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The Inn at Little Washington

309 Middle St. (Main St.) Send to Phone
540-675-3800 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Menu
The ultimate Washington outsider that's an all-American.

Open Mon., Wed.-Thurs. 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Fri.-Sun. 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

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The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, VA

The Inn at Little Washington Restaurant Review

About the restaurant and décor: Sixty-seven miles away from Washington, D.C., self-taught chef Patrick O'Connell is not only far away from the influence of Washington beltway restaurants, he's also far outside the stiff mold of great classical rules and techniques. Few chefs have a stronger culinary personality and style in this country; O'Connell is emboldened, his imagination fertile. But his brainy instincts know when to curb exuberance. The dining room is layered with rich textures, including rose-colored silk lampshades, striped chairs, floral fabrics and historic tapestries.

About the food: O'Connell's contemporary American cuisine is a hit on every level. Guests choose between (or mix and match) four-course menus ($218) of signature dishes, seasonal inspirations or vegetarian offerings, with optional wine pairings ($125). Appetizers might include the whimsical "A Tin of Sin," osetra caviar with sweet crab and cucumber rillette, or foie gras with caramelized Catalan custard and cherries from The Inn at Little Washington’s orchard. One might then savor such mains as pan-seared duck breast, or grilled king lamb chop perfumed with rosemary on lentils Dijonnaise with minted béarnaise. It's hard to choose from among the desserts, so consider the custards trio: lemon, butterscotch and chocolate; or a Granny Smith apple tart served warm with buttermilk ice cream.

About the wine: The lengthy wine list is filled with treasures from Europe and California, but also represents local Virginia wineries. 1899 Château D'Issan and 1893 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande are among the rarities. Service is impeccable. Be prepared to pay the price, a big one, for such a memorable experience.


GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.