Located in a circa 1889 farmhouse between Williamsburg and Richmond, Charles City Tavern is a charming restaurant right at the heart of Virginia’s James River Plantation country. The food is classified as Seasonal American Regional Cuisine — which is basically code for “fresh, local, and delicious”!
We recently stopped off at the Charles City Tavern after a delightful fall-themed progressive tour of some historic houses in the area. It was our third time dining here and we’d been positively thrilled by our previous meals.
We said hello to Bobby the Cat on our way up the porch and he gave us a cold look in return. Ah! Who knew he’d hold a grudge because we’d asked Cate McNight, the co-owner of the Tavern, to put him out the last time we were here, as one of us is highly allergic.
Even as early as 5:30pm the rooms were filling up and we were thankful we’d made reservations. It was Richmond’s Restaurant Week, when participating eating establishments offer prix fixe menus, a percentage of which proceeds go to local charities. We were glad to see our favorite menu item, shrimp and grits, had made it to the preset menu.
Just reading the menu was enough to send our taste buds into a frenzy. Ultimately, we chose:
He had – Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Jumbo Lump Crab
She had – Crispy Duck Confit on Artisan Lettuces with Candied Walnuts, Autumn Pears, Bleu Cheese and cranberry vinaigrette
He had – Stone-ground Byrd Mill White Cheddar Grits with Carolina Shrimp and Surry Sausage
She had – Fried Oysters and French Fries
He had – Chocolate Brownie with Fudge Sauce
She had – (a mere bite of …) English Bread Pudding with Brown Sugar Rum Butter Glaze
Almost two hours went by in sheer culinary delight. My companion wafted his food to inhale the delightful smell and enjoyed the look and smell of his food so long that I began to worry that it would get cold before he’d actually had a chance to taste it. Reluctantly we pushed our chairs back and headed out into the crisp autumn twilight, warmed by the knowledge that we had discovered a gem.