After our stay at Primland Resort in the rural Meadows of Dan, our visit to Virginia took us to Charlottesville and Richmond. There, the food scenes are gaining more traction and national attention of late. Here are four restaurants we enjoyed in the college town and the capital city.
The last time I was in downtown Charlottesville, I was drawn to an old brick building with a weathered façade and vintage Pepsi-Cola sign out front. The word “Restaurant” was painted on the outside, but it looked as if hadn’t been open for years. Recently, I found myself standing in front of the building once again, because The Clifton had recommended the restaurant for a fine-dining experience. In 1989, The Washington Post called C&O “the least prepossessing fine restaurant in America.” Others now call it legendary. Since 2014, Dean Maupin — formerly a chef at both The Clifton and Keswick Hall — has been its chef-owner, and upon his takeover he promised not to change a thing. We’re glad he didn’t, as this former Chesapeake and Ohio Railway building wears its history on its sleeves. The cozy timber-and-brick interior offers four compact dining spaces in a meandering layout dotted with white-tablecloth seating. My pan-seared trout with capers, lemon-butter sauce and toasted almonds was a delight, but it was my appetizer — hand-rolled tagliatelle with wild mushrooms, pea shoots and copious amounts of aged Parmigiano-Reggiano — that I couldn’t get enough of. Closed Sunday and Monday.
515 East Water Street, Charlottesville. Tel. (434) 971-7044