42461 Lovettsville Road
Lovettsville, VA 20180
CUISINE Modern American
PRICE $$$$ (Over $31)
HOURS Open for dinner, Thursday through Saturday; weekend brunch.
NVM AWARDS Best Restaurant 2006
Best Restaurant 2010
Best Restaurant 2007
Best Restaurant 2008
Best Restaurant 2009
Best Restaurant 2011
Best Restaurant 2012
NEARBY METRO None
By Warren Rojas
Food: 9.1 Ambiance: 8.9 Service: 8.8
Change is just about the only constant in this area.
And while some restaurant goers prefer the status quo—no retinkering or rebranding required, thank you—this hired mouth appreciates the type of gustatory derring-do that demands near-immediate return plans.
Patowmack Farm flirted with just such a game-changer earlier this year by welcoming Volt alumnus Patrick Forest. Sadly, the wily mixologist has since departed—though owner Beverly Morton Billand insists she’s already scouting replacements.
Meanwhile, veteran chef Christopher Edwards continues to spin out ambrosial snapshots of the seasonal bounty.
One garden throwdown pits squash, pickled green beans and gnocchi-like dumplings against vinegary frisee and biting black olives.
Subtly minty perennials brighten lamb medallions.
Tart blueberries invade both a sugary tart and its surrounding cream, while soothing lavender lays siege to vanilla ice cream.(November 2009)
By Warren Rojas
Food: 9 Ambiance: 9 Service: 8.8
There’s a new hand behind the burners at Patowmack Farm (executive chef Christopher Edwards came aboard just after New Year’s).
But the seasons still call the shots when it comes to what appears on your plate.
Farm-to-table enthusiasts of all ages—it’s not uncommon to find giddy kids (pagodas, fields and the adjoining vegetable plots are fertile ground for curious youngsters) or newcomer adults exploring the surrounding environs—seem to appreciate reconnecting with nature, if only for a few hours.
Repeat guests can now call some shots of their own, courtesy of new a la carte options (offered in addition to the signature five-course tasting menu).
Ruby-red slices of ahi tuna and stout razor clams (made all the more poignant by a liberal dusting of smoked Spanish pepper) melt into a soothing sorrel cream sauce.
Hay-smoked potato dumplings join applewood-smoked bacon, button mushrooms and asparagus for a dip in a lavish Yukon Gold broth (heartwarming).
Fried salsify and mustard-splashed asparagus decorate a slow-roasted leg of lamb partially submerged in herby au jus.(November 2008)
By Warren Rojas
Food: 8.8 Ambiance: 8.8 Service: 8.6
One night, the tranquility of Patowmack Farm’s au naturel dining room was shattered by the conspiratorial chatter of guilt-ridden patrons determined to keep their unscheduled visit from a forgotten friend.
“I don’t think we should tell her we came here today,” one woman suggested.
Sorry, ladies. The secret’s out.
Culinary purist Christian Evans keeps pushing the envelope of the farm-to-fork movement with each passing harvest, conducting local cheeses, humanely raised proteins and just-plucked vegetables into a symphony of natural delights.
Mixed greens are enlivened by blueberry vinaigrette and cheery marigolds. Luscious veal shares the spotlight with herb-roasted potatoes and wild mushrooms (big flavors, all around). An espresso cake—forged from handcrafted ingredients supplied by a local chocolatier—arrives bathed in blueberry compote (syrupy pods burst with flavor), crème anglaise and cinnamon crumbs (irresistibly rich).(December 2007)
By Warren Rojas
Food: 9 Ambiance: 8.8 Service: 8.5
Sometimes I think it’s the bucolic setting. Others, I find myself dwelling on those thought-provoking morsels that fool the eye into believing one thing while the mouth experiences another.
All I know for sure is that Patowmack Farm keeps calling me back. And I’m only too happy to oblige.
The epitome of seasonal, organic dining, Patowmack Farm performs magic with the very foods that poke up through its soil. Chef Christian Evans shifts his menu with each subsequent harvest, fashioning the farm-fresh ingredients into culinary flights of fancy.
Homemade breads envelop ingenious vegetable-fruit pairings (blueberry-fennel was divine, zucchini-squash delivered healthfulness by the bite). Fresh cheeses never fail to astound, be they a goat milk blue rolled with fresh asparagus, chives and a sunny marigold bud (magnificent) or a Camembert-laced risotto patty floating peacefully atop a lush asparagus broth. Deviled spinach salad brings a sugary pastry stuffed with an alluring bacon-egg blend. Pan-seared duck accompanies an over-easy egg draped across rosemary-flecked potatoes, then finishes them all with wild mushrooms and grilled squash ragout (outstanding). Grilled sea scallops dance atop a fabulous mussel salad encircled by smoked salmon. Homemade panna cotta arrives with a crispy cinnamon cookie that doubles as your spoon. A mixed berry mille-feuille forges sugary pastry, blueberries, wine berries, crème anglaise and fresh spearmint into the perfect summer send-off.(August 2006)
By Warren Rojas
F 8.8 A 8.6 S 8.5
Patowmack Farm's farm-to-table conceit is much more than a gimmick. It's a mantra.
Owner Beverly Billand welcomes you to her au naturel dining area and often pops by to point out some of her four-legged neighbors (wandering deer and inquisitive raccoons guest star). In the distance, the Potomac rolls past a moonlit bridge while amorous crickets flood the night with music.
The unique "Dinner in the Garden" service-offered Thursday through Saturday-provides a five-course banquet tied to the farm's harvest (expect sweeping changes about every six weeks), as well as a seven-course tasting menu designed by chef Christian Evans.
A nest of shrimp "noodles" inhabits a seafood broth punctuated by a spicy aioli. Surf and turf Caesar summons garlic calamari, bundled prosciutto, stacks of crisp romaine and buttons of homemade dressing (black pepper pokes through). A mini steak-and-egg balancing act (fantastic) gets showered with crumbled Shiitake "bacon" bits. Elsewhere, a soft shell crab cake sandwich comes with "Bay fries"-the breaded crab legs ride shotgun-and a forceful mango slaw.