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Looking for VA mountain restaurant

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I'm hoping that someone's experience can help me out on this one....My wedding is in May 2010, and since fiance and I both have huge families and don't want the wedding to turn into a family reunion, we would love to have it at a restaurant in the Virginia mountains.

I used to live near the Inn at Little Washington, so that's definitely an option, but I'd like to have a few other - less stereotypical - choices. We would still want to host about 35 people, but for an event that's all about great food and beautiful views. Thanks!

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  1. Are there going to be a lot of folks flying in, or are your families northern Virginia convenient?
    What price range are you wanting? Do you want a drop dead wonderful view, or a romantic, cozy place?

    1 Reply
    1. re: shallots

      Thanks for the suggestions. Most family is near NOVA, so after Googling Chilhowie, they should be able to get there. I went to college at Sweet Briar, so I would love to be back around that area. And the fiance is such a history buff...
      I'm a mountain girl at heart, so the view is probably more important than the romance factor. Second to the food, of course.

    2. A bit further south is Town House Grill in Chilhowie. I haven't been yet, but the reports sound wonderful. If they are open to a private party it could be a memorable wedding feast! If nothing else, a "research" visit will be fun!

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/571280

      2 Replies
      1. re: meatn3

        I have been to Town House Grill and love it. The restaurant is in the old part of town, and not a scenic part, but the interior is immaculate.
        Not that far away is Hungry Mother State Park which is beautiful with a lake and broad lawns and just charming.
        A ceremony at the Park followed by a drive to Town House might work.

        If your family are history buffs, the town of Saltville Virginia is even closer to Town House, and the salt flats in a broad valley with the mountains just coming into the beauty of spring... anyway....possibilities.

        1. re: shallots

          A lot of foodies are saying that Town House Grill is the best restaurant in Virginia right now. Considering the Alinea and Charlie Trotter pedigree of the chefs, I'm not surprised.

          If you're restricted to NOVA, you might want to check out Hilltoppers at Goodstone Inn in Middleburg, VA. The chef, Tarver King, overhauled the kitchen there in October. He was previously the chef at Woodlands in Summerville, SC - and earned a multitude of 5-star and diamond reviews.

          http://www.goodstone.com/hilltoppers/

      2. I was going to recommend the Bleu Rock Inn, which is near Washington, VA. I haven't been there in nearly a decade, though, so I did some research. It used to be terrific. Apparently it was sold to new owners and is now the Blue Rock Inn. I suspect it is no longer the special place and serious restaurant it once was, but there is only so much that Internet sleuthing will reveal. It may be a place to check out in person.

        Another option would be The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, in Lovettsville, VA. Alas, I have never been, but it is supposed to be fantastic. I hope to go next time I am in the area.

        I love the Inn at Little Washington, but I wouldn't blame you for wanting something less exorbitant.

        Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials.

        1 Reply
        1. re: north2south

          North2south: The food at Patowmack was fantastic - very delicate and fresh. I went to a wedding there a few years ago, but on a very soggy October day. Not suggested unless you're driving something high and rugged, but the bit of the view that we could see was great.

          I actually have been out to Blue Rock to check it out as a venue as well, so good to know I'm on the right track. The new chef seems to really love the place, and had great plans for the future, but I haven't tried the food at all. He did have some great obscure beers in the pub, which is a good sign for me.
          My hesitancy with that location actually lies in the decor...it still feels like wandering into someone's living room, and he was in the process of restoring a lot of water damage to the ceilings from the previous owner.

          Mikeh: Thanks for the tip on Hilltoppers. That is definitely worth looking in to.

          If Cathal Armstrong would just open a tiny country cottage, I would be in heaven.

        2. If it would be possible to make the northern corner of North Carolina an option (Banner Elk, Avery County), I would recommend Jackalope's View at Archer's Inn.

          http://www.archersinn.com/jackalopes.htm

          1. Accolade - Please let me know if you find anything out. I'm also debating the Inn at Little Washington and haven't been able to find many write-ups about wedding and recpetions. We're leaning towards the Inn, but I'm concerned portion size would be too small and the cost too high.