After watching the Amazon special on The Inn at Little Washington and learning about Chef Patrick O'Connell, how could you not want to come here? It's an incredible story of fortitude and forging a path which, certainly when he began, seemed a bit insane.
The Inn (and the few blocks it takes over) is well out of town in a rural part of Virginia outside Washington DC. I kept thinking "It can't be out HERE...can it?" But turn a corner and you're in a magical place with beautiful buildings and pristine landscaping.
Unlike many restaurants of this caliber, the menu is posted on their website. To be honest, I was underwhelmed by it. 5 courses? Duck OR veal? Why not both? My expectations were fairly low.
They should not have been.
The hospitality of this place can not be understated. It starts from driving into the small "town" that they are - where you feel that every building has been painted and flower planted for your enjoyment. It continues into the building where staff seem to have lived their entire lives for the moment to interact with you - hold a door, show you your table, pour your wine. Everything speaks to the idea that you are doing them the favor by being there.
The food was also stellar. Really, really stellar. Well conceived. Memorable and whimsical. Executed at such an extremely high level.
I asked for both dishes (duck AND veal), so curious to see how their hospitality would handle the request. Without a blink - "Of course sir. Which would you prefer first? The kitchen has no specific recommendation." Wondering if the additional meal would be added to the bill, the waiter (anticipating my question when he brought the bill) said "Chef O'Connell is delighted you enjoyed both main dishes. No charge has been added." Perfectly handled.
I am looking forward to returning here. It's unique and different and makes you feel special every single second, a feeling that stuck with me for days.
Replying to Steven Smith