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The Plains, VA


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This weekend the +1 and I are headed out to a B&B in the Plains, Va. We have reservations Friday night at the Rail Stop and Saturday night at Girasole. Anyone ever been to either or have anything to report or suggest?

Both restaurants were highly recommend by the B&B owner, and I believe both are frequented by Robert Duvall when he's in town.

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This weekend the +1 and I are headed out to a B&B in the Plains, Va. We have reservations Friday night at the Rail Stop and Saturday night at Girasole. Anyone ever been to either or have anything to report or suggest?

Both restaurants were highly recommend by the B&B owner, and I believe both are frequented by Robert Duvall when he's in town.

Rail Stop thread can be found here.

I haven't been to Girasole but it looks very pleasant from the outside. Last time I was out there a new owner had taken over the little market at the corner across from the Rail Stop. They had some nice sandwiches and wines. That location seems to go through owners/concepts pretty quickly - I hope they're still there, but I'm not sure.

ETA: They are still there - Forlano's Market.

I also recommend taking a drive (out Zulla Road to 50) over to Upperville and checking out the Hunter's Head Tavern. Also, head down the road to Middleburg for a nice walk through the village and maybe a snack at Market Salamander and a beer at the Red Horse Tavern. Be sure to check out the side streets, as there are some little treasures back there. There are lots of wineries in the area to stop at as well.

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Thanks...not sure why I didn't find the Rail Stop thread earlier (slaps forehead).

Hitting up the wineries will be the primary purpose of our trip (seeing as the weather will be a little too cold for hiking or horses). So if anyone has tips for the not-to-be-missed wineries in the area, those tips would be appreciated as well!

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Hitting up the wineries will be the primary purpose of our trip (seeing as the weather will be a little too cold for hiking or horses). So if anyone has tips for the not-to-be-missed wineries in the area, those tips would be appreciated as well!
I think there's a thread somewhere about wineries. ETA: That would be found here.

I haven't been to very many, but Chrysalis is very close to Middleburg (and I think you can cut through off the Halfway road that runs between The Plains and Middleburg). They have a nice set-up and are very proud of their Norton ('the American grape') offerings - and their others as well. Piedmont is also close by and has a nice tasting room. Naked Mountain is also out that way, a bit further west on 66. Linden Vineyards is well worth a visit, but on the weekends they are now only open to their 'case club' members :P .

I'd say just go for a drive and see where you wind up - the back roads that run between Halfway Road and Zulla Road are fun to explore.

Have a great time and let us know where you wind up!

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check out this place in stanardsville, which is west off 29 when you are within about 15 miles or so of charlottesville heading south. i have been there a few times over the past few years, but not more recently than last winter. i wouldn't call it fine dining, but they did have good fried green tomatoes, and someone in the kitchen usually seems to know what they are doing:

http://www.thelafayette.com/

have been there for breakfast, brunch and lunch, never dinner.

(actually, this belongs in the previous category on small towns.)

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Just back from our Fauquier weekend and it was a great one! Certainly couldn't beat the weather, and came home with 17 bottles of Virginia wine.

Friday made it down to The Plains in time to check in at the B&B, Grey Horse Inn, about 1/2 a mile off 66 at exit 31, and head down to a quick tasting at Pearmund Winery. It was a cute little place with a nice barrel room in which to relax. Saturday we made it to:

-Barrel Oak Winery - a new place near exit 27 that just opened this past summer. The interior reminds me of an open ski lodge, wooden and inviting. They had live music playing when we were there around noon and they let us bring in our picnic we had brought to enjoy at one of their tables. Very accommodating and some good wines as well.

-Naked Mountain Winery - this was probably our least favorite in terms of atmosphere and service. The interior is very dark and pretty small, and while there are excellent views from the property, it's the one I would probably cut out from future wine tours of the area.

-Fox Meadow Winery - this was hands down my favorite winery, although we only ended up buying one bottle. The owners were the ones serving us for the tasting and could not have been friendlier. They also did a unique pairing with the reserve tasting flight that included a few of cheeses, some German mustard and even a bite of Rice Krispie treat to compliment the Pinot Gris (don't knock it til you try it!)

-Linden Winery - definitely trying to be more exclusive, Linden does not admit tours, buses, or groups larger than 6. Their tasting is free, but you have to be a member of their cellar club to linger in their sitting room if you want to enjoy an additional glass or bottle.

-Rappahannock Winery - this was towards the end of the day, but still a worthwhile trip. Our server was very knowledgeable and helpful. We wanted to tour the winery, but they had an event going on already.

-O'Brien Winery - This was an afterthought, but at Rappahannock another guest had recommended we try it on our way back to The Plains. We showed up at 5:30 and noticed they closed at 5, but since folks were still sitting around drinking, the server was gracious enough to run us through a quick tasting, and we're so glad she did! The Apple Wine from here was one of the more unique things we tried on the trip and we're looking forward to perhaps trying it mixed with some Perrier as a brunch beverage.

There were plenty of other wineries in the area we didn't have a chance to visit, but this is really an easy and fun day trip from the DC area. The closest wineries are only 45min-1hour from the DC area, and the others are only a few more miles down 66.

Dinner on Friday at the Rail Stop and Saturday at Girasole were both good, but nothing spectacularly worth a trip out there just for the food. Although I have to say the calamari at Girasole was some of the best I've had in quite a while.

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The Plains has more than its share of nice places to eat with well-prepared, good fresh food.

The Rail Stop and Girasole are notables, of course, but Forlano's Market is a relatively new entrant that is doing well.

And Jeremiah's is the new incarnation of Frogs and Friends. Worth trying.

Yes, the Hunter's Head advice is good, too, as is Blackthorne Inn just a bit further down the road. It's Irish dining at its best, with nice rooms for visitors.

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