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“Excellent dinner, slow service”
Review of Gadsby's Tavern

Gadsby's Tavern
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Ranked #6 of 767 Restaurants in Alexandria
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$30 - US$30
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Cameron Street
Description: Gadsby's Tavern has been offering fine dining since 1770. Enjoy lunch and dinner in one of the elegant Colonial dining rooms. The one-of-a-kind Gadsby's Tavern experience awaits you.
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Had a very nice dinner here over Labor Day with family. Three of us had the prime rib, which was excellent. And huge. Neither I nor my son (who had the kid-sized portion) could finish the plate. The other two people had the Gentleman's Pie and the chicken, both of which were also very good. The only problem was the service. It was exceedingly slow. No one brought us our bread for about 20 minutes (though the server did bring us a second basket after we devoured the first one). Service to refill our waters was also very slow. And by the time we were done with the dinner, we didn't want to bother waiting around for dessert.

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Thank eloracm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (683)
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466 - 470 of 683 reviews

Reviewed 29 August 2013

We're in the area for vacation and we're stepping outside our food comfort zones. I just had a good feeling about this place, despite some mixed reviews. Let me start by saying I'm picky. A food snob. There is rarely a time when I have a flawless dining experience. Rarely? Almost NEVER. In fact most restaurant managers duck and cover when the see me coming. Not that I'm unreasonable. But being a Brooklyn chick, if there's something I'm not happy about, they're gonna hear it. That being said, this was sheer perfection.

We made a reservation through open table. Got there and were seated immediately. Servers are in period clothing. We found out the historic building was going to be demolished but was saved. The fireplace as you walk in is the original. You could feel the history. Quaint, yet elegant. I can easily imagine George Washington dining there. The table was set with a lovely candle, pewter plates and decorative small plates for bread.

The ONLY downside was a musty smell (which you get from older buildings). We quickly got used to it. Our server was absolutely lovely,speaking in period language. She was extremely helpful in our selections. We began with tasty bread and butter. I ordered the biscuits with ham and mascarpone cheese small plate. It truly is a small bite, 2 biscuits each cut in half and made into small sandwiches of ham and mascarpone accompanied by a side of raspberry jelly. These were melt in your mouth delicious. The best biscuits that have ever passed through my teeth. Tender. Buttery (drooling). I don't even like raspberry jam, but this was heaven in a bite. If I could make biscuits like this, I'd weigh 300 pounds. These were no Pillsbury out of a can biscuits. These were home made fresh out of the oven.

I had the filet mignon. It came with asparagus, mashed potatoes, and a melange of veggies (carrots,broccoli and cauliflower). Let's start with the steak. Like butter. Juicy and cooked perfectly. I didn't even need a knife to cut it. THE most tender steak I've ever eaten. (and I've eaten in the créme de la créme of steakhouses). The mashed potatoes - creamy, buttery perfect texture. The reviewer who said they looked like powered is nuts. Unless they prefer lumpy, pasty potatoes. These were, without a doubt, fresh. Creamy deliciousness. Eat until you burst wonderful. I don't like cauliflower but I even ate that. Everything was farm to table fresh. I'm going to be dreaming of this meal for a long time. If I could marry this meal, I would. That's how good it was.

Son had the pork chop. It was a triple thick bone in, tender and juicy. If only I could make pork like this we'd be the Homer Simpsons. It was topped with apples and had a nice mixture of spices. Also accompanied by mashed potatoes and the veggie medley. He devoured it. DH had meatloaf (yeah you read that right). He just about licked the plate clean. MIL ordered prime rib. All dishes had the same accompaniments and all were superb. Water glasses were filled regularly and our server checked back often enough to ensure we had what we needed. Although filled to the gills from the ample portions, the coffee smelled amazing. The adults each had a cup and we shared the flourless chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Chocolate bliss is a better name. Tender, chocolate buttery goodness. Not too sweet (which is what I prefer) light, like a brownie cloud. We fought over the last morsel.

It was pricey, so not the type of place you'd go every day, but if I lived in the area, this would be my go to place for special occasions. On our way out, we chatted with Brian, who regaled us with wonderful stories and history about the building and restaurant. He clearly takes great pride in the history of Gadsby's. He recommended we go around the corner and look at the ice well that was dug to keep food cold before the advent of refrigeration. Really cool.

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Thank radiiochick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2013

I gave this restaurant higher marks strictly for its historical value; Many of our forefathers ate here. I had the mixed green salad with chicken on top. The chicken was very dry and I'm not even sure it was prepared the same day.

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Thank vandpstewart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2013 via mobile

Cool place if you like history, food is not bad. Not a big selection, but that's the way it's setup for historical value!

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Thank Historyok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2013

Wow, I am afraid I will have to agree with "Heartbreaking." Wife & I went there in on the 28th, and experienced pretty much the same thing.
We didn't even get bread though. Everybody else did but us. Probably a blessing.
The AC was barely working, and I spent the entire time with sweat running down my back. The few fans they had running did not help.
The beer was not very cold either.
And yes, not sure when the steamed cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots were steamed. Might have been left over from George's last visit. Ditto on the "hand cut" french fries. I opted for them after seeing the "whipped potatoes" on the table next to me. Looked kind of soupy and like they hade come out of a box. The fries had obvioulsly been under a heat lamp for quite some time. Cold and soggy by the time I got them.
Service was fair, but the apron the waitress had on over her clothes was held up by 2 safety pins and appeared to be filthy.
And then there were the "necessaries." Restrooms are located downstairs. The door to the mens room sticks so bad it takes two people to open it, if you can get it shut. The large pedestal sink had bee badly broken in years past and just glued back together.
It's a real shame that the City of Alexandria has allowed this historic landmark to sink to this level. Another historic landmark living too long on its reputation.
Say nothing of Gordon Ramsey, I'd like to see Robert Irvine in there with his sledge hammer making some much needed restoration and renovations.

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Thank vataxman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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