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Patowmack Farm, Chef Tarver King Comes From The Ashby Inn, With Sous Chef Nathan Shapiro and Farmer-Co-Owner Beverly Morton Billand


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I have been here to eat and also take a cooking class with my daughter. It is a wonderful place, the surroundings are as nice as you can get. The "dining room" is basically like eating outdoors with beautiful views, make sure to get there before sundown for a great sunset. The food is very good, most everything comes directly from their garden. This is as true "farm to table" as you are gonna get. It is pricey, and the service is somewhat relaxed, as you are basically eating in someones backyard. Make sure to spend some time talking to the owner Beverly, she has a great story on the growth of her farm/restaurant.

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Yay, finally, a thread about this place! I have also taken cooking classes with Chef Edwards, who is member burapateeter on this site, by the way. I echo DanielS's sentiments. I have not yet been able to book a table there this season, but that's my fault. I keep calling with very little notice seeking a reservation during prime time.

I welcome hearing tales of your dining experience once you go. And I'll post again once I ever leave Procrastination Station and make it out there this summer.

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Yay, finally, a thread about this place! I have also taken cooking classes with Chef Edwards, who is member burapateeter on this site, by the way. I echo DanielS's sentiments. I have not yet been able to book a table there this season, but that's my fault. I keep calling with very little notice seeking a reservation during prime time.

I welcome hearing tales of your dining experience once you go. And I'll post again once I ever leave Procrastination Station and make it out there this summer.

I wrote this eight years ago when an open air tent was erected to house the" dining room." http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/165704?tag=search_results;results_list Several years ago a building took its place whose structure created a somewhat different ambience; still it is unique and special.

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Ok, I had a very nice birthday meal at Patowmack Farm with my family on Saturday night.

The setting is beautiful; that is inarguable. The service was very good. There was some trouble with the air conditioning unit, which was blowing really cold air on us. Finally that got fixed but it took longer than it should have.

On to the food. I would say the various dishes ranged from pretty good to great. The highlights were the dungeness crab appetizer, the risotto, and the caramelized cheesecake. I thought the "tortellini leo" could have used more salt (and I am very sensitive to salt so that's really saying something). There were some mixed opinions on the "Catalan suquet with lobster and cuttlefish over Carolina grits with veal meatballs." My sister in law thought the seafood was indistinguishable. The veal meatballs were widely praised. Twinsmommy thought that her "blueberry galette" dessert was no better than a toaster strudel. I think my brothers enjoyed the duck breast (they both got the five-course tasting menu).

The mixed drinks were excellent, as was a bottle of Loudoun County viognier from a winery near Purcellville (can't recall the name).

Due to the steep cost, we won't be rushing back, but it was a worthwhile experience and everyone should try it once.

For the detailed five-course tasting menu ($85) and a great picture looking from the farm towards the Point of Rocks bridge, see my brother's blog, www.eatwellslivewells.com

PS I forgot to mention when I first posted one of the best parts of the meal -- the blueberry bread we got as the "first bread" with our meal. This was outstanding and we got seconds of it without asking. It was so good that I almost asked if we could buy a loaf to bring home. The second bread -- Parker rolls -- was very good too. And as some of you might have seen me say from time to time, "A good restaurant may have bad bread, but a bad restaurant will never have good bread."

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Here's our experience from a help needed thread:

We ended up at Patowmack Farm for dinner and stayed at a B&B nearby. "Thursdays at the Farm" was small plates which as the website says were pretty reasonably priced. We pretty much had every plate on the menu that night except for 2-3 meat ones and all were very tasty except for the Peach Gazpacho with baby corn and corn silk. Somehow that one just didn't execute well together. The glass of red wine I had was from Fabbioli Cellars was one that I didn't finish. My GF had lavender lemon infused cocktail that she enjoyed.

Highlights were the little tomatoes from the Early Bird Tomoato Salad. The Broiled Peach with merry goat round cheese and fried bread. Very tasty. Also liked the Fried Squash Blossoms with basil pesto and preserved lemon. The Chocolate Layer Cake for dessert was a big hit! Especially with the oatmeal stout milkshake. Selection of Chef's local cheese was also excellent.

All in all, with the scenery and view which was perfect that night, I would recommend the Farm on Thursday.

The next day we stopped at Hillsborough Vineyard and had their sample flight of 8 wines. Joe H was right the 2006 Bloodstone is a very good wine and arguably my favorite VA wine so far. While, it's still young wine compared to my favorite Italians, it has a weight that communicates a complexity that is surprising. As for the $28 price point, feel it would be better at $22, however I'm not conversant in the price points of local vines enough. Visiting the vineyard is a must, my GF didn't want to leave as we sat on the patio eating the local old German Wiesse Kase goat cheese and drinking their Serafina Rose wine.

I think that area of VA really is an enjoyable day trip from the DC metro area and the wines and vineyards will be great in an another decade probably able to compete at the world level.

Good reference point: Virginiawine.org

Thanks to everyone's replies, it helped a lot during a busy week for visiting places that I'm not familiar with!

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We enjoyed dinner there this weekend - the food certainly matches the unique setting and a nice way to pre-start a meal is to have a relaxing drive out to it.

Highlights (for me) of the 5 course meal were the lightly breaded and crisped mustard greens atop the lamb and grits main course...the catfish fritter with crab and the dessert of candied orange peel with camembert cheese. I think the intense sweetness of the peel really "jumped" given the unusually light hand on the sugar/salt through the rest of the meail (with two kids, we're sometimes at Applebees and such places, where I imagine the salt/sugar may be added with a sand shovel.)

The fixed price 5 course meal was $85 (we both got) and then $45 for the wine pairings (she got). Service was good and where it may have not reached 100% perfection, it more than made up for it in cordiality. Professionals do that and they were pros.

Just a wonderful evening, my wife and I ranked it in our top 5 favorite dinner "date nights." .

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Not sure I can add anything to what's already been written, but still I want to let people know this place is something special. The food is excellent, the setting lovely, the service attentive without being intrusive, and overall the whole experience is just charming.

I had the tasing menu:

Amuse Bouche (summer squash salad, taggiasche oilves,nepitella, biancoforte white wine vinegar)

Anson Mills White Flint Corn Grits (sweet peas in black truffle butter, house cured lardo, fried onions)

Chesapeake Bay Jumbo Lump Crab Imperial (stuffed zucchini, vegetable pistou, fried bread)

black tea and rhubarb sorbet

Hedgeapple Farm Beef Short Ribs (red wine marmalade, seared foie gras, red radish and bitter lettuce)

Blueberry Soufflé (crème fraiche, blueberry financier, pie spiced blueberry ice cream)

Mr P had:

Crab Beignet (smoked paprika remoulade)

Pawtomack Farm Blueberries (spicy and bitter lettuce, crème fraiche, rossoforte red wine vinegar, chocolate mint)

Pawtomack Farm Pork Duo (grilled shoulder and braised spare ribs, cabbage slaw, sweet mustard bbq sauce, potato chips)

Blueberry Soufflé

...and they brought him the amouse bouche and "intermezzo" from the tasting menu, even though he was ordering a la carte. A nice thoughtful touch that nicely characterizes the place: it's the kind of restaurant where they think of things like that.

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Anyone been / have any opinions?

(Their website is here.)

Tarver King is coming.

And I just found out that Chris Edwards will be going to the new Salamander resort in Middleburg, so ... assuming Ashby finds a top-notch replacement (and with Neal Wavra there, it's a safe assumption), the western Virginia suburbs have just staked a claim to being one of the finest dining areas in the United States.

This is going to be a winning situation all the way around.

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Very much enjoyed eating brunch here for my birthday in November.

I had Anchovy Beignet with comte cheese, cardoon vinaigrette, and pine nuts

Parmesan pancakes with maitake mushrooms, pork rinds, and naisturtium vinaigrette

Naturtium ice cream, rose geranium, sorrel sabayon, and pine nut

My wife had Pear soup with smoked almonds, hickory syrup, and frothed milk

Roasted rockfish with savory cream of wheat, chestnut, and caramelized honey

Chocolate and Rye Namelaka with muscat de provence ganache, hay caramel, and caraway candy

(from the "diploma" they gave us for that day)

Fancy stuff! Looking forward to returning in the spring.

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Quick comments, since I'm not in "full write-up" mode today: spendy, but worth the trip.  The emphasis is clearly on seasonal and local, and farmed-on-site where possible, making every menu an adventure.  Lunch/brunch is basically an a la carte variant on their normal prix fixe menu, but the prices are basically the same, making this a destination meal in itself.  I hadn't been to Patowmack Farm before, so the initial turn into their steep, barely-improved farm road of a driveway is a bit of a surprise.  The dining room appears to be a converted greenhouse, giving it a large formal dining room character rather than the intimacy of an inn.  It was also relatively empty this afternoon, an unexpected luxury when one is dining at a Beard-nominated restaurant.  There's an element of futility in trying to call out specific dishes when the entire menu is so dynamic and local, but here are my take-aways:

Cocktails: all winners.  There's a tendency towards sweetness, but the amaretto-driven "Sitting by the Campfire" is one of the best uses for blended Scotch that I've seen.  It's an absurdly simple cocktail, but I won't describe why it works so well...you'll just have to go and try one for yourself.  Pace yourself, though, as beverages can easily blow out your total cost.

Apps: all winners.  If you can only have one, and it's still available, let me suggest the oyster parfait.  Memorable.

Mains: I wish I could rave about these without reservations, but my reactions were a little more varied, with the dishes ranging from good to excellent.  Execution was outstanding, but some of the conceptualization didn't work for me.  I also felt like there was some sticker shock here (low-to-mid $30s) especially compared to the Ashby.  The smoked pork loin was entirely worth it.  The chicken and waffles, not as much.

The desserts, by sous-chef Nathan Shapiro, were knockouts that would have made many a specialized pastry chef proud.  Given an opportunity, I would stuff myself entirely with multiple orders of the pine needle genoise or the warm butter cake.

Overall, one of the most pleasurable meals I've had in the past 12 months, and a reminder that living way out in the MoCo 'burbs occasionally has its benefits when it takes me about the same time to drive to Patowmack Farm as it does to Bethesda or McLean.  And even though their normal dinner menu is prix fixe, during lunch one can build an all-star meal out of their a la carte selections without breaking the bank.  We'll definitely be going back.

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Was there recently for a special occasion meal and loved it.  I think the move to a working farm has improved Tarver King's range.  The ingredients and preps are more rustic and interesting.  A bit of refinement might have lost along the way, but the execution is still precise and exciting.  Really love the snacks and appetizers currently offered. 

The service was casual but quite good.  If you've been thinking of coming here, go now as the unseasonably cool temperatures right now are perfect for al fresco dinners here.  

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This is from Tom's chat in Wednesday's Washington Post. It is near the end of the Chat:

When is a reservation not a reservation? apparently not at your recently reviewed Restaurant at Patowmack Farm. Planning ahead to get together a group of people from diverse areas we made a reservation for Saturday brunch on Oct 11th through Open Table. I received a call from the restaurant saying that my reservation was cancelled because they were now hosting a wedding. Ended up negotiating a similar time for 2 weeks down the road but unfortunately some of my party can't make that date. So what is your take on a restaurant that ditches you for a bigger better deal.
 
I made a reservation five weeks in advance for four people on a Friday night in mid June through Open Table.  I got a call two weeks ahead that they had a private party and could not honor our reservation.  There was no offer of another date; rather this was just an employee doing their job and letting us know that the reservation that they already had for three weeks could not be honored.  Again, a Friday night in mid June.
 
Interesting to read that something similar happened to someone else.
 
I suspect that all reservations these days are only "tentative" until something better comes along at Patowmack Farm.
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I'm surprised there's not more (any) outrage over this.  I know Tarver King* is darling among some on this board, but this seems beyond crazy**.  If a favorite wipping boy like Mike Isabella pulled this, I can only image the scorn that would come raining down.  I'd really like to try this place, but it's going to the bottom of my list beacuse of this.  It's just too far away and too pricey to roll the dice on getting bumped for a bigger fish.

* I've loved his cooking at the Ashby Inn so count me as a fan.

** It's possible that the chef had nothing to do with this and the decision was made for him, but still, it leaves a bad taste.

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It's just too far away and too pricey to roll the dice on getting bumped for a bigger fish.

I'm not saying "I agree with it," but I definitely understand - it's because they're so far away that they can't risk having five covers on a Saturday afternoon in October when they could make thousands of dollars selling the place out for a wedding. This is far enough in advance where people can have their choice of any other restaurant in the area. I guarantee Patowmack Farm gets burned every weekend by people calling at 4 PM and saying, "We've decided not to make the drive." It's because of weddings like this that the restaurant remains open for the rest of us. This type of action happens routinely at restaurants all over - buyouts, where hapless managers are tasked with calling to cancel reservations. If the diners really rescheduled, the restaurant would do well to comp them a bottle of sparkling wine, or something similar.

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I'm not saying "I agree with it," but I definitely understand - it's because they're so far away that they can't risk having five covers on a Saturday afternoon in October when they could make thousands of dollars selling the place out for a wedding. This is far enough in advance where people can have their choice of any other restaurant in the area. I guarantee Patowmack Farm gets burned every weekend by people calling at 4 PM and saying, "We've decided not to make the drive." It's because of weddings like this that the restaurant remains open for the rest of us. This type of action happens routinely at restaurants all over - buyouts, where hapless managers are tasked with calling to cancel reservations. If the diners really rescheduled, the restaurant would do well to comp them a bottle of sparkling wine, or something similar.

This is an interesting way to do business.  Cancelling reservations because something better comes along?  I didn't write about this when it happened but when I saw the note on Tom's Chat it told me that it IS their way of doing business.

I want to talk about how expensive this place now is:  $88.00 prix fixe.  $138.00 with the wine pairing.  That's $276 + Va Tax + 20% tip for a dinner that costs $350 for two.  But they cancelled us.  A restaurant which hosts a lot of special occasion dinners cancelling reservations because something better comes along.  Simply, I'm not going to gamble $350 on a dinner that they may or may not decide to serve us.  Especially if I am celebrating a birthday or anniversary.

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This is an interesting way to do business.  Cancelling reservations because something better comes along?  I didn't write about this when it happened but when I saw the note on Tom's Chat it told me that it IS their way of doing business.

I want to talk about how expensive this place now is:  $88.00 prix fixe.  $138.00 with the wine pairing.  That's $276 + Va Tax + 20% tip for a dinner that costs $350 for two.  But they cancelled us.  A restaurant which hosts a lot of special occasion dinners cancelling reservations because something better comes along.  Simply, I'm not going to gamble $350 on a dinner that they may or may not decide to serve us.  Especially if I am celebrating a birthday or anniversary.

You make a good case; all I'm saying is - restaurants get buyouts *all the time*, and rarely is the buyout "the first reservation for that day." Yes, buyouts tend to come in early, so there usually aren't *many* reservations to cancel, but there are often a few.

Also, at least they have a reservation policy - I believe The Shack doesn't, correct? So every time you drive to Staunton, you risk not getting a table - did you know that if you wanted to go there next Saturday night, September 13th, you'd be turned away? Yep, the restaurant is closed off for a staff wedding party; at least with Patowmack Farm, you know you'll have a table waiting for you.

In a perfect world for diners, neither of these ways of doing business would exist, but it's not a perfect world.

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I made a reservation five weeks in advance for four people on a Friday night in mid June through Open Table.  I got a call two weeks ahead that they had a private party and could not honor our reservation.  There was no offer of another date; rather this was just an employee doing their job and letting us know that the reservation that they already had for three weeks could not be honored.  Again, a Friday night in mid June.

 
Interesting to read that something similar happened to someone else.
 
I suspect that all reservations these days are only "tentative" until something better comes along at Patowmack Farm.

Interesting discussion.

The restaurants are simply unable to solve every issue for every customer.  There is no easy solution.  I'm surprised that they didn't offer an alternative date or dates and some kind of "good will" offer to try and make amends for the problem they caused you.  By not extending an offer of some sort they potentially lost a customer, possibly a repeat customer, and possibly one who could and would refer others.  And if that is the case, its a costly loss.

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Interesting discussion.

The restaurants are simply unable to solve every issue for every customer.  There is no easy solution.  I'm surprised that they didn't offer an alternative date or dates and some kind of "good will" offer to try and make amends for the problem they caused you.  By not extending an offer of some sort they potentially lost a customer, possibly a repeat customer, and possibly one who could and would refer others.  And if that is the case, its a costly loss.

I will never go back.  We've had anniversaries and birthdays at both Patowmack Farm and the Ashby Inn when he was there.  For a $350 dinner I don't want to fear a call that they've got something better, even if they offer another date.

The other date may not be our anniversary or birthday.

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I will never go back.  We've had anniversaries and birthdays at both Patowmack Farm and the Ashby Inn when he was there.  For a $350 dinner I don't want to fear a call that they've got something better, even if they offer another date.

The other date may not be our anniversary or birthday.

From a probability perspective, if you took the number of patrons this has impacted as the numerator, and the total number of patrons dining at Patowmack Farm this summer as the denominator, it seems that the likelihood of getting cancelled would be less than 1%.  If that is an unacceptable threshold, refusing to do business is, of course, a personal choice.

Chefs get ill, restaurant equipment breaks, sewer systems back up, and yes, someone may suddenly decide to get married or have a blow-out event on the date that is your anniversary.  If you get two weeks notice, this seems fair and reasonable, especially because this is far more the exception than the norm.

Dining, and choosing where to dine, is a personal, and albeit not always rational, choice.  So says the KMango who has my own, quirky "never again" list.

(omg peas)

(on the menu more than once)

(you're fired)

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From a probability perspective, if you took the number of patrons this has impacted as the numerator, and the total number of patrons dining at Patowmack Farm this summer as the denominator, it seems that the likelihood of getting cancelled would be less than 1%.  If that is an unacceptable threshold, refusing to do business is, of course, a personal choice.

Chefs get ill, restaurant equipment breaks, sewer systems back up, and yes, someone may suddenly decide to get married or have a blow-out event on the date that is your anniversary.  If you get two weeks notice, this seems fair and reasonable, especially because this is far more the exception than the norm.

Dining, and choosing where to dine, is a personal, and albeit not always rational, choice.  So says the KMango who has my own, quirky "never again" list.

(omg peas)

(on the menu more than once)

(you're fired)

I was not told that we were cancelled because of an emergency or a marriage.  Rather a private party. Again, note the reason that the person was given in the Washington Post chat: " I received a call from the restaurant saying that my reservation was cancelled because they were now hosting a wedding."  I thought possible alternatives like Komi, Obelisk, Fiola Mare, etc. and other similar restaurants might be booked for this time two weeks out.

My original post from 2002 is pasted below.

Regardless, this was and is a truly special place.  Worthy of any special occasion.  I wrote from my heart twelve years ago with the experiences that we had.  Today, being cancelled two weeks out when at one time you had to reserve two months out...two weeks doesn't get it.

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I think times have changed for Patowmack Farm as they are several restaurants in the DMV that also have a high quality of locally sourced ingredients. Heck, even Silver Diner talks up its sourcing these days. I don't begrudge them turning over a restaurant for wedding. Of course, I don't think the quality of the ingredients or the chef is in question at all. Just that people are less likely to drive out there and especially in a month like August there must be a drop. If they can have a wedding reception and have it be the equivalent of a full capacity dinner, it's great for them. Also it's good for us since it keeps the operation healthy.

We usually go once a year and have enjoyed our visits there, and more importantly will continue to do so in the future. Its a location with a special calming space with great food and service.

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What can I say? We love Tarver King. Christmas morning was like an episode of Oprah: "You get a gift certificate to Patowmack! And YOU get a gift certificate to Patowmack! Everyone gets gift certificates to Patowmack!"

Is this an underhanded way to ensure multiple visits throughout the year for my wife and I to our favorite chef on the planet? Maybe. Did Santa come through? Absolutely.

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I tend to see things in black and white. If I enjoy it, I'll enjoy it and breeze past any flaws. If I hate it, then in my mind it has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. This "no gray area" habit can make me a challenging fellow to spend time with; it also means I often have trouble appearing credible when I'm giving an opinion. Knowing this, I spend a ton of energy thinking up a tiny flaw in an otherwise fantastic experience for the sole sake of upping my credibility and answering the nagging question: "there must have been something you didn't like!"

I'm not going to do that here, because eating Tarver King's cooking at Patowmack is a perfect experience and appearing credible is less important than sharing the truth. Plus, my wife, who's much more grounded and wordly than me, also had the same feelings.

The thing with the food... it's beautiful to look at (King's also an accomplished visual artist). It smells awesome. It's frikking delicious.

But what always astounds me is that every dish doesn't taste like anything I've tasted before. You think you have this library of the thousands of flavors you've tasted in your life, but with Tarver the flavor is always something new and that makes for an exciting adventure. Even though all the flavors are new, somehow, they all manage to remind me of something: new yet familiar, they pick on my brain with nagging feelings of curiosity. Not, "what is that spice?" but more like, "I don't know what part of my brain is lighting up, but it's been lit up before, and it's good." "This tastes amazing, I've never had anything that tasted like this before, but it reminds me of something."

It's like seeing Star Wars opening day in 1977: it's wonderful and your senses have never experienced anything like it, yet taps into your collective unconscious in a way that's awakening and familiar.

Okay, that sounds really pretentious and froofy, but come on: it's just fun and awesome and delicious and you'll love it.

If you haven't been to Patowmack since Tarver King's been there, go now: it's a fun, delicious, beautiful adventure.

Here's the menu: post-1225-0-51198200-1422726207_thumb.jp

Okay, one flaw: the menu got the date wrong. Of course, if that negatively impacts your meal, your brain is broken.

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If you haven't been to Patowmack since Tarver King's been there, go now: it's a fun, delicious, beautiful adventure.

Love the menu. And your glee. And, come to think of it, we haven't had his cooking as much as you but reading your post jolts me back to a fantastic meal...a couple of years ago...at Ashby Inn, right? That's where he was?

Thanks for this writeup and prod, Dan. It's back on The List. And, can I get an invite to your house next Xmas? Secret Santas maybe? :-)

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My husband and I ventured out here for a birthday dinner in June and had a wonderful experience. I am kicking myself for not writing this review earlier as I can no longer remember the names of the dishes we ordered. So I'll do my best, that said we were both impressed and would love to go back during the weekend to 1. avoid the drive time traffic and 2. try the tasting menu.

The only reservation we could get with in two weeks (I clearly waited too long before booking) was on a Thursday so we fought the drive time beltway traffic for an hour and 15 minutes (from Old Town) before arriving. That said, once we arrived the gorgeous mountain top setting melted away the traffic angst.

During the weekend they offer a tasting menu but on Thursdays its only a la cart. Which wasn't a problem since we order all four appetizers on the menu because we couldn't decide.

Preztel gourgeres, Kentucky fried chicken mushrooms, Fried Brawn and one other I'm blanking on. The fried chicken mushrooms and the fried brawn were my favorite but all four were creative and delicious. In full disclosure when reading the menu I didn't know what brawn was so we had to ask. It was divine.

For dinner, Jim ordered the steak and I had the fish with mushrooms. I hate that this is the best I can do to describe the dishes. And I WISH I could  include the pictures I took of the main course but I can't figure out how to attach them to this post. As I recall one of the things I liked most about my dish was how creative it was with both flavor and textures.

I should also mention that despite having a pretty large dining room they clearly plan out the seating so that everyone has a great view of the mountainside while not being seated too closely to other tables. All in all I would say its well worth the drive mid-week and would probably be even better on a weekend.

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The only reservation we could get with in two weeks (I clearly waited too long before booking) was on a Thursday so we fought the drive time beltway traffic for an hour and 15 minutes (from Old Town) before arriving. That said, once we arrived the gorgeous mountain top setting melted away the traffic angst. 

This is a new (and good) problem for them to have.  :)

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Had another wonderful a la carte dinner at Restaurant at Patowmack Farms.  Tarver King doesn't get nearly enough recognition from DC or national food critics.  Every time we come here, we marvel at the flavors that he's able to coax from his ingredients.  His cooking has mellowed and rustified and improved with his move to R@PF.  We've recently had dinners at Clarity and Garrison, while both experiences were good, they pale compared to our dinner last night.

For people complaining about Rose's Luxury's lines, book a reservation here and eat Tarver King's cooking.  Not nearly as much bragging rights but much more special.

PS - regarding the booking situation.  I suspect that if you call them up, they will be able to accommodate you on Thursday.  It appears that they only put about 1/3 of the available tables up on Opentable for booking.  We were only offered 6:30 reservation time yesterday, but only 1/3 of the tables were actually filled for the night.  This seems to be an intentional choice since they're staffed for the level of diners, but I suspect that they can accommodate one more party if asked.

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This is a European Michelin starred restaurant with extraordinary ambience and a dining experience that rivals anything in our area.  Six of us last night fought bitter cold and heavy two lane traffic for an enchanting room that I first visited when Beverly erected a tent and tiki torches on her front yard fifteen or so years ago.  Today, it has the softly lit ambience of another time and place-for all the world it felt like the countryside outside of Munich or Vienna or Strasburg.  In daylight the view is transporting.

Tarver King has been nominated for a James Beard Award for the Mid Atlantic.  It is only a matter of time until he wins.  I remember him from the Goodstone Inn, then the Ashby Inn and now he has matured at Patowmack Farm.

His menu changes every several weeks and more than likely anything that I describe will only be available for a few days.  What is important is that Tarver is truly gifted and presenting in a special otherworldly room that is well worth the drive.

An escape unlike no other in our area.  Perhaps few others on this side of the Atlantic.  A true Michelin starred evening.

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Excluding the rush hours it is about a 65-75 minute drive from downtown Washington.  The problem would be going out in the evening rush hour-it realistically would be an hour and a half or longer because of traffic.  The return, Saturday evening, Sunday brunch would be easy and part of this is truly beautiful countryside.  For Friday through Sunday I would also note that there are over a half dozen wineries within seven or eight miles of the restaurant.  This includes Big Cork in Maryland and Tarara in VA.  Note that the restaurant literally overlooks the Point of Rocks bridge.

Closest town is Leesburg which is about ten miles away. Alternatively, if you are coming from Bethesda, Rockville, etc. the route would be 270 to 15 and across the bridge at Point of Rocks.

There are a number of motels but nothing reasonably close to the restaurant.

I must add here that this restaurant is known:  Friday and Saturday nights especially in warmer months can have a long wait for a table and will require planning.  Thursday evenings and daytime brunch may be much easier to get into. I am also not sure if they can take a later reservation on Friday and Saturday, i.e. 8:30 or 9:00 but if they will the drive from DC would be closer to an hour.

I must also add that the wine list includes both Delaplane Cellars 2013 Williams Gap red and 2012 LInden Hardscrabble red.

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I definitely need to get to The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm for dinner sometime soon.  So far it’s only been for brunch, but based on what my husband and I had today it’s definitely worth a drive out there.  For appetizers I had the Wild Rice Risotto with bacon, honey, goat’s cheese, and blueberry capers.  I was a little skeptical of it being wild rice but this was my favorite dish of the three course meal.  My husband had the “Dippy Eggs” which were sunny side up and had crispy breakfast sausage, crimini, cheddar, and semolina brioche to sop things up.  By the way, the bread service of “Little Everything Bagels”, with “Boursin” and local honey, butter and salt is a great way to start the meal.  For the entrée course, I had the Vermillion Snapper, which was from Beaufort, NC and was served with sunchoke puree, bulger and hazelnut salad, pickled raisins, and chard.  It was a good size portion and I ate every bit of it.  My husband had the Guinea Hen Leg which was taken off the bone and served on top of a split waffle, and served with curried caramel, celeriac, and sunflower kernels.  He seemed to enjoy it very much.  For dessert, we had the Sweet Potato “Pie”, with vanilla shortbread and Meyer lemon crème fraiche.  It wasn’t really a pie and had fall flavors to it, but it was very tasty just the same.  My husband’s dessert was the real winner.  It was the toasted fennel custard with red wine, sorrel, and preserved blueberries.  Be sure to get anything with blueberries.  I was told they have a whole field devoted to blueberries at the farm.  They didn’t have the outdoor seating set up yet, so I’m looking forward to going there when the days get a little longer and I can sit outside and enjoy the view.

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The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm has been on my list of places to try for quite awhile. I enjoyed Tarver King's cooking at the Ashby Inn and enjoyed it even more at Patowmack Farm. What a beautiful location, great service, wonderful flavor combinations! Currently they have three RDV wines available, by the glass. My group enjoyed the RDV Friends & Family and Rendezvous (sorry, but I do not recall the vintages). Per one of the waitresses, this is for a limited time only, and is because they will be having an RDV dinner 22 March. I inquired and there are still reservations available for the RDV dinner. I definitely want to return and try their Sunday Suppers and brunch.

The outline of last night's menu, as borrowed from their website, with the details that I can recall (maybe I should take notes!). The first two courses were good but it was the last seven courses that impressed me.

Snacks
   seed bread & cashew butter
   burdock root and a few other items

Trading With The Piscataway Tribe

“Cream of Mushroom Soup”
   this soup was delicious as was the croissant that came along with it

Sea Scallop
   wonderful combination of textures and flavors

“Bait Fish”
   included a small piece of fish on a skewer

Sunflower
   this course contained lamb (from a solar powered farm), sunchokes, sunflower seeds, and a few other components

Digestif
   lemon posset, Fernet-Branca gelée, sorrel

Cheddar and Apples
   butter cake, quark, ice cream, dehydrated apple chip, pickled apple

and finish with Sweet Little Bites
   caramel, lemon(?) & fennel pâte de fruit, mini cake, toffee with chocolate ganache

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