100 Best Restaurants 2012: The Ashby Inn & Restaurant

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The 19th-century Fauquier County inn may be steeped in history, but the food–such as the creative pretzel-inspired gougères and a soup that arrives under a smoke-filled cloche–proves that chef Tarver King is far from stuck in the past.

The patio is the place to sit in nicer months, but the dining room with dark wainscoting and burnt-orange walls is wonderfully cozy. “Locavore” is taken beyond the usual veggies and meats–the gin in the ginger tonic is made nearby, and the sumac in the Ashby Mule cocktail is foraged by the kitchen.

What to get:Fried pickles; chestnut soup; beet tartare; braised pork with miso jus; roasted tilefish with mushrooms; squash cake with hickory syrup; chocolaty 17th-Century Wine Cake; cheese course of whipped Garrotxa cheese, dilly beans, and fried ham; Arnold Palmer in the Rough cocktail.

Open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Expensive.

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