There is, for me, a really interesting post on Chowhound's San Francisco board from someone who states that they use to work at the Inn at Little Washington. In their message they note that the chef was "rarely there." I would like to believe that, if true, this explains several less than wonderful experiences I have had there over the past several years. Of course if it is true that's still a lot of money to spend and not really know what might turn up on one's plate.
I should add, in all fairness, that the person who said this notes the chef being absent is a sign that everything is still on the same level as when the chef is there.