The Inn at Little Washington
The late Craig Claiborne of The New York Times called it “the most magnificent inn I’ve ever seen, in this country or Europe, where I had the most fantastic meal of my life”. Patrick’s approach to cooking, while paying homage to the lawmakers of Classical French Cuisine, reflects a belief in “the cuisine of today”, healthy, eclectic, imaginative, unrestricted by ethnic boundaries and always growing.
Simply one of the best restaurants I've ever been to in my life. We did the the tasting menu, which included 4 courses and desserts that were quite an experience. It was all so well done, it was hard to pick a favorite...the Bison was probably the best of all the dishes we sampled. It's a wonderful place for a special occasion.
Overall, I found the experience disappointing, and lacking significantly in creativity and value, in particular. The menu was no different (in creativity and flavor) than what I could have found for a fraction of the price - beets, trout and bison were on the gastronaut menu and I swear it's nearly the same thing I had on my last visit in 2007. I found the service somewhat rushed, with almost a conveyor-belt feeling, listening to the wait staff tell the surrounding tables the same thing I had heard minutes earlier, though that's probably the nature of a set-menu restaurant. Avoid the wine pairing. I found it borderline insulting to pay $170 for the equivalent to >3 glasses of wine, none of which were remarkable. I was not looking to get "loaded," and I certainly understand high premiums to enable IAWL to invest in the expertise of its staff and other factors, but this mismatch erased any perceived value or goodwill. With all pairings, wine was poured ~10 minutes prior to the presentation of the food, leaving me and my date to drink water with our food - completely missing the point of a tailored wine pairing. There are certainly many "high-touch"elements to the experience, but the sense of driving volume was pretty palpable. I substituted the cheese plate for dessert, and it arrived 10-15 minutes before her dessert. If you decide to go, do not sit in the garden area. There is zero sense of intimacy, which one would expect from the venue and at this pricepoint. Instead, echo-y and uneven tables.
Highlights of the evening were drinks in the lounge - very enjoyable - and the cheese cart. Can I go back just for that?
I'll admit the food was beyond anything I have ever tasted and was absolutely delicious but I'm not so sure $600 (including one glass of wine for myself plus a tip) for a party of two was a good value. The service was excellent without being uppity. The courses were well-paced and artfully presented. The decor is really interesting. Overall a nice anniversary evening. If you are into food (and don't mind a little decadence and conspicuous consumption) go for it! Glad we marked it off our bucket list. Will visit again....when we win the lottery :)
Overall experience was phenomenal. Just about everyone was very accommodating, super nice and genuinely seemed to want the guests experience to be memorable. The food was also fantastic, we tried two different tasting menus with the wine pairing. Would definitely recommend The Inn to anyone thinking of a place to celebrate a special occasion
Our party of 3 chose the 3 different menus available, Out of the Blue, The Gastronaut’s Menu and The Good Earth.
With the wine pairings. Every course was exquisite in service, presentation and preparation!
Memories of the palates:
Amuse Bouche- pork belly skewer, white bean soup with gougère.
Wellfleet Oysters, Curious Beet Noodles, Lamb Carpaccio, Turnip Tart Tatin, Duet of Lobster, Apparently a Pear.
Wine pairing; Maximum Grünhäuser, Riesling w/ Beet, Francois Chidane, Bouchet, Demi-Sec, Vouvray w/ Turnip
and Domaine Blaine-Gagnard, Burgundy w/ Lobster.
The cheese course!
Very special dinner that we will recall often.
The Inn at Little Washington deserves every bit of its three star Michelin Star rating. To eat here is more than a meal--it is an experience. The food is just incredible, but it is the attention to detail that is memorable. We were celebrating my partner's birthday. They made note of it on the menu, and every server wished him a happy birthday. The restaurant's ambiance combines class with whimsy.
Superlative dinner in every way . A well deserved 3 star Michelin restaurant.
I definitely recommend this to anyone. It’s such a great place and the food is outstanding !!! Service is perfect. It was amazing
Superlative in every way!
Amazing. First time to the Inn and was skeptical of the hype. I was proved wrong. Service, food, ambiance—far exceeded anything we expected...and we are picky. Had the pleasure of meeting the genius Chef in the kitchen. It’s a must Washingtonians!
Oh—best part. They allow u to substitute any of the items fr the 3 amazing flights. That was hugely appreciated.
Sorry, words can’t express how excellent this place is. My apologies.
An appropriate experience given the three Michelin star rating of this restaurant. I’ve dined at The French Laundry and 11 Madison Park, and The Inn at Little Washington can hang with both of them any day. The food is on par with the French Laundry, the service is not quite as refined, but it is still at a level that puts most “high-end” restaurants to shame. The staff is so friendly and knowledgeable, it really makes the evening. If you’re on the fence, I can without a doubt say get yourself a reservation, and make sure you order the cheese at the end, you will not be disappointed by the amazing selection, of both cheeses and fantastically terrible jokes from Cameron the “cheese whiz.”
Lived up to the expectation ! Amazing!! the extra details and final touches ....the name on the menu and the cookie box were so special. The cheese cow made us laugh for days. We will be back again
Our dining experience at The Inn at Little Washington was spectacular in every way. The food was divine, beautifully presented and gloriously delicious. Each dish was amazing. The service was flawless and the dining room and ambience timeless and very romantic. Definitely one of the best dining experiences we've ever had.
The perfect way to celebrate our engagement and anniversarg. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime kind of feeling!
Absolutely outstanding! Best meal of our life and our server Chris made everything worthwhile. I proposed to my girlfriend that night and the entire staff catered to every need we had. Will be back for sure in the future.
Can’t recommend this restaurant enough. We knew from the 3 Michelin stars and the reviews that the meal was going to be amazing but the service is outstanding. We are new to fine dining and places like these can seem intimidating to novices but they never made us feel like that. Not one staff member! Yes it’s very expensive but it’s an experience worthy of a special occasion.
Honestly just amazing - lives up to the hype.
This is the highest level of culinary service. Eating here is an experience that cannot be compared. Every bite, every course, every moment was flawless.
Considering I proposed at dinner, needless to say it was an incredible evening. Everything at the Inn is perfect and the culinary experience is outstanding!!
They’re still the one. Every bite a remarkable experience. Every need attended to. Just special.
Best dinner, best service, beautiful restaurant
Everything tasted amazing and service was outstanding.
The restaurant was an absolutely amazing experience, well-deserving of the 3 Michelin stars! We had the tasting menu, no wine pairing and did not stay overnight at the inn. Everything was super on point - food, service, ambiance was perfect. I had the gastronauts menu, and my wife had the seafood. We both loved it, and got to try a bite of each others' for each serving. Although this place is expensive, I think it's worthwhile for a special occasion!
Best dining experience in anyone’s entire lifetime. Go! You’ll never regret it.
Absolutely fantastic. We were an hour late yet they were still highly accommodating. Friendly staff, highly professional service. Food was perefection, and we got a surprise access to the kitchen after our meal.
Unforgettable experience overall!!!
Service is impeccable and the restaurant pays attention to the details. The food is wonderful and the entire dinner was an experience.
Amazing dining experience!
A must for anyone! I'm currently on a journey of discovering my passion for food, and knew it was a matter of time before I found my way into a Michelin star restaurant. Trust me it was everything I imagined. The scottish sea trout poached in olive oil changed everything. As the first bite melted in my mouth, I was taken back. Just sank in my chair, closed my eyes, and disappeared elsewhere. When my eyes opened,I just smiked and laughed. For, I never had food change my perception of my current moment.
As always, going to the Inn is a wonderful experience. From the moment you walk in, you are taken care of with a level of service that is exceptional. They are attentive without being overbearing.
The ambiance is amazing and the food fresh and creative. Pretty cool for having Ben doing it for 40 years!
For a special occasion it is among the few places that are a must visit.
Service was off...missed steps...served wrong menu course that was supposed to go the guests sitting next to us, we had to flag down someone to have it corrected because the staff didn't even notice or realize they made a mistake. Wine was not delivered and poured until after our first course started. Could have been an off night for the staff, they all seemed rushed and running around.
It was a lovely experience. Each course was perfection. The fish course, the salmon was perfectly cooked. The techniques used are impressive. The presentations are noteworthy and worth of picture taking.
I have been blessed to enjoy yet another phenomenal meal at this quaint, cozy location in the beautiful foothills of Virginia. The service is nothing but impeccable. The food is an absolute fiesta for the tongue. I’ve enjoyed a life of delicious meals and still the flavors served here are surprisingly new and spectacular. The whole experience is worth every penny.
I know I'm not the first to write these words: Everything about this meal (venue, staff, service, presentation, quality, taste) was spectacular. That said, $1,000 for dinner for 2 (if you include the wine pairings) is very hard to justify for normal people. We were there with a gift certificate from one of our children to honor my 70th birthday, which allowed us to just enjoy the experience. If you can get over the cost (rather than dwelling on it as you're there), this is the meal of a lifetime.
If you have never been to the Inn and have an opportunity to go, do not pass on the opportunity, the experience is unique. For us, we have been multiple times, but after our last experience, we will consider other restaurants for special occasions. Our experience (considering decor, food and service) was pleasant, but for the Inn, and based on past experiences, we expected near perfection. Examples of why the Inn fell short of delivering the perfect meal are: empty coffee cups- had to ask for more coffee for multiple diners, celebrating several events, yet all events were not listed on our menus (despite confirmation of events three days before dining) and the reason for this was "the staff did not know what to write on the menu". The food was very good, but honestly, not worth the price, and it is surprising with the addition of the Michelin Star, that the menu remains essentially the same from our previous reservation. With the exception of the braised ribs on the Gastronaut Menu and a little difficulty shaving the truffles for the risotto dish, we enjoyed all dishes, and the desserts were amazing. Another "plus" was the ability to select courses from more than one Menu, and not have to go with all the courses on one of the prepared Menus. This flexibility was much appreciated and was a highlight. In summary, eating at the Inn should be an dining experience unlike any other, this was not the case, this time.