Ashby Inn & Restaurant692 Federal St.
Paris, VA 20130
There's been quite a bit of recent turnover at this beautiful retreat in "the other Paris." Traver King left a while ago, landing at Potowmack Farm, as has David Dunlap, who has opened his own place in Richmond. New Executive Chef Patrick Robinson once worked a Michel Richard’s Citronelle and, more recently, for Frederik de Pue at Table in Shaw. After a few months to settle in, recent diners report good experiences.
2.5 Stars (3/13/2015) — 2015 Spring Dining Guide
"Were you worried what would happen to this bucolic property when the clever Tarver King decamped for the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm? Me too, until I checked into the inn this spring and got a taste of what his successor, David Dunlap, can do. 'I like ethnic restaurants,' says the former executive sous-chef at that other popular inn, the Inn at Little Washington. His worldly preferences are displayed across an ever-changing menu, which might set pork shoulder on kimchi-spiked polenta or almond-crusted lamb on lemony hummus, a little wave to Morocco. …" See Full Review…»
No. 48 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"Don’t be fooled by the well-worn beams and creaky wood flooring. The food at this 19th-century inn in the Blue Ridge foothills is thoroughly modern, thanks to chef Patrick Robinson, who recently arrived from Table in DC. Focus on his charcuterie, in the form of razor-thin duck prosciutto and earthy chicken-liver mousse with shallot jam—they pair nicely with the standout list of wines and ciders. At the same time, his kitchen dazzles with more serious fare such as roasted meats and fish. The taproom, with its crackling fireplace, is coziest in winter; the porch dining room’s sweeping meadow view calls in summer. …" See Full Review…»
Italic — Recommended
"A loss of major talent in chef, sous-chef, and innkeepers, this is a devastating blow to one of the greatest dining spots in the DC area."
Girasole4244 Loudoun Ave.
The Plains, VA 20198
Lydia and Lou Paterno still preside over the welcoming restaurant they started in 2004, which is the successor to their first, Panino, in Manassas (now closed). The couple are both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America — Lydia is in the dining room and Lou is behind the stove. The menu features authentic, regional Italian cuisine prepared with fresh, local ingredients.
2 Stars (5/11/2016) — Spring 2016 Dining Guide
"Girasole is the friend you haven’t seen in forever but know you can count on even after a long absence (six years, in my case). The same things I appreciated about the two-story, family-run hunt country retreat back then are the details I applaud now: pastas made in-house, neighborly service and a main dining room that pulls the outdoors in with the help of streams of light and paintings of rolling hills. …" See Full Review…»
"… At this restaurant from husband-and-wife team Lou and Lydia Patierno—graduates of the Culinary Institute of America—lots of care goes into the food: Virginia trout is smoked on-site, and gelato is spun in-house. In addition to a permanent menu, every night brings a long list of specials that might include local, peppery arugula with Gorgonzola and walnuts. The trappings both inside (rustic wood beams, hand-painted Italian pottery) and out (a shrub-ringed stone patio) bring to mind a European countryside restaurant. …" See Full Review…»
Don Rockwell has not reviewed this restaurant.
$$$$$ Unlimited (>$45); $$$$ Very Expensive ($35-$45); $$$ Expensive ($25-$35); $$ Moderate ($15-$25); $ Inexpensive (<$15)
Price is based on the average cost of a dinner entree, which generally reflects a third of the cost of a full meal. Please note, however, that appetizer and beverage prices vary widely. Tasting menus are indicated with an asterisk (*).