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“A fabulous surprise for these DC foodies!”
Review of The Red Hen

The Red Hen
Ranked #5 of 82 Restaurants in Lexington
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed 4 August 2014

We read the reviews & were hoping to enjoy a good meal, in sleepy downtown Lexington, VA...well, we were blown away!!! Absolutely one of the best meals we've had anywhere, including in the finest restaurants in DC. The service was superb & the meal was fresh & abundant. Little touches like homemade focaccia bread, generous wine pouring & gorgeous key lime meringue dessert. And home made chocolate to top off the evening!!!
One thing to be aware of - the restaurant is small, so reservations seem to be a must & air conditioning was not on the night we were there - not sure if that's always the case

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4  Thank mariava51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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148 - 152 of 272 reviews

Reviewed 3 August 2014

My wife and I had dinner at The Red Hen during a brief visit to Lexington. Next time we'll stay longer, so that we can dine here several times!

Both the restaurant and the menu are small. But in this case smaller---not bigger---is better. There are probably about 30 seats in the dining room, which has an open kitchen at the rear with a few seats at a bar in front of it. Although The Red Hen serves beer, wine and liquor, there is no separate bar. Drinks are mixed or poured right in the kitchen. There is also a small outdoor covered deck.

The menu is brief---4 or 5 starters, 4 or 5 entrees, and a few desserts. That may sound like choices are limited, but the selections in each category are very distinct and varied. And from what we tasted and saw at nearby tables, everything is very well prepared. There's nothing not to like.

The wine list is similar to the menu---not many choices, but enough variety that suitable pairings can be found for just about anything. And the wines are very reasonably priced.

Our meal was exceptional. My wife started with a cheese board that had great selections on it, then went on to scallops paired with parsnip "chips" (long strands of crisp parsnips) and a parsnip puree. My starter was a pork shoulder pate in brioche-type dough, followed by a roast duck breast entree.

Although everything was delectable, I have to comment that my duck breast was the best rendition of this dish I have ever had. The duck itself was perfectly cooked, but what made the dish stand out were the accompanying vegetables and sauces. Rather than use a fruit, like cherries, to offset the fat of the duck skin, this chef uses a mix of small vegetables that have are seasoned and sauced to accomplish that purpose. The duck was presented on a small bed of bright yellow polenta that was the perfect starch to go with the rest.

For dessert we shared a peach/blackberry shortcake that was the lightest we've ever had. Which leads me to the point that it turned out that our server (who actually mixed my cocktail as well as providing outstanding service) is the wife of the chef and serves as pastry chef.

It's really rare to find people who are this creative and so dedicated to their craft as these. We'll return to The Red Hen every chance we get.

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3  Thank chiefsimak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2014

The Red Hen is easily on par or exceeds any upscale restaurant I've ever eaten at. Their locally sourced high quality ingredients paired with expert preparation and presentation made for a truly memorable meal. We dined early with our three year old son and four month old daughter and the service was extremely accommodating and gracious.

They made a strawberry limeade drink for my son, and when he rejected the carbonation they gladly made him another without. My husband had an amazing gimlet and I had a bourbon "lemonade" made with Maker's Mark and their house limoncello that was superb.

The cheese board was a mix of sheep and cows milk cheeses paired with local honey, candied pecans and tart apple slices. The Camembert was especially good. Next was an amuse bouche of tangy deviled eggs fresh from Joel Salatin's farm, topped with a crisped slice of house made saucisson sec sprinkled with shavings of summer truffle. There are no words. I could have eaten them all day, but then came the mains! (Well, after a short break with my son to run around the lovely vegetable and flower garden in the Stonewall Jackson house across the street, where he watered several of the plants with gravel from the path, then was ready to sit down for the rest of the meal!)

Dinner for me was lamb, both perfectly rare chop and juicy house made sausage, on a bed of cassoulet-like silky beans and olives with a flavorful combination of sauces under, and perfectly crisp but soft summer squash that tasted like eating summer. It was clearly a well thought out and perfectly executed combination. My husband had the steak which was also thoughtfully seasoned and perfectly cooked, served with fluffy roast potatoes that had a unique natural sweetness. The green beans were wonderfully fresh and tender. For my son they brought out a special plate of house made schnitzel-like chicken tenders with a panko crumb crust, a perfectly roasted sliced carrot and more green beans, which he happily ate nearly everything of (if you have a three year old you know how impressive this is!!).

We couldn't pass up dessert! I had the devils food cake which was somehow dark and light, moist and dense at the same time, incredibly creamy and satisfying. My husband and son shared a strawberry shortcake and, chocolate lover that I am, I think they had the better choice. The shortcake was tender and light, the cream was absolutely heavenly, and the fresh summer strawberries simply incomparable. We all left happy and extremely full!!

I know we'll be visiting Virginia again and we will most definitely make a point to stop at the Red Hen!

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4  Thank Shantismurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014 via mobile

We arrived here for dinner in the middle of a rainstorm. We intended to eat on the deck because we were traveling with our Scottish Terrier. No problem, said the three chefs, who cooked us up a fantastic meal to go while the dog waited in the car.
We had the risotto with veggies and a NY strip steak. Then we topped it off with homemade strawberry shortcake and Devils food cake. We took all back to Fox Hill Bed and Breakfast and had a feast. I am sure this is not a restaurant that regularly prepares food to go, but they stepped up to help us out by preparing a great dinner! Thanks to chefs Matthew, Becca and Catherine for the fine food.

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3  Thank treehabitat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2014

My friend and I had a lovely dinner here. It is a small, intimate and very cozy restaurant. We shared the pate and cheese board, all local food, as appetizers and had the special snapper which was very good. The chocolate dessert was fantastic!

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

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