First things first: If you are willing to make the drive to Sperryville and you have the means to pay for a great evening, find a way to make a reservation. Our evening at Three Blacksmiths was wonderful. We would return without a second thought.
John and Diane MacPherson are wonderful proprietors and hosts. I find it somewhat remarkable they can provide such wonderful food and drink with a total of 5 people.
We (a party of four) arrived on time for the one and only 7pm seating. There is no bar or waiting area in the restaurant, so like the other guests, we were shown to our table as soon as we walked in. We received a warm welcome by Diane, and then John delivered sparkling wine, which was more than welcome after a long drive. I'll try to keep this brief.
The menu is set unless dietary accommodations are requested in advance. The only choice to make is for beverages. Everyone chose the drink pairing ($70), but drinks are available a la carte as well. The set menu is currently $128 pp, plus 20% service charge and tax. All in, the price worked out to about $250 pp.
As a rule, Three Blacksmiths sources their food and drink locally, and the menu certainly reflected that during our visit. My descriptions do not do the food or drink justice, trust me.
Amuse bouche with sorrel leaf filled with an herbed cheese* (I don't recall the filling), hearth roasted vegetables with aioli, and maitake mushroom on a small piece of puff pastry. Wonderful.
"Carrots and Radicchio". Impossibly thin carrot slices with carrot syrup and carrot top pesto, served with a soft boiled bantam hen egg.
Bread and home made butter. The bread was house made pecan sunflower (?) bread served with two types of house made butter. One was sprinkled with sea salt, and the other was nasturtium butter. The bread was served in a box layered with warm river rocks, and it was fantastic. We all made the mistake of assuming the bread was all we were going to get, so some of us (aka me) slathered copious amounts of butter onto the bread. Lo and behold, more bread arrived. The pictured drink is Dolin Blanc with a twist. It was a unanimous favorite, and I think there may have been something more than a twist.
Chilled courgette soup. We all loved this as well--a chilled zucchini soup with finely diced zucchini for texture, and dill oil for flavor.
This was a surprise dish of steelhead trout, roe, and strawberry oil. Extremely fresh and refreshing. I loved the detail of the dishes, fork and spoon.
"Whippoorwill Spring Pea Agnolotti". This dish was sublime. The prosciutto was perfectly crisp, and balanced the smooth pasta, chees filling, and broth perfectly.
We all agreed the Maison Shaps Bourgogne Aligote was a perfect match. John provided some interesting background about the wine, as well. Shaps is one of the few vintners who produces wine in both Virginia and France.
Striploin with smoked potato puree, chioggia beet, young garlic, and broccoline.
This was another excellent and creative dish. The beef was cooked perfectly, and the jus was a combination of beef juice and beet juice. Fork tender. The granache was another perfect pairing.
The "Elder Dida Elixer" was the drink pairing for dessert. The Dida distillery is a short drive a way, and connected to Rappahannock Cellars, which is our favorite Va winery. The cocktail contained gin, and elderflower liquore was very creative, and a great match for the dessert.
The Rappahannock Berry Cobbler was a perfect finish. The ginger shortcake was crisp and light, and it was easy to tell the berries were very fresh. I'd certainly never enjoyed Spruce Tip gelato before, but this dessert was killer.
Coffee and tea were included with the price of dinner. The French press coffee was welcome for the long drive home. We spent just over 3 hours at the Three Blacksmiths, yet it seemed like minutes.