100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: The Inn at Little Washington

Photo by Scott Suchman

Many tasting rooms bill themselves as culinary “journeys,” but the experience is a literal one at chef Patrick O’Connell’s country destination. Do you need to travel outside Big Washington for a great meal? No, but that’s not the point. O’Connell, a master of dining as theater, puts on a transporting show. Guests can pick among three six-course menus or mix and match dishes from the vegetarian, classic, or “here and now” categories. That last lineup isn’t as modern as suggested—an eggshell filled with lush foie gras mousse and Sauternes gelée is pure Old World elegance. Still, modish whims aren’t why you make the pilgrimage; it’s indulgences such as perfect bread service or the chance to beckon “Faira”—the cow-shaped cheese cart—and her pun-loving master before they mooove along. Very expensive.

Also great: “A Tin of Sin” (caviar and crab); lamb carpaccio with Caesar ice cream; chanterelle “meatloaf.”

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 Petworth.

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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.