Don’t be fooled by the well-worn beams and creaky wood flooring. The food at this 19th-century inn in the Blue Ridge foothills is thoroughly modern, thanks to chef Patrick Robinson, who recently arrived from Table in DC. Focus on his charcuterie, in the form of razor-thin duck prosciutto and earthy chicken-liver mousse with shallot jam—they pair nicely with the standout list of wines and ciders. At the same time, his kitchen dazzles with more serious fare such as roasted meats and fish. The taproom, with its crackling fireplace, is coziest in winter; the porch dining room’s sweeping meadow view calls in summer. People-watching—Ashby is a favorite hangout for the horse-country set—is fun anytime.
Don’t miss: Shrimp with fennel and sambal; chestnut soup with sherry cream; cheese boards; rockfish with thyme jus; grilled sunchokes, acorn squash, and Brussels sprouts with hazelnut emulsion; rib eye with potato pavé; banana napoleon.