The Ridley

4.2
86 reviews
$30 and under
Southern
The Ridley is THE destination for upscale-casual dining and fresh seafood offerings in Charlottesville, Virginia. Located within The Draftsmen boutique hotel, The Ridley combines convenience and accessibility with an unparalleled dining experience. As one of Charlottesville’s Black-owned restaurants, the concept pays homage to Dr. Walter N. Ridley, the first Black student to graduate from The University of Virginia and receive a graduate degree from any major, historically white public university in the South.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
Physical distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
Protective equipment
  • Waiting staff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
What 86 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
Food
4.2
Service
4.2
Ambience
3.8
Value
Noise · Moderate
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KT
KarenT
Las Vegas
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

Food was good. Pretty limited menu. Helen, our server was great Ridiculously small martinis for $17.00

RR
RReid
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2Food3Service1Ambience3

I was excited to eat at The Ridley. I chose it as the place for breakfast off the internet. Coming from out of town it looked like a good place to eat. I liked the Brunch menu that was online and there were many choices to choose from.

Arrived at the Ridley on time for 12 noon reservation. Set at an outside table and had to ask for table to be cleaned twice. The menu was not the menu I had seen online. The choices were extremely limited. It took about 10 minutes before someone came to take our order. We ordered Omelets... it took about 40 minutes from the time we ordered to the time the meal was brought to the table. A little over 30 minutes after ordering, the waitress came by and stated that they were backed up and our order was next in line.

I casually looked inside the restaurant and noticed that the inside was pretty empty and patrons were sparse, and also observed that we were the only ones seated outside . And while the restaurant was pretty busy when I arrived by this time it was not.

Once the food arrived, the portion size was pretty small and the food was lukewarm at best.

It was not the best experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Dallas
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall3Food2Service3Ambience2

Food was marginal.

JZ
JamieZ
Richmond
1 review
Dined on 10 September 2021
Overall2Food1Service3Ambience2

Food was mediocre, Service was mediocre, very loud. We had to ask the server to put on a mask after she told us she wasn’t wearing one because she was ‘vaccinated’. Vaccinated people can still get Covid and I really didn’t want somebody breathing on my food and drinks during a pandemic. Wine was $11 a glass from a $10 bottle of wine. Beers were $11 from a $14 -4 pack. (Priced locally) Grossly overpriced. That’s how the whole experience felt, grossly overpriced and on top of that we had to pay for parking. Will not return.

L
Love2eat
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 10 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great service and great food. Enjoyed our experience.

AM
vipAugustoM
Miami
10 reviews
Dined on 3 September 2021
Overall4Food5Service2Ambience4

Strong points : nice ambience, great decoration, everything is brand new, food quality is excellent, large wine list
Weakeness : service is low and confuse, noise is in the limit and dessert options are few.
Price , in the limit ...

BF
BrunchFailure
Richmond
1 review
Dined on 22 August 2021
Overall2Food2Service5Ambience3

I would like to give this place 5 stars because our server and the service were fabulous, but the food was just so darn mediocre that i cannot recommend. I ordered the Corn Flake crusted French toast, expecting a crunch on the outside and soft on the inside experience. It was just very bland and nothing special; small portion and it was also tepid in temperature. My friend ordered avocado toast with poached eggs that were hard as rocks; upon complaint they did immediately make her two more eggs which were soft. My husband ordered some (2) egg and grit combo plate; eggs were a small puff of yellow -- could not have been 2 eggs. Grits were mediocre and the whole thing just bland. Our Bloody Mary's were excellent however and the atmosphere is really nice, great location, ambience. They seriously need to up their game in the kitchen though. Food is NOT worth the high price! I would not return for brunch there again i'm afraid.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Naples
1 review
Dined on 22 August 2021
Overall3Food5Service3Ambience5

Food was great, service not so much. Would still recommend and go back. Everyone has off days and not to mention, it looked like they didn’t have enough servers for the level of tables. Which nowadays that seems the norm, unfortunately for the servers.

V
vipVistor
Washington DC
49 reviews
Dined on 22 August 2021
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Our second time at The Ridley for Sunday brunch. The food is wonderful. Service is fine, but they seem to be a bit short-staffed. We did not have to wait to order or to receive our food, but the staff was definitely working very hard. We intend to return for dinner at The Ridley next time we are in Charlottesville.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
2 reviews
Dined on 14 August 2021
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience3

It was fine. It’s in a hotel. Service was pretty mediocre, portions not the biggest.

GF
GFoodie
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 7 August 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great place for Sunday Brunch or any meal, the live music was try nice. Located in a nice spot for traveler or local resident, just an all around awesome cozy place to patron. Looking forward to the next visit!

MH
MelissaH
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on 1 August 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food was great. Service was great. There was someone singing and playing piano that had the voice of an angel. Everything was wonderful.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 30 July 2021
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience3

Lots of ups and downs at The Ridley. While our server was friendly, the restaurant was either understaffed, or he was just not very attentive. We asked for a glass of water and never got it, so I got up and sought out a pitcher on my own. Also, my daughter’s soda was flat.

Overall, the food was good. The cornbread may be the best I’ve ever eaten. However, the raw oysters were not cold and came doused in what they called a pink peppercorn mignonette, which tasted more like cheap red wine vinaigrette. Very unappealing. My daughter’s French fries were Sysco brand at best. When paying $200 for dinner and drinks for three, I would like to think maybe the kitchen can make their own from scratch. My roasted chicken entree was cooked and seasoned well and was quite enjoyable.

In the end, the experience was spotty. Some good things and some not so great.

EG
EdGu
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 23 July 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

A very welcomed addition to the Charlottesville restaurant scene! Very nice ambiance and excellent menu selections. We used their participation in Restaurant Week to try them out and were very pleased. Would definitely return in the future and recommend them to others.

KM
KevinM
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on 22 July 2021
Overall2Food2Service3Ambience2

The servers were attentive but need some training. They reached across the table to
put the dish down rather serving from the side,and cleared an empty dish before
everyone else was finished.The apps and dessert were good but entrees were awful
plus they were luke warm. The pork chop was not a chop but a slice if pork loin.

A
Anonymous
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food was excellent and the portion sizes were quite large. It was definitely a great value for the food selection, experience and overall service. We will certainly be coming back again!

RP
vipRoseP
London
7 reviews
Dined on 18 July 2021
Overall1Food1Service4Ambience3

Kitchen not up to par for Restaurant Week; need to hire more staff. But manager was understanding and we hope they figure out their staffing as it’s a nice space and location.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on 17 July 2021
Overall4Food4Service3Ambience4

Service was very slow, but overall the food and drinks were delicious! Highly recommend!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 16 July 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Olivia was awesome

W
vipWahoo
Richmond
110 reviews
Dined on 13 July 2021
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience4

This was our first visit to The Ridley after seeing many positive reviews. Our experience was mixed: my wife's scallops with a grit cake was excellent and was a hit; my roasted chicken was a miss. What was described by the server as a breast on the bone, was actually a half chicken with thigh perhaps they were trying for a rustic look?). There was a considerable wait from drinks being served untill the entrees arrived; some house made rolls or bread should have filled the interlude & ought to be a part of the regular service. Since one dish was quite good we may give it another try in the future, but this visit was underwhelming.

V
vipVistor
Washington DC
50 reviews
Dined on 11 July 2021
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Superb brunch on a quiet Sunday morning. We arrived at 9 AM when the restaurant was almost empty. Service was very attentive. Brunch menu is a mix of classic Southern dishes with a few sandwiches. A good selection. Shrimp and grits was wonderful as was the chicken and biscuits with gravy. At 10 AM live music began--a jazz singer with keyboard. Very pleasant, and soft enough that we could continue our conversation while still enjoying the music. We will definitely return to try out their dinner menu.

m
vipmac789
Richmond
10 reviews
Dined on 9 July 2021
Overall1Food1Service3Ambience2

Extremely disappointing on every front, particularly the quality of the food

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Miami
3 reviews
Dined on 6 July 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Everything was excellent! From the warm welcome to the professional and attentive service from our waiter to the delicious meal. Possibly the best cornbread and shrimp and grits ever!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
9 reviews
Dined on 5 July 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great service. Madeline was attentive and knowledgeable. The Manager (I think his name is Jake) checked in regularly to make sure everything was to our liking. Wine list had a good variety of wines to choose from. We had a Far Niente 81 cab and it was excellent. For dinner we had the raw oysters. Usually I’m not a fan of minionette but theirs was excellent. Pink peppercorn, rosemary and thyme with a brute note of citrus. We shared a tomahawk steak, which really could have served 4! Cooked to perfection with garlic and Rosemary. We topped off the meal with a fresh berry cobbler which was also excellent. Great meal all around!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 4 July 2021
Overall2Food2Service4Ambience3

Don’t mind paying top dollar for a culinary experience. This was not that. Food was ok, not great. I think it was too expensive for the quality of food.

l
viplisar
Richmond
12 reviews
Dined on 1 July 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Lovely place with wonderfully friendly staff.The scallops, as recommended by our wait person were absolutely delicious!

T
Tanya
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on 30 June 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Went there last night w/ a friend;.. JAKE ( asst Mgr. ) was GREAT ! I had met him the week before in my shop and he had told me about the Ridley and asked me to come by & so I did ! he did Nit disappoint at all !!! Job well done !
the Bloody Mary was incredible and then a sampling of the appetizers were incredible !! you are an incredibly gracious host !!! we will be back!!! Thank you !!!

M
vipMissy
Charlotte
58 reviews
Dined on 28 June 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

Great option in The Draftsman Hotel, great bar, indoor/ outdoor seating good service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 22 June 2021
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Excellent food

s
shanelle
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great location !!great food !!all together great service!!! We will be back!!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We were celebrating Father’s Day

MF
vipMissFoodie
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on 17 June 2021
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience4

Menu online is different from what is served in the restaurant. Unfortunately, our waiter was unfamiliar with the current menu items. Otherwise the grits were really good. Hopefully they will serve the shrimp and grits as per the website sometime.

F
Foodie21
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 16 June 2021
Overall4Food5Service2Ambience4

Great food, service was a bit slow. Everything else was great.

L
Lily
Vancouver
16 reviews
Dined on 15 June 2021
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience2

Limited, overpriced menu that was not enhanced by a clueless server. We went out of our way to try this place; our mistake which won't be repeated.

c
vipcharno
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on 15 June 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Pricey but worth it. Outstanding fish dishes with 21st century riffs on traditional southern dishes. Service was attentive and professional

F
Foodie21
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 14 June 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

It was excellent! Everyone at the table (4 of us) raved about their meal. I had the scallops and the whole dish was superb! I have never written a restaurant review in the past, but the food, the service and everything at The Ridley exceeded my expectations.
I cannot wait to return and I have already recommended it to 5 people and I was just there yesterday. Also, I understand that a portion of the profits will go to the Ridley Scholarship at UVA ---just an added bonus to an incredibly meal! Thank you.

RV
RVAfoodie
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on 10 June 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Dinner and service was great. We used the valet because it was raining. Would definitely go there again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 6 June 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Birthday brunch. Excellent food and the wait and management staff was very attentive and made sure we had an excellent experience. We will definitely return when we’re back in town!

MM
vipMsMagenta
Richmond
40 reviews
Dined on 5 June 2021
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience4

The food is outstanding but way too pricey for what it is. Didn’t expect to pay high-end New Orleans brunch prices in Charlottesville. Homemade Bloody Mary’s almost with the $11 price tag. We will most probably return in spite of the prices - the food was that good and plentiful. Only service issue was that our Starters arrived with our entrees.

JD
JoanD
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 31 May 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience3

Happy to find a restaurant open on Memorial Day! Near our hotel so very convenient.
Good service.

FAQs

The Ridley offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at (434) 984-8010.

The Ridley is rated 4.2 stars by 86 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.