Eat By Numbers: The Inn at Little Washington

When you dine out, you might think about the ingredients that go into your food, but you probably don’t think about all the numbers that make your meal happen. Restaurants are filled with interesting figures that might not be apparent when you bite into an enticing entrée or take a sip of a signature cocktail, but they’re all around you.

This week we set the GPS for a little lap of luxury in the rolling hills of the Virginia countryside known as the Inn at Little Washington. For more than three decades, chef-owner Patrick O’Connell has been masterfully crafting world-class New American cuisine flourished with a French accent. In between entertaining the Hollywood elite, he was kind enough to tell us just how much foie gras and caviar he goes through, the astonishing number of bottles in the Inn’s wine cellar, and how many eggs his brood of hens lays.

 

The Inn at Little Washington

Years in business: 34

Seats: 85

Guest rooms: 18

Wines on the wine list: 2,500

Virginia wines on the wine list: 55

French wines on the wine list: Approximately 1,100

Bottles in the wine cellar: Currently 12,000

Single malt scotches available: 26

Get the rest of the numbers by clicking over to CityEats’ Plate blog now.

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Cold Rush: Washington’s Best Ice Creams

Brioche-and-Gelato Sandwich at Pitango

Eggy brioche decorated with a glittering constellation of sea salt can be filled with your choice of gelato here—we think hazelnutty chocolate bacio is the hands-down winner. (Pistachio is a close second.) Available Saturday and Sunday at the Logan Circle and Capitol Hill locations only. 1451 P St., NW, 202-332-8877; 660 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, 202-701-6222.

Espresso-Semifreddo Sandwich at Jackie’s

Espresso-mascarpone semifreddo brightened with a smidge of lemon zest is bookended with crisp chocolate wafers at this funkily decorated dining room. The edges are rolled in crushed almonds for extra crunch. 8081 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring; 301-565-9700.

Get the rest of the group sourced picks over at the Washingtonian website now.

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Restaurants With Benefits

You don’t need a red carpet or a gaggle of paparazzi to feel like a VIP. Many restaurants offer special services even to nonfamous patrons. “We’ll bend over backwards for guests,” says Kristopher Diemar, general manager at Carmine’s in Penn Quarter, who has run out to buy toys for crying children and arranged to have flowers waiting for couples. “We like to help make special occasions even more special.” Here are our favorite perks and how to access them — no secret handshakes required.

Lending a Hand
When you sit down at this backroom speakeasy for an evening of craft cocktails, you’re given a complimentary hand towel. Delivered steaming hot during the cold months or refreshingly chilly amid the heat, the towels are scented with seasonal essences. Right now, they come with a heady, herbal blend of lemon, lavender and fennel.
Columbia Room
, 1021 7th St. NW; 202-393-0220. (Mt. Vernon Square)

Office Space
Business never stops. So, if you’re amid a meal and get a call that requires you to act quickly, just ask to use the restaurant’s business center (available from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.). Equipped with Wi-Fi, a printer and mailing supplies, you can consider it your second office — one where you can order bacon lollipops and tater tots.
Founding Farmers Potomac
, 12505 Park Potomac Ave., Potomac, Md.; 301-340-8783.

Finish reading this article on the Express website now.

Photo courtesy of Firefly.

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Munchie Madness – Six 4/20-Inspired Dishes and Drinks

For pro-pot advocates, the biggest day of the year is April 20th, otherwise known as 4/20. Since puff-puff-passing is illegal in most states, smokers converge on the District annually for the Overgrow the Government rally for the legalization of marijuana. No matter what side of the debate you’re on, we can all agree that mind-blowing munchies are an issue that we can all support. So here are six of our favorite herb-inspired dishes and drinks, so you can celebrate (legally, of course) on this High Holiday.

Rabbit

It’s no shock that a salad shop is overflowing with greens, but it is surprising that one of their leafy creations is inspired by the 1936 anti-pot propaganda film Reefer Madness. The Leafer Madness Cobb ($10) tops Romaine lettuce with grilled chicken, corn, tomato wedges, egg, chive, avocado purée and blue cheese, then drizzles it all with red wine vinaigrette. If you prefer something lighter, you can always go for the Kind Herb ($7), which takes mixed greens and herbs and tosses them with crispy wild rice and vinaigrette. (No, one of the herbs is not marijuana.)

The Inn at Little Washington

You might think you’ve smoked too much when the mooing, cow-shaped cheese cart rolls through the dining room of this five star restaurant, but we assure you that Faira the fiberglass heifer is absolutely real. One of the selections she bears is Up In Smoke (price varies), which borrows its name from the Cheech & Chong film. Made by River’s Edge Chèvre in Oregon, this gourmet goat cheese is wrapped in bourbon-soaked, smoked maple leaves, which gives it a smoky scent and a hazy flavor that Pedro and Anthony would have loved.

Finish reading this post on CityEats’ Plate blog now.

Photo by LancerenoK on Flickr.

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