About C&O

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The C&O was started in 1976.

From the beginning the C&O has enjoyed the high praise of some of the nations most notable food writers and critics.  The C&O staff is peppered with enthusiastic crafts people who are passionate about their work.  The kitchen crew works tirelessly cultivating relationships with local farmers, cheese makers, vintners and ranchers bringing you the best of what’s around. The wait staff is knowledgeable, attentive but unobtrusive with a keen eye towards warmth and hospitality. The C&O is a multifaceted restaurant with six different areas for dining.  (Not all of the spaces lend themselves to reservations, some tables are held for our walk in customers)


The Bistro is where our bar is located and where lots of our regulars choose to dine.  The old world feel of the bistro and its woody charm come from the craftsmanship of our friend and artisan woodworker, Barry Umberger.  The wooden walls and bar are constructed from an old barn that was dismantled in Albemarle County in the early 1970’s.  The crisp white linens offer a stark contrast to the rustic wood.  The atmosphere is at once familiar and convivial. We do not take reservations in the Bistro but do make exceptions when guests have issues with mobility.

The Upstairs:

The upstairs Dining Room is surrounded by windows that look out over the C&O Rail yard and former passenger station.  During the depression the room was used as a bunk house for the men who worked on the railroad between Charlottesville and Clifton Forge.  The atmosphere is more formal, quiet and private than the bistro. It can be used for rehearsal dinners and business gatherings.  It is equipped with a power point presentation infrastructure. Reservations are a good idea.


When you first enter the C&O you will be standing on the mezzanine, greeeted by our Tulikiva wood stove and one of our knowledgeable staff.  The mezzanine was  formerly the wide corridor that led to the legendary C&O Night Club that closed in 1988.  The atmosphere is more like the bistro than other parts of the restaurant with the warmth of the stove, its rustic barn siding and its intimate lighting.

Covered Patio:

The covered patio is relatively small with hand made Italian tile tables. Reservations are not taken for the patio.

The Terrace:

The terrace is surrounded by fountains and gardens where some of our cut flowers and herbs are harvested.  Two dramatic torches frame the outside entrance and everyone looks beautiful under the intimate amber lighting that spans its width.  Because the terrace is open to the night sky we do not take reservations.  Sweet little lap blankets are made available to our guests should the night air turn cool.

The Gallery:

The gallery is used primarily for private events.  With one long table down the center of the room the gallery makes an intimate and relaxed environment for families and business dinners.  The space can be adjusted to host cocktail reception it opens on to the patio and the terrace so there is additional space to ramble.  Dinner menus are offered in a pre fix format and can be viewed by clicking here.

Our Wines:

Our cellar is deep in quality, breadth, and volume. We have little doubt that even the most ardent oenophile will enjoy our collection. Our win stewardship has ensured the restaurant has received the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence every year since 1996.