Over the 1st and 2nd of May I was lucky enough to attend a conference for work in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was a short trip, two quick days, and was jam packed with symposiums, exhibitions and other such fun but I did have the opportunity to visit two very special restaurants. Let me tell you, these places were…just something special.
The first night in town we ate at Pitchers, the hotel sports bar, which I will NOT be reviewing. I can tell you, I wouldn’t go back there and would give Pitchers about a 2 out of 5 stars. BUT the second night…the second night some of our corporate ladies took us out to dinner at a restaurant recommended by a local friend called The Seafare of Williamsburg.
Overall: 3.75 out of 5
Food/Beverage: 3 out of 5
Ambiance: 4 out of 5
Value: 3 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5
Oh boy…THIS is a gem. If you ever find yourself in Williamsburg and are craving a little 1970s explosion of fun and fancy, you will find it here. The booths are some sort of crazy neon blue and green and the walls are covered with these paintings that are 3 feet by 4 feet and have lights bringing them to life.
The restaurant hosts that these were painted especially for them back in 1976 when the place was first opened and will give you the history if you ask.
The menu is huge, Gordon Ramsey would have a fit huge, and offers soups and salads, shell fish, land lover specials and something they call Sauton Ceramic Cooking. Our waiter, the amazing Eric, recommended about 30 times that we order the crab cakes, but we did not. The wine menu is equally large, so I was glad when one of the corporate ladies offered to just pick for us. Every course of the meal is introduced with a new type of bread. The first type is a sweet roll topped with some sort of honey butter. I liked it a lot. Second was a corn roll and then with dinner they served raisin bread. Seemed a little strange to me, and I skipped it, but the others enjoyed it. Also, between appetizers and main course, they bring out a lime sherbet as a palate cleanser. What a fancy treat!
I went with the Super Sauton ($28 – filled with crab meat, oysters, scallops, shrimp and lobster meat cooked in their own juices and a splash of white wine). It was not $28 dollars good. The fish was rubbery and not seasoned very well at all. The two corporate ladies ordered the crab meat, oyster, shrimp and scallop Sauton ($26) and seemed to enjoy it but agreed there was something missing, flavor wise. The last of my dinner companions ordered the Pan Seared Sea Scallops in lemon butter ($24) and LOVED them. They looked great. Very tender and well cooked. From the look, I could see I would have preferred a little bit more of a sear on the scallops, but they smelled great.
The wine that was picked for us was Markham Merlot, $44 per bottle. What a treat! It was smooth and silky and paired well with our food choices.
Dessert? Oh, yes we did. We ordered the Cherries Jubilee from the portion of the dessert menu titled “Flaming Flamboyants.” How do you pass that up?
Yep, they make it right at your table. Melted butter, toasted almonds and cherries flamed to perfection then placed over top of ice cream. It was good!
Not the most appetizing of presentations, and in that dish it was difficult to share but it tasted pretty good.
If I ever go back to Williamsburg and have a night free to enjoy some seafood, i will MOST definitely go back to the Seafare of Williamsburg. I’ll just order something safe, like the salmon or sea bass.