10 Restaurants That Serve Virginia’s Fall Flavors

by Patricia Keppel | Posted: Oct 12, 2017 |

Located in downtown Harrisonburg in an historic Victorian inn, Joshua Wilton House Restaurant changes their menu daily according to the seasonal fare provided by local purveyors. They offer weekly specials like a Date Night Tuesday ($35 per person for two courses and a shared dessert) and Wilton Wednesday (any appetizer with a beverage option for $14), allowing you to sample some of the finest dining in the city without breaking your bank.


—Fall Sample Menu Items Include—

Braised pork belly with carrot orange puree, caramel apple, and turner ham prosciutto

Polyface Farms chicken chowder with corn, potatoes, chives, and bacon

Venison with vanilla parsnip puree, braised cabbage, and blueberry gastrique

Duck breast with sweet potato, bacon, kale, peanuts, brandy green peppercorn cream

Filet mignon with potato gratin, asparagus, and red wine jus

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The Daily News Record July 22, 2017-

          New Joshua Wilton House Head Chef's Experience Includes Cooking for the Queen of England

"Tom French, 31, was born in Essex, England. He became interested in the culinary world after chefs from a culinary school visited his high school. He received his culinary training from the Colchester Institute. French also worked at his father's restaurant, The Kingfisher Cafe.

Around a decade ago, French interned at Buckingham Palace, cooking for the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, the royal family, and their guests for two weeks. 'It was pretty amazing,' French said. 'The first day we did canapes for the Olympic reception that was being held in London.' After working at Buckingham Palace, French was moved to Windsor Castle, where the queen was spending Easter. 'We were doing like 600 to 800 staff meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then 15 royal meals, so that would be like breakfast, lunch, light tea and dinner, as well as for her and her guests and family.'

French crossed the pond to work at the Joshua Wilton House in 2009, where he has served as a sous chef for the last eight years. After his promotion, starting in February, French has been working on switching up the menu and experimenting with different cooking techniques. 

'I changed the whole menu within a few weeks of taking over,' he said. 'He's great about using Valley-sourced local products in the French style,' co-owner Jeff Hill said. 'We're excited about the growth at the helm in the kitchen, Tom's a tremendous talent. He's rare in a sense that most of the time with executive chefs, you'll get people who are very extroverted, very outspoken and a lot of times their talent is not near as good as how they brag. Tom's rare in that he has much more talent than he says.'

Along with the release of new menus to change with the seasons, French also plans to create a new chef's tasting menu starting in the fall. French is looking forward to bringing new ideas to the Valley's culinary scene."


The Culture Trip: 4 December 2016

Varia Fedko-Blake

10 Best Local Eats In Harrisonburg, Virginia

Located in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, Harrisonburg is a wonderful city with an abundance of memorable places to eat in. From establishments serving five-star cuisine to hip foodie joints, if you love a good culinary adventure, Harrisonburg will not disappoint. Here are the top places to eat in the area.

Joshua Wilton House

Located in an elegant Late Victorian house built in 1890, the grand Joshua Wilton Houserestaurant can be found right in the historic old town of downtown Harrisonburg, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For those wishing to experience the refined tastes of Virginia, the creative menu will surely deliver.

Joshua Wilton House, 412 S Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA, USA, +1 540 434 4464

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Homemade In Harrisonburg

Rooted In Local Flavor And Growing With Homespun Flair, This City In The Shenandoah Valley Is Flowing With Delightful Eats, Drinks And Enjoyment

BY ANGELA BLUE - November 2016

 Early on a cool Saturday morning, the Harrisonburg Farmers Market is bustling. Local farmers happily peddle fresh herbs, sweet potatoes, asparagus and black walnuts as patrons browse homemade soaps, baked goods, honey and an array of plants ready for home gardeners to stick in the ground. Although the local vibe is rooted in events such as these, Harrisonburg’s homemade and homegrown movement has flourished to nearly every facet of this colorful and cordial college town in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

At a nearby stand, Brian Bogan, executive chef for the Joshua Wilton House, is preparing crostinis with asparagus, arugula and watercress pesto, topped with goat cheese and grated, cured egg yolk. He demonstrates to a group of fascinated onlookers how to prepare the dish, then offers samples and a recipe at the end.

The Joshua Wilton House has been a staple in Harrisonburg for many years (it was the first house in Harrisonburg to have electricity, if that’s any indication). A classically-restored Victorian home-turned restaurant and inn, it’s a favorite place for visitors and locals alike. Their fabulous restaurant offers a seasonally-focused menu, with approximately 90 percent of their ingredients sourced in the Shenandoah Valley. The feel here is Southern with a French influence, which can be seen (and tasted) in menu items like their all-natural duck breast served over hickory-roasted delicata squash and red onion with French lentils and concord grape gastrique.

The theme can also be found in their heavenly pastries from extraordinary Pastry Chef Elizabeth Stover, who refers to her baked goods as “edible love.” When you try one of her pastries, you’ll wholeheartedly agree. Stover shares the Joshua Wilton House vision of supporting local farms to offer the best ingredients, noting that it’s always important to be a good steward of the products that you serve.

“Food is so much about community, and I think that is why what is happening here in the Valley is so incredibly special because it’s so community-based—the love of it, the production of it, the promotion of it,” she says. “There’s such a beautiful relationship between food and agriculture and the preservation of both of those.”

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The Washington Post April 2016 - 

3 road trips from D.C. that promise great food and a good night’s sleep

"Be thankful you don’t handle the books for this Victorian mansion-turned-B&B. “We work with over 60 local farmers,” says general manager Brad Reese. “It makes bookkeeping a nightmare, but it’s worth it.” The diverse, near-obsessive sourcing means only top-notch meat and produce hits your plate, including pork from Autumn Olive Farms and organic poultry from Polyface Farms. Run by chef Brian Bogan, the kitchen serves Southern classics with a French twist, such as duck breast served with lentils, country ham and a duck confit bon bon.

Upstairs, you’ll find five inn rooms decorated with country chic details like floral wallpaper and carved wooden bed frames. Each has views of Harrisonburg, Va. — the city at the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and the home to James Madison University. Explore around the historic campus and you’ll find independently owned boutiques, cafes and breweries. More outdoorsy types can head to a handful of hiking trails (or the Appalachian Trail 18 miles away, if you’re feeling adventurous), ski slopes at the nearby Massanutten Resort or tours of local farms, where you might recognize some ingredients from Joshua Wilton’s menu."

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Flights & Bites at Brothers Craft Brewing April 2016 - 

“Why wouldn’t you come to this?” one of my dining companions asked partially through our Flights and Bites meal at Brothers Craft Brewing on April 20th. It’s true. For $40 and two hours on a Wednesday night, we enjoyed six courses of beautifully crafted food carefully paired with beers from Brothers Craft Brewing. Chef Brian Bogan of the Joshua Wilton House and Chef Jakob Napotnik of the Local Chop and Grill House teamed up to create a menu that highlighted both local ingredients and local beer. Adam Shifflett, managing partner at Brothers and both chefs introduced each food and beer course while we lucky ones shared tables with strangers who quickly became friends. 

An incredible event by three true craftsmen of food and beer. If you ever find the opportunity to attend a pairing dinner by any of the chefs or breweries who call Downtown Harrisonburg home, you must go."

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