100 Very Best Restaurants: #14 – The Inn at Little Washington

Beet fettucini with Osetra caviar. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Patrick O’Connell got attention for his social-distancing mannequins during the pandemic (they’re gone), but what’s more notable is his new glass-enclosed dining room, one of the prettiest we’ve encountered in the whole area. Settle into a parasol-topped table there for five luxe courses—we prefer the “gastronaut’s” menu over the vegetarian option—which might include marvelous seared duck breast spritzed with a grandmotherly atomizer of Grand Marnier, or a delicate lobster mousse wrapped in a filament of savoy cabbage and ladled with a caviar-studded beurre blanc. Dinners move at a fast clip these days—our cocktails arrived well into our first course. Instead, make time for a pre-dinner drink in the cozy bar, and if you stay the night, don’t miss lunch at O’Connell’s more casual Patty O’s across the way. Very expensive.