So does attentive service. So do attractive blond tables and chairs and plain overall vibe.

If you don't like this spot, eating out may not be your thing. Busy and yet relaxed. The day took an unexpectedly wrong turn for us; the Grille set things right. Not the first time the Grille has set things right with me.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DonnTheHiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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407 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    200
    156
    39
    6
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
142 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Local gem and worth the stop”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2013

I sought this restaurant out as a recommended ‘to do’ enroute to Skyline Drive, which could be easily found just off of US 211 in Sperryville, VA, and was not disappointed. The restaurant is part of the a group of 3 buildings that are interconnected to each other and can access the restaurant either from the parking area in the rear or from the street entrance through the center market building. The parking area behind the building can get pretty congested since it probably serves the three buildings as there is no street parking on the front side. I stopped for a late Sunday lunch and the parking area was very busy.

The covered rooftop patio was packed and opted to eat inside instead of waiting for an outdoor table to open although there were several picnic tables available in the grass area, but thought it might be a little too cold for me without any outdoor heaters. It was busy inside, as well, but was greeted and seated right away. The service was fast and friendly and could see why the restaurant is a favorite as everything I saw coming out of the kitchen looked delicious. I settled for the grilled chicken salad which came with both breast sections on a large bed of spinach and greens. The chicken was grilled perfectly and was hot and moist and had not dried out from being previously cooked and reheated.

This is a local gem and definitely worth the stop if you’re in the area.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Carol210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Not what we expected”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2013

Well, this was a bit of a surprise. We called into the Grill expecting a regular bar/restaurant but were surprised to find a menu full of fine dining options. Both the food and service was great.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank LittlePPod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“We'll Definitely Be Back!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2013

My husband and I decided this Sunday afternoon would be the perfect day to drive to the mountains and check out the beauty of autumn and enjoy each other's company. We were in Luray and Sperryville and had actually passed this restaurant on our way into town but didn't pay it much mind... Once we were ready to eat, we kept looking for a place but not much luck. While I was in a store, my hubby decided to check your website and after seeing the number of glowing reviews, he decided this would be the place for us to try. He made a reservation for us as we were told the place was pretty crowded.

The afternoon and evening were cool so only option was to eat inside. The dining room was not very large and the tables were in fairly close proximity to each other. Not a whole lot of atmosphere either, but what we soon came to realize was that none of that mattered. The staff was friendly, seated us promptly and found us a great corner table in spite of the fact that most tables were occupied. A server came very promptly and answered all of our questions. I love soup and their soup of the day was Red Pepper Soup. Our server explained that it was a pureed and creamy soup so I ordered a cup. I love my food hot, and with the first bite, I didn't find it so, but with every add'l bite it was hotter and very delicious! A truly unique flavor but quite tasty. We both wanted decaf coffee, and a fresh pot was brewed for us. The menu is not extensive but pretty much everything sounded good. I decided on the 8 oz. sirloin steak and my husband got the 14 oz. New York Strip with mushrooms. I like my steak well done and lots of restaurants have a problem cooking it that way. Not here, though, it was cooked perfectly and nice and juicy, seasoned wonderfully, and I enjoyed every bite of it. The server had let me know that although the menu said it came with tarragon butter that tonight it was being served with a demi-glace sauce. My husband's medium steak was also cooked as ordered and his was a huge piece of meat. He thoroughly enjoyed his as well! We both had the same vegetables--mashed potatoes and cooked spinach topped with roasted cherry tomatoes; both sides were quite good...

A noisy restaurant bothers us somewhat and there was talking etc., but somehow we enjoyed our own chats and the scrumptious food and it didn't bother us at all! Lots of interesting old photos of this building & its surrounding areas back in the day... We were both trying to decide if we should have dessert. The food had been so good, we had to at least check out the options. Every one sounded good. We decided to share the chocolate pot de creme based on the size our server described. It was "off the charts" good; we agreed it was one of the top 5 desserts we have ever had!!!! Creamy and wonderful, rich texture, just fantastic! While we were dining, there was a steady stream of customers coming in on a Sunday night. We were completely delighted with the wonderful service provided and the place is quaint and charming... The Sperryville Corner Store is right through a side door & you should check it out & a pizza place next door, which people say has great pizza.

We will definitely be making field trips to come back here and we live about 1 & 1/2 hours away. Give yourselves a treat and try this place! The cost is a little on the pricey side, but we both felt it was well worth it. There are very few places with such delectable food and such impeccable service!!!!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank lindatalks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great fayre in deceptive environment”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2013

This restaurant is deceptive from its appearance. The food surpassed a more expensive restaurant nearby. They use local foods incl. local butchered meat for their famed burgers.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Trish M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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