1799 at The Clifton

4.3
426 Reviews
$50 and over
Farm-to-table
We will be serving a 3-course price fix menu at $69 per person. We will have our full wine list, and cocktail menu available as well.

Set in a charming and historic house on a ridge overlooking The Rivanna River in Charlottesville, Virginia, 1799 at The Clifton is committed to cooking beautiful, locally sourced food in a warm yet chic atmosphere. Chef Matthew Bousquet and his team are dedicated to giving you the best of new Piedmont cooking in a special way. Come and explore the offerings of our Chef’s seasonal menus, featuring the bounty of our own organic vegetable and herb garden. We look forward to making your visit truly memorable! Please make any requests on seating preferences, using the reservation notes. We will do our absolute best to accommodate all request based on availability.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 426 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
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MD
MishaD
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food and service excellent. Room quiet enough for conversation.

M
Medi942
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It was unfortunate that the menu was not published ahead of time or we wouldn't have gone. The selections were not accommodating as one member did not eat meat and the other party could not eat the first two courses.
The chef did make substitutes but were still not satisfactory.
The table next to ours was too noisy and too drunk that made it too uncomfortable for us. We don't think we'll go there again.

L
vipLuv2travel
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience5

The ambience and service was great, but the food was nothing special. The duck breast had no flavor and neither did the mussels, the bone marrow escargot was just weird, and the chocolate pot de creme and brûlée sounded good on the menu, but did not deliver. Drinks were overly expensive. A glass of wine was $18 and a martini was $17. Yikes!

MR
vipMichaelR
Atlanta
31 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

It has been a while since we ate here last. Ownership group has changed and COVID has affected everyone in the hospitality business. Service has definitely taken a hit - passable grade but not great. The waitress struggled with some basic things. For example, bringing the wrong wine. Not clarifying the ice cream selection until just before dessert was served even though we asked about it at the start. The food also was good but not great. The chef definitely leans on savory, but to an extreme. The pumpkin soup had no hint of the holiday — good in its own way, but with so many savory appetizers, you wanted something milder. The duck was fine, but definitely not with the flavor profiles one would expect — barely a hint of sweetness. And dessert…more savory tones again. I had the mini Bundt cake but nothing on the plate said “dessert”. Even our cocktail followed the trend. A cucumber vodka cocktail that sang on one note resisting any hints of the holidays. Honestly, we couldn’t figure out what the cocktail was aiming for. All three diners gave the experience a “B” overall. Hopefully, they can revisit the past and bring more balance to all phases of the meal. Small tweaks across the board can elevate this restaurant tremendously.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great ambiance and wonderful meal.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
7 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Beautiful setting and ambiance. Good service. Great Negroni Spritz cocktail. Interesting high end menu. Nice array of bread selection. The food was of high quality and well made with a pretty presentation. The flavors were tasty, although a little on the richer and saltier side.

Z
Zendo
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience2

The chef was clearly trying hard to make high-quality food, but kept missing. The two plates for the first course were OK, but nothing more. I had the bone marrow and escargots - but it was very salty. My wife had the poached egg salad, but found it had too much pickle. We both had the pig's cheek for the main course, with king prawns, but the two did not go together flavour-wise. They really clashed. My wife had the pear in wine for dessert, which she liked, and my chocolate pot was very nice, but small.
The ambience was pleasant - an old building - but the lighting was not really intimate, nor was the table, and there was a large, loud group right behind us.
In general, the Clifton Inn is in a very nice setting, and the staff, waitresses, were helpful and welcoming. But the food was not up to the standard I would expect for a $171 meal for two.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The staff and manager were all very kind and took care of our every need for our special occasion. Sitting by the fire for dinner was beautiful.

SF
SawsanF
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Was excellent
Will be back again
Had dinner every night during my stay

OT
OpenTable Diner
Mexico City
6 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

We’ve loved the Clifton for a while, and — while still delicious — the food isn’t quite as special as it used to be. Dishes are a bit less creative (steak, beet and goat cheese salad, pancetta wrapped trout…) — but still very yummy. We will continue to come for the whole package of the Clifton, even if the food isn’t quite as sparkling.

MM
MarkM
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

It was a most excellent meal in terms of preparation, presentation, and taste. Wonderful and attentive service. An all around magical food experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

The food was not great. Desert was terrible across the board. Main was nothing to write home about. One persons meal was over cooked. They did not have two bottles of the wine we selected. I expected a lot more. Have always heard great things. Maybe it was a staffing shortage and supply chain issues, but I’m not sure we will dine there again.

MD
MissyD
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience2

The food and service were excellent but the noise level was too much because of where we were seated. For the price, I would have expected a quieter meal. We were in a small room with a large party and in order for the large party to communicate, they had to talk very loudly to each other, which meant that we could not hear ourselves but only them. We had to wait for them to talk in order for us to talk. At this price, I expected more.

BS
BuddyS
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely excellent from start to finish from every aspect!

DA
DoctorA
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience2

Disappointed in the setting. The website shows the interior of a cozy library type setting, which is what we thought we were booking with the 1799 Restaurant and why we chose this for a special celebration.
But, we were seated on a porch. Not what we were expecting, but figured the "library" room was closed on a Monday night-----only to discover, when we were leaving, that it was, in fact, in use. Room switch made without any comment to us.

Drinks great. Food good. Service pleasant.

DO
DivaO
Richmond
35 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Please place Clifton on your radar. We had the tasting menu, and there were lots of options in each selection. Several items are sharable for your table to enjoy a taste of many things. Everything was flavorful with good portions and attractive presentations. The library is comfortable and easy to one another talk without overhearing other tables' conversations. I will return and more often.

SB
SuzB
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our meal at 1799 at the Clifton in was one of the best that we have ever had. I especially loved the foie gras and my husband raved about his beef marrow bones and escargot. Our entrees were full of wonderful flavors and interesting vegetables cooked to perfection. I had a crème brûlée for dessert that had banana in the topping that was so good! Delicious!

S
Sharon
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and very good service. The prix fix had interesting choices - a little out of the ordinary - which was great. Lovely presentations. Will definitely visit again!

FL
FoodLuvr
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We went to 1799 for our anniversary dinner, mostly out of nostalgia. We spent a couple of weekends at the inn many years ago, and thought we'd go for the special occasion. We were seated in the library, which was lovely and quiet. The menu was a three course prix fixe, with an amuse bouche, and the options were plentiful. The food was great, but it wasn't as exciting as we remember it being 12 or so years ago. I'm sure much of this has to do with the pandemic. Over all, it was a lovely experience and I'd recommend it for a special occasion.

T
vipTommy
Wilmington
25 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dinner! Food and service top notch!

JC
vipJodiC
Indiana
5 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience3

Food was good but meal took over three hours. Waited over an hour for entree. Beautiful setting however.

RS
RobbiS
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect evening with fabulous food and service! It was my daughter’s birthday and the entire staff was wonderful.

CF
CourtneyF
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall2food1service1ambience5

A beautiful location which we were looking forward to coming back to. Great drinks at the bar and bar service. Sat down for dinner at 7:45 and didn’t see any food until 9:30. One appetizer was inedible and one entree was inedible. We left without our dessert and the manager attempted (very generously) to comp our entire bill. We offered to pay for half of the meal. We went home and ate food and discussed what a shame the whole event was. What was supposed to be a joyous birthday dinner with candles turned into a frustrating night overall.

JL
vipJacquiL
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Very nice. Ate outside on the porch.

R
vipReihouwang
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and drinks were incredible, I will definitely be coming back here!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience2

Went for my first anniversary. My steak arrived cold. They reheated it and brought it back out. They didn’t compensate me at all for the cold steak. The restaurant then messed up the bill, and I clarified that we should be paying more. They billed us full price for our meals and didn’t thank us for clarifying the billing issue (they billed us $60 instead of ~$200). Additionally, the restaurant paid the entire bill for the table next to us; that table complained aggressively and got their whole meal waved. Of the 5 tables in the restaurant while we were there, 4 complained about wrong orders / cold food.

UD
vipUpcomingDCInsider
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely stunning dining room, though we decided to eat on the patio as it was pleasant out. The patio seating allowed us to watch the sunset behind the trees. We had the escargot and bone marrow, which was delicious and different than anything we've had before. The mains and desserts were delicious as well, and the service was great and helpful. Highly recommend for a special occasion, though most of the guests there were casually dressed. Bar is worth a visit as well, perhaps for a drink before or after dinner.

D
Diner
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall2food3service4ambience4

The best part of our experience was the view when we sat down during sunset. We waited 45 minutes for our first course to arrive at our table, another hour after that until we received our entrées. The food came out a bit overdone and was overpriced for the quality.
We were offered two complimentary cocktails to make up for the wait, but I would have found it more considerate to take our entrées off the bill.

We did not have the best experience and we were overall disappointed.

M
Melinac2
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience3

The food was not good at all, not for the price. But the service was excellent.

SD
StevenD
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Beautiful place and the food was excellent. Only issue was they had several large parties so there was a long delay between the salad/appetizer and the main meal. They recognized this and apologized, while also comping us the bottle of wine. Would repeat here as the food and ambiance is excellent, and they really do try.

JG
JuliaG
Richmond
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were seated in the library, and I must say that it was the best seat in the house! Very nice! The meal was timed perfectly and was delicious.

e
ejmquilts
Richmond
20 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Clifton is our regular, favorite special occasion place; we had our wedding there! Our meal in September 2021 was sublime. My husband had the salmon and I had the trout, both delicious, as were the cauliflower soup and scallop appetizers. My one issue on this night is that it was my birthday and they usually do something special for the birthday person, but it was not addressed. Also, I wish there was a prix fixe that did not include dessert, as I often don't want that.

DA
DougA
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Cool ambiance. Def a date night place, not great for kids. Halibut was amazing.

ND
NicoleD
Poconos
8 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Lovely setting. The redecorating is a lovely, classy style feel that is also cozy. The food is overall very nice, although could use some more exciting options particularly in cocktails and dessert. I felt like those were a little lacking in full vibrancy and execution. The staff were very professional and the experience was enjoyable.

SK
SueK
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Where can you enjoy a three-course gourmet dinner in Virginia for $69?
The Clifton Inn. First rate service, outstanding food. Wonderfully curated wine selection. Thank you Caroline for great treatment. I'm on Fellowship here and returning to NJ soon. My husband and I stayed at the Clifton Inn in early August, and I came back with colleagues. We'll be back for another stay and great food in 2022. Thank you.

CG
vipChristinaG
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Moving our daughter to UVA

SS
SylviaS
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday celebration and pre-wedding visit

DW
DrewW
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The Clifton is a beautiful place for a special occasion and the food and service was outstanding. Excellent service with a wonderful wine recommendation.

VB
VictorB
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A delightful experience on all fronts. Historical property with modern menu and evolving wine list. Worth a detour - or move closer.

CS
CarlS
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful anniversary dinner. Compliments to the chef and the service staff. Thank you.

FAQs

1799 at The Clifton offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (434) 971-1800.

1799 at The Clifton is rated 4.3 stars by 426 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.