The Inn at Little Washington
The Inn at Little Washington
Middle and Main Street
Washington, Virginia 22747
The Inn at Little Washington opened in a converted garage in 1978 and over the last quarter century has evolved from a simple country inn to an international culinary shrine. Its legend is multi–faceted. Some view it as a classic, inspirational American success story, reaffirming that dreams can come true. Others focus on The Inn’s pioneering efforts in the evolution of American cuisine. Preservationists marvel at the positive effects such a place has had on one of America’s few remaining unspoiled, historic small towns. Students of business study The Inn as an unlikely business model and try to analyze what makes it work seemingly against all odds.
Famous for its service and management philosophies, The Inn is frequently used as a reference point and role model for others in the hospitality business. Patrick O’Connell frequently speaks to business leaders and the medical community about how the Inn’s guest service systems and techniques can be applied to other service related businesses. The Inn’s sumptuous interiors are life–long work of the owners and their designer, Joyce Evans of London and are often featured in decorating and design publications.
Chef Patrick O’Connell, often referred to as the Pope of American Cuisine, is self–taught. His elegant but approachable recipes have been made available to the home cook in his bestselling cookbook, “A Consuming Passion” published by Random House. A second book titled Patrick O’Connell’s Refined American Cuisine is scheduled for release in fall of 2004 by Bullfinch Press.
Selecting The Inn at Little Washington as one of the top ten restaurants in the world, The International Herald Tribune hailed Patrick O’Connell as “a rare chef with a sense of near perfect taste, like a musician with perfect pitch”. Reviewers call it the Promised Land, and its patrons are known as “pilgrims”.
The Inn’s dining room is pure fantasy – a wondrous cocoon of luxury. Rose–colored, silk lampshades float above each table creating a private romantic world below. Under the watchful eye of Host Reinhardt Lynch, Patrick’s creations arrive at one of the 30 intimate tables as if served by invisible hands, course after course more dazzling than the last. From the award winning 14,000 bottle wine cellar, which includes the finest offerings from Bordeaux, Burgundy, California and Virginia, the Sommelier plays matchmaker between you, your dinner and the wine.
Craig Claiborne of The New York Times called it “the most magnificent inn I’ve ever seen, in this country or Europe, where I had the most fantastic meal of my life”. Patrick’s approach to cooking, while paying homage to the lawmakers of Classical French Cuisine, reflects a belief in “the cuisine of today”, healthy, eclectic, imaginative, unrestricted by ethnic boundaries and always growing. The restaurant has been continually rated number one in all categories of Zagat’s Washington DC restaurant survey for the past 14 years. The popular reader’s survey raves that it is: “the gastronomic equivalent of sex”, “heaven comes in second place and it’s not really close” and calls The Inn at Little Washington “arguably the best dining in the country”. Please visit our awards section if you would like to read more about our recognitions.
The Inn’s new kitchen, often referred to as “the most beautiful kitchen in the world” was added in 1998. Inspired by the dairy room at Windsor Castle, the kitchen features an enormous Vulcan range. Built to order in France, it is topped with a copper and brass hood that looks like King Arthur’s tent. Two kitchen tables — we call them the inner sanctum — allow guests to watch the action ringside.
Special Creations Just for The Inn
A number of microgreens and flower garnishes have been cooperatively developed with the chefs at The Inn.