11 East Coast Inns with Excellent Wines

Eat, sleep and drink well at these Restaurant Award–winning destinations

11 East Coast Inns with Excellent Wines
Rhode Island's Atlantic Inn boasts a Best of Award of Excellence–winning dining room, Restaurant 1879, named after the opening year of the historic property. (Courtesy of Restaurant 1879)
Sep 23, 2021

While sprawling resorts have their place, there’s something special about smaller-scale lodging. Often nestled in scenic towns, with deep ties to the community, inns and bed-and-breakfasts provide an immersive way to explore a new place. But there’s no need to sacrifice quality for charm. At these 11 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners along the East Coast, guests can experience world-class wines in settings that feel like a home away from home.

To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s more than 2,900 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 97 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!

Note: Opening hours and menus are subject to change as the industry continues to adjust to evolving regulations.


Crabtree’s Kittle House Inn

11 Kittle Road, Chappaqua, N.Y.
Telephone (914) 666-8044
Website www.kittlehouse.com
Grand Award

 A meaty dish garnished with greens and chickpeas next to a glass of red wine at Crabtree’s Kittle House Inn
Crabtree’s Kittle House Inn, a spot with a regional American menu, has maintained a Grand Award since 1994. (Rana Faure)

What was once a barn built in 1790 is now a renowned wine-and-food destination in upstate New York, Crabtree's Kittle House Inn, owned by the Crabtree family since 1981. John Crabtree and wine director Glenn Vogt quickly set out to grow the inn’s 150-selection wine list into one of the world’s top programs. Crabtree and Vogt met with legendary producers in California, France, Italy and beyond to secure the best bottles possible. Today, the inn’s Grand Award–winning program boasts 4,000 selections and a 40,000-bottle inventory, with strengths in Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhône, Tuscany, Piedmont and California, among many other regions. The inn was named after a local farmer, John Kittle, and chef Danilo Recinos honors that connection with farm-to-table cuisine. His regional American menu showcases local ingredients in dishes like Goffle Farm chicken liver paté, pan-roasted Hudson Valley pork belly, beet salad, north Atlantic skate wing and a range of steaks.


The Inn at Little Washington

Middle and Main Streets, Washington, Va.
Telephone (540) 675-3800
Website www.theinnatlittlewashington.com
Grand Award

 Indoor dining area at the Inn at Little Washington
The Inn at Little Washington has luxurious lodging and outstanding wines. (Courtesy of the Inn at Little Washington)

The Inn at Little Washington opened in 1978, about 70 miles from big Washington, D.C., in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The building was an abandoned garage before owner and chef Patrick O'Connell converted the space into a restaurant, welcoming his first overnight guests six years later (he welcomed a very different set of guests during the COVID-19 pandemic). A main draw of this Grand Award winner is O’Connell’s $265 American tasting menu. This includes dishes such as tuna with foie gras confit and black-truffle vinaigrette, pepper-crusted Long Island duck breast with brandy-roasted peaches and coconut sorbet with passionfruit and ginger granite. These dishes are served alongside William Harris and Kenneth Grandon’s 2,400-label wine list, which opens with substantial by-the-glass and small-format selections. Guests can pick from a wide range of regions, including California, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Italy, Germany and even Virginia. This includes verticals from well-known wine estates like Ridge, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Château Cos d'Estournel.


Bedford Village Inn & Restaurant

2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford, N.H.
Telephone (800) 852-1166
Website www.bedfordvillageinn.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 The wine bar area at Bedford Village Inn & Restaurant
A wine bar area at Bedford Village Inn & Restaurant stores some of the property’s 4,000-bottle wine inventory. (Jarski Photography)

New Hampshire’s Bedford Village Inn & Restaurant was established in the 1980s at the site of an 1810-built farm. Today, the Best of Award of Excellence winner is a 10-acre estate hosting luxury stays, events and, of course, fine-dining meals. Chef Tina Verville’s regional cuisine is served throughout the inn’s seven dining rooms, as well as its tavern, wine bar and patio. Along with a selection of cheeses, guests can enjoy dishes like lobster bisque, clam chowder, grilled rabbit pappardelle, ricotta gnudi and several steaks. These dishes join a 900-label wine list packed with California Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Cabernets, including older vintages from Abreu, Colgin and Shafer. There’s also a hefty Champagne selection for fans of bubbly.


The Conservatory at Goodstone

The Goodstone Inn, 36205 Snake Hill Road, Middleburg, Va.
Telephone (540) 687-3333
Website www.goodstone.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Dining area at the Conservatory at Goodstone
At the Conservatory at Goodstone, diners are treated to a menu fusing French and American cuisines. (Courtesy of the Conservatory at Goodstone)

In the northern Virginia town of Middleburg, the Goodstone estate consists of horse stables, a pool, a spa, numerous walking trails and many lodging options across several guest houses. There’s also a working farm, as well as gardens and beehives, that supply a farm-to-table menu at the property’s Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurant. Wine director Stephen Elhafdi’s program is strongest in California and France, especially Burgundy. Italian selections shine with picks from big-name producers like Massolino and Gaja, and the list also has more than 20 Virginia labels among its 1,000-plus selections. Chef Jan Van Haute complements these with French-influenced fare, offering dishes like roasted squab with truffle sauce, Dover sole, scallop crudo and Shenandoah lamb with black garlic. Several tasting menus are offered as well, along with vegetarian options.


Grace

Carnegie Inn & Spa, 100 Cricklewood Drive, State College, Pa.
Telephone (814) 234-2424
Website www.carnegieinnandspa.com/grace-restaurant
Best of Award of Excellence

Old European flair mixes with America’s collegiate history at the Carnegie House in State College, Penn. But students and non-students alike can enjoy the inn’s rooms, spa and Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurant, Grace. Guests can pick from among 370 wines on wine director Bailey Roberts’ wine list, which is strongest in picks from California and France. Bottles from Germany, Italy, Argentina and Australia round out the program, featuring well-known names like S.A. Prüm and Mollydooker. These are paired with chef Paul Kendeffy’s menu of plates like seasonal oysters, crispy pork belly, vichyssoise, chilled lobster salad and wild halibut in a saffron broth.


Inn at Herr Ridge

900 Chambersburg Road, Gettysburg, Pa.
Telephone (800) 362-9849
Website www.herrtavern.com
Best of Award of Excellence

History is deeply intertwined with the Inn at Her Ridge in Gettysburg, Penn., which offers picturesque views of American Civil War battlefields. It also houses a restaurant that has earned a Best of Award of Excellence since 2011. Here, guests can explore the 560 labels on wine director Brad Doerr’s list, including an abundance of Californian, Italian and French bottlings. There is an extensive selection of Champagnes and sparkling wines, as well as verticals of Far Niente and Opus One. Chef Colby Becker’s menu of American cuisine includes plates like pan-seared scallops, crab cakes, Peruvian mahi-mahi and nine hour–braised lamb shank. The fine-dining component of the property hasn’t reopened yet following its temporary COVID closure, but the wine list is available in the inn’s casual dining space, the Livery, which serves sandwiches, salads, burgers and more.


L’Auberge Provençale

L’Auberge Provencale Country Inn, 13630 Lord Fairfax Highway, Boyce, Va.
Telephone (540) 837-1375
Website www.laubergeprovencale.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Guests dining outdoors at L’Auberge Provençale
Drawing influence from France, L’Auberge Provençal highlights the country’s cuisine and major wine regions. (Courtesy of L’Auberge Provençale)

L'Auberge Provençale brings the feel of a French bed-and-breakfast to the quiet town of Boyce, Va. There are 11 individually styled guest rooms on the property, featuring attractive amenities like working fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs. The restaurant has held a Best of Award of Excellence for nearly 15 years, featuring a wine list led by wine director Christian Borel. The 1,200-plus selections stand out in Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône, and domestic selections are particularly impressive in California. L’Auberge Provençal champions Virginia wines through tours of nearby wineries, collaborative wine dinners and tastings and over 50 Virginia labels on the wine list. Chef Richard Wright leads the kitchen, dishing out French-influenced American cuisine. The restaurant partners with an extensive list of local farms to source everything from fruits and vegetables to eggs, dairy and meats.


Restaurant 1879

The Atlantic Inn, 359 High St., Block Island, R.I.
Telephone (401) 466-5883
Website www.atlanticinn.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Two dishes with glasses of white and red wine at an outdoor table at Restaurant 1879
Restaurant 1879 is housed in the Atlantic Inn, a picturesque bed-and-breakfast by the ocean. (Courtesy of Restaurant 1879)

Made up of 21 guest rooms, the Atlantic Inn is a short stroll from the beach. A sun porch and a wrap-around veranda offer great spots to peer out at the water. Named for the year of the property's opening, Restaurant 1879 features chef Dennis Gomes' menu of dishes like pan-roasted halibut curry and cast iron–roasted pheasant breast with a crispy chickpea cake, plus a variety of tapas plates. There's also a Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list, overseen by co-owner and wine director Brad Marthens. California and France stand out among the nearly 500 selections, and South Africa, Hungary, Germany and Italy are also represented. Marthens presents an array of impressive verticals from premium producers.


Jessica’s Restaurant

Swift House Inn, 25 Stewart Lane
Telephone (802) 388-9925
Website www.jessicasvermont.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Interior dining room at Jessica’s Restaurant
At Jessica’s Restaurant, the wine list is filled with great deals on labels from around the globe. (Courtesy of Jessica’s Restaurant)

Jessica's Restaurant is a peaceful wine oasis in the heart of Vermont. It's located in Swift House Inn, a property of 20 guest rooms among three historic buildings, with the oldest dating to 1814. Surrounded by acres of farmland and forests, the inn is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, providing easy access to activities like bike tours, hikes and fishing. It's also ideal for wine lovers, thanks to its Best of Award of Excellence–winning dining room. Wine director David Herren runs the 400-wine program of strong Italian and California labels, supplemented by strengths in France and Spain. In the kitchen, chef Robert Fenn works with Vermont farmers to source ingredients for his eclectic American menu. He incorporates global and local influences in dishes like pan-seared scallops with basil escabeche and feta and duck two ways with Port gastrique and potato croquette.


The White Barn Inn Restaurant

White Barn Inn & Spa, 37 Beach Ave., Kennebunk, Maine
Telephone (207) 967-2321
Website www.aubergeresorts.com/whitebarninn/dine
Best of Award of Excellence

 A table set in the wine cellar of the White Barn Inn Restaurant
The White Barn Inn Restaurant is housed in two converted barns that date to the 1800s. (Courtesy of the White Barn Inn Restaurant)

Kennebunk, Maine's White Barn Inn & Spa has various cottages and rooms to fit a range of guest needs, with recently renovated accommodations drawing inspiration from the New England countryside. In addition to a spa, pool and gym, guests can take advantage of numerous beaches and forest trails nearby. The inn provides complimentary bicycle rentals for guests to explore the area. On-site attractions include the White Barn Inn Restaurant, a Best of Award of Excellence winner with a wine list of more than 400 selections. The eatery was created from two renovated barns built in the early 1800s; today, floor-to-ceiling windows and wood-paneling accent the farmhouse décor of the rustic space. Wine director Christopher Bayley’s program emphasizes France and California, with particularly extensive selections from Napa Valley and many high-end Bordeaux picks. Created by chef Matthew Padilla, the four-course, prix-fixe menu costs $135 and an additional $75 for wine pairings. Padilla showcases his regional American style through dishes like beet agnolotti and local yellowfin tuna with crispy capers.


The Palm East Hampton

Huntting Inn, 94 Main St., East Hampton, N.Y.
Telephone (631) 324-0411
Website www.thepalm.com
Award of Excellence

The Palm steak house has 25 Restaurant Award–winning locations, most of which are in major metropolitan areas. The East Hampton outpost stands apart in the historic Huntting Inn, located right off the picturesque Main Street about a mile from the ocean. Managed by wine director and general manager Gabe Basalla, the Award of Excellence–winning program focuses on California and Italy. The bulk of the list's 210 selections are core wines that are available at all Palm restaurants; special additions on this location's list include producers like Quintessa and Tenuta San Guido. Chef Darren Boyle executes the Palm’s signature menu of steaks and chops aged for at least 35 days, alongside classic appetizers and seafood options.


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