The Rapp for Oct. 12

Patrick O’Connell ‘No. 1’

The headline in yesterday’s [Oct. 11] Washington Post speaks for itself: “Tom Sietsema’s Top 10 Restaurants: Inn at Little Washington is No. 1.”

The stellar review is part of the leading newspaper’s 2017 Fall Dining Guide Top 10 restaurants.

“Stop me if you’ve heard this before,” the influential restaurant critic writes, “but there’s a place 90 minutes or so from ‘The Swamp’ that started out as a gas station and morphed into a dining attraction whose chef has been hailed as the pope of American cuisine. Yesterday’s food news? Hardly.

“If anything, the sumptuous Inn at Little Washington by chef/author/entertainer Patrick O’Connell excels at exceeding guests’ expectations from year to year,” Sietsema continues, and “staying overnight reveals the Inn to be just as adept at lodging as at feeding guests.”

And then this tremendous crowning: “Did I mention the Inn is poised to turn 40 next year? Do you know of any other dining destination in the world that old, that delicious, that fun and that life-affirming? I didn’t think so. A round of applause, then, for the greatest showman of them all. You’re No. 1, Mr. O’Connell.Voting deadline

The deadline to apply to register to vote in the Nov. 7 general election is this Monday, Oct. 16. The simplest way (granted you have Internet access) to either register or else update your address information is to visit the Virginia Department of Elections (ELECT) website at

Customers may also apply to register at the registrar’s office on Gay Street in Washington or at any of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service centers. Citizens are not registered to vote until a paper or online voter registration application is approved by the registrar. Once an application is approved, a registration confirmation letter will be snail mailed.

To be eligible to register to vote in Virginia you must be a resident of the state, a U.S. citizen, 18 years old (any person who is 17 and will be 18 by Nov. 7 may register), not be registered and/or plan to vote in any other state, and “not currently be declared mentally incompetent by a court of law.”

Surfing anyone?

Rappahannock County residents are encouraged to participate in the countywide Broadband Needs Assessment Survey, which takes very little time to complete. The survey will help develop a map of areas in Rappahannock County with and without acceptable access to the internet.

For those with Internet access, take the survey online at or else obtain a paper copy available at the library, schools, county administrative offices, and many local businesses.

Ironically, broadband service in Rappahannock County may soon be a necessity rather than a luxury, as telecommunications companies are seeking to end hardline phone service and support.

Batsashvili treat

“Our audiences are in for a special treat,” says Castleton CEO and Artistic Director Dietlinde Maazel. “It is rare that an artist at such a young age combines virtuosity with an extraordinarily profound insight, sensitivity and passion.”

Georgian concert pianist Mariam Batsashvili appears this Sunday at Castleton. Courtesy photo

She’s referring to renowned Georgian concert pianist Mariam Batsashvili, who has performed recitals in more than 30 countries and will perform “Mariam Batsashvili: Keyboard Charitable Trust Concert,” this Sunday, Oct. 15, at 4 at Castleton.

The Castleton in Performance (CiP) concert will include a variety of classical pieces by Bach, Chopin, and Liszt. At only 24 years old, Batsashvili already ranks among the most promising pianists of her generation, having first received international recognition at the 10th Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht in 2014, where she won first prize, the Junior Jury Award, and the Press Prize.

The London-based Keyboard Charitable Trust’s mission is to help talented young pianists build a professional musical career. Tickets for this CiP 21st Anniversary concert range from $20 to $40, and the performance will be held in the Theatre House at Castleton at 663 Castleton View Road, an intimate, state-of-the-art 140-seat proscenium theatre.

In 1997, Dietlinde and her late husband, Maestro Lorin Maazel, converted the once-overlooked chicken house into today’s Castleton Theatre House, one of the most exquisite performance spaces in the world. Call 703-489-8704 for more information and visit to purchase tickets.

Second Saturday

Rappahannock County Artisan Trail members are inviting visitors to their studios, breweries, wineries, galleries, B&B’s and restaurants this Saturday. Take advantage of classes, demonstrations, culinary experiences, wine tastings, artisanal beers, live entertainment, special rates and more. Here’s what’s happening on the trail:


Blue Ridge Artisans-Spirit Trail Fiberworks: Get a leg up on holiday shopping in this gallery of local artists’ work in ceramics, glass, jewelry, fine art paintings, prints, and hand-dyed yarn and silk scarves. Even bring your knitting and hang out for a while as you enjoy hot cider, a selection of teas and coffees, and treats. 11 to 5.

De’Danann Glassworks: Make Fused Glass Earrings under the direction of artist Patricia Brennan. Learn how to cut glass and using pieces of different colored glass, create 3 pairs of earrings. Call 540-987-8615. or email dedanannclasses@gmail.comto sign up. $30 covers instruction and all materials 10 to Noon.

Glassworks Gallery: Master glass engraver Patty Sevre demonstrates engraving and will custom engrave a design for you on wine glasses, decanters or other items. Sevre creates her unique engravings with little more than revolving stones, copper and diamond wheels, and cooling water. 10:30 to 6.

Middle Street Gallery: From 3 to 4 hear artist Nancy Brittle talk about her alla prima painting style and exhibition. Says Brittle, “I work from life, the subjects usually being my family and my home.” Open 10 to 5.

Ridge Line Designs: Enjoy apple cider and assorted snacks while watching jeweler Gina Irwin demonstrate the art of sheet and wire construction, using sterling silver and assorted stones. 11 to 6.

River District Potters: Join in a free “play with clay” workshop from 2 to 4 or visit potters throughout the day as they work in the studio. Open 11 to 5.

Sperryville ARTists Cooperative: Draw, paint or collage a postcard and send it to a friend. All materials are provided and all ages welcome. Suggested donation $5 per person. Make a reservation or drop in anytime from 11 to 4.

Flint Hill

Contemporary Color: Join artist Carolyn Roth in her studio as she demonstrates how to create a multi-layered monotype. Roth’s work, expressed in paintings, prints and mixed media, embraces aspects of the natural world, cultural diversity, and the subconscious. Noon to 4.


Little Washington Winery: Learn the basics of wine. Wine Bootcamp includes a sandwich pairing, three chocolate pairings and the Dirt Road Wine Tour. $20 with coupon code: wb358. Class 11 to 1:30. Winery open til 6.

Warmglass Designs: Artist Jennifer Webb will teach you glass fusing to make a colorful suncatcher. A $10 fee covers tools and materials. (At River District Arts in Ginger Hill Antiques) 11 to 2.


Magnolia Vineyards and Winery: Sip award-winning wine and enjoy live music by local favorite Grass Fed. Grass Fed plays an acoustic mix of funk/groove and reggae with both original songs and covers. $10 tasting fee. 2 to 5.

Narmada Winery: Celebrate the end of the harvest with the Indian festival of DIWALI from 11 to 8. Enjoy a dance performance, Bollywood dance lesson and freestyle dancing for all ages and skills. Conclude with a fireworks display at 7:30. Food is available by pre-order at 540-937-8215.

Easy to love

“Easy to Love,” one of Cole Porter’s best-known songs, is also the title of jazz pianist and singer Bill Harris’s tribute to the American songwriter, which goes on the stage at 291 Gay St. at 8 p.m. one week from Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Little Washington Theatre. There’s a reason for the title.

Bill Harris returns to the Little Washington Theatre with a tribute to Cole Porter. Luke Christopher | Rappahannock News

It’s because the warm feelings toward Cole Porter’s music and lyrics start with Harris himself, the well-known jazz pianist, local favorite and longtime Rappahannock resident. Harris began singing late in his career, and nowadays is devoting his talented hands and strikingly flexible baritone to the music of the early-20th-century composers who comprise the Great American Songbook. For Harris, the composer of “You’re the Top” is at the top of that list.

If you can make it to “Easy to Love: The genius of Cole Porter’s music and lyrics,” you’ll be reminded not only of Porter’s ingenious way with both words and music, but you’ll also discover why Harris is glad he started singing — something he started doing at the Little Washington Theatre a few years back for what were otherwise jazz piano concerts. And after hearing so much positive feedback, he started building a whole new repertoire.

Harris is listed in Washingtonian’s “Best of Jazz in D.C.” and won the Hennessy Cognac Best of D.C. Jazz Competition. His many performance venues include Blues Alley, the Smithsonian, the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, Snug Harbor in New Orleans and numerous jazz festivals.

For tickets to the Oct. 21 concert ($25, $10 ages 17 and younger), visit, email or call 540-675-1253.

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