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I@LW may be symbolic.   I think of a slew of high expectation dining rooms that may or may not hit the mark for some diners.    Sometimes it is the pure simplicity that makes a place "significant" to some, undistinguished to others.    Chez Panise comes immediately to mind.   Not meant to be flashy, it can come across as plain if you are expecting pastry-chef-like savory creations.    Ambiance also means different things to different people.   Simplicity can be seen as elegant or as ordinary, just as luxe can be either cosseting or gauche.  

Point in time is also a factor.    When an outlier restaurant first opens, what it does is fresh and exciting.    After its concept becomes public domain, it not only no longer has that cachet but needs to compete with all of its copiers.  

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I literally had the best salad of my life up to that point at Chez Panise.. It was a butter lettuce salad and 10 years later it still blows my mind... Like my life was one way before that salad and different after that salad.. Not even joking, sadly.  It completely changed the way I think about salad and dressing and vegetables actually.. So, yeh, while I would agree with you on Alice Waters simplicity, Inn at Little Washington is along the same lines at French Laundry, perhaps even more refined.  

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I have been to Blackberry Farm. But, it was for a couple of guest chef events. So, other than breakfast, I didn't have "their" chefs' cooking. But, I can say from speaking with the chefs and other guests who had, that the dining is excellent. And I can vouch for their spirits (especially whiskies) and wines. It's a great property. The rooms are great.People and service are top notch. And, if you can't relax here, you can't relax anywhere.

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27 minutes ago, Sneakeater said:

I should have said you don’t hear dick about The Inn at Little Washington in the food media ANY MORE. 

Not to be a pedant, but why do you say that? They just got 3 Michelin stars and the attendant press, there was a documentary released last year, and quick website scan of eater, Washintonian and WaPo reveals plenty of recent mentions (including a new rave review by Sietsema). Lots of coverage over their COVID response. If anything, it's probably more prominent now than it has been in years.

It's not going to get "hot new restaurant" press, but it's not a hot new restaurant.

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I like this goodbye by Sutton... If you were to replace Taladwat with Tak Room "the lesson is that even if we lived in a parallel universe where there were no pandemic to grapple with — where people weren’t afraid of hugging their own parents, where the middle class didn’t have to worry about where their next paycheck would come from — Taladwat shouldn’t have opened in the first place."   or "Taladwat by contrast, was just a clone, seemingly the second in what felt like a growing chain, another thai restaurants in a city overrun with thai restaurants."
" 

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On 8/27/2020 at 12:40 PM, Adrian said:

Not to be a pedant, but why do you say that? They just got 3 Michelin stars and the attendant press, there was a documentary released last year, and quick website scan of eater, Washintonian and WaPo reveals plenty of recent mentions (including a new rave review by Sietsema). Lots of coverage over their COVID response. If anything, it's probably more prominent now than it has been in years.

It's not going to get "hot new restaurant" press, but it's not a hot new restaurant.

Not to be a fogey, but there was a time when "hot new restaurants" didn't supplant great established restaurants in the food press.  Lutece got written about all the time, and got rereviewed in The Times every few years (if even if it was only because, as my wife used to joke, the Times restaurant reviewer wanted to eat in Lutece again on the paper's dime).

Indeed, if The Inn at Little Washington is still excellent (and again, I have no way of knowing), that's newsworthy in itself.  Since the current model -- very different from the way it used to be -- is that top restaurants almost never maintain their quality over the long haul.  Part of that is because now chefs are looking to establish empires (or chains), so always have their attention focused on the next new venture rather than on an old one.  But another part is that the way the food media have developed, only new restaurants get any attention, so there's less incentive to maintain quality at old ones and a greater incentive to keep your eye on the next one.

(I don't really consider Michelin part of the U.S. food media, BTW.  Their coverage just seems so clueless.)

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2 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

Not to be a fogey, but there was a time when "hot new restaurants" didn't supplant great established restaurants in the food press.  Lutece got written about all the time, and got rereviewed in The Times every few years (if even if it was just because, as my wife used to joke, the Times restaurant reviewer wanted to eat in Lutece again on the paper's dime).

Indeed, if The Inn at Little Washington is still excellent (and again, I have no way of knowing), that's newsworthy in itself.  Since the current model -- very different from the way it used to be -- is that top restaurants almost never maintain their quality over the long haul.  Part of that is because now chefs are looking to establish empires (or chains), so always have their attention focused on the next new venture rather than on an old one.  But another part is that the way the food media developed, only new restaurants get any attention, so there's less incentive to maintain quality at old ones and a greater incentive to keep your eye on the next one.

(I don't really consider Michelin part of the U.S. food media, BTW.  Their coverage just seems so clueless.)

What I am saying is that if you do a search the restaurant does get a fair bit of coverage, especially for a rural restaurant. Outside of the documentary, a quick google search (https://www.google.com/search?q=inn+at+little+washington+reviews&rlz=1C1GGRV_enCA769CA769&oq=inn+at+little+washington+review&aqs=chrome.0.0j46j0j69i57j0l3.15393j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8) shows that in the last three years it's been reviewed by Eater, Washington Post, and Forbes, plus articles in Washingtonian and WSJ on the first page of hits. Site specific hits yield a fair bit more coverage in the lost couple of years. For any restaurant, this is quite a lot of coverage. (Meanwhile, equivalent search for Blanca yields zero reviews in the last three years, page one for Atomix gives the NYT and Grub Street).

There are a huge volume of restaurant openings and a vastly expanded food media (in the old world). There is a symbiotic relationship there. I'm not sure that there are fewer pieces about prominent restaurants, or fewer re-reviews. This is an empirical question. I'm not sure the answer to it. 

But your initial statement that it gets "dick" attention in the food media seems to be false. 

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