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May 9, 2012 01:28 PM

Inn at Little Washington--making the most of it.

So excited! I live only 30 min. from the Inn but I'm a first-timer. My husband and his brother gave me and my SIL each a $250 a gift certificate for my 50th and her 40th birthdays LAST May. We live in different parts of VA and we've been hemming and hawing trying to suss out the best time to go since. We've always had one conflict or another but it has come down to the wire since our certificates expire this week! We are (forced) to go on Mother's Day!!! Meant to be. Woot! I leave behind 6 kids, and she 3. Ohhh wellll.. We are both foodcentric and are so pumped because they are offering a 6 course tasting menu for the day for $128 designed by Chef O'Connell. The menu--A Selection of Canapes, Crisp Napoleon of Lobster with Minted English Pea Puree, Fricassee of Potato Gnocchi with Wild Morel Mushrooms, Local Asparagus with Slivers of Virginia Country Ham, Miniature Filet of Cod Saute with Lemon Vodka Sauce and Lilliputian Shrimp Dumplings, Parsley Crusted Border Springs' Rack of Lamb with Spring Vegetables. Dessert: Ginger Panna Cotta with Passionfruit Grainte and My Grandmother's Strawberry Rhubarb Tart with Lemon Verbena Ice Cream. Wow! On top of that we are going for gold and staying at the Foster Harris B&B --YAY US! What a Mom's Day, huh? There are 3 seatings, the last being at 7pm which is ours. Can we show up beforehand and sit in the garden for drinks? And, how would you spend the extra cash left after the meal price and tip? I figure we both have a good $80 left for libation and such. Any insider tips appreciated because I'm just a tad fluttery.

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  1. Definitely get the tasting menu! Wide variety and you get the best of what the kitchen has to offer.

    The Wa Post food critic often advises people to ask for a tour of the kitchen after dinner - do it! It's beautiful and serene in there. He also says to have either before dinner drinks or dessert in the garden/patio. I've never done either, so maybe you should call first to get details.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bart Hound

      Ooooh--forgot about kitchen tour. Certainly not to be missed!

    2. Definitely arrive early for a cocktail. They have an excellent selection. And if you're a wine drinker, go for the pairings: the sommelier is amazing and really chooses well, while explaining each selection beautifully.

      And honestly, a bit of advice - for many people, the Inn is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Don't limit your enjoyment of the experience because you have a set price in your mind. If you have to pay a little more out of pocket in order to get the full enjoyment that YOU want, then do it and don't look back. That's better than leaving and wishing you'd had that glass of champagne....

      4 Replies
      1. re: katecm

        Agree totally! The last time we went, my wife I got the Gaustranauts Meal (the tasting menu) and on it was something called the "Tin of Sin". It was also on the regular menu but there was a $28 (I think that's what it was) supplement to get it. Had we been eating the regular menu, the extra cost would have proabably put me off getting it. Luckily I wasn't faced with the choice, because it was one of the highlights of the meal.

        So I agree wtih katecm, spend the extra money and don't be put off by the high prices of the supplements. They will be worth it!!

        1. re: Bart Hound

          You're leaving me in suspense here man; what was the Tin of Sin???

          1. re: reiflame

            It was a little round metal container (the tin) filled with a layer of crab, a layer of minced cucumber, and topped with a layer of caviar. I'm not exactly sure the order of the layers but I know the caviar was on top. You used a little mother of pearl spoon to scoop the caviar out of the tin and spread it on a couple of pieces of small, thick, but light and fully toast. It may sound a litlle boring (cucumber) but the combination was fantastic. Here's the menu description: “American Osetra Caviar with Peekytoe Crab and Cucumber Rillette”.

        2. re: katecm

          Right kate, there will be no regrets and no fence-sitting!

        3. They serve a delicious Breakfast - I am not sure if it is just for guests of the Inn or not, but if I had leftover credit, that's what I would spend it on!

          1 Reply
          1. re: tommyskitchen

            Will be staying overnight at the Foster Harris House B&B down the street which is known in its own right to turn out a top-knotch breakfast. But thanks for the input!