Dining At The Inn at Little Washington

Curse you, Anthony Bourdain – why did you have to entice me with episode after episode of fine dining? Why couldn’t you stick with cheap street food –  you know, something I can always afford? I know you thought everything was delicious, but don’t blame us if the uber-exquisite restaurants usually looked more enticing than the hot-dog stands.

An idea was born on that episode I watched you dine in Lyon, an itch that wouldn’t go away until I scratched it. I’d never dined at a Michelin star restaurant before, much less one with three. So vising here was definitely my way of ‘go big or go home’.

It starts with hanging out at the elegant waiting area. Remy XO while your table is prepared? Maybe a cocktail? Yes please – that rum-infused cider was amazing, as was those spicy dried pineapple bites. Oh, your table is ready – please let me escort you to the dining room.

Seat with extra fluffy pillows? Of course. Some sparkling water while you peruse the menu. Three pre-fixe options were available, although you can swap out individual items from one option to another. I went with the “gastronaut”, except I exchanged my coconut sorbet with the chocolate-hazelnut mousse.

The first serving looked like a tiny cannoli – the fancy term for this plate is it’s an ‘amuse bouche’; something that demonstrates the cook’s talents and whets your appetite. It was possibly the single most flavorful item I’ve ever had in my life.

Next up was the caviar vinaigrette (note – I’d never had caviar before…it tasted…wet). But what killed me was the popcorn. Yes that’s right – they believe dining here should be a show, and shows should serve popcorn. Of course, THIS popcorn has white truffle shavings on it. Beat that AMC! A tiny soup-like concoction washed it down.

The next few dishes were a whirl – which says a lot considering the entire experience was just over 2 hours. The foie gras was especially amazing; the sauce was almost enough for me to pass out from bliss.

Special thanks for my servers for never looking down their nose at my admittedly inexperienced questions, and offering up excellent wine paring advise. I went with a half-bottle of a Rhone wine, but as it wasn’t enough I also got a glass of New Zealand carminiere. Maybe I should have gone with the $150 option to pair all the dishes with their recommended wine, but I was very happy with the options I had.

Oh – also thank you for the quick tour of the kitchen!

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