We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Fantastic food”
Review of C & O Restaurant

C & O Restaurant
Ranked #15 of 541 Restaurants in Charlottesville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$0 - US$20
Cuisines: American, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Bar Scene, Groups, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Richland, Washington
Level Contributor
85 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Fantastic food”
Reviewed 8 October 2013

I enjoyed the taste of the food. This is a five star restaurant. Don't let the store front fool you. Great food.

Visited August 2013
Thank Happy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

314 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
33 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Pricey but WELL worth it”
Reviewed 1 October 2013

I sure wish we had this restaurant close to home. From start to finish, the meal was excellent. We started with a warm tomato tart, which was a savory treat, though it was a bit too garlicky for my taste. My entree, the lamb shoulder, which consisted of a boneless portion of braised lamb in a rosemary-infused sauce with carrots and potato gnocchi, was delicious. Hubby had the pork chop - a huge cut, with a mustard cream sauce - and he said it was awesome. Desserts were great too - I had the sticky toffee pudding, and it was better than I've had at St. Andrews in NYC. It was one of the best meals I've had anywhere. On our second night in Charlottesville, we went somewhere else and were not nearly as pleased. I wish we had dined here both nights.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank snissie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Key West, Florida
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“An old favorite, always excellent”
Reviewed 22 September 2013

We first discovered the C&O in the early 1980s, when its end of town by the old C&O train station was pretty lonely and beat up. I remember there were still baggage carts rusting on the platform across the street from the restaurant, left years before after the last passenger train had rumbled through.
Back then it was hard to find the C&O because it was not identified by any sign on the 19th century brick facade or doorway of the old commercial building in which it is located. You had to know it was there.
Back then, C&O mashed potatoes were a marvel: very garlicky, intentionally lumpy with a green leafy ingredient (parsley? I forget ....) mixed in. This was all kind of revolutionary at the time, amazingly enough, and I believe the recipe was requested by a reader and appeared in Gourmet magazine. (RIP.) We had it at home regularly and always thought fondly of enjoying it first at the C&O.
The restaurant appears to have transitioned from that trendy insider's hot spot to something of a fine and reliable stalwart among C'Ville's top restaurants. But it has not gotten stale. The rabbit special I had the other night was memorable and different and delicious: lightly breaded and rolled with mushrooms with a light fondu sauce. I started with a tomato (including a green one) chevre tart that was excellent. My wife was in the mood for a light meal and had a side of spicy corn (which I erroneously listed for her in my recent review of nearby Fleurie .. sorry; can't go back and edit these things) and fettucini with just butter and cheese instead of the listed pasta entree.
All excellent.
Service was top notch, with a knowledgeable, efficient and courteous server. We ate in the bistro, or downstairs barroom, and found it lively and fun, with a small group of young people at the bar and a lighted fish tank on one end and a Dutch door onto the street off the other end.
In recent years we've been seated in what they call the mezzanine and felt a little left out ... it's a sort of brick hallway off the main entrance. It was fine but not what we remembered fondly about the C&O, where years ago we were always seated in a pleasantly clean, neat and spartan upstairs room with large old windows. Not sure they still use that room. There's also outdoor seating in a kind of backyard enclosure.
We asked to be seated somewhere other than the mezzanine, only because we've eaten there our last two trips to C'Ville. It appears to have been totally redone since our last visit in 2012 and looked a lot more inviting and a lot less like a brick-lined shoebox.
A restaurant can't last this long unless it's got a lot going for it and its owners and chef know how to adapt as the years go by. We're very happy to know they are so smart and that the C&O is there for us whenever we visit wonderful old C'Ville.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Peter B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
95 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great despite sign out side”
Reviewed 18 September 2013

C&O pepsi sign outside would not lead you to suspect that a great restaurant lurked inside. However we were recommended to go -so ventured inside to a great welcome and a table in the downstairs bar area. It was noisy with people conversing at the bar etc. But people come and go and it is a great atmosphere. we had a very knowledgeable and pleasant waitress. We chose the yellow fin tuna. It was superb -followed by the best sticky toffee pudding ever. It was the most expensive meal of the holiday but also the best on what was our last night. So go on treat yourself.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank worldwideflyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleston, WV
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great French Restaurant for the true gourmet”
Reviewed 5 September 2013

This is without question one of my favorite restaurants, and has been around for a long time (I started going there around 1985). This latest visit was to celebrate an anniversary, and my wife and I were not disappointed. From the ambiance (which is wonderful - looks like shabby chic on outside, and dark beautiful bistro on the inside - especially check out the bar) the place oozes character. This is a great restaurant with well-educated servers and sommoliers, who love food and will make the effort to make your meal amazing. It doesn't come cheap - and it is not the place to come whilst on a diet, but if you have an open mind to great food and communicate will with the staff, you will have a fantastic meal. Plan on appetizers, and selections "for the table" such as the pork bellies, which were phenomenal. They have a fabulous cellar. Amazing deserts. To paraphrase Dr. Johnson - if you are tired of the food at the C&O, you are tired of life.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank rpdc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed C & O Restaurant also viewed

Charlottesville, VA

Been to C & O Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing