Fire + Water Restaurant

First of all, let me introduce myself. I’m Tricia Smith. If you’ve been reading Luke’s reviews over the years, I’ve been referred to as “My Sweetie,” “My Companion,” and “The Woman at the Table.”

I suppose those are accurate descriptions, but they sure sell me short. Believe me. 

I don’t want to make waves though, because, I love Luke with all my heart and these visits to the restaurants of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau are sweet icing on our relationship. By my count we’ve visited 28 restaurants on The Laurel’s dime, and at Marjorie the Publisher’s insistence, we’ve always ordered as much as we could fit on the table. 

Anyway, I’ve taken over this review, just for this month. I demanded control because I didn’t want my opinion lost amidst Luke’s observations and digressions. That’s right, this month “The Sweetie” finally speaks up! 

And I wanted to say that, of all the restaurants we’ve visited, all the varied menus, all the carefully appointed décor, all the wonderfully indulgent service, Fire + Water is by far my favorite. 

Luke was assigned to check out Fire + Water, the gorgeous restaurant within Fire Mountain Inn on the southern edge of the Highlands Plateau. It’s that very distance from the heart of Highlands that gives Fire + Water its undeniable tranquility. You’re instantly soothed. 

Part of that is derived from the gorgeous setting atop Fire Mountain. The carefully landscaped grounds create a zen state and the view from our terrace table (shaded by old growth oaks) revealed the ridges of five distinct mountain ranges. This was accompanied by the sound of water cascading down a beautiful walled fountain just a few feet from our table. 

Another part of the equation is the beauty of the restaurant itself. It is appointed and finished in clean Mid-Century Modern with carefully selected sculptures and paintings. 

But the biggest part of the experience is derived from the reception we received from our hosts. Hiram and Matthew are open, amiable and clearly delighted with the magnificent enterprise they’ve created atop Fire Mountain over the course of 20 years. This is a cheerful place and it’s no surprise that for many of its guests, it’s a spa destination. In fact, while we were there, the inn was playing host to a couple from Great Britain and had been the destination of a couple from Italy celebrating their 50th anniversary.

For lunch, I selected the Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad. It arrived with fresh green beans, red and yellow peppers, accompanied by a blend of silver queen corn and red onion, and a refreshing carrot-cranberry slaw as our side items.

Luke had the Salmon Nicoise, delicately seasoned with dill and embellished with capers.

Aside from Luke’s Salmon, all of our meal was locally sourced. Produce came from Osage Farms, located a mile down the road. Meats come from Blalock Farms in Dillard, GA, and the herbs that enhanced both of our dishes came from Matthew’s herb garden, 30 yards away. 

Well, it looks like I’ve rambled on just like Luke does. Let me quickly mention our desserts. We both ordered vanilla ice cream (from Spring Valley Creamery,10 miles away) complemented with fresh peaches and blueberries (again, from just a few miles away). I don’t know if summer has an official flavor, but if we get to vote, this is my choice. 

Finally, Hiram mentioned that Fire + Water is going to be offering massage-luncheon packages. I already know I’m going to treat myself and two of my friends.

Fire + Water isn’t merely a meal, it’s an experience. Spiritual, if you will. 

Reservations are a must. Call (828) 526) 4446 or (800) 775-4446.