Thursday, August 8, 2013

Horse & Hound Gastropub - Charlottesville, VA

Horse & Hound Gastropub, 625 West Main Street, Charlottesville, Virginia

Karisa: With Michele and Kathy both out of town this week, Andrea and I brunched on the road in our own backyards and took a trip out to Charlottesville. We made an afternoon of it, starting out at Horse & Hound and then making our way over to Trump Winery, which was surprisingly lovely, despite the evilness that is Trump. Anyway, I've only been to downtown Charlottesville once before (for an awesome concert), and remember a horrible parking situation, so it was a pleasant surprise for the restaurant to have a parking lot.

Andrea arrived a few moments before me, and quickly sent a text to let me know that the crab benedict was the daily special. Perhaps it was the several previous weeks of crab benedicts, perhaps it was the Charlottesville air, but I decided to take a pass this week. In fact, I went Karisa-crazy and ordered something sweet (gasp!), the French Toast. Actually, I'd had a really crappy week and was having a weekend of tipsy-drunkenness so in addition to my very good, non-Richmond-style mimosa, I kept the party going with challah dipped in Kahlua & Bailey’s. I mean, if I'm going to order French Toast, it might as well be boozy. To balance things out, I ordered a side of grits. As it turns out, I shouldn't go against my nature, even for a bad week. The grits were creamy and fantastic; the French Toast dry and forgettable, without a hint of the booziness I was promised. The fruit was good, a combination of pineapple, orange, and grapefruit... 2/3 ain't bad? In the end, I'd have been happy to give H&H a solid 3, but Andrea ordered more wisely than I did and fell in love with the cuteness of the restroom and puppies on the wall, so I let her sway me into a 4. If I'd ordered the benedict, I probably would have agreed. 

AndreaMy boyfriend lives closer to Charlottesville than Richmond so I was looking forward to trying a brunching destination near his neck of the woods. Horse & Hound Gastropub had easy parking and a big inviting chalkboard sign on the street. Indoor and outdoor seating options were provided to me but since it was a little humid, I decided to sit indoors. It was just Karisa and me this week so we had the booth all to ourselves. The walls were adorned with photographs of horses, foxes, and hounds. The women's restroom was surprisingly beautiful with a clear countertop that had different kinds of coins underneath. I'm also a sucker for photos of puppies and those added a nice touch in the restroom as well. 

For my meal, I ordered the mushroom, spinach, and goat cheese omelette that came with a side of french fries and a cup of coffee. While the coffee had good flavor, the large cup's contents got cold quickly and left me in need of hot caffeine. The omelette's mushrooms were sufficiently woodsy and the goat cheese tasted very fresh, but the eggs themselves seemed slightly overcooked and I wanted more veggies in my dish. On the whole, I really enjoyed my meal at Horse & Hound and would recommend it to those who are Charlottesville residents or are just traveling through the area. There's much more of Charlottesville to explore, of course, so I can't say how it compares to all the other fine establishments, but it's certainly solid and offers some good options for various types of brunchers.

Rating: 4
Food Good. Grits were yummy. Interesting take on French toast with the addition of Kahlua and Bailey's. Decent variety of menu options. Andrea's omelette was a little dry and could have benefited from more filling, but the goat cheese tasted very fresh and the accompanying french fries were en pointe.
Service -  Good. Our server anticipated our refill needs and was patient with us when we were indecisive with the menu. Food came out relatively quickly.
Atmosphere Good. Very themed (sporting art) but not kitschy. Music was a healthy volume but not overwhelming. If the four of us were here this week, we might have been a little loud. The restaurant wasn't very crowded when we were there and it definitely was a chill vibe.
Coffee Good. Horse & Hound Gastropub serves Civato coffee. The cream and sugar came out in cute little containers and the coffee was served in large, wide white cups. While aesthetically pleasing, the brew got cold rather quickly given the large surface area of the cup. Tea was not rated this week (no Kathy. Sad face.)
Mimosa Very good. Delicious flavor served in a champagne flute with cava as the featured type of sparkling wine. However, it was rather pricey given the size of the glass.
Bloody Mary - N/R. Michele was out gallivanting at Floyd Fest.

Horse and Hound GastroPub on Urbanspoon

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