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Best Tavern Dining with....

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Best Tavern Dining with....

We will be traveling to CW in one week. We want to experience the evening dining at a tavern. We have an eight year old and three year old. I was wondering which tavern was the best entertainment and food and our family, so that I can go on and get reservations. Any suggestions? Opinions? I've already looked at the menus and everything , but was looking for some actual experiences. thanks.

NY
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1. Re: Best Tavern Dining with....

I just ate at Christiana Campbells restaurant. I thought it was not very good. I found it to be overpriced tourist food. I also left hungry. My husband said his was just alright. It cost us over 100 for a tourist meal and we didn't do drinks or dessert. We love fine dining, and we are on a road trip this week . We have had some wonderful meals and wine (sorry, not Williamsburg), we are going through different towns. The money for the meal does not bother me, we have spent much more, but I expect good food for it. This is not the place for fine food, just fine prices, and I think you will find that in any of the tourist taverns in Williamsburg.

Williamsburg...
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2. Re: Best Tavern Dining with....

I'd suggest either Shields or Kings Arms for that. Both have very good character interpreters, and I've always found the food to be quite good. Also fun for a more casual meal is Chowning's. Enjoy the visit!

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Best Tavern Dining with....

After reading mittmott's opinion of Christiana Campbells, I spent a few minutes puzzling over what *tourist food* might mean, but perhaps this is the key to the puzzle. S/he says "We love fine dining" and I think maybe s/he was expecting creative menus a la mode.

The mode in CW is definitely the 18th century. No bruschetti, no caprese, no deconstructed pot roasts and no tres leches cakes. The food and the settings are in the service of interpretation, and what is served is meant to represent and teach, within the bounds of what 21st century diners will accept.

My apologies, I know I say this all the time, but you can get modern dining anywhere in the country. There is only one place where so much is known about our heritage foodways, and that is Williamsburg. And only one place where you can eat a meal that even approaches the historicity of both the food and the society that grew, cooked, ate and disposed of that food. Williamsburg.

So, I bow down to mittmott's personal opinion of the taverns. Who can argue about what you like on your plate, after all? But to the OP -- I would never skip a tavern experience at the premier living history museum in the world out of fear that I might miss a nice braised shank or a spun glass confection on a dab of mousse at a local hot spot.

My preferences at CW run to the King's Arms and Christiana Campbell's. Next week is almost here, you should call for reservations immediately if not sooner.

And mittmott, no offense intended, your posts are very interesting and stimulating! Thanks.

Best to all.

NY
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4. Re: Best Tavern Dining with....

Hi, what I meant by tourist food, is food that is just plain lousy, meant to feed the crowds who will pass through, so, it doesn't have to be good. I had a primavera, as I'm a vegetarian, so I don't think it was 18th century food, it was just plain tasteless and not good. The sides like the spoon bread were meant to show what type of foods were eaten,but the regular food itself, was just passable food, knowing the crowds will still come, as they want to try dining in an original tavern, will probably not have a good meal, but so what,,, new tourists will be around tomorrow. If one wants to go to the taverns, this is what they will get. If they want decent food, they will have to look past dining in the taverns. I don't only do "fine dining". I love nothing more then going to the golden corral, for their down home cooking, their potatoes, mac and cheese, and their expansive salad bar, but even the corral (far far far from fine dining), has good food.

Williamsburg...
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5. Re: Best Tavern Dining with....

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, mittmott. I'm sorry that you thought it wasn't very good. I've been dining at the Taverns since our first visit to Colonial Williamsburg in 1997, and I have never had a disappointing meal, or one that left me hungry. I have always found the food to be very good and interesting. It's not to everyone's taste, I suppose, but for us to return time and again, they are doing something right.

Edited: 19 July 2010, 16:47
6. Re: Best Tavern Dining with....

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Pittsburgh...
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7. Re: Best Tavern Dining with....

We just got back from our trip and ate at Chowning's for on of our evening meals. We enjoyed it and the food was good. My husband and I shared the sampler platter and our boys had a hot dog and the pulled pork sandwich. They loved the games and entertainment too.

NY
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8. Re: Best Tavern Dining with....

It's okay to agree to disagree, food is a very personal thing. And Zoey1996 , are you a local? Off the tavern thing for a second, have you been to a Chef's Kitchen. The food was wonderful, and what a fun night. If you haven't been there, you might want to try it for a special occasion... We had a blast.

Williamsburg...
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9. Re: Best Tavern Dining with....

MittMott, I am now! We moved here about 10 years ago. I want to try A Chef's Kitchen, but it hasn't worked out yet. Have you been to Blue Talon Bistro? We like it, even for breakfast on occasion.

NY
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10. Re: Best Tavern Dining with....

No, I haven't been to the Blue Talon Bistro. We didn't have enough time to do much. We'll have to plan another trip in the future, and next time I want to plan it other then summer.