3 Tasting Menus with Wine Pairings Near DC
Updated: Nov 27, 2021
We love to splurge every so often on a dinner tasting menu with wine pairings. Sometimes it’s even better to get away to experience such a grand meal as a memorable mini vacation.
Here are three tasting menus with wine pairings near DC. They are all a reasonable drive from the city. Each of them offers tasting menus with wine pairings in a slightly different way.
L ’Auberge Provençale, Boyce, Virginia
If you want a real change of pace, visit romantic L ’Auberge Provençale, in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. It’s about a two-hour drive west of Washington, DC, and exudes a French country ambiance. Technically it’s a bed a breakfast, but it also boasts a renowned restaurant on the premises, specializing in farm-to-table modern French/American cuisine.
We opted for the eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings, which was terrific (there’s also a more casual menu in the bistro bar lounge). The tasting menu is set in advance, except for dessert, where there were three options to choose from. Some of the courses we tasted the last time we were there included yellowfin tuna paired with Condrieu Remi Niero from Rhone, France, and lamb paired with a red blend from Bordeaux’s Listrac-Medoc region. The breakfast the next morning – which one could enjoy in the restaurant or on the porch – was a huge, multicourse event. The Inn is pretty isolated, but nearby there are outdoor activities, some wineries in Fauquier County, and Civil War historic sites.
Charleston, Baltimore, Maryland
Looking for a more urban, sophisticated getaway? Go to Baltimore’s Charleston Restaurant. Located in the Harbor East section of the city on the water, this meal is a real treat. The restaurant is influenced by both French and low country South Carolina cuisine, and the menu changes every day or two. You choose between three, four, five, or six courses of anything on the menu. This has consistently been one of our favorite tasting menus with wine pairings near DC.
Some of my courses at our last visit included the shrimp and grits paired with a Chardonnay from Oregon’s Willamette Valley and the grilled octopus paired with Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a dry red wine from Sicily.
Charleston’s chef is Cindy Wolf, a nine-time James Beard Foundation award finalist for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic. There are several hotels just a block or two away. The area is easy walking distance to some of Baltimore’s popular neighborhoods, such as the Inner Harbor and Fells Point. Baltimore, an hour north of Washington, DC, also has a lot of history, funky breweries and sights, and major league sports.
Fleurie, Charlottesville, Virginia
If you want a more suburban dinner tasting menu with wine pairings worth the trip, look no further than Fleurie, a tiny find off Charlottesville, Virginia’s downtown pedestrian mall. It’s about two hours and 15 minutes southwest of Washington, DC. It offers a three-course prix fixe menu with several options for each course. The last time we were there I had lobster paired with a Chardonnay from Burgundy and the Virginia oysters paired with a white blend from Spain's Basque Country.
There are hotels and inns within walking distance to the restaurant, as well as many others just a short drive or ride service away. There’s a lot to see and do in and around Charlottesville, including the University of Virginia, the homes of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, and some of the best wineries, breweries, and distilleries in the state.
For years, we have enjoyed Fleurie’s tasting menu with wine pairings. As a family with two University of Virginia alumni, Charlottesville has often served as a great weekend destination for us.
We hope these suggestions on tasting menus with wine pairings near DC inspire you to consider a new getaway. If you have any recommendations of other remarkable dinner destinations, please send them to us at email@example.com. Always feel free to reach out with any questions or feedback.
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