A visit to this Loudoun County farm isn’t a grand getaway in the vein of say, the Inn at Little Washington. That’s not a knock—instead, this is a more low-key place, a chance to ascend a hill; breathe in the clear, country air; and watch the sun slip over the horizon. It’s also, and not least, an opportunity to sample Tarver King’s experimental tasting menus, often constructed around the bounties of the farm. (On Thursdays, a simpler à la carte menu is served.) If some of the tricks seem extraneous—burning an autumn leaf to give a soup the scent of the woods—and the cooking tends to put too much of a premium on the pig, King is nearly always interesting. And when he finds expression in dishes conceived to deliver visceral pleasure, as in a fried hen with creamed rice, the drive seems well worth it: creativity and comfort, when so often these days you’re asked to choose.
Don’t miss: Turkey with bacon gastrique; pork-shoulder roulade; Beef on a Stone; Sophie’s Select Custard; walnut pie.