I had the good fortune of being invited to the opening of Forked on Main in the historic town of Orange just a ½ hour drive from Clifton. It is filled with charm and the owners, Stephanie and Chef Will, are so welcoming. Our cocktails and bites were delicious, so I couldn’t wait to get back for a full-blown dinner. I wasn’t disappointed. Although I am not a wine snob, I do like a good glass of house chardonnay and that’s what I got. Our server offered our group a pretzel to start. Hmm, I wasn’t so sure about that but boy, a large crusty pretzel that was perfectly soft on the inside with dipping sauce arrived. It didn’t last long! I like to order healthy meals, so I went with the Ahi Tuna Tartar with scallions and jalapeno peppers. Excellent! All the while I was eyeing everyone else’s pasta. Finally, I couldn’t resist and asked for a bite (which ended up being two). The mushroom pesto campanelle was creamy and made with house-made pesto and fresh parmesan. Grilled shrimp was added to one dish. Out of this world!! When I went back to the gourmet kitchen to thank Will for the perfect meal, I eyed the burgers and salads ready to go out. That was the icing on the cake. It’s the food, the vibe, the wine, and cocktails. I can’t wait to go back!
P.S. Just in - $5 Margaritas on Wednesday nights and live music on Thursday nights.
Last weekend I did something that I’d never done before. I took a Bateau River cruise. Owners Will and Will (yes, same name, friends since high school) took us up the James from Scottsville while filling us in on the bygone era of batteaumen, which our group found fascinating! I’m terrified of water, so this was a big stretch for me. I never let on, but Will and Will would have never noticed because the ride was so smooth, and I never felt frightened. If anything, I felt the most relaxed that I have felt in a very long time. It’s so peaceful out there with the views of the riverbank and wildlife. If you go, be sure to ask the guys about the funny bobcat story (I was horrified)! Halfway through our ride they pulled us into a cove and brought out two gorgeous platters of cheese and charcuterie that we all enjoyed with ice water that they provided. It was quite elegant. As we slowly made our way back to the dock, I could only imagine how nice the sunset cruise would be. I could picture the sun setting over the river, Will playing his guitar and all of us sipping wine (they provide pretty ice buckets and cups for libations). And just relaxing again!! I’m looking forward to that and seeing Will and Will again as their passion for the batteau is infectious.
Hailing originally from Connecticut, Ann has lived in Charlottesville for 22 years. She's been passionately working as concierge at the Clifton since 2006 and knows the property like a second home. Stop by anytime to get your insider info on the Clifton and the surrounding area!
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