Ralph Sampson is one of the University of Virginia’s most famous graduates. Now he’s the front man of one of Charlottesville’s most exciting new restaurants, Ralph Sampson’s American Tap Room. Located in Barracks Road Shopping Center, only a skyhook from John Paul Jones Arena, Ralph Sampson’s American Tap Room is the penultimate destination before a UVA game.
The tap room features a bustling bar with fabulous sight lines. It’s an ideal gathering spot. Be prepared to settle in for dinner though. The elevated menu includes appetizers like deviled eggs and fried calamari. Crowd-pleasing entrees like Coach Bennett’s Ribeye and Warren’s Fine Fried Chicken & Waffles come next. Sides are in perfect complement and reveal something of Ralph’s culinary leanings: enjoy buttermilk mashed potatoes, collard greens, succotash with beans, or grilled asparagus.
Behind our favorite 7’4″ Hoo is the restaurant expertise of another alumnus, Warren Thompson (Darden ’83). His group also introduced The Ridley, a blue chip restaurant inside The Draftsman Hotel on West Main.