100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm

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Patowmack Farm chef Tarver King. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

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.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.