Trummers on Main

Written by on January 3, 2013 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Clifton, Virginia

How I heard of this place: Our new friends Cari & Brian introduced us to Trummers, promising that every meal outdoes the last!

Trummers Sign

Type of cuisine: Located just 25 miles from Washington, DC, Clifton is the place that George Washington and Lord Fairfax hunted; the spot the Confederate and the Union met at throughout the Civil War; and the first town to have electricity in Virginia. This quaint destination’s historic Clifton Hotel, established in 1869, has experienced a re-birth.

U.S. Presidents and generals have been a part of the history of The Clifton Hotel since 1869. Now, restaurateur couple Stefan and Victoria Trummer along with their culinary counterparts take charge of history setting a course for Creative American cuisine at their first restaurant, Trummer’s On Main. Sommelier Diana Roderique has developed a wine list comprised from the open view wine cellar that holds over 8,000 bottles. And hand-crafted cocktails are the skills of owner Stefan Trummer. Whether you stop in for an artisanal cocktail, our infamous S.A. Burger, a tasting menu in the dining room, or Sunday brunch – you’ll experience how Trummer’s on Main is a destination not to miss!

Ambiance:Where New York Meets Main Street…

NY meets Main Street

George Washington and Lord Fairfax hunted here; the Confederates and the Union met up here throughout the Civil War; the first electricity in Virginia began here; the first New York restaurateurs to bring a restaurant to Clifton opened here in 2009.  Located on Main Street in a historic town born out of the Civil War, Trummers on Main, formerly the Hermitage Inn, is a creation of husband and wife restaurateurs Stefan and Victoria Trummer.  They have relocated to Victoria’s hometown to “combine small town charm with fabulous food and attentive service generally found in big food cities.”

Located just 25 miles from Washington DC, Clifton is a quaint destination with its working Virginia railway driven directly through the center of it all.  Following the Civil War, noted Clifton developer Harrison Otis built a hotel in the heart of this quiet town upon frustration with his vineyard.  The hotel is the original building structure of Trummers on Main.  As history begins to unfold, the historic building dates back to 1869, when it opened as The Clifton Hotel.

General Robert E. Lee and Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, who came thru Clifton during wars and administrations, greet you upon stepping inside via their painted portraits.  Other visitors included Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and Teddy Roosevelt, who once hung their hats here at The Clifton Hotel.

Trummers Interior

A fresh coat of paint on the exterior and shutters, the Trummers have completely rebuilt the interior.  The restaurant space boasts three floors enveloped by warm reds and oranges with soft creams.  The ‘Winter Garden,’ an addition added during the Hermitage days, is both a dining room and ideal for private events.  This glass-enclosed room has a view of the serene flagstone waterfall behind the restaurant and the outdoor seating patio.  The main feature in this room is the set of four paintings based on the Trummer’s logo.  Commissioned specifically for Trummer’s On Main, artist Buck Nelligan has incorporated the logo into the four seasons of a tree through winter, spring, summer and fall.

Trummers Seating

The ‘Gallery’ is the third floor dining room featuring local artist paintings available for sale to guests.  These will rotate every two months.  Also off this space is the elegant bridal suite.  The second floor dining room featuring exposed brick and two working fireplaces is aptly named ‘The Loft’ and is located directly off the ‘Winter Garden.’  One fireplace features its historic refurbished mantel centered prominently and the second located near the back in a corner with raised river rock.  Plaster painted walls in cream and contemporary styled, vibrant chairs complete the design.  Restaurant seating will accommodate 210 guests, complete with textured chairs of red and orange contemporary design and tabletops of a butcher block-blend.

Fireside Dining

The bar and lounge on the first floor feature dark cherry wood, a honey-colored translucent granite bar top, prominent lighting and textured stones on the bar wall, and columns wrapped in amber ledge stone.  A fireplace in the lounge is flanked by painted portraits of cocktails.  Here, Master Mixologist Stefan Trummer’s hand-crafted cocktails will be both seasonal and innovative libations.

Bar Top

A wine tasting room is glass enclosed for wine tasting only, complete with a communal tasting table and a view of the wine cellar room located directly next to it.  The wine cellar will hold up to 8,000 bottles of wine.

Wine Cellar

The Trummers come with a collective service, food and beverage background comprised of Citarella Restaurant, Bouley, ‘upstairs’ at Bouley, Masa, Restaurant RM and Compass in New York.  Stefan’s mixology lends a large element; a skill honed for years as a consultant for 202 Restaurant and Ultra Club in New York, L2 Lounge in Georgetown, DC, and Hangar 7 in Austria, his native country.

A destination near to Washington DC and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Clifton has been a main thoroughfare for centuries.  Today, Trummer’s On Main reignites Main Street with a culinary adventure of historic proportion.


What I ordered: Set to meet at 19:00, Chris and I arrived with thirty minutes to spare. While awaiting our dining companions, in the lower level bar, we were easily tempted by the bar menu and selected the Brie Crostini ($8) to share. The halved ciabatta bread came lightly toasted with a cranberry-apple jam, thinly sliced apples and gooey, melted brie atop.


Our two cranberry juices ($3.50 each) held us over until our party arrived. Escorted to the upstairs, fireside dining area, we took our seats and were promptly offered freshly baked, warm ciabatta rolls with whipped butter. Our dining companions started their meals with two orders of Main Street ($12 each), a cocktail consisting of Bulleit Bourbon, honey, cinnamon, and lime.

Main Street

Among the four of, to start, we shared the Three Beet Ravioli ($14), thinly sliced red and yellow beats stuffed with goat cheese, smoked salmon, and tzatziki;

Three Beet Ravioli

as well as the Arugula Salad ($13), with squash, bacon lardons, ricotta cheese, and pecans tossed in a cilantro mint vinaigrette.

Arugula Salad

For our main entrees we had two orders of the Seared Big Eye Tuna ($36 each) served over a bacon puree, with quinoa and arugula.

Seared Tuna

Chris and I split the Atlantic Salmon ($34) served with spatzle and calabaza pumpkin, topped with a horseradish froth,

Atlantic Salmon

and the Pan Roastred Rockfish ($34) served over a watercress puree with a side of sweet potato gnocchi and bacon spoonbread, topped with chili oil.

Pan-Roasted Rockfish

For dessert, the men each selected the Popcorn Ice Cream ($6 each), butter sable, frozen caramel corn, maldon sea salt and P.B. powder (on the side for Chris).

Popcorn Ice Cream

The women shared the Chocolate Quartet ($11), a generous dessert portion with nougatine, macaroons, hot cocoa, white and milk chocolate mousse.

Chocolate Plate

A cup of coffee ($3) to wash it all down, and thus we had our perfect post-holiday meal.

What I loved: The three-beat ravioli, the freshly baked – never-ending supply of ciabatta rolls, the tender salmon, the watercress puree, P.B. powder!

Why I loved it: A gorgeous, serene setting, quaint space for diners of all kinds: pairs, families, large parties, intimate spaces for each. The friendly and knowledgable staff, the cozy setting, the small portions of delectable food make for the perfect evening.

Cost: High ($25 – $44 per dinner entree)

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