I just finished reading the review of the Smithfield Inn by Gene Kocmich and feel he couldn't be more wrong. I am not a professional food critic by any means and,unfortunately, am not qualified to fill out "Chefmoz's"questionarrie on the subject,however, I am a former American diplomat's son who has travelled extinsively and eaten in some of the finest restaurants in the world. I also enjoy cooking myself since both my parents are gourmet cooks. They hosted many official parties overseas and had many cooks also in their service. In short, I have been to some of the best resturants in the world (including those in Williamsburg and Yorktown) but until recently had never heard of the Smithfield Inn. I decided to check the internet and any reviews since I was invited recently to my wife's mother (Antonia Bowen's) 70th birthday party. Her son (Paul Bowen) had,in general, chose the restaurant and planned the affair and even a limo was rented. However, after reading Gene Kocmich's only review I was,in fact, disappointed and afraid either the service or food might not be up to the occasion. I could not,happily, have been more wrong. Our reservations were honored immediately without waiting (although later the restaurant did become quite crowded) we still never suffered for lack of service or hospitality thanks to the outstanding job done by our fine waiter Jeff Hapeman. He attended to our every need to the minutest detail with absolute professionalism and genuine concern while also making helpful suggestions as to the menu (whose prices were quite resonable) for example, the 14oz steak with collard and ham (which he suggested) and I ordered which was very delicious. There were in our party 14 people and among some of the outstanding dishes ordered were: the "Surf and Turf" which as far as seafood goes was excellent I'm told. The crab soup was also quite outstanding one of our party said (as well as the filet minon which was very tender and not overcooked ). The peanut cluster pork was also,I'm told, a delicasy worth mentioning and there was actually no dish of Executive Chef Pete Evans (whose wife I met) which was not worth praise . The desserts (all in-house made) deserve special mention but one,especially, deserves mention (I was told) and that is the applefritter with icecream which Angie Bowen of our party described as "bangin'" (whatever that means..) I'm not quite sure - except I'm certain as with all the other desserts they were scrumptious. I also later found out, to my surprize, (and maybe mr. Kocmich should read some of the reviews), that the Smithfield Inn has been featured in Fortune, Hampton Roads monthly, Southern Living , and Virginia Review (among other magazines) including various stories on CNN,FOX,CBS,ABC,NBC,and WHRO television. Their webpage link is smithfieldinn for those who want more information and are really interested in a truely historic and beautiful Bed and Breakfast whose prices are not only very resonable but whose food and service are far above standard and well worth not only Chefmoz's review but also a better review by the general public than that given by mr. Kocmich. In short, I recommend the Smithfield Inn very highly for any traveller passing through Smithfield who is searching for the very BEST Bed and Breakfast. Sincerely, Derek A. Wilson
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