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  1. Tom wrote a first bite about this in the Post in early March. Esquire featured an article entitled, "Found: the incredible restaurant in the middle of nowhere that nobody knows about." Despite the distance this is a serious restaurant that Washingtonians should be considering for a destination. Simply, it is Rose's Luxury with seven tables and a total of one person in the kitchen: the gifted Ian Boden. I would actually suggest in the weeks to come this will be the most difficult table in America to find a seat at. An excellent video: My little essay about it: The early 19th century insane asylum, Western State Hospital, in downtown Staunton, is now a condo called the Villages. For its last 15 or so years it was a penitentiary. The small one hundred + year old graveyard with individual crosses on the graves of inmates is outside a building's window. Condos. The guard towers still stand. Across the street is Wright's Dairy Maid, a small town '50's hamburger and frozen custard stand that is still popular with families and teenagers camped out by their cars and sitting at picnic tables. A hundred or so yards from the guard towers which no longer need to be staffed. Whatever contrast the image of an American Graffitiish drive in across the street from a former institution for the criminally insane conjures actually doesn't approach the reality of sitting in the primitive, spartan Shack that James Beard semi finalist Ian Boden now holds forth in a few blocks away. He opened this three or four months ago after moving back to Staunton from his stay at Charlottesville's Glass Haus Kitchen which was built for him. This is, literally a shack. An outpost in a small town of character presenting itself as an affordable Charlottesville. But with a dinner destination that would be worthy of Barracks Row or anywhere in D. C. Or New York-where Chef Boden was trained. Open four nights week, wednesday through saturday, with a $55 four course prix fixe menu on weekend nights this is as extraordinary of a dining experience as I've had in America considering the setting. Rose's Luxury in a small, literal wood framed hundred year old shack. A total of three staff including the chef who stands alone in the closet sized kitchen. You are literally having dinner in his "house" even if it is a shack. And no reservations. First come first serve. They open at five. This is an individual expression of a man's passion who happens to be a world class chef. I would write about what we had but the menu changes every night and there is no telling what you'll find on it if you visit. I will say this: one of my wife's dishes included the hamburger mentioned in the above linked video. I took several bites. Perhaps the best explosively juicy first bite of a hamburger I have ever had. But that was only the start of an extraordinary small town adventure: flavorful textured ramen noodles with razor clams, rabbit gnocchi and three or four other dishes that I never expected to find in Staunton. If I had had them in D. C. I would still react the same: they were creative and delicious. Depending on traffic Staunton may not be any longer of a drive from Reston than downtown Washington. Even if it is, the Shack is certainly worth the effort. It may take a few years for panelists to make the pilgramage but he'll win a Beard award, holding court in his shack in Staunton. Chef Boden's twitter site: His tweets can build an appetite.
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