Some of the most exciting cooking we’ve encountered isn’t in downtown DC—it’s happening an hour away, up a steep gravel driveway in Loudoun County’s Lovettsville. Here, chef Tarver King plays scientist, forager, and farmer, creating avant-garde dishes from locally grown ingredients, many gathered on the restaurant’s 40-acre property.
The greenhouse-like dining room is more pleasant before dark, when vistas of the surrounding hills outshine the drab decor. Still, there’s no shortage of distractions from the kitchen—even the butter, earthy and aged for a month, is a knockout.
Smoking plays a large role in King’s repertoire (he cites the area’s Native American cooking traditions as inspiration), both in delicate dishes like a woodsy mix of crab, whipped ham, and black walnuts served on cedar and in a strapping beef rib eye.
Note that menus change daily, as does the menu format: Thursdays are à la carte, Friday and Saturday feature a multi-course tasting ($88 a person), and there’s a family-style Sunday supper once a month.
- Liverwurst with onion sablé cookies
- Crab crackers
- Chicken boudin blanc with crispy skin and fermented mustard
- Smoked pork shoulder with peanuts and jasmine rice
- Apple pie
- Appalachian cheese fritters with honey