Before moving to Texas in 2005 I had lived in Virginia (Charlottesville, Staunton, Arlington, McLean) since 1969 - my entire adult life. In those years I witnessed a wonderful improvement in both the quality and variety of eateries there. This I attribute both to the spectacular development of NoVa from sleepy 'burbs of DC to an ultra-wealthy urban powerhouse of nearly 3 million ethnically diverse residents and to Patrick O'Connell.
Staunton and Charlottesville are not suburbs of DC by any stretch of the imagination... (If that were the case then Albany NY or even Syracuse would be a suburb of NYC)
You are indeed correct; C'vl is 120 miles from DC, Staunton 140. But, I do not believe that I said either were part of the DC burbs, even though they were then and are now part of the DC media market (daily WaPo delivery, DC Channels 4 , 5, 7, 9, 20, and 27 on the local cable
). Even though I did not move to Arlington permanently until 1978, "for social/recreational/business/research reasons" I had visited the DC environs nearly every weekend since 1969.
My point is that NoVa
(Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Loudoun, Prince William, and now parts of Stafford and Faquier) "exploded" in those years - roughly paralleling the explosion in the size of the Federal Government relative to the rest of the country, the completion of the Metro, the .com boom, and waves of immigrants from SE Asia, and Central & South America. As a result, dining choices and quality increased. And, Chef O'Connell certainly raised the "quality" bar.
Soon after Patrick and Reinhardt started The Inn in 1978, my circle of friends and colleagues started using it as a convenient 1/2 - way meeting point between C'vl. and NoVa. After a few years it became way too expensive for our professors' salaries and my visits there after 1982 became the rare "special occasion" with wives and/or GF's.
And your point is?