I recently returned to Willows Inn for my third visit (spring 2009,and fall 2010 were my prior visits) and boy is it changing to be more upscale! This is due entirely to the arrival of wunderkind chef Blaine Wetzel last August, and to the many accolades he has received since then. It has obviously become a "destination restaurant" and deservedly so because Blaine is very talented/creative and the dinners are truly outstanding. The five-course prix-fixe dinner is preceded by 5 amuses, which Blaine calls "snacks."...and they are all a great prelude for what is to come, which is the highest quality cuisine with the very best of local ingredients, including many from Nettles Farm, which is a short walk up the hill.
However, all of this excellence comes at a price...literally, because room rates and dinner cost have both risen considerably. Dinner is now $85, and with a glass of wine, tax, tip that comes to about $120 per person. They now have a "sommelier" and he "encourages" the "wine pairing," which adds another $65 to the tab.
I think that Blaine's cooking justifies the cost, but The Willows is now a little too upscale for my tastes. I will return as long as Blaine is there, but not very often as it's now just too darn expensive.