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The Dining Room at the Brandermill Inn; Brookside Seafood

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overlooks the woods and a reservoir, and, no doubt, during the day affords diners with a sylvan view. The menu seems to suggest a utilitarian purpose rather than a fine-dining one, and, as such, is perfectly adequate, but it doesn't excite the taste buds, nor does it push toward any new culinary experience.

The half-dozen main dishes ($10.95-$17.95) are supplemented by a couple of daily specials. A duo of pastas includes a vegetarian preparation. One of the chicken dishes, Chicken Brandermill, is a crab-stuffed chicken breast napped with a red-pepper sauce and baked. I chose a rib-eye steak special ($15.95) over the menu's filet mignon or pork tenderloin. All entrées except the pastas come with a choice of rice pilaf, baked potato, or french fries and the vegetable of the day, in this case, a melange of squash and red peppers.

Our meal at the Brandermill Inn was adequate. It was not inspired, but it was not bad. Had I been a lodging guest, I would have been grateful to have the convenience of a nearby place for dinner. But how much more exciting if it had been a place to write home about.

— Davis Morton



While we were perusing 's menu — three pages of possibilities plus specials — our waiter delivered a tray of complimentary crudités with a delicious dill dip for us to crunch on, and he uncorked a bottle of Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio ($17). We attended to the business of deciding between a wide array of fruits de mer (including eight different fish specials), burgers, steaks, poultry and pasta.

I can see why both Richmonders and tourists flock to Brookside Seafood for the incredible choice of menu items alone, not to mention the reasonable prices (nothing over $20 and most below $15). There aren't too many places in town where you can order two appetizers, two entrees, a bottle of wine and dessert for a grand total of $76 including tip, which they automatically add onto each bill. While you may find the décor to be a bit passé, and you might order the occasional so-so entrée, there is so much from which to choose, and the service is so personable and swift that we found the experience to be pleasant if not cutting-edge.

— Carter Braxton





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