Monday, October 8, 2007

The Inn at Little Washington

I've been taken to task, by several readers, it's nice to know someone out there is reading what I write, for taking so long to proceed with a report of our trip. One of the reasons is that I have been somewhat hesitant to write anything about this very famous spot.
The Inn, and especially the food, at this, 5 star, top rated eating establishment has received so much acclaim that any thing I have to say will have been said in articles or guides many times over. My only advantage is that by now, those of you who read these reports are, used to my opinions and comments.
On our celebrator swing it was the first meal we shared only with Charles and Cynthia. They stayed at the Inn while we stayed "down the road" at a B&B, which wasn't bad either. The four of us meet, at the Inn, for dinner on Sept 25 around 7:00 PM. Upon arriving one of the managers pinned a boutonniere on each of the men's jackets. A white rose for a guest at the Inn and a white carnation on those only having dinner. That is the first of many attentive niceties.
The menu was headed,"Happy 50th Birthday to Charles". and we decided that we would "taste as many items as possible. The dinner is priced fixed at $148 per person not including gratuity, tax and alcoholic beverages. You are not only paying for the beautifully prepared food but the experience, as well. It is almost worth the price, or maybe it is. Go there and judge for yourself.
Each dish is a balance of beauty, taste and flavors. The presentation is as interesting as I have seen with each piece of china, glass or pottery matching it's contents. Of course, the table is set with fresh flowers and all the silverware and glasses.
Before ordering a platter of 8 oriental shaped serving spoons was place in the center of our table with a taste of 8 different ingredients from "the world smallest baked potato", the size of a marble, to salmon with dill and a sauce. While waiting for our first course, and each meal consits of 4 courses, we were presented with a small cup of Apple and Rutabaga Soup in a very light cream base with a touch of sherry.
First and Second course selections are one full page of the menu. We settled on the following 8. "Beet Fantasia" three varieties of roasted beets in a mousse and caviar and citrus salsa. Seared Tuna Sashimi with radish, cucumber and Wasabi sorbet. A Chilled Seafood Sampler, Lobster, Tuna tartare and Ceviche. Macaroni and Cheese with Virginia Country Ham and Truffles, the cheese was actually a basket in which the rest of the ingredients rested. Several local Cantaloupe Sorbets with ribbons of Virginia Country Ham and grilled black Mission Figs, this was served in a beautiful Japanese pottery bowl. Roasted Eggplant Raviolis with Medallions of Maine Lobster. Crispy Maryland Crabcakes with a trio of sauces and finally Seared Diver Scallops with Olive Tapenade. These dishes are nice size but thankfully not huge. All were passed around the table and shared.
Our 4 Main Courses were: Pan Roasted lobster in a citrus butter sauce; Veal Parmesan Reincarnated: Prosciutto Wrapped, Pan Roasted Loin of Veal with Spinach Ravioli and a light Parmesan sauce; Veal Sweetbreads Braised in Ruby Port with Pappardelle Pasta with Huckleberries and country ham; Medallions of Colorado Lamb with herb poached Matsutake Mushrooms and Sauce Bearnaise. Again we all shared although I lucked out as the only other person who likes Sweetbreads is Charles.
Dessert was a Butter Pecan Sandwich, layers of crisp butterscotch and chocolate crisps separating the ice cream layers and served with a warm Caramel Sauce. A platter of two different chocolate souffles and a lemon tart and Charles and Cynthia each had "7 Deadly Sins", a taste of 7 different items. Coffee and tea followed. We also had a bottle of very nice Virgina Cabernet.
As Mikey's brother says "try it you'll like it.

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