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AbitaFan08
LSU Fan
Boston, MA
Member since Apr 2008
17608 posts

Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
This past weekend, my wife and I took a drive to Virginia for our second anniversary. I thought I’d do a trip review for this area because it’s not necessarily a common destination so there likely has never been a write up on it here.

Located about 60 miles from Washington, D.C., Rappahanook County has a population of roughly 6,000 people, zero stoplights, and a 3-Michelin Star restaurant. It also has more than a dozen wineries, a whiskey distillery, and a couple breweries. It’s known as a popular place for people from D.C. to stay for a day/weekend.

We stayed in the town of Sperryville (population 500). It’s so remote that I didn’t have cell service the entire weekend. Friday night, we got in and grabbed dinner at the only pub in town, and the food was actually outstanding. After a 10 hour drive, we were exhausted (and everything shuts down at 9pm), so we went to bed.

The first morning, I got up and grabbed coffees at the only coffee shop in town (see below). We were fortunate to stay right off the main road, where on Saturday they had “Sperryfest,” which was a little festival consisting of food, wine, beer, and products for sale from local stores. It made for a really nice day and a great way to see the town.





Amazingly, this small town is home to a restaurant called Three Blacksmiths, which was recently voted the Number 4 Best New Restaurant in the country. They are only open 3 nights a week, and they have one seating each night, with 16 seats in the entire restaurant. It takes months to get in, if you can, and because we planned this trip maybe 2 months in advance, we were unfortunately not able to secure a table. I actually walked in to ask if by any miracle someone had canceled, and was (very kindly and politely) told that their next availability was in November. This was especially disappointing because we could see it from our AirBnB.



After wandering around for a while and eating some insanely good brisket tacos, we walked over to Copper Fox Distillery. They do whiskey and gin, and have a great cocktail list you can order off of. We sat in their “backyard” along the Thornton River, and it was a great way to relax and enjoy the afternoon.







Finally, we went by a pizza place and wine bar for a few glasses of wine. We had dinner plans the next night (more on that in a bit), so we were content to get a pizza to go and relax in the AirBnB for the rest of the evening.

The next morning, we grabbed brunch at a place called Griffin Tavern, and the food and atmosphere were outstanding.



Afterwards, we drove through Shenandoah National Park, which had some breathtaking views.



Afterwards, we spent most of our time going to some of the wineries around the county. I was incredibly impressed at the quality of wine that comes out of this region. And the scenery didn’t hurt either.







After that, my wife rested up while I snuck in a quick 9 holes at the local golf course before dinner at the Inn at Little Washington. This place is the most recent restaurant in the country to receive 3 Michelin Stars, but has been around for 40 years. It’s located in the town of Washington, which is somehow even smaller than Sperryville. The owner, Patrick O’Connell, also owns the Inn and a number of other buildings on the block. We would have loved to stay at the Inn, but at an average price of $1000+ on the weekends, it was only slightly out of our price range.

Chef Patrick also employs locals for a myriad of things, the most noticeable being to maintain the grounds. The entire area is covered in white and pink tulips, and that coupled with the perfect weather made us start trying to figure out how we could move there permanently.









For those interested in our meal, I’ll post that in a second post below. That way people who don’t care about dining experiences are able to pass over it easier.

We were fortunate enough to go back into the kitchen after our meal and meet Chef Patrick, which is our version of meeting a celebrity, so we were very grateful for that.

After dinner, we immediately went to the AirBnB and passed out, and the next morning we made the long drive back to Boston.

I was amazed at how genuine and kind everyone we encountered in the area was, and I have to say, I kept finding myself thinking “wow, maybe Virginia IS actually a southern state!” I could not recommend visiting this area for a couple days, especially if you can tack it on to a D.C. trip.

This post was edited on 4/30 at 8:34 pm


AbitaFan08
LSU Fan
Boston, MA
Member since Apr 2008
17608 posts

re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
I've already shared some photos of the Inn's property during the day, but here's a shot of it the night we ate there as well as a shot of the lounge where we had drinks before our meal and the room where our table was.







They had three different tasting menus to choose from, and so we could try as much food as possible, we each got a different menu. The lighting wasn't the best for the photos, but we did the best we could. Aside from what was on the menu, there was a myriad of small bites and palate cleansers brought out throughout the meal.

My Menu: The Gastronaut's Menu

A Quartet of Wellfleet Oysters in Champagne Sabayon



A "Star-Kissed" Tuna and Foie Gras Confit Awash in a Black Truffle Vinaigrette



Grilled Young Squab with Seared Foie Gras Nesting on a Rhubarb Compote



A Duet of Spring Lamb: Garlic-Studded Tenderloin and Braised Lamb Breast with Cauliflower Puree



A Selection of Cheese
*Delivered, as shown below, by Farrah the cow. She's called Farrah because the cheese comes from her faucets.





My Wife's Menu: Suddenly Spring

Ebony and Ivory: A Bouquet of White Asparagus and Royal Osetra Caviar with Dijon Dressed Peekytoe Crab



Carpaccio of Herb-Crusted Elysian Fields Baby Lamb Loin with Caesar Salad Ice Cream



Scottish Sea Trout Poached in Olive Oil with Fava Beans and Lemon-Vodka Sauce



Proscuitto Wrapped Berkshire Pork Tenderloin in a Fricassee of Spring Vegetables



Apparently a Pear
*This was incredible. It looked exactly like a pear, but it was actually a cheesecake with pear in the center.





Finally, we were brought home a "take home" gift in a box designed to look like the Inn. The really neat thing about this was that we were seated next to a couple, and the husband was the artist for most of the artwork in the building, and additionally he designed and painted the box.



This post was edited on 4/30 at 10:15 pm


Pilot Tiger
Georgetown Fan
Northern Virginia
Member since Nov 2005
71465 posts
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re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
sounds like a great time.

Wife and I go out to Sperryville/Luray every fall to relax and enjoy the autumn weather in the mountains.

It's really a great place to get away for a few days and out of DC.

Haven't eaten at the Inn yet but we really want to


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Lima Whiskey
Virginia Fan
Member since Apr 2013
5787 posts
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re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
Once you get to Warrenton, you’re in the south :)


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SloaneRanger
LSU Fan
Upper Hurstville
Member since Jan 2014
478 posts

re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
Great review. May have to try it.


wahootiger
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2010
290 posts

re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
As a UVA alum, central Virginia will always have a special place in my heart. The scenery up around Sperryville really is some of the most bucolic you can hope to find. Glad you enjoyed yourself.



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Panny Crickets
LSU Fan
Fort Worth, TX
Member since Sep 2008
4117 posts
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re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
Look at all of that fois gras!!!


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usc6158
Southern Cal Fan
Member since Feb 2008
27809 posts

re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
Inn at Little Washington is simply the best.

And the pizza place in Sperryville is the bomb as well.

Such a great area.
This post was edited on 5/1 at 12:36 pm


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HoustonGumbeauxGuy
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2011
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re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
Awesome review. Sadly I’m running out of character counts in the sticky. Admins won’t increase it


AbitaFan08
LSU Fan
Boston, MA
Member since Apr 2008
17608 posts

re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
quote:

Awesome review. Sadly I’m running out of character counts in the sticky. Admins won’t increase it


Tell the admins to meet me at Sonic.


HoustonGumbeauxGuy
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2011
16363 posts
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re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review



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VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
23888 posts

re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
I thought I'd replied. I'm glad you enjoyed our neck of the woods.


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dirtsandwich
Alabama Fan
AL
Member since May 2016
1587 posts

re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
Very nice! They don’t call it God’s country for nothing. Am I wrong or did your wife out order you?


AbitaFan08
LSU Fan
Boston, MA
Member since Apr 2008
17608 posts

re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
I wouldn't say either out ordered the other, no wrong choices, but if I had to do it over again I’d order the same thing.

But I’m a sucker for fois gras and oysters and not much into dessert.
This post was edited on 5/5 at 4:19 pm


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Sancho Panza
Mississippi St. Fan
La Habaña, Cuba
Member since Sep 2014
7661 posts

re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
OutblankingStanding!


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DaBeerz
LSU Fan
Ellic
Member since Sep 2004
12616 posts

re: Virginia (Rappahannock County) Trip Review
Lived in Louisiana almost my whole life, will be 40 this year, but wouldn’t trade those 7 years I lived in dc/Virginia for anything, been back 2 years but would love to go back... family called though


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