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“A Candidate for Kitchen Nightmares”

The Jefferson Restaurant
Ranked #157 of 395 Restaurants in Williamsburg
Price range: $0 - $25
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: Over 4 Generations - Since 1956 the family owned and operated,Jefferson Restaurant has been serving mouth watering specialties such as our very own Virginia Peanut Soup, steaks,seafood, southern favorites, and Italian dishes served in an English Country setting. Lobster and SteakGuaranteed to bring great memories for all.
Reviewed November 28, 2012

Gordon Ramsey has a show where he turns around restaurants. They always seem to be out of date, the food isn’t all that good, they have really slipped in service and they need an overall update. This restaurant is a perfect candidate.

I knew we were in trouble when I told the waitress that it was hot inside. She said “not to me”. That was it.
I thought the rolls and butter would go better, the one roll we each got wasn’t too bad but the butter had pieces that appeared to be re-used. One had definitely been rewrapped. Perhaps they saved money by combining some partially used ones.

My daughter had the Virginia ham which tasted all right but had a strange squishy feel to it. I made the mistake of asking for the seafood special but disqualified myself by asking for a baked potato, I found out it was mashed potatoes or nothing. I ordered the blackened catfish instead. It was dry but not too bad. My wife had the seafood special (with the required mashed potatoes), all fried fish and shrimp. It was obvious this fish was not breaded there and the shrimp did not look like shrimp. The shrimp may have been prepared butterflying it and then fried but it ended up looking flat and thin, not what you would expect. This may have been to make the shrimp look bigger. We liked it anyway.

The saving dish was the peanut soup side dish.

The restaurant itself needs some help. It is very badly in need of renovation. The carpets are completely worn out in some places and something has developed a bit of a smell. The furniture is old, even the rest rooms are way out of date and need some fixing up. The wait staff is a little crabby and seem tired and disinterested.

    • Value
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4  Thank GeneralInspector
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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342 - 346 of 421 reviews

Reviewed November 25, 2012

My husband and I had a nice dinner (steak and fried flounder w/crab stuffing) with a couple drinks for $65. We started with a cup of the Peanut Soup, a specialty of this restaurant and it was excellent! Then we had a salad. As others have said, there could have been a little less dressing on the salad.....ladies, order yours on the side! The steak was as ordered -medium rare - and delicious. The flounder, although "fried" was not exactly as expected. It was not coated with breading and deep fried but I believe lightly pan fried and was delicious. I don't care for butter on my seafood and chose fried in lieu of the broiled for this reason. I prefer my fish "well done" but forgot to tell the waiter so it came cooked just to the point of opaqueness, apparently perfect for most fish lovers. The waiter who served us - I forgot his name but he was a big & tall guy - was so friendly and polite and did everything he could to please us. The food we were served was plentiful and therefore we did not have dessert. We've been to this restaurant for dinner each time we've been in town...at least 1/2 dozen times and will definitely come again.

Thank Karen F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

This restaurant looked charming from the outside and my husband was craving steak so we decided to try it. The place smelt weird, the servers attempts at colonial costumes were pathetic although our waitress was very friendly and welcoming. My husband's steak was only so-so but his green beans were awful and he will eat anything! My crab stuffed flounder was ok but my side order of "chunky applesauce" was clearly out of a cold Motts jar! Like other reviewers have said, this is a pricey restaurant to be avoided!

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2  Thank Tebby1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Good advertisements, historic looking outside and inside. Wait staff all wear colonial outfits and were very pleasant. The food was average though and cost more than I wish. Their steak had been tenderized and was more like a bad salisbury steak. We had a party of 4 and 2 liked/2 disliked. Tried the local flare and glad we went, but we'll try another next time.

1  Thank The2Goods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2012

Please avoid this restaurant at all costs! We saw this restaurant's large, inviting ad in a Williamsburg magazine at the hotel and decided to try it out. BIG MISTAKE! It looks great from the outside with the quaint little carriage in front, but the quaintness stops there. The waitstaff are dressed in faded, tatty looking Colonial costumes, the decor is out of the 1950's, the restaurant smells like old carpet, and the food is unappealing, has no flavor and EXTREMELY OVERPRICED. The shrimp were rubbery and barely warm, the mashed potatoes tasted like a box mix with no seasoning, portions are tiny. Ended up paying $50 for a few bites of food. Went to the Yorkshire Steak House nearby and had great food for about half the price.

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2  Thank Christy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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