My wife and I will be taking an anniversary trip to the northern virgina/shenandoah area the Friday/Saturday after thanksgiving. We'll be coming down 81 and/or Rt. 11 from Pennsylvania. Based on the research I've done, we'll be staying at the Inn at Vaucluse Spring in Stephens City, and Eating our Anniversary dinner on Friday night at L'auberge Provencale. In addition to driving up skyline I plan to stop in the towns of Sperryville, Washington, and Flint Hill. I also plan to visit Grey Ghost, Unicorn, Oasis, Linden, and Rappahanock Vineyards.
Most of the posts I've seen on the area are somewhat old, and I know that restaurants can vary greatly over time. My question is, has anyone been to this area recently that can make some dining/vineyard suggestions? Are there any vineyards in that area that do lunch? I'll need Lunch/Dinner on Saturday and Lunch on Sunday.
Additionally, I'd love to know if anyone has been to L'auberge recently and can suggest any dishes that are a must have or should be avoided.
Any other tips on the area will be greatly appreciated.
I'm a HUGE fan of Four and Twenty Blackbirds. We went last fall after wines and apple picking, and it was the absolute PERFECT complement to the day. Very comfortable, with absolutely excellent food. Its just solid american food, with a little touch of country mixed into it. Plus, the wine list is mostly local, so if you missed anything along your trip, you can try it here.
As for vineyards, I love Linden because of the view and their wine is as good as VA gets, IMHO.
I love the Inn at Vaucluse Springs! It's my favorite inn. Have you tried their dinners? I haven't been for dinner in a while, but we've had both their Friday night casual dinner and Saturday night more formal one a while ago (do they still do these?. L'Auberge is wonderful, too, but we haven't been recently. The Inn at Vaucluse Springs recommended One Block West in Winchester and I really liked it--locally grown produce, casual, excellent food. My husband and I also liked J's Gourmet in Front Royal. We ate downstairs in the cafe amidst the cookbooks and little gourmet shop. A little cramped but good for a quick bite to eat, sandwiches and soup. I think they'll pack baskets to go so you can eat along the Shenandoah, too. Upstairs is a restaurant I'd love to try but it's open on odd days.
As vineyards go, I like Naked Mountain. No food but amazing view from the tasting room, all glass. I think it's off exit 18 in Markham. Very friendly, lots of good wine to try. Plus, you can get a "Get Naked" t-shirt.;-)
On my list of places to try next time we go to the Inn is Four and Twenty Blackbirds. And, at some point, the Inn at Little Washington.
Thanks so much. I've never stayed at the Inn At Vaucluse Springs, but am looking forward to it. I've heard nothing but good things. I had planned on eating there at least one night, but the owners decided not to serve Dinner on that Friday and Saturday night. Probably because there aren't enough people staying there those nights and due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.
jsgourmet sounds like exactly what I'm looking for. I was actually hoping to find a place that does picnics "to go" so we could have lunch on a hiking trail across from one of the skyline visitors centers my parents used to take me on when I was a kid.
For a casual lunch if you're in the vicinity of Edinburg/Woodstock, there are a couple of Italian restaurants that are actually pretty good -- the owners in both are home-grown Italians. One of them is in Woodstock in the strip that the Wal-Mart is in. The other is in Edinburg, about a block from the old mill there, a little hole-in-the-wall spot.