The Fox Head Inn, Manakin-Sabot, VA...disappointed
Hubby and I went to The Fox Head Inn last night for dinner. We had a $200 gift cert we needed to use by May 1st. For years, we have been big fans of the place and we even had dinner there the night we got married, nearly 8 years ago and it's been one of our go-to special occasion places.
This was our first trip there since the new ownership and the menu changes. For $68/person you get 4 courses and aside from the entree (two choices) there is no choosing of the courses. Also, the menu is full of "rules"...20% gratuity added if gift cert is used, long explanations about check splitting, etc. And the staff's attitude matches this inflexibiity.
We arrived 15 minutes before our scheduled reservation to have a cocktail in the bar/lounge area but the hostess was clearly upset we didn't want to be seated immediately (at this point there is only one other couple in the restaurant). The lounge (which used to be cozy) is not dark and dreary and the chairs arranged along the wall in such a manner that makes it look like a waiting area rather than a lounge. We asked to look at a wine list and the night's menu while in the lounge.
We go to the table and before we can get settled in our chairs the waiter asks if we want the halibut or mixed grill. We both get the mixed grill and we order a bottle of wine. The first course was a red pepper soup with a crab fritter. The soup was fine, but not exceptional and the crab fritter was greasy and heavy and mysteriously chewy. The salad course was mixed greens with orange/ginger dressing and was ordinary and heavily overdressed (and I like an above average amount of dressing on my salad). The mixed grill was tenderloin, NY Strip and duck breast with an au jus, mashed potatoes and asparagus. Everything was cooked to a nice medium rare (though the waiter did not ask how we wanted it prepared when we ordered) and the beef was fine, but the duck and mashed potatoes were the stars of the show. Dessert was a chocolate terrine with berries and was fine. The bill was $266 before the deduction of the gift certificate and was not worth anything close to that.