Inn Little Washington Patrick O’Connell The Inn at Little Washington

The Inn at Little Washington

The Inn at Little Washington
309 Middle St. (Main St.)
Washington, VA 22747
Cuisine: Contemporary
The ultimate Washington outsider that's an all-American.
Openings: Dinner Wed.-Mon.


The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, VA

The Inn at Little Washington Restaurant Review:

About the chef: 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.

About the décor: The dining room at The Inn at Little Washington is layered with rich textures, including golden silk lampshades, striped chairs, floral fabrics and historic tapestries. There are also two tables in the kitchen, where guests can watch the chefs in action and admire more design details, like the hand-painted blue and white Portuguese tiles on the walls and the copper and brass range hood resembling King Arthur’s tent.

About the food: O'Connell's refined American cuisine is a hit on every level. Guests choose between tasting menus ($248) of signature dishes, seasonal inspirations or vegetarian offerings, with optional wine pairings ($170). Appetizers might include "star-kissed" tuna and foie gras confit awash in a black truffle vinaigrette, or carpaccio of herb-crusted Elysian Fields baby lamb loin with Caesar salad ice cream. One might then savor such mains as pepper-crusted duck breast with brandy-roasted peaches and pain perdu. The chocolate hazelnut mousse Napoleon offers a sweet ending.

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.