The Virginia Countryside's Siren Song Could Not be DeniedJuly 21, 2010
By Judith Mazza, Chargée de Presse, Bailliage of Greater Washington, D.C.
With the languid days of a hot summer, the Bailliage of Greater Washington,
D. C. made its second annual sojourn to the world famous Inn at Little Washington where Patrick O'Connell and his team were awaiting our arrival for a lunch to remember. In preparation for the journey, our Culinaire Chef Francois Dionot created a delightful box of delicious treats for us to enjoy as we traversed the countryside. Vice Gastronomique Steven Lustig saw that we had delightful champagne and mimosas to sip on as our luxury bus headed for Washington, Virginia. The treats and the conversation were so engrossing that the time passed like a flash and we soon found ourselves at the doors of the fabled Inn.
Greeting us with flutes of Francois Diligent, Brut, Champagne, we entered the reception area which we were presented with a parade of delectable hors d’oeuvres. Chef O'Connell greeted us in the kitchen and was most personable has he chatted with each guest. Once seated in the dining room, we were presented with a "Jes' Down De’ Ro" watermelon bubble tea. This playful presentation was as fun to look at as drink. This was soon followed by a most creative presentation of carpaccio of herb crusted baby lamb with (of all things) Caesar salad ice cream! The ice cream which became an unctuous sauce as it melted over the lamb was rich and delicious paired with the J.K. Carriere, Pinot Noir Rose, Glass, Willamette Valley, Oregon (2009). The miniature filet of back cod, sautéed and served with a lemon vodka sauce and "Lilliputian" shrimp dumplings melted in our mouths as we sipped the Domaine Borgeot, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru, Les Charmes, Burgundy France (1999). This lovely summer repast was far from over because we were soon to enjoy barbecue-braised short ribs of beef on sweet corn succotash. We quaffed a lovely Cellar Ceclio, Garnatxa/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cariñena, L'Espill (2004) as the shortribs just melted in our mouths. After indulging in the local Virginia Meadow Creek Dairy Mountaineer and Caromont Farm Esmontonian cheeses with exquisite condiments, we awaited dessert. However, before dessert was to be served, Bailli Paul Haar had a surprise! Bailli Honoraire and Commandeur Len DePas was presented with the Bronze Star of Excellence for a lifetime of contribution to the Chaine. Len DePas could not have been more surprised and pleased.
The sweetness of this recognition was soon followed by a seasonal dessert. The local plum tart with sweet corn ice cream paired with Alvear, Pedro Ximénez, Solvera 1927, Montilla-Moriles, Spain was just the right finish to a lovely meal.
Chef O'Connell came to the dining room to enthusiastic applause and standing with Bailli Paul Haar, invited the Bailliage of Greater Washington to return next summer as well. The glorious day ended all too soon with our ride back from the countryside of Virginia, having enjoyed Virginia hospitality at the Inn at Little Washington.