Between raising 7-year-old son Finn, and running a B&B and a seasonal bicycling-and-dining tours for most of the last decade, John and Diane MacPherson don’t get out to dinner very often.
“We never get to go to all the great Rappahannock benefit dinners and fundraising events that go on here, and see everyone,” says John MacPherson, who with Diane, co-proprietor of Foster Harris House B&B, recently received the town of Washington’s approval of their solution to this long-standing socializing deficit:
“Now we’re hoping all those people can come to us!” he says with a wide grin.
It isn’t so much socializing as food, of course, that’s been the MacPhersons’ driving passion — it drove them to add a gourmet-dining component to their other passion, that being biking, to create in 2005 the Tour d’Epicure packages that now sell out each year. It drove them to host special-occasion dinners, and eventually to decide to renovate their dining room and kitchen over the last year (transforming the latter from a family-meals and breakfast-only space to a fully functional, spacious commercial kitchen).
And, when they realized that in town — unlike in the county at large — a B&B isn’t permitted to serve dinner to anyone who isn’t an overnight guest, it drove them to seek changes to the town’s ordinances that would allow inns to apply for a special permit to do so. The town did so. The MacPhersons did so.
And Foster-Harris House’s Friday and Saturday night five-course, fixed-price dinners started last weekend, with a menu of yellow fin tuna carpaccio with arugula, apple and butternut squash soup with chevre and smoked paprika oil, butter-poached Maine lobster with sweet-potato gnocchi, madiera-glazed duck breast and . . . well, you get the idea.
And no more than 10 of you at a time can get the actual dinners, which are $85 per person ($115 paired with wine) and start at 7 p.m. Call 540-675-3757 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (by Wednesday afternoons) to reserve.