Why Come Here? Interesting seasonal dishes, a lively yet chill atmosphere that’s quintessentially Williamsburg
Right amount for 2: 2 entrees or 2 apps and 1 entree
If you were to list everything stereotype of a Williamsburg restaurant, you’d likely find that Allswell has most of the boxes checked. An ever-changing New American menu derived from local and seasonal ingredients. Music that people cooler than you listen to. A dimly lit space that patches together too many elements (is it a farmhouse? a German beer hall? why are there 11 different wall papers?). And yes, our server was wearing a plaid shirt and black rimmed glasses.
So what makes this one worth the trip? In addition to its own twists, you could say alls(done)well (sorry). The menu of about a dozen items contained many interesting dishes on our visit and in a rare turn of events the entrees actually outshone the appetizers. It was also pretty reasonably priced with only two dishes topping the $20 mark. And perhaps most refreshingly, the service was knowledgeable and attentive and lacked the airy “too-cool-to-wait-on-you” vibe often emitted in these types of establishments.
The extensive and original cocktail list is also worth a try, although you’ll likely find that every drink contains at least one ingredient you have never heard of. Fortunately, nearly all of them can be replaced by the words “bitter Italian liqueur.” If you’re still concerned about what to get, feel free to order the tart and slightly sweet Merry Well with confidence.
As for the menu, below are my thoughts on what we tried. The menu changes daily, so you may not see any of these on your visit, but in case you do…
A note on reservations: they come by email only. While this is superior to sitting on hold and hitting redial, the often multi-day response time can be nerve wracking. I recommend one week in advance for weekend nights.