Thanks to all on this board whose suggestions led us to more deliciousness than we expected during our stay at Colonial Williamsburg over Christmas, extended for a few extra days by the blizzard and the havoc it wreaked with East Coast flight schedules.
Our favorite restaurant, hands down, was The Trellis Restaurant in Market Square, where we had two dinners and one lunch. The lunch menu is fairly basic sandwiches, salads and a burger, competently executed and beautifully plated. The dinner menu is much more interesting and every single thing we ordered was truly wonderful. Standouts for me were the duck breast and duck confit entrée and a foie gras starter, but it was all excellent. The breakfast menu looked very tempting but I was the only one who was willing to leave the hotel for breakfast so we never tried it.
The Blue Talon Bistro (Market Square) also had very good food and service, with a classic bistro menu and episodes of Julia and Jacques running in a continuous loop at the bar. They have a dish of the day (Braised Rabbit when we were there) and a steak of the day and everything else you’d expect in a bistro. My steak was unusually good and my DC's calves liver excellent.
On Christmas we went to the Café Provencal which was out of town enough that we couldn’t believe we were actually going to find a restaurant there. It is in a hotel on the grounds of the Williamsburg Winery. When my sister made the reservation they did not inform her that it was a multi-course prix fixe, which in my book was a fairly big sin on their part, although I’m not sure it would have changed anything since there were few alternatives available. At any rate, the food was quite good although it definitely suffered from being carried down a long cold hall from the kitchen – nothing was actually hot and my wild mushroom soup had a skin on the surface. Service was as cheerful as can be, no small thing on Christmas!
Berret’s Seafood presented an interesting dilemma for someone with shellfish allergies: probably 90% of its menu is shellfish and the two finfish dishes contained shellfish elements. Steak, caesar salad and the vegetarian offering were my only options. As it turned out, that was fine – the caesar salad had the most interesting presentation I have ever seen and was delicious, as was the steak. Needless to say, I did not sample anyone else’s meal, but they seemed pretty happy.
We also had a pleasant Brunswick Stew at Chowning’s Tavern, entirely forgettable sandwiches from The Cheese Shop, and more meals than I care to think of at the Williamsburg Lodge where we stayed. They are to be commended for rising to the occasion of the snowstorm magnificently, even with staffing problems and many more people eating in than expected. Their food, while not imaginative (it is a hotel with a convention center, after all), was without exception good and occasionally very good. They also provided a fantastic drop off and pick up service to all the restaurants in Market Square so that no one had to be the designated driver, for which I was devoutly grateful!
Blue Talon Bistro
516 S Henry St, Williamsburg, VA 23185