Anyone been to Inn at Little Washington lately?
I hope this is the right board- I know it's a little far out to be called "suburban Virginia".
I have reservations in June and I was hoping for some recommendations or just general thoughts on the restaurant. I didn't see much on the board.
Take lots of money, expect to spend some time dining, and enjoy. I haven't been for a year or so, but I have never, never had a bad meal or less than stellar service at the Inn.
If you can, see if you can sit in the garden room.
I was there in mid-March for a celebratory wedding dinner. Yes, it is expensive. But for a special occasion, or a treat, it is absolutely worth it. Absolutely stellar service. Not intrusive or hovering, but struck the perfect balance (plus we each got a free glass of champagne!). We sat in the garden room overlooking their patio and it was beautiful. Don't miss the moo-ing cow cart of cheese (I like a place that doesn't take itself too seriously). Everything we had was amazing and the dessert sampler platter was over the top (I was already full, but somehow made room and was glad I did!).
As long as you're prepared for the $$$$, you'll have a great time.
If you do go, don't go for the Argonaut's menu. I think the Inn is good with the dishes that have been consistently praised but struggles with putting a coherent, delicious tasting menu that changes regularly. We were especially confused by a fish course that had seared black cod served in a dashi broth in one of those plastic miso soup type bowls you get at a Japanese restaurant. None of the other courses were Asian inspired.
The Argonaut menu after tax and tip is only $50 less than the dinner for two at Per Se in NYC which I think is a much better dining experience. Komi for a lower price has much better food when comparing tasting menus. I can see the Inn being very delicious if we stuck to its greatest hits (dishes that are always served regardless of the season - e.g. the macaroni and cheese, the tuna "filet mignon", the seared foie gras)
It's funny you don't recommend the Argonaut's menu, because I was going to recommend it! I believe it's called the Gastronaut's menu though (at least the thing we ate was called that).
I was last there in Oct 11 for a speical occasion and my wife and I got the Gastronaut's menu (ie chef's tasting menu) and we absolutely loved it.
Don't be afraid to splurge for the "supplemental fee items" either. One of our favorite dishes was called the Tin Of Sin which was caviar with cucumber and crab meat. There was an extra charge if you ordered off the regular menu but since we were doing the Gastronaut's menu, there was no charge. Whatever the extra price was, it was worth it, becasue 18 months later I'm still salivating.
Yes, it's an expensive place, but I figure, if you're going there you know that and can afford it. Or you've at least made the decision to afford it for a night. So my advice is, if you're going to spend a lot of money on a meal, go all out and spend a little more for some amazing extras. If you're going to nickel and dime the dinner or agonize over the price, just don't go. Be prepared to spend a lot on dinner, embrace it and enjoy the hell out of it!
re: Bart Hound
You're right - it is the Gastronaut's menu. Not sure where my mind was at when I wrote that.
We had almost the opposite experience with the tin of sin. The crab was slightly "pungent" which is not what you'd expect from a restaurant of the Inn's caliber. With that said, the cheese course is one of the best I've ever had. I'm not a fan of the composed cheese course btw.