100 Very Best Restaurants: #11 – The Inn at Little Washington


Beet fettucini with Osetra caviar at The Inn at Little Washington. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About The Inn at Little Washington


309 Middle St
Washington, VA 22747

Fun fact: The staff at Patrick O’Connell’s pastoral dreamscape of a restaurant outnumbers the residents of the tiny town it resides in. Pulling off a standing-ovation-worthy production night after night, after all, is no small undertaking. This is a place of unabashed luxury—fresh flowers everywhere, a wine list that feels like an Encyclopedia Britannica volume, and three tasting menus to choose from. It’s also a place of puckish playfulness. O’Connell’s “star-kissed” tuna is served in a tin with foie gras. He spins the idea of Caesar salad into an appetizer of lamb carpaccio, Parmesan-enriched ice cream, and loads of garlic. Don’t skip a visit from cheese master Cameron Smith, who speaks almost entirely in puns (but can also give you the inside scoop on which grocery-store cheeses to seek out). Very expensive.