We finally made it to the Hunter's Head Tavern in lovely Upperville this past Saturday.
The setting is very nice. We ate out on the patio. The tables are spread out so there was plenty of room for our stroller. There was an unfortunate, um, country-style aroma in the air, but that didn't detract from the experience.
Service was good to very good. You order inside at a window, and take a spatula with a number out to your table. The servers bring the food, replenish drinks, etc, everything except take your order.
Now, the food. I will be charitable. There is some evidence that we hit Hunter's Head on an off night, but nevertheless, the food was mediocre at best.
The good: Mixed green salad with apples, walnuts, and goat cheese. Very generous and refreshing on a hot evening. The bread was very good, so the bread rule would say this place must be good. (Bread rule: Good restaurants may serve bad bread, but bad restaurants will never serve good bread.)
The not-so-good: Deep-fried calamari appy. Generous portion of nicely crispy squid that was utterly devoid of flavor. Later in our meal we saw another table send their calamari back, telling the server "We order this all the time," leading us to believe it's normally much better.
Soft-shell crab entrees. Major letdown. Each entree includes three small crabs. The portion was decent but the crabs had been sauteed in a mushroom broth that was WAY too salty. They could have taken half the salt from crabs, added it to the squid, and both dishes would have been much better.
Carrot cake: This came highly touted by a server, but our piece was not fresh; the frosting was getting a bit hard and the cake was dry and crumbly.
Verdict: We will go back and try Sandy Lerner's organic Ayrshire Farms' beef, and maybe some of the pub grub, but this was a big letdown.