Fine Dining in Charlottesville
Charlottesville offers numerous fine dining restaurants where the cuisine and service are elevated. So too is the ambiance, which, like the people-watching, is refined. Where the overall effect is masterful, and perfect for celebrations! While debate instantly follows any pronouncement of what’s our best in fine-dining, here are several recommendations to put on the top of your list.
Located just steps from the center of Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall, this small and elegant restaurant offers fine dining with local ingredients prepared with classic French techniques. Founded by locally-famous restauranteur, Brian Helleberg, here is a rare experience that reflects the unparalleled romance of the French. In season, Fleurie’s patio dining enables audio-visual access to the joy of The Mall at night.
108 3rd St NE, Charlottesville, VA 22902
In the heart of the trendy Belmont neighborhood sits one of our favorite high-end eateries. Tavola is an intimate yet upbeat Italian restaurant featuring a rustic experience with passionately crafted meals, cocktails, and the finest Italian wines. Tavola offers elegantly-plated food in a space where you can feel comfortable relaxing and sharing a quality meal with friends or family. Be aware, Tavola does not take reservations and can frequently be full-to-capacity. Never fear. Two great options nearby for a hearty meal or just a cocktail are The Local (next door) or Mas (a jag away).
826 Hinton Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22902
One of Charlottesville oldest and best restaurants, “The Barn” is a 70s-style, traditional steakhouse, where the interior is candle-lit, the waiters wear jackets, and the steak and prime rib cannot be beaten. A longtime “clubhouse” for the Cavalier Nation, where above a crooning pianist you will view portraits of UVA sports legends in their heyday, put this restaurant on your shortlist. Do so smugly, for quality and atmosphere lives here! For large parties or memorable dates, the Aberdeen Barn is as good today as when it opened over 50 years ago.
2018 Holiday Dr, Charlottesville, VA 22901
Nearly 20 years ago seasoned chefs Charles Roumeliotes and Ken Wooten combined to open Orzo Kitchen, one of Charlottesville’s most exquisite, and consistently exquisite, dining experiences. Quietly famous for their past in service to the wealthiest person ever to call Charlottesville home, John Kluge, the duo has experience meeting the demands of the world’s most sophisticated diners. Their evolution from Morven to West Main Street preserved a mythical connection between the nations of Italy and Charlottesville. Here they transferred their formula into a long, rectangular floor plan beneath soft lights and parallel with a robust kitchen where numerous attendants vigorously and carefully ply their trade. Orzo is a station where romantics from every corner will find peace and happiness. It s redolent with the flavors of Northern Italy and the ambiance will transport you there. Try the Porcini Rissotto with a glass of Nebiollo. Buon viaggio.
Address: 416 West Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22903
5. 1799 at The Clifton
The number, 1799, is the date of construction for this historic inn just east of Pantops. And whether you’re spending the night or simply in pursuit of a refined dinner, 1799 and its masterful chef Matthew Bousquet get our highest recommendation. The approach to The Clifton is incomparable. Enjoy a cocktail in the tony English bar inside before repairing to The Library Room which seats only a dozen beneath soft light, music, and erudite shelves. Try the Bone-Marrow & Escargot to start before an entree of filleted trout roulade wrapped in prosciutto. And we recommend the crème brulée, with braised bananas, and suitable digestif to finish.
Address: 1296 Clifton Inn Dr, Charlottesville, VA 22911
Local culinary celebrity, Ashley Sieg, has transformed this historic building into an elegant restaurant on three levels where natural light fades to candle light that softly reflects from the interior’s distressed brick. With lively bars on the main floor and downstairs and a menu that offers that best in local and seasonal ingredients, Tavern & Grocery is on its way to becoming a classic in Charlottesville.
Address: 333 West Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22903