The charming inn located in Rappahannock County offers the perfect summer weekend getaway.
Summer is just about here and we are all craving a weekend getaway. For those of us who reside in the DMV, we are lucky enough to live close to a plethora of venues perfect for an escape from the city. From beaches in Rehoboth to the picturesque town of St. Michaels in Maryland to an endless number of hiking trails in Shenandoah Valley, there are activities for all sorts of people.
For those looking for a gorgeous setting as well as delicious food and wine, look no further than Blue Rock in Rappahannock County, Virginia. A cozy and rustic inn, Blue Rock also offers an on-site restaurant helmed by Chef Bin Lu, formerly of Pineapple and Pearls. We caught up with Chef Bin to learn more about the menus and experience at the Blue Rock restaurant.
District Fray: We are so excited to learn more about the Blue Rock restaurant. Tell us a little about the concept.
Chef Bin: The Blue Rock restaurant is a seasonal, new American, fine dining venue, where we focus on creating a menu that is hyper-seasonal — featuring ingredients immediately available in our local farms — with global influences. We love to incorporate ingredients and cooking styles from the Middle East, Asia and Europe. We endeavor to be as creative as possible, and we love changing our menu and evolving with the seasons and remaining as in tune as possible with the produce we can access. In fact, once we take a dish off our menu, we never bring it back. We may do a variation, but we really seek to be uber creative and never offer the exact same dishes over again. We also try and remain nimble. For example, if we are planning on making a particular dish and the farms are out of a certain ingredient, we pivot and create something different.
How are dinners designed?
We serve a four-course dinner four nights a week. Each course offers a few options and usually includes a vegetarian choice. We do all our pastry in-house as well. We welcome all diners to our restaurant, so anyone with any dietary restrictions should notify us in advance and we will strive to accommodate them. We also offer wine pairings, or you can choose from an extensive wine list curated by me.
Do you offer other meals besides dinner?
We have a light breakfast for those staying at our inn, with pastries, fruit, coffee and tea, and we also offer a more casual menu called The Foothills menu in our tasting room. The Foothills menu includes fun shareable plates like the antipasti plate with marinated olives, “Boursin” stuffed peppers and preserved artichokes. In the summer we will also have items like a super simple but delicious tomato sandwich, with the softest, ripest tomatoes, mayo and house made potato chips. It’s a dream. The tasting room also has live music on Fridays all summer, which has already started. The summer is great time to visit when you can relax in a lawn chair with a house-made cocktail, which change with the seasons as well.
What ingredients are you excited about cooking with this summer?
We are really looking forward to working with all the nightshades, like tomatoes and eggplants, and putting forward dishes that offer new and unique twists on vegetables. Stone fruits are excellent, and we can’t wait for berries, persimmons, figs and so much more. Summer is such a fun time of year for chefs, and there is already a lot of great stuff coming through our local farms.
To learn more or secure a reservation, check out Blue Rock’s website here.