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Winchester, VA - Restaurants?

Old May 6th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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Winchester, VA - Restaurants?

Does anyone have suggestions for nice restaurants in Winchester, VA? We are looking for a place to celebrate a graduation- late afternoon.
Thanks!
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Old May 7th, 2008, 03:12 AM
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Hi lss1,

We do have some good restaurants here, but nothing super fancy or ultra-foodie or tres chic in decor. Are you familiar with Winchester? Do you have a budget or preference for a certain type of food?

In my opinion, the most consistently good nicer restaurant is Violino's on the Old Town mall. It is Northern Italian and also has outside seating on the walking mall if it is a nice evening. Also on the mall is Village Square which many people like, but I find hit or miss. Just west of the Mall is One Block West - the decor is a bit dark, but he serves a nice modern American menu based on local ingredients and the season. There is a new French place called La Nicoise - we have been there twice - once it was just ok and once it was really good. Again, the ambience is fine, but not special. Just this week, our newly renovated George Washington hotel (now a Wyndham Historic Property) opened with a new restaurant called The Dancing Goat - I am going there for lunch on Friday so I will report back.

If you want a really special meal, there are some inns in the countryside around Winchester that would mean a drive, but are very good. Closest and truly excellent is L'Auberge Provencale. It is expensive, but very special. It is around a 20-minute drive from Winchester.

On the more casual side, there is a good family Italian place called Cantina d'Italia and a new Thai restaurant called Winchester Thai. We have gazillions of the usual chain restaurant places, but I don't believe that is what you would be looking for.

Anyway, I've written this very quickly as I've got to run. I will think about more options and come back to this thread later.

Please feel free to ask more questions or provide more details so I can try to be of more help. When are you coming?
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Old May 7th, 2008, 12:21 PM
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Thank you very much for your excellent suggestions. I really like the idea of the inn. We are coming this weekend and going out on Saturday after the SU graduation. I have only been to Winchester once, so I am not very familiar. We will have one four year old with us. The budget is not really a problem, but we are not looking for extremely fancy or formal...Quaint and good food would probably be a better description. My daughter mentioned Brewbakers (sp?); are you familiar with that restaurant?
Thanks!
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Old May 7th, 2008, 12:29 PM
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Yes, I was guessing SU graduation. Just be aware that it is also Prom night for 2 of our 4 area high schools.

L'Auberge is lovely, but definitely the most formal, expensive place in our area and a long meal - probably not ideal if you don't want formal and are with a 4-year old (although not impossible). It is true fine dining with many courses.

Yep, Brewbakers is also on the Downtown Walking Mall - right across from Violino's. It is fun and good and casual, but definitely more of a bar and sandwich place - lots of people go for lunch and early dinner, then the college and young 20-somethings also use it as their main bar and social meeting spot at night. Brewbakers is fun but at the opposite end of the spectrum from L'Auberge. The others would be in between. If she wants Brewbaker's you will have fun and not spend a ton (it is sort of like a local version of a TGIFridays or Chili's or something).

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Old May 8th, 2008, 12:15 PM
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Hello Iss1,

Fun4all4 had some great suggestions. One Block West and Village Square both fit your request for good food, however, if you are looking for quaint I would suggest the Battletown Inn in Berryville. It is located very close to L'Auberge, about 15 mins from the SU Campus. It is a historic inn that serves a modern twist on classic American cuisine. They have a gorgeous patio and also a private dining room, either of which would make your afternoon celebration enjoyable. The patio offers full dinner menu as well as a tavern menu that serves burgers and the like as Brewbakers does. I suggest you check them out at www.thebattletowninn.com
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Old May 8th, 2008, 03:45 PM
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May I add the Strasburg Hotel for fine dining? Since we live in Woodstock we have never stayed there, but it is our favorite for for holiday meals and our anniversaries. It is only about fifteen minutes south of Winchester
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Old May 15th, 2008, 03:15 AM
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Thanks everyone for the good ideas. We ended up eating at Cork Street Tavern on Friday night. (It was okay.) On Saturday, we went to Brewbakers and we really enjoyed the food and atmosphere.
Since, we had the four year old, we opted to not go to any of the more upscale restaurants. Maybe next time...
PS: I graduated from SU with my MSED.
LSS
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Old May 16th, 2008, 07:01 AM
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Thanks for the follow-up and feedback. It sounds like it worked out well to stick with more relaxed, casual dining for this trip.

I do like the atmosphere at Cork Street, and it used to be one of my favorites, but I have thought it hit or miss in the past couple of years. It isn't that I don't like it, but now that we have so many more options, I don't tend to choose it very often.

Glad you liked Brewbaker's - it is especially nice when you can sit outside.

Just to give my first impressions of the brand-new Dancing Goat (since I said I would and others may find it useful).... I thought my salad with scallops was good - the vinaigrette could have used a bit of jazzing up, but the scallops were perfectly done. The dessert was excellent as was the coffee which they time and press fresh. The atmosphere is comfortable, modern and fun. However, the service is not there yet. It took a long time to place our orders and get drinks, etc.. and our server needed a bit more polishing of her service skills although she was friendly. As it was literally the first week the restaurant was open and the food was good, I am hopeful the kinks will be worked out soon so will gladly give it another try in a month or so.

Congrats on the graduation!
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