Leaf-peep on your way to dinner at these top-notch Virginia restaurants.
There are plenty of reasons to take an autumn drive, like the Kentucky-fried chicken mushrooms at the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm.
Think of that first nip in the air as a smoke signal marking the best season for a culinary road trip. The talented treatment of fall ingredients by Virginia’s fine-dining titans is reason enough to rev your engine, but prime leaf peeping (sure to spark Instagrammable moments) is added incentive.
Lovettsville’s Restaurant at Patowmack Farm (42461 Lovettsville Road, Lovettsville, 540-822-9017), where Chef Tarver King whips up Kentucky-fried chicken mushrooms, rewards diners with valley vistas of the C&O Canal and Potomac River. Or take Route 50 from DC to Route 66 for The Ashby Inn (692 Federal St., Paris, 540-592-3900), passing bucolic towns and pick-your-own farms.
Chef Patrick Robinson cooks local quail enhanced with figs and persimmons, but before sitting down to dinner, stroll through Sky Meadows State Park, a three-minute drive from the inn. Better yet, stay over and book a morning trail ride with Rocking S Ranch.
Finally, The Inn at Little Washington (309 Middle St., Washington, 540-675-3800) is mere miles from Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. For decades, Chef Patrick O’Connell has been championing cranberries and rutabagas as his favorite fall ingredients. Spend the night, knowing there are nearly 40 wineries within 40 minutes to visit the next day. The best part? The autumn leaves will be every bit as beautiful on the way back!