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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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We make regular trips to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton.  We will be sure to check in the next time we are there.  There is a lot to be said for this town.  Now there is one more thing.  Thanks.

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Joe, this was a wonderful essay, and because of it, I've confidently initialized coverage of The Shack in Italic in The Dining Guide.

I hope Chef Boden will one day consider taking reservations for people driving down from the DC area on Saturdays (with a credit card to secure the reservation), but it sounds like his plate is pretty full right now. Saturdays are the only day it would make much sense to do this since traffic is so capricious on Wed-Fri. For culinary tourists, this sounds like a perfect place to stop for the night on a trip to or from Riverstead. Maybe it's worth exploring other restaurants on the way to/from Chillhowie (don't forget The Little Grill Worker-Owned Collective in Harrisonburg for a great road breakfast).

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Joe, this was a wonderful essay, and because of it, I've confidently initialized coverage of The Shack in Italic in The Dining Guide.

I hope Chef Boden will one day consider taking reservations for people driving down from the DC area on Saturdays (with a credit card to secure the reservation), but it sounds like his plate is pretty full right now. Saturdays are the only day it would make much sense to do this since traffic is so capricious on Wed-Fri. For culinary tourists, this sounds like a perfect place to stop for the night on a trip to or from Riverstead. Maybe it's worth exploring other restaurants on the way to/from Chillhowie (don't forget The Little Grill Worker-Owned Collective in Harrisonburg for a great road breakfast).

Thank you, Don.  It would be a perfect stop off with Staunton on a Friday night-get there at 4:30, 30 minutes ahead of the opening and Saturday morning the additional 190 miles to Chilhowie.  On the Sunday back I would suggest stops at either Grace Estates (Virginia's most beautiful winery setting with an excellent $28 tannat), King Family (Meritage), Pollak ('09 Reserve Cab) or Veritas (Excellent Paul Schaffer petit verdot), all in the Afton/Crozet area which is halfway between I 81 and Charlottesville.  If the weather cooperates this is one of the most beautiful areas anywhere.  Grace Estates tasting room has been open less than a year.  In a mansion on top of a mountain with a 30+ mile view it is breathtaking and otherworldly.

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I'm a proud alum of Mary Baldwin College, class of 1997, (the college is also located in the heart of Staunton), and I look forward to trying The Shack next time I make the trip from DC to Staunton. My husband, four year old daughter and I are both huge fans of Rose's Luxury on Barrack's Row, and look forward to trying something as delicious when visiting my alma mater.

Congrats, Ian, Staunton is lucky to have you!

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Joe, I really enjoyed reading your post on The Shack -- thanks so much for taking the time.  You make a very compelling case for driving down to Staunton -- we had always hoped to get to the Glass Haus but it didn't happen.  Can you (or anyone) recommend a place to stay in Staunton?  Seeing as how it's a 2.5 hour drive or more from DC, might as well make a mini-trip of it and enjoy the area.  

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Can you (or anyone) recommend a place to stay in Staunton?  Seeing as how it's a 2.5 hour drive or more from DC, might as well make a mini-trip of it and enjoy the area.  

The Stonewall Jackson is decent enough.  The other places we have stayed have been unmemorable to the point of I forgot where we stayed.  There must be a good B&B around there somewhere.

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Don mentioned Riverstead above which is the current home of John Shields and Karen Urie formerly of Chilhowie's Town House Grill.  In their own way this is as unique of a world class dining adventure.   Their pedigree is Alinea and Charlie Trotter yet they settled, for awhile, in far southwestern Virginia and built a cult destination that much of North America couldn't believe existed.

Now Staunton and Ian Boden are in the mix.  And Neil Wavra who drove the Ashby Inn and has briefly settled in Chilhowie with the Shields.

I don't know where else on earth there could be two dining destinations like this, three hours apart.  But they are there.  Riverstead and the Shields are only open a few days a month with 14 seats in a literal farmhouse kitchen.  Ian Boden's The Shack with seven tables (most of which are twos)  is open four nights a week but only two feature his prix fixe signature.

For the moment it's not about living in New York or Paris or San Sebastian.  The argument can be made that the single place on earth to live-for those who live to eat-is halfway between Chilhowie and Staunton, Virginia.

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Can you (or anyone) recommend a place to stay in Staunton?  Seeing as how it's a 2.5 hour drive or more from DC, might as well make a mini-trip of it and enjoy the area.  

I haven't got a great recommendation for a place to stay.  I've stayed at a Holiday Inn there a few times, near a golf course.  Wherever you're staying, make reservations before you go.  One summer I was down there doing research and realized I was going to need to stay overnight, and it was a bear trying to find a place with rooms available.  Staunton is a popular destination, more than I would have realized before I was there and unable to find a place to stay.  (I think that's originally how I ended at that Holiday Inn.)

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Joe, I really enjoyed reading your post on The Shack -- thanks so much for taking the time.  You make a very compelling case for driving down to Staunton -- we had always hoped to get to the Glass Haus but it didn't happen.  Can you (or anyone) recommend a place to stay in Staunton?  Seeing as how it's a 2.5 hour drive or more from DC, might as well make a mini-trip of it and enjoy the area.  

Twenty or so minutes east of Staunton (twenty miles @ 60mph) is the Farmhouse at Veritas Vineyards.  This is Afton/Crozet which is an extraordinarily beautiful setting.  http://www.veritasfarmhouse.com/about/  I have not stayed at the Stonewall Jackson hotel in downtown Staunton but it is probably the best choice for the city: http://www.stonewalljacksonhotel.com/

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Just a heads up for all of you that might be traveling our way.  We recently add a deck to our building to capture our over flow.  Currently we can not serve food outside but we do serve beer & wine.  So if your making the trip and you do have to wait we'd love for you to enjoy a bottle of wine while you do so!

We are hopping in the near future to add a small snack menu, and eventually offer the entire menu.

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We had a wonderful dinner here last week.  arrived just before 4:30 on a Friday night and were first in line. The place was completely full within half an hour of opening.  

I had the three course menu for $45.  (The other option is four courses for $55.) Sweetbreads are not on my list of favorite foods, and normally the idea of them makes me squeamish. The Shack's lamb sweetbreads with sichuan peppercorn, ground cherries, and cucumber kimchi intrigued me enough to give them a try and I am grateful that I did. I am still thinking about my entree- Berkshire Pork with fingerling potatoes, eggplant puree, grilled nectarines, and benne.  It's a radiant summer dish.    Chef Boden is focusing on dishes featuring the best local ingredients- creative but not too fussy.  It's a no frills kind of place where the food really shines. Well worth the ride.

My full blog post is here.

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The Shack strongly reminds me of the original K-Paul's on Chartres street in New Orleans when it opened in 1980.  Mimi Sheraton raved about it in the New York Times and lines formed an hour before they opened for dinner-they did not accept reservations.  There were about 40-50 seats and almost every one was used.  A four top could be taken by two couples or a couple and two singles or a single and a group of three.  It was communal style throughout the room.  Paul Prudhomme was in the kitchen every night and literally oversaw everty single dish that came out.

Over time K-Paul's eventually enlarged and the lines gave way to reservations with Chef Paul spreading his Magic Seasonings around the U. S. with roadshows.

Still, some of the best food I ever had was in its original plain, simple dining room shared with strangers.  On one trip to NOLA I ate there three nights in a row spending a total of almost five hours over those nights waiting on Chartres street to be let in the door.

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(Damn you, Lori! I thought I was going to be the first!)

A friend and I rolled into Staunton about 7:30 the night after Lori and --perhaps because of the rain -- found an almost deserted restaurant on an almost deserted street -- a real noir night just off a scruffy intersection near the four-lane.  From the outside the Shack looks like the sort of spot that would serve grit-centered breakfast specials and dubious fried chicken (undiscovered genius or poisoning risk?) at lunchtime to construction workers, less-Epicurean locals  and the guys at a nearby auto body shop. Inside -- well, it doesn't look much different  until the details start to come into focus.  The distinctive percussion of a restaurant kitchen at work (unlike the staccato clang of a diner's spatula on the griddle); the subdued lighting and the small staff  it illuminates; the shoulder-high stripe of old photos of the chef's in-laws that circle the restaurant (its chief decor), depicting a local family that apparently weathered the joys, sorrows and various challenges of pre-digital photography and 70s styles with enough panache to pull a talented chef from the canyons of New York back to the Shenandoah Valley.

Service was relaxed, direct and candid ("if you're already into heirloom tomatoes, the salad may not be that special"), and our waiter carried himself with such relaxed authority you felt that he could make anything he needed to happen (not that we had any odd requests) and when he announced that the glass of wine I'd mistakenly ordered would go great with the lamb (the next course), I believed him.

Our menu was vastly different from Lori's -- impressive, given  what I assume is the challenge of scoring so many ingredients when you're only accepting deliveries large enough for a 29-seat joint -- and offered five apps,four entrees and a pair of desserts.  We eventually settled on two variations of the menu: my friend ordered three savory courses for a fin over the $45 standard three-course cost and I went for the four course, $55 menu.

The snapper with cherries, fennel and soy sauce lees served as a fresh twist to the now-common raw fish starter.  Speaking of the commonplace, we had mussels and eggplant which were rendered somehow uncommon by the Vietnamese coriander (a quick Googling confirms my suspicion this is at best a very distant cousin -- different orders, phylum, etc --  to cilantro/coriander) that seemed to add more complexity than you'd expect -- not just when you took the time to brochette one between the eggplant and a mussel, but also when you just dipped the toasted ciabatta in the broth.

I said to Laura that the squid ink  fettuccine with pureed parsley would be a bit bland without the uni and she tartly replied that it did have the uni and that perfectly cooked pasta that light was far more rare than maybe I remembered (particularly in my own kitchen) so maybe I should just shut up about that.

The entrees were like the kind of stuff that French Grandmas made legendary before they mediocre cooks made them cliches: imagine being there at the birth of Boeuf Bourguignon or pot-au-feu.  All that patient, painstaking technique and those extraordinary ingredients hidden super-hero-like behind the mask of a simple stew, comprising something that elevates the palate and sticks to the ribs.  Anyway, that's what the beef cheeks reminded me of, but I may be getting carried away in penance for disrespecting the pasta.  And sticks of butter and heads of roasted garlic are no longer sufficiently OTT for my mashed potatoes: I must have marrow.  And throw some chanterelles and gremolata into the mix, while you're at it

I was quite keen on the lamb sausage 'n' shank, as well. Sausages that brought a bit of heat to the game, a square of crisp shank sufficiently tender inside you sort of expected it to ooze onto the plate like a ripe Pont l'Eveque whose rind has been pierced and an eggplant puree whose -- now that I think about it -- (relative) austerity sat well with the (relatively) rich meat, plus two buds of okra that I shoved to the side because I've always hated okra, and pickled cherry tomatoes for fun.

Sweet corn pudding with moussed bittersweet choco, cubed nectarine and lime was another understated treat -- a touch off-beat and more memorable for it.

When it was over, Laura declared it -- with perhaps a touch of hyperbole -- "the best restaurant you've ever taken me to," which is no small praise, given dinners at Alinea, CityZen and (perhaps more relevant) Rose's Luxury in the last six months.

When it was over, we also had a brief chat with Ian, who is struggling to balance the fact that people now drive hundreds of miles just to eat at his shack with no guarantee that they'll get a table with the fact that he'd like to make sure the neighbors can still wedge their way into a restaurant so tiny that even one reservation no-show can really fuck the books for the night.  Even I sympathized, despite my dislike of no reservations policies -- perhaps because we didn't have to wait (I'm self-centered like that), and perhaps because he seemed like just about the nicest guy I've ever stumbled across in a restaurant kitchen.

All told, the damage came to a scant $177 -- though we drank far less wine than we would have in the old days -- and that included the T-shirt I can wear to the farmers market to show how goddam cool I am, and two rolls of Smarties, which are available (along with Mary Janes and couple other small sweets) at the register in lieu of mignardise.

Maybe next week I'll do a test whereby at 5PM I head south to Staunton and a friend hops the Metro to Barracks Row at the same time.  Be curious to see who eats first -- and who eats best.

ETA:  We didn't pay a ton of attention to the wine list which struck me as brief, well-chosen and reasonably priced. Also, when I called beforehand to discuss timing strategy, the friendly lady on the phone suggested arriving before 5PM or after 7:30, and said that they'd never turned a table away (though I wouldn't want to push it)  and that they now have space to sip wine outside while you wait.

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(Damn you, Lori! I thought I was going to be the first!)

oops- sorry I beat you to it!  I am so surprised and impressed that the menu was completely different than the one we enjoyed a night earlier.  that's quite a feat!

When it was over, Laura declared it "the best restaurant you've ever take me to," which is no small praise, given dinners at Alinea, CityZen and (perhaps more relevant) Rose's Luxury in the last six months. 

I've also dined at all three of these restaurants, and find it really hard to compare them with The Shack.  But I will say that each of these spots are on my short list of favorite restaurants.

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Tom posted in his chat today that the Shack is now taking a limited number of reservations for weekend nights.

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Tom posted in his chat today that the Shack is now taking a limited number of reservations for weekend nights.

Heard about this from the Facebook page and immediately sent a request for later this month. Ian Boden himself sent the confirmation to me!

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Heard about this from the Facebook page and immediately sent a request for later this month. Ian Boden himself sent the confirmation to me!

We have a reservation also for a month from now.  Sincere appreciation to Chef Ian Boden for accepting several reservations on Friday and Saturday when he has his prix fixe menu.  He only has seven or eight tables total and his willingness to set aside a few is deeply appreciated.

Thank you, Chef.  We look forward to returning.

Addendum for anyone going from the D. C. area, especially over the next three or four weeks: this is a beautiful town with a great deal of character.  The drive down this time of the year with Fall colors will be memorable.  Backroads, Virginia wineries, wandering and getting lost-one of the most spectacular parts of America to explore with a real destination for dinner that is "worth the trip."

I posted this above but it is well worth reprinting:  the link for Ian Boden's twitter site.  Almost nightly he takes photos of many of the dishes he makes and posts them.

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I definitely second Joe's opinions about the town of Staunton.  It's a delightful and lively downtown area, very safe, and quite walkable.  There are a number of high quality cultural attractions as well, so there is more than enough to fill up any weekend visit.

My favorite would be the Frontier Culture Museum right outside of Staunton.  Think Colonial Williamsburg except more rustic, intimate, and you get to actually touch stuff.  The volunteer/re-enactors there are top notch.

The American Shakespeare Company was a really fun experience too.  The actors are enthusiastic and talented, the intermission programing is great fun, and the theater space is delightful.

Sunspot Studio lets you watch glassblowers anytime that they're working.  Their store has some really lovely pieces.

The Saturday Farmer's Market is very good.  A very diverse variety of vendors, some of them selling some very well grown heirloom vegetables that I've rarely seen elsewhere.

In addition to The Shack, Zynodoa's kitchen also turned out a very fine meal for us.

Crab Tree Fall and Woodrow Wilson Museum were rather disappointing, however.

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Last Saturday, October 25th, we drove on back roads from DC out to Staunton, VA in order to have dinner at The Shack.  We had a reservation for 5:00 pm (when they open) and we arrived just a few minutes before that time.  It was a lovely evening and we sat on the patio with 2 other parties until we were invited in.  At that time, and at no time while we were there, was there a line (we left sometime between 6:30 and 7:00).  We were very surprised by this, given the reports and the press that this place has received.  The dining room did fill up during the time we were there, but there still was no line.

As many have reported, the dining room is a spare space with just 7 tables. We were very fortunate to be seated at the lone 2-top that is near the kitchen. As we observed during our time there, couples sitting at a 4-top will be joined by another couple. This could be a fun experience, if the other people are like-minded and happy to engage in conversation with strangers. What we observed was the opposite.  A table with 2 older diners was joined by a younger couple and I don't think they once made eye contact, let alone exchanged a word of conversation. So, it could be awkward.

Diners have a choice of a 3-course ($45) or 4-course ($55) menu.  We went with the 4-course.  If you order that, you have a choice of 2 starters, 1 entrée and dessert for $55, OR, 3 starters and 1 entrée for $60.  MrB chose the former, while I had the latter. 

The menu for that night.  Of the dishes on this menu we chose the following:

Starters: Oysters; Rabbit Tortellini; and Butternut Squash Bisque

Entrees: Wagyu Beef Cheeks; Roasted Shrimp and Pork Fried Rice

Dessert: Cornmeal and Olive Oil Cake

The Rabbit Tortellini was the dish of the night "“ one of the best pasta dishes we've had in recent memory.  The rest of the meal was good, but simply not that memorable.  The beef cheeks were meltingly tender and could be cut with a spoon, but the flavorings were not particularly evident; the oyster preparation (they were served in a bowl without their shells with the other ingredients) was not nearly as good as what we've experienced at the Rappahannock Oyster Bar.  If we had had this meal under other circumstances I think we would have been more impressed.  The extremely high expectations we had going in from all of the hype left us underwhelmed by most of the food. Still, given the very reasonable cost and the delightful venue, it was overall,a good value.

It was a lovely experience and our server, Susan, was absolutely delightful.  We fully enjoyed the time we spent at The Shack and, if we're ever in or near Staunton again, we'd go back.

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I had been reluctant to post, but now that Laura has . . . we, too, had a fine but unremarkable meal at the Shack back in August.  I hadn't posted earlier because it's obvious that everyone there, especially Ian, is working so hard, to create something different, even special.  And since the menu changes every night, I imagine that some are special.  But ours was rather ordinary.  Nothing even close to, say, Red Hen or Rose's Luxury, or even the late and lamented Ruppert's, which this reminded me of.  And not nearly as great as our meal on that same road trip at Knife & Fork in Spruce Pine, NC, which is another story . . . with some similarities to what Ian Boden is trying to do in Staunton.

I decided to write because I'm not worried that posts such as this will possibly prevent them from filling the tables every evening -- nor should they.  It's a terrific little place, almost surely the best within miles.  If I lived nearby, I'd try to go as often as I could afford.  And I'll bet that on some nights, the food is fantastic -- that Lori's and Waitman's accounts are dead-on accurate.  Just trying to temper some of the outsized expectations here on the board, which aren't really fair to the Shack -- as the name suggests, its ambitions (like its kitchen!) are modest: it's not trying to be a world-class destination restaurant like Town House was.  It's a bit hit-or-miss, I suspect . . . and I wouldn't be surprised if there are far more hits than misses.  But better to think of it as a welcome and convivial oasis, rather than as the next coming of K-Paul's or Alinea.

Last Saturday, October 25th, we drove on back roads from DC out to Staunton, VA in order to have dinner at The Shack.  We had a reservation for 5:00 pm (when they open) and we arrived just a few minutes before that time.  It was a lovely evening and we sat on the patio with 2 other parties until we were invited in.  At that time, and at no time while we were there, was there a line (we left sometime between 6:30 and 7:00).  We were very surprised by this, given the reports and the press that this place has received.  The dining room did fill up during the time we were there, but there still was no line.

As many have reported, the dining room is a spare space with just 7 tables. We were very fortunate to be seated at the lone 2-top that is near the kitchen. As we observed during our time there, couples sitting at a 4-top will be joined by another couple. This could be a fun experience, if the other people are like-minded and happy to engage in conversation with strangers. What we observed was the opposite.  A table with 2 older diners was joined by a younger couple and I don't think they once made eye contact, let alone exchanged a word of conversation. So, it could be awkward.

Diners have a choice of a 3-course ($45) or 4-course ($55) menu.  We went with the 4-course.  If you order that, you have a choice of 2 starters, 1 entrée and dessert for $55, OR, 3 starters and 1 entrée for $60.  MrB chose the former, while I had the latter. 

The menu for that night.  Of the dishes on this menu we chose the following:

Starters: Oysters; Rabbit Tortellini; and Butternut Squash Bisque

Entrees: Wagyu Beef Cheeks; Roasted Shrimp and Pork Fried Rice

Dessert: Cornmeal and Olive Oil Cake

The Rabbit Tortellini was the dish of the night "“ one of the best pasta dishes we've had in recent memory.  The rest of the meal was good, but simply not that memorable.  The beef cheeks were meltingly tender and could be cut with a spoon, but the flavorings were not particularly evident; the oyster preparation (they were served in a bowl without their shells with the other ingredients) was not nearly as good as what we've experienced at the Rappahannock Oyster Bar.  If we had had this meal under other circumstances I think we would have been more impressed.  The extremely high expectations we had going in from all of the hype left us underwhelmed by most of the food. Still, given the very reasonable cost and the delightful venue, it was overall,a good value.

It was a lovely experience and our server, Susan, was absolutely delightful.  We fully enjoyed the time we spent at The Shack and, if we're ever in or near Staunton again, we'd go back.

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I had been reluctant to post, but now that Laura has . . . we, too, had a fine but unremarkable meal at the Shack back in August.  I hadn't posted earlier because it's obvious that everyone there, especially Ian, is working so hard, to create something different, even special.  And since the menu changes every night, I imagine that some are special.  But ours was rather ordinary.  Nothing even close to, say, Red Hen or Rose's Luxury, or even the late and lamented Ruppert's, which this reminded me of.  And not nearly as great as our meal on that same road trip at Knife & Fork in Spruce Pine, NC, which is another story . . . with some similarities to what Ian Boden is trying to do in Staunton.

I decided to write because I'm not worried that posts such as this will possibly prevent them from filling the tables every evening -- nor should they.  It's a terrific little place, almost surely the best within miles.  If I lived nearby, I'd try to go as often as I could afford.  And I'll bet that on some nights, the food is fantastic -- that Lori's and Waitman's accounts are dead-on accurate.  Just trying to temper some of the outsized expectations here on the board, which aren't really fair to the Shack -- as the name suggests, its ambitions (like its kitchen!) are modest: it's not trying to be a world-class destination restaurant like Town House was.  It's a bit hit-or-miss, I suspect . . . and I wouldn't be surprised if there are far more hits than misses.  But better to think of it as a welcome and convivial oasis, rather than as the next coming of K-Paul's or Alinea.

I am ashamed to say that like Marty L., I did not post about my June dinner at the Shack because I was not as enamored of our meal as many of the other DR posters were. It was delicious, but the heat in the room (one small window air conditioner) and the almost 30 minute wait for each of our 3 courses took something away from our enjoyment of the experience.

I'll happily go again, but with a different set of expectations.

TSchaad

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