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“Fabulous”

Inn at Little Washington
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Ranked #1 of 9 Restaurants in Washington
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $218 - $218
Cuisines: American, International, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: A Michelin Two Star, Forbes 5 Star, AAA 5 Diamond country house hotel retreat, The Inn at Little Washington presents exquisite American Cuisine with a French influence in a charming and sophisticated dining room. The sumptuous award-winning cuisine is accompanied by a Wine Spectator Grand Award wine cellar with over 2,500 selections.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
206 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“Fabulous”
Reviewed October 25, 2013

We were on vacation primarily to drive from DC to Atlanta via the Parkway. However, we diverted so that we could dine in this restaurant.

We stayed at the Foster Harris House B&B just a few minutes walk away - see separate review - which we recommend.

On arrival at the restaurant we were greeted very warmly and shown to our table. Jess, our waiter for the evening, then introduced himself and guided us through our menu (personalised with your name which you take away with you at the end of the evening - nice touch). I have to say that he is superb and a craftsman at his trade. Puts you at ease, very knowledgeable on wine and helped us with our wine selection and beautifully explained each course as it was brought to the table.

We dined on a Thursday evening and the prices were $168 for the 4 course menu and $218 for the gastronaut menu. I understand it may be more expensive on a Friday and Saturday. We elected the gastronaut menu. There was the option to have paired wine with each course for about another $100 per person but as we are light drinkers elected for a bottle instead.

The menu comprises of 10 courses but we had a couple of amouse bouche courses prior to starting together with regular deliveries of fresh baked bread! Not to worry as each course is designed to allow you to experience the flavour and taste of the creation rather than weigh you down with volume.

Our favourite courses were:
Spicy sesame-crusted ahi tuna tartare with cucumber sorbet
Seared New England day boat scallop with curried cauliflower, sultanas and garlic chips
Breast of pheasant on savoy cabbage braised in champagne
Seared blackened loin of beef with bone marrow custard, chanterelle mushrooms and baby brussels sprouts

We would recommend the gastronaut menu as it allows you to experience the whole range of what the kitchen has to offer.

The courses were nicely spaced out with nothing rushed. The service throughout from all the staff was professional, efficient and very warm and relaxing.

We have dined in many Michelin starred restaurants and this is the equal of most and better than some. The one thing which does stand out though is the price. They do have a fantastic product but they do charge a premium for it. Our cost was roughly $625 for 2 people with 1 bottle of wine, tax and gratuity. Were we glad we went? Yes, of course. When we travel the world it would be a shame to miss out when such a restaurant is within reach.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Wilton2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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656 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent service but food needs to step it up for the price”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

I live in Washington D.C. and i wanted to see why the Inn at Little Washington is considered the #1 restaurant in the area. The service was the best i have ever had and met my expectations for paying $168.00 per person for 4 courses. When I spend this kind of money on the food i expect to see creative dishes that set the tone for the industry with flavors that take your palate to a new level. Amuse bouche we had a potato chip in the shape of a cannoli stuffed with sour cream and chive, dipped in caviar. It was amazing leaving you wanting more. 1st coarse was the lamb carpaccio with caesar salad ice cream which leaves you wondering how this works but it does and it was delicious. 2nd was the pigeon with blue berries, frisee, goat cheese and zucchini crepe. The skin could have been rendered more making it crispy but it was perfectly cooked on the inside. This dish was my favorite of the evening, the only thing is i wish it that it was bigger and made into an entree. I am not sure if this is one of there signature dishes but if it is not it should be.

Sadly here is where we headed downhill. The Tuna pretending to be a filet was a huge disappointment. A piece of tuna round and seared like filet with foie on top with chard vegetables just does not do it. It just reminded me of going to a high end hotel where chefs put expensive ingredients on a plate just because they can but there is nothing special about it. Dessert was good but nothing that i felt was pushing the envelope to take it to another level. I had the Seven Deadly Sins and there was 1 dessert on the plate that had a wow factor, i don't remember what it was called but they poured carmel sauce over the top. I wish i just had that for dessert rather then all the other small deserts on the plate. The rest really were not worth the calories.

All and all it is over priced for the skill level the food it currently at. I think a fair price would be around $100.00 for 4 courses but the service is exceptional and the decor is 1 of a kind. Would i go back? I am not sure, it is a long drive from the city but if you have a special anniversary or B day make the trip! It is worth going 1 time to experience it and say you went.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank snowscoot729
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamsburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
101 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Great food but overpriced”
Reviewed October 21, 2013

OK, I don't want to be the wet blanket on the review site, but we were a bit less overcome by this restaurant than others. The food was really wonderful -- beautifully cooked and gorgeously presented -- but the prices were way out of line. We have traveled the world and eaten at some of the best restaurants, and while the Inn is certainly an excellent restaurant, meals are not worth the price of air tickets to NYC for the weekend. It almost feels as though prices ($600 - $700 for two; a *very* moderate wine included) are meant to shock customers into believing they will never eat this well again. Reviews we read included language such as "a life-changing experience," "food so good it will make you cry," etc. Yes, the food was delicious, but the only change to our lives was our empty checkbooks at the end of the meal. The decor is over the top -- definitely an acquired taste. We were happy to have experienced this once, if only to see what the hype was about, but we will not return.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank cwarrenlaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Estero, Fl
Level Contributor
91 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Worth the hype and worth the trip”
Reviewed October 13, 2013

Friends had celebrated their 50th anniversary at the IALW last year and invited us to join with them this year. Considering we live a thousand miles from Washington, Va., we wondered if the meal would be worth the travel. In a word -- YES. Our dinner was the Gastronauts menu at the kitchen table. Each bite was a culinary adventure. The presentations were gorgeous -- the flavors outstanding in every way. Our server (Scott) was a true professional as well as a joyful addition to the entire experience. One of the top 5 meals of our lives -- worth the travel and worth the money. If you really call yourself a foodie -- this is an experience not to miss.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank alspat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Unforgettable anniversary dinner”
Reviewed October 12, 2013

The food is inventive and superb. the service is impeccable to every last detail. For example, as you leave the restaurant, you'll find the valet waiting with your car having said nothing to anyone about departing. My wife and i were married at the Inn the previous year and the staff warmly greeted us, pampered us at every opportunity-complimentary champagne, customized menu, outstanding table, frequent well wishes, took photos for us etc.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank nsp19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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