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“There are much better ways to spend an evening in the area.”
Review of Redbook Restaurant

Redbook Restaurant
Ranked #8 of 60 Restaurants in Charles Town
Price range: $45 - $65
Cuisines: American, European, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: In a league all its own. Using the freshest seasonal and local ingredients, our talented culinary team create a fine dining pre fixe experience!
Reviewed October 26, 2012

My hubby and I were immediately put off by our greeting. Where are you staying they ask? Harper's Ferry we answer. Oh. You are outside guests. (Meaning we're not staying at the Inn). You may choose a table in either of these two rooms. My husband usually doesn't take offense easily (I do) but after a few minutes he commented that he felt unwelcome. Then came the 5 courses. Bland. Unimaginative. Salty. Mediocre execution. They say they cater to dietary restrictions and say that the pasta was gluten free, and it was indeed chewy and not very good but I didn't trust them to serve gluten free pasta to everyone in the restaurant, so I skipped that course. The gluten free dessert was terrible. It looked like a dark chocolate hershey bar and tasted like a chocolate covered cherry. Clearly something they dumped out of a box and drizzled raspberry sauce over. Even without wine the meal took 2 1/2 hours. The service did not merit the 20% service charge they add to every bill, even our small party of 2. We discovered later that much of the food in this area is bland by comparison to the diverse restaurant choices in the Houston area, so maybe I'm being a little harsh. The inn itself is not as marvelous as it claims to be. It is big and it is old and it is not too terribly creaky. There is a small library with books you've either read or never intend to read - classics, cookbooks - you know, books nobody is likely to take home with them.

Meanwhile, there are very lively entertainment venues in the area that we regretted missing. I can't think of the name of it but a Vineyard starting with the letter V I think just across the Virginia state line from harper's ferry has live music every weekend night. I'm just saying...

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Thank Aujourdhui2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillbrook, Owner at Redbook Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2012

I am happy that you took the time to visit the Hillbrook Inn, but I apologize on the feeling of not being welcomed. I will discuss this with my staff, because I don’t want any guest whether they are staying at the Inn or visiting from another property to feel unwelcomed.
In addition, I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy the food. As for the “gluten free” if there is someone in the dining room with a “severe” allergy then we take extra precautions and will serve it to everyone if the allergy is a “true allergy” and not a gluten free diet preference to keep the individual safe since we are not a completely gluten free kitchen. I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy the dessert. Chocolate pate is one of the most commented on items that the guests enjoy and is made here at the Inn.
Hillbrook Inn is more of a European style dining. Although prix fixe, menus are common in Europe, they're still somewhat of a novelty to the American culture. A prix fixe menu is simply a collection of pre-determined items presented as a multi course meal at a set price. Also, particularly at dinner, guests are invited to take their time and enjoy the evening together, laughing, talking and eating. So, we apologize if the meal seemed long.
The 20% gratuity, if you would have asked for gratuity to be adjusted, we would have been happy to assist. If service is not where a guest feels it should be it is helpful to know before their departure so that it can be adjusted and the server can be addressed. Change can’t happen if people don’t say something. If you would like to contact us I would be more than happy to make an adjustment to the billing.
I appreciate your critique of the Inn and we will take it into consideration for the future. As for the vineyard you mentioned, I believe you are speaking of Veramar Vineyards located only miles from the Inn. Yes, they are spectacular! Jim and Della are wonderful and we work closely with them as well…doing wine dinners, visiting their vineyard as well as their entire family are dear guests of the Inn. I would recommend a visit to them as well and will be offering wine pairings and classes with them this coming year!

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43 - 47 of 55 reviews

Reviewed March 27, 2012

Hillbrook Inn is an upscale overnight destination that serves meals to outside guests on special occasions. This past Sunday was one of four Sundays during the year that invites the public. The three-course luncheon was delicious, beautifully served by pleasant staff. When you make reservations, they ask for food allergies and preferences. You receive the menu of the day.
If you're physically challenged in any way, this is not the place for you. Stairs are narrow, often stone slabs and spaces are difficult to maneuver. However, the majority of diners were older folks, a couple with walkers stowed outside the dining room. I myself was recovering from recent knee surgery. It's that good, that we risked the hazards!

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Thank mickiknits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillbrook, Owner at Redbook Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2012

We are so happy that you were able to join us for lunch! We have a few times a year that we open the dining room for lunch reservations and also take reservations for lunch for 8 or more anytime. We also offer dinner to the public Thursday – Sunday as well as our overnight guests. We enjoy every minute of it and look forward to sharing it with you again. I know we are only one room wide, and up several levels, but it is beautiful and the architecture is something out of a storybook. We are glad you “risked the hazards” too! I enjoyed talking to each of you and hope you had a beautiful day! ~ Sincerely, Carissa Zanella

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Reviewed March 26, 2012

We had breakfast at the Hillbrook: yogurt and granola was the best I've had, and a fantastic omlet, etc..

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Thank Savannah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillbrook, Owner at Redbook Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2012

The homemade granoloa is one of my personal favorites as well! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed it as well. ~ Sincerely, Carissa Zanella

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Reviewed March 18, 2012

Chef Hale did a lovely job for the five course meal we enjoyed. Each portion was sized well... each was tasty...and each complemented the next. Only plus/minus was the creme brulee, which was wonderful, but certainly not for dieters. In the end, though, it's up to the diner to exercise restraint. I didn't. :)

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Thank oriolewoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillbrook, Owner at Redbook Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2012

I am happy to hear that you enjoyed Chef Hales five-course dinner! I also know what you mean about restraint, it is hard to work with her every day! I don’t have “restraint” either! ~ Sincerely, Carissa Zanella

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Reviewed February 24, 2012

My wife and I went with another couple for valentines day and had another great experience. We have been to Hillbrook four times and never been disappointed.

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Thank Cj1701
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillbrook, Owner at Redbook Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2012

It is always special to have you at the Inn! It was a beautiful Valentine's Day again this year. Sincerely, Carissa Zanella

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