You’ve set the date, picked the wedding venue and compiled the guest list, but deciding where you’re going to celebrate the day before your big day is as important a detail as any other. The rehearsal dinner sets the tone for the rest of your wedding and gives your guests a taste of what to expect for the next day and the opportunity to meet the members of your wedding party and other close family and friends in a more relaxed setting. With so many restaurant choices in Charlottesville, this could easily become an overwhelming choice, but we’re here to help with a selection of the best places for a rehearsal dinner in Charlottesville.
Consider some of these venues to host your rehearsal dinner in the Charlottesville area:
- Root 29 Craft Kitchen & Bar
- The Ivy Inn Restaurant
- Old Metropolitan Hall
- Common House
- Red Pump Kitchen
- The Space Downtown
- Tilman’s Cheese & Wine
1. Root 29 Craft Kitchen & Bar
No matter where your vision for your rehearsal dinner falls on the range from comfort food to upscale dining, Root 29 is here to accommodate it while delighting your party with regional flavors that celebrate Charlottesville’s local culture. We garner inspiration from Charlottesville’s rich culinary history, adopting our forefather Thomas Jefferson’s love of food, wine and inventive cuisine as a guide for our innovative creations. Choose from a menu ranging from an array of crafted sandwiches such as Pastrami Cured Salmon Club or NY Style Grilled Rueben Sandwich to entrees like Mushroom Fettuccini or Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna.
We provide a warm, inviting environment that melds the best of historic Charlottesville and modern hospitality. Our bright and airy views complement the glow from the fireplace to create a crisp yet warm atmosphere. Set your worries aside for the night and allow our attentive staff to care for you and your party. Let us make your rehearsal dinner the special occasion you deserve. And if your family and friends need a place to stay afterward, our restaurant is located inside the newly renovated Doubletree by Hilton Charlottesville.
2. The Ivy Inn Restaurant
Established in 1995, The Ivy Inn Restaurant is a family-owned and operated business located a mile from the University of Virginia. They offer a selection of dining rooms as well as a tented garden patio as the setting for your rehearsal dinner so you can customize the aesthetic of your event. The Ivy Inn Restaurant features an extensive All-American wine list as well as a seasonal, locally-inspired menu.
Their regular menu changes day-to-day and is influenced by what local farmers have to offer, the weather that day, or even the chef’s mood. Potential menu items include Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Gnocchi, Blueberry Grilled Quail, and Grilled Local “Rag Mountain” Trout. The Ivy Inn Restaurant combines classic Southern cuisine with chef-driven innovations.
3. Old Metropolitan Hall
Located in Downtown Charlottesville, Old Metropolitan Hall is an elegant private dining space that works with local caterers and vendors to bring your vision to life. The two-story hall features original tin ceiling tiles and restored architectural characteristics from the early 1900s. Create a casual environment or step up the elegance with this versatile space. Use the window bays to decorate the space to fit your theme and set the tone.
The outdoor patio is the perfect location for evening cocktails — consider hosting a larger party with more of your guests after an intimate dinner with close family and friends.
4. Common House
Located in the historic Mentor Lodge, one of Charlottesville’s first social clubs, Common House Charlottesville is a one-of-a-kind venue featuring a curated art gallery and modern design. Though the first floor of this establishment — Vinegar Hall — is typically reserved as a workspace for members of Common House, its event space can be rented by the public in the evenings.
The revolving menu at Common House features seasonal selections that celebrate local ingredients. Choose from options such as Grilled Cauliflower Flatbread, Chesapeake Rockfish and Pheasant Pizza. Common House is able to customize their dining, bar, and seating options to fit with the style of your rehearsal dinner.
5. Red Pump Kitchen
Inspired by dining experiences frequently found in Soho and Central Italy, Red Pump Kitchen is a restaurant and bar styled after European cafes. Their Tuscan-inspired menu can be refined to suit the needs of your rehearsal dinner. Red Pump Kitchen’s farm-to-table philosophy makes locally sourced ingredients the stars of the show creating a memorable dining experience for your entire party. Host a standard rehearsal dinner or also include a late-night reception after dinner so more of your guests can join in the festivities. If you are dining with a more intimate group, you can take advantage of The Chef’s Table option where your guests can enjoy a menu specifically designed for your occasion using the freshest ingredients of the day.
6. The Space Downtown
Specializing in private events, The Space Downtown will assist you from the planning to the setup. Work with their team to create a custom menu featuring farm-fresh ingredients, custom cocktails to serve alongside their list of local wines, and a floor plan that works best for the size of your group. The Space Downtown can also accommodate an after-dinner party that enables you to invite more of your out-of-town guests to start celebrating your wedding early.
Choose from a menu of passed hors d’oeuvres like Thai Meatballs, Chickpea Springrolls and BBQ Duck Turnovers. Then build your own three-course dinner selection that includes dessert. The Space Downtown also offers Italian, Southern, Classic, Vegetarian and Bang Restaurant-inspired buffets that are served family-style.
7. Tilman’s Cheese and Wine
For more of a party style menu than a seated dinner, Tilman’s Cheese and Wine offers a selection of cheeses, charcuterie, sandwiches and small plates to pair with their extensive beer and wine menus. Tilman’s offers a cheese consultation to create the perfect platter for your event, or you can rely on their expertise to come up with a curated selection to pair with the other menu items at your event.
If you have a smaller group, arrange a semi-private party with Tilman’s and each guest can choose what they would like off the menu and have it counted toward the minimum food and beverage package.
Contact Root 29 for Private Dining Services
If you’re looking for a welcoming atmosphere and innovative dishes that will wow your guests, Root 29 is here for you. Our cozy venue is the perfect spot to create the first memories of your wedding with those closest to you and your partner. Contact Root 29 today to start planning your C’ville rehearsal dinner and discover how a unique dining experience can make a special event even more memorable.