For the 30th consecutive year, AAA announced Wednesday its picks for restaurants worthy of its Five Diamond and Four Diamond ratings. Two Williamsburg restaurants, the Fat Canary and the Williamsburg Inn’s Rockefeller Room, earned four diamonds.
“It really reflects on the fact that the establishment goes above and beyond on everything,” said Georjeane Blumling, AAA Tidewater’s vice president of public affairs.
Although the organization inspects and approves more than 31,000 establishments nationwide, only 2.1 percent of those qualify for the highest tiers. AAA sends in professional inspectors to evaluate aspects like the creativity of the menu, the quality of the food, the level of customer service and overall ambience. The diamond ratings also factor in feedback from AAA members.
“It’s about the whole experience,” Blumling said.
AAA began inspecting and recognizing restaurants and hotels more than 80 years ago, and Blumling said that long history helps give credibility to the organization’s findings. The diamond ratings are also not a permanent award; inspectors return every year to make sure the place remains up to their standards and see what places have improved.
“They know what to be looking for. They know what has changed,” Blumling said. “It’s not just that you win it and you got it.”
She said the Fat Canary and the Rockefeller Room exemplify that consistent level of performance.
“They have stayed on the top of those lists for a long time,” she said. “It’s not a fluke that they have received that quality award. They have done a quality job.”
Blumling said the goal with the ratings is to draw attention to those who excel in an industry where it can be difficult for businesses to survive and thrive.
“I think the thing that AAA hopes to accomplish, really, is to shine light on the quality of service,” she said. “It’s great for the industry and it’s great for the establishment.”
Want to go?
The Fat Canary is located at 410 W. Duke of Gloucester St. It is open 5-9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 5-9:30 p.m. Friday and 5-9:45 p.m. Saturday.
The Regency Dining Room at the Williamsburg Inn is located at 136 Francis St. E. For reservations and more information, call 855-231-7240.
For more information on AAA’s restaurant ratings, visit bit.ly/2oqin3j or the AAA mobile app.
Birkenmeyer can be reached by phone at 757-790-3029.