Category Archives: Dining in Highlands NC and Cashiers NC

Justin Burdett, a Rising Star

Executive Chef Justin Burdett

Executive Chef Justin Burdett


An All-black course with Brasstown New York strip.

An All-black course with Brasstown New York strip.

Ruka’s Table in Highlands has earned a regional reputation for the sheer variety of its inventive dishes, showcasing sophisticated Southern flavors.
The restaurant proudly partners with local farms to source fresh proteins and produce in support of the local slow food movement. Every dish is made from scratch, including the cheese, with seasonal and local ingredients, to invoke a homemade feel along with its authentic and rustic menu.
Behind all this is Executive Chef Justin Burdett.
His talents in the kitchen have earned him a berth on the cooking team at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival’s New and Notables Dinner in March, an honor extended to three rising national chefs. Burdett will team up with chefs Brett Cooper from Outerlands in San Francisco, Michael Toscano from Perla in New York City, pastry chef Jenna Hodges from Colt & Gray in Denver and and Charleston chef Jason Stanhope from FIG.
This selection comes on the heels of Burdett’s receiving a Carolina Rising Star Award from, the online magazine for culinary insiders that honors the up-and-coming American chefs.
“Putting together tasting menus is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen as it keeps everything fresh, artful and vibrant,” said Chef Burdett about creating his four-course tasting dinner for the StarChefs team. “My menu took months of preparation and I really challenged myself by doing dishes like the all-black dish and my nose-to-tail pork dish. The idea was to surprise the taster with a flavor profile that they’re not expecting based upon the color of the dish.”
Burdett’s first course was his silky, butternut squash soup with peppered apples, crème fraiche and local peppers. The second course consisted of North Carolina sheepshead, buttermilk fried fish cheeks, brain ravioli, red-eye gravy consommé and gremolata. The third all-black course featured Brasstown New York strip sous vide in squid ink, Yukon potatoes in squid ink, fermented onion pureed with squid ink, lardo, bone marrow and anchovy vinaigrette, Maldon salt and chives. The finale highlighted a cabbage and okra kimchi stuffed pork trotter, sorghum-glazed pork ribs, and braised tongue-and-ear salad in blackberry vinegar.
Following his bravura performance in Charleston, Chef Burdett will prepare a five-course dinner at the James Beard House in New York City on April 4 to support the foundation whose mission is to celebrate, nurture and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that inspire and educate. Menu highlights include Passed Hors D’oeuvres of Cured North Carolina Lamb Heart, mint gelee, English pea crackers, and radish; North Carolina Trout Terrine with turnip greens, pickled turnips, fermented and puffed rye, sumac mustard; South Carolina Oysters, frozen buttermilk, and vegetable ash; the First Course — North Carolina Flounder, carrot and Meyer lemon broth, and country ham; the Second Course — Nose-to-tail Rabbit, ramp textures, celery and beets; Third Course — Cheerwine Glazed Pork Belly, boiled peanut puree, stewed mustard greens, and rhubarb mustard; Fourth Course – Venison, fermented onion, smoked lardo, and foraged mushrooms; and Fifth Course — Kumquat Cake, lemon gel, pine sorbet, and strawberry.

By Luke Osteen

Champagne Dinner at The Farm

Cozy up with your favorite dinner companion for an enchanted winter’s eve at The Farm at Old Edwards on Saturday, January 25, for this Laurent-Perrier Champagne Dinner. This magical Saturday evening begins with a cocktail arrival followed by a five-course dinner at 7:00 P.M. Sip Laurent-Perrier champagne throughout the evening paired with fresh and innovative dishes by Old Edwards’ Executive Chef Johannes Klapdohr and his team from Madison’s Restaurant.  The dinner menu features a trio of veal, black truffle savoy cabbage, a T-bone steak of Alaskan Halibut, and citrus coriander poached Maine lobster. The dinner will finish with warm flaugnarde of white Valrhona chocolate, preserved mission figs, and dried cranberries. And every delicious course will be paired with elegant Laurent-Perrier champagnes by Madison’s Sommelier Curt Christiansen.  Call (828) 787-2625 to reserve your spots. The cost of the evening is $125 per person including live music, cocktail arrival, and five-course dinner with paired champagnes. For more information about the Laurent-Perrier Champagne Dinner, including the full menu, visit

The Farm at Old Edwards will host a Laurent-Perrier Champagne Dinner on Saturday, January 25.

Cozy up with your favorite dinner companion for an enchanted winter’s eve at The Farm at Old Edwards on Saturday, January 25, for this Laurent-Perrier Champagne Dinner. This magical Saturday evening begins with a cocktail arrival followed by a five-course dinner at 7:00 P.M. Sip Laurent-Perrier champagne throughout the evening paired with fresh and innovative dishes by Old Edwards’ Executive Chef Johannes Klapdohr and his team from Madison’s Restaurant.
The dinner menu features a trio of veal, black truffle savoy cabbage, a T-bone steak of Alaskan Halibut, and citrus coriander poached Maine lobster. The dinner will finish with warm flaugnarde of white Valrhona chocolate, preserved mission figs, and dried cranberries. And every delicious course will be paired with elegant Laurent-Perrier champagnes by Madison’s Sommelier Curt Christiansen.
Call (828) 787-2625 to reserve your spots. The cost of the evening is $125 per person including live music, cocktail arrival, and five-course dinner with paired champagnes. For more information about the Laurent-Perrier Champagne Dinner, including the full menu, visit

Creamy Parsnip Soup


Contributed by Dr. Anastasia Halldin, Nutrition Coach

Contributed by Dr. Anastasia Halldin, Nutrition Coach;

Parsnip soup is a wonderful, healthy, creamy winter soup, which is easily made. Its lightly sweet flavor, its earthiness and the fact that kids love it make it a success every time. Parsnip is a sweet root vegetable, rich in fiber, folate, vitamins C and K. If you like sweet potato dishes, chances are you’d love the sweet parsnip soup, too. The measurement for chopped parsnips is given in cups, because the size of the actual roots differs a lot.
4 cups Parsnips peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cup Almond milk
1 1/2 teaspoons Sea salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
3 Garlic cloves
2 tablespoons Coconut oil or virgin olive oil
1/4 White onion chopped
Place the parsnips into a large pot and cover them with about 5 cups of water (just so that they are barely covered.) Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes or until soft.
Place the contents of a pot in the blender with all other ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
Transfer the mixture back to the pot, bring to a boil. Let stand for five minutes, then serve.

Not a Better Mousetrap

Curt Christiansen,  Wine Navigator Madison’s Restaurant

Curt Christiansen, Wine Navigator; Madison’s Restaurant;

There seems recently to be a new, desperate rush to drink young wines before they are ready. Retail shelves are littered with products designed to chemically or mechanically aerate or “open up” otherwise unapproachable wines.
This leads me to the obvious question. Why are so many people in such a hurry to drink wines that will benefit from a short stay in the cellar? “I want to drink this 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet now, but I have to go to dinner in an hour, or I want to get to the next bottle, or I have to get surgery. I wish they made a device that would prematurely age my wine so I can drink it now. I could just dump the wine into a decanter, but that is so low tech and doesn’t make cool sucking noises.”
Well your prayers have been answered, so it seems, by an egg-shaped device with three channels that brutally aerates your wine. I have found that most of these gadgets, rather than improve an already good wine, neuter or destroy the body and structure of the wine. On a positive note, these devices are actually good at turning an undrinkable, poorly made, gritty tannic wine into a somewhat drinkable poorly-made wine.
Many wine lovers like myself enjoy drinking full-bodied red wines in their youth. To aerate, I turn the bottle upside down into a decanter. When a decanter is not available, I have resorted to a flower vase. The wine gets plenty of air but maintains enough body and character to offend most sensible
wine drinkers.
All joking aside, conduct a test yourself. Decant half of a bottle, then pour the rest of the bottle though the egg. Taste and compare.
Happy holidays and drink well. – Curt

Madison’s Restaurant

Coffee Dusted Venison Loin

Coffee Dusted Venison Loin

The Old Edwards Inn and Spa has won an international reputation for luxury and comfort – Travel and Leisure’s 2103 #2 Best Resort in the United States, 2013 Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List and Travel and Leisure’s 2013 23rd Best Resort in
the World.
That means that the house restaurant – Madison’s – has an extraordinary reputation to live up to.
First impressions are promising. The well-appointed chairs are made for luxuriating. Lighting is subdued and careful, setting the stage for whispered intimacies.
Our server Andi was bright and efficient and imminently conversant about the evening’s choices. Her surprising flashes of humor were a tonic to intimations of stuffiness that such rarefied surroundings could foster.
Now I don’t drink, but my companions relied upon Curt, our wine navigator, for their selection. That’s right, a wine navigator. As far as I can tell, a wine navigator is a sommelier without the $100 attitude. Curt was warm, self-effacing and deeply, deeply knowledgeable. He carefully listened to our dining choices, our experiences, even the peculiarities of our taste buds before making his suggestions. This guy is good.
But all of this is window dressing to the menu. Chef Johannes Klapdohr, who’s won the prestigious King of the Mountain Chefs Challenge twice, is committed to farm-to-table sustainable dining. That means that the foundations of the meal come from Madison’s Organic Kitchen Garden. He also draws upon the produce of local farmers at Brasstown Beef, Sunburst Trout Farm, Jolley Farms, Painted Hills Farm, Barkers Creek Mill, Faith Harvest Farm, Benton’s Country Ham, The Chef’s Garden and Sweet Grass Dairy. This ensures freshness and a menu that’s kaleidoscopic in its variety.
The proof was in the pudding, or in this case, the appetizers. My friend opted for the Roasted Rutabaga and Chestnut Soup, which sounds like something thrown together with leftovers, yet proved to be silken and smooth and redolent of an Asian spice market. My sweetie opted for something simple – the Fresh Garden Salad. Sure enough, you could tell that the vegetables were grown five miles away. Paired with the house-made apple cider vinaigrette and Madison’s has transformed this most simple of salads into something extraordinary.
I went along with the Vanilla Roasted Pear – a heady creation complemented with Kale and Baby Arugula Salad, Candied Walnuts, Butternut Jelly, and Crispy Goat Cheese Fritters, drizzled with an exquisitely sensual Walnut Vinaigrette. This played my taste buds like a
pinball machine.
Our entrees offered further proof that Chef Johannes relishes the promise afforded all of that
extra-fresh produce.
My girlfriend ordered the Riesling Poached Sunburst Trout, which came adorned with Braised Red Cabbage, Butternut Purée, Roasted Pears, Toasted Walnut, and Riesling Froth.
Our friend opted for the Coffee Dusted Venison Loin, served with Cauliflower, Roasted Apples, Matsutake, Whole Grain Mustard Spaetzle, and Chestnut Honey Jus.
For me, it was Roasted Cornish Hen. I know that sounds incredibly bland, but consider this – it came with Green and White Asparagus, Boiled Peanut Purée, Roasted New Potatoes, and a remarkable RC Cola Barbecue Sauce. You know how the Highlands Olde Mountain Christmas Parade always astonishes you with its unique combination of the comfort of down home and the elegantly sophisticated? Well, this humble hen did the same thing for my palate.
Here’s something sad – I really haven’t gone into any detail about the richness of our selections and the deeply seductive ambience. I’ve run out of space.
But I have just enough room for two more words – Chocolate soufflé!
By Luke Osteen | Photo by Marjorie Fielding

Star of the Bar at Wolfgang’s

This month’s Star of the Bar, Wolfgang Bistro’s Heather Johnson.

This month’s Star of the Bar, Wolfgang Bistro’s Heather Johnson.


To create her signature Pomegranate Martini, Heather combines vodka and POM liqueur with fresh-squeezed juices, then gives it the vigorous martini shake.


An extra dimension of flavor is added to both the rim and the interior of the glass by a beautiful and zesty orange twist.


Celebrate the holidays with your favorite wine, beer or cocktail at Wolfgang’s Bistro. The gentle warmth of the fireplace chases away winter’s chill as you chat with friends.
Bar Manager Heather Johnson and all the dedicated professionals at Wolfgang’s look forward to serving your favorite beverage. Wolfgang’s is the winner of multiple awards including Best of Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator for 11 years for their extensive wine list. They also offer a number of craft beers and have recently added some craft liquors to their inventory.
Heather has worked in several different Western North Carolina cities. She really enjoys meeting people and likes the challenge of making sure that every customer finds the beverage that they enjoy most. Whether you are a wine drinker, a beer or cocktail drinker, Heather says you will find the taste you prefer here at Wolfgang’s.
When it is time to branch out from your tried and true drink, check out two unique martinis offered
at Wolfgang’s.
For a slightly tart flavor, you’ll enjoy the hint of fresh basil added to your favorite martini. For a slightly sweeter drink, the pomegranate juice will tingle your
taste buds.
Think about Wolfgang’s as Highlands’ neighborhood bar. It is the place where friends and neighbors come to enjoy their favorite libation while catching up on the latest news. It is also a great place for newcomers to get up-to-speed on places to see and events that are
coming soon.
Jovial laughter fills the air as people enjoy tasty small bites along with their favorite beverage.
Heather has served tables but prefers to work behind the bar. At the bar, she gets the opportunity to interact with her customers more. She loves sharing her knowledge of the area with customers and hearing their tales of adventure. At first glance you might never dream that Heather is a thespian at heart. Her repertoire includes a number of Shakespearean roles plus performances in the Agatha Christy show “Patience.” Ask her about her role as Suzy in “Wait Until Dark” or one of her roles in various cabaret shows. Many famous actors/actresses have supported themselves in similar roles like Heather is today.
For more than nineteen years Wolfgang’s has been offering quality food and superior service in a friendly, casual atmosphere. Enjoy light bites in the Bistro beginning at 4:00 P.M. or your favorite selection from the full menu of the restaurant beginning at 5:30 P.M. Wolfgang’s is located at 474 Main Street, Highlands. or reservations call (828) 526-3807.

By Wiley Sloan | Photos by Marjorie Fielding

The Orchard

Grimshawe’s Ribeye

Grimshawe’s Ribeye

Keyline Pie

Keyline Pie

The Orchard, Cashiers’ sumptuous dining destination, is housed in a marvelously rustic cabin sheltered at the edge of, naturally, an apple orchard.
This rambling 100-year-old farmhouse is jammed with antiques, road signs, vintage newspaper clippings and an attic’s worth of ephemera that give the place a cheerful, homespun feel. You can tell that this is the kind of restaurant that attracts both boisterous conversations between friends and families and whispered intimacies between couples.
In fact, with just a little imagination, you get a sense of Cashiers’ early days when the Valley attracted guests from across the Southeast looking for a getaway from the stresses of life. The Orchard is the kind of place that invites you to unlace your shoes and sip a cool drink.
“We wanted a restaurant that would give our clientele a chance to relax while at the same time, enjoy some really fine dining,” explains Chad Boswell, who with his brother Travis owns The Orchard and keeps it rolling along. “We wanted to give people an experience that they wouldn’t forget for a while.”
That’s a pretty tall order and like mostly lofty goals, the proof is in the pudding – or in the case of The Orchard, the Panthertown Pork Tenderloin. This herb-rubbed cut is pan-roasted and enrobed in a black cherry demi-glace. It’s then plated with sweet fried onion rings and topped with garlic-chive goat cheese crumbles.
“We’re proud of our Orchard Chicken, too,” explains Chad. “It’s a fresh, all-natural chicken breast that’s stuffed with an apple, walnut, sage and provolone cheese stuffing. We bread it and lightly fry it and drizzle it with an apricot glaze. It’s probably our signature dish.”
Travis and Chad’s menu boasts meat and poultry raised locally and produce grown by local farms. This commitment ensures rich, flavorful dishes.
And somehow, despite the distance from the shore, The Orchard has incredibly fresh seafood, spotlighted in a nightly fish special.
In fact, The Orchard has a tradition of combining the best of seafood with the finest home cooking. A perennial menu favorite is the unforgettable Shelley’s Shrimp and Grits – large shrimp, andouille sausage, applewood smoked bacon, Vidalia onions, red peppers, squash and wild mushrooms all seasoned, stir-fried and served on a bed of locally ground “Anson Mill” cheese grits.
That deep variety of seafood doesn’t mean that The Orchard ignores the local fish. My sweetie opted for the Glenville Fried Trout — a gorgeous rainbow caught a few miles away, pecan breaded and served with a black-eyed pea relish and a honey dijon tartar sauce. She was reluctant to share with me.
I had the Grimshawe’s Ribeye. It was tenderly marbled and dipped in a subtle and provocative Worcestershire marinade.
(Here’s a riddle: Everyone knows about Grimshawe’s, the tiny Post Office nestled in Whiteside Cove. Tiny? Supposedly the smallest in the United States. So why does The Orchard call its monumental 12-ounce ribeye “Grimshawe’s?” Wouldn’t a majestic local feature like Whiteside be more appropriate?)
There are desserts freshly made every day and this is definitely not the place to demonstrate restraint. I ended up with a slice of Key Lime Pie that was light and tart and redolent of the Tropics. My sweetie wisely refrained from finishing her platter-sized trout and was able to find room for a sinfully-rich Crème Brulee.
Just as essential to The Orchard’s down-home ambience as that farm-fresh menu is the warm attention lavished by the staff. You’re made to feel at home. If you’re local, they probably know you. If you’re a visitor, well, it’s a marvelous welcome to the community.
Dinner reservations are highly recommended.
The Orchard is located just one mile south of the Crossroads on Highway 107 (across from Cashiers United Methodist Church). For more information and reservations, call (828) 743-7614.

By Luke Osteen | Photos by Marjorie Fielding

Stars of the Bars

This month’s Star of the Bar, On the Verandah’s Alexa Orr.

This month’s Star of the Bar, On the Verandah’s Alexa Orr.


Alexa mixes Pear Absolute, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Ginger Liqueur and grapefruit juice, gives it a shake, pours into chilled martini glass  and tops off with Pom Liquer.

Alexa mixes Pear Absolute, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Ginger Liqueur and grapefruit juice, gives it a shake, pours into chilled martini glass and tops off with Pom Liquer.

Garnish with orange zest, and you have yourself a Blood Orange Sunset.

Garnish with orange zest, and you have yourself a Blood Orange Sunset.

The late fall sun sends shards of gold and crimson dancing across Lake Sequoyah as the staff at On the Verandah Restaurant prepare for their evening customers.
Chef Andrew Figel is completing the early prep on tonight’s menu while Bar Manager Alexa Orr finishes checking her stock in preparation for folks in search of their favorite cocktail.
Long known as one of Highlands’ premier restaurants, visitors to On the Verandah come from throughout the Southeast. Whether they’re first-time-visitors or old favorites, Alexa greets them with her million-dollar smile and an irresistible hello. Don’t be fooled by her youthful demeanor, she knows her way around a bar. Her father was a bartender so she carries the DNA of a master mixologist.
When it’s time to decompress from a busy day or you are looking for a change of scenery, the Dugout Bar at OTV is a great place to enjoy your favorite libation. Martini lovers say that Alexa creates the best martini in town. New this season is her Blood Orange Sunset martini made with Absolut Pear Vodka, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Domain Decanton Ginger Liqueur, and grapefruit juice with pomegranate liqueur drizzle. It’s pretty as a picture with a taste that’ll capture your taste buds. Rumor has it that she also makes a mean Manhattan. Let her create your favorite drink for you.
With football in full swing, stop at OTV to cheer on your alma mater while enjoying your favorite micro-brew beers and a snack from the Light fare menu. Current favorites include Stone India Pale Ale from California, Canada’s La Fin Dun Monde and Atlanta’s Sweetwater 420. There are many more, so if you aren’t sure which beer you want, let Alexa guide you. OTV’s extensive wine list offers a wide array of tasty wines by the glass or bottle. Alexa will gladly help you pair the right wine with your meal. Busy nights can be a challenge for any bartender but Alexa is seldom flustered. Her skills for multi-tasking will amaze you. With a smile and a nod of the head she greets customers while preparing a bevy of cocktails. She ticks off the orders with precision, ensuring that each drink is made-to-order. With a shake and a splash she garnishes each glass and sends it on its way.
Her love of people is evident. She exudes charm and thrives in making sure that everyone leaves OTV relaxed and upbeat.
When not behind the bar, Alexa enjoys creating jewelry and painting pastels.
The next time you have reservations at OTV, go a little early and hang out in the bar with Alexa or just drop by for a causal drink on your way home. On the Verandah is located at 1532 Franklin Road, just a few blocks from Highlands’ Main Street. For reservations or more information call (828) 526-2338 or go to

By Wiley Sloan | Photos by Marjorie Fielding

Drink How You Like

Curt Christiansen, Wine Navigator Madison’s Restaurant   |

Curt Christiansen, Wine Navigator
Madison’s Restaurant |

I had an interesting conversation with a customer recently. He told me the wine he liked, but I didn’t have that particular wine. Based on his suggestion, I recommended a new alternative, he tasted and loved it. While I was pouring, I noticed he looked a bit distressed and he soon asked if I minded if he poured his own wine. I offered no objection and he gave a visible sigh of relief. He said he likes to pour his own wine and some reactions have made him uncomfortable.
He thanked me for not correcting his pronunciation, not judging his wine knowledge and generally not talking down to him.
Wine is something to be enjoyed by all, frivolously or seriously, neither deserving more or less respect. Too many wine organizations encourage their members to believe that this is the best Merlot or Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
Drink what you like, the way you like it and don’t apologize. Don’t be afraid to try new things and remember, your dining experience is about you.
Cheers, Curt Christiansen, Wine Navigator

Anything But Chardonnay?

Curt Christiansen,  Wine Navigator Madison’s Restuarant

Curt Christiansen, Wine Navigator
Madison’s Restaurant,

There is a strangely persistent moniker in the wine world – ABC: Anything But Chardonnay.

Ten years ago I could understand this backlash against chardonnay. Overly oaked, flabby, buttery chardonnays literally lined up to get their 90 plus rating. I remember picking up a popular wine magazine’s chardonnay issue and looking through four pages of chardonnays deemed worthy of 90 points or higher. Four pages.

Ten years later however, things are vastly different. I taste on average about 80 wines a week and I am always excited when it’s a chardonnay. I taste some from Oregon that resemble a Grand Cru Meursault. Some are completely new interpretations of chardonnay. While an old school chardonnay from Ric Forman is raved over by those who try it, though the style has not changed for decades. Chasseur single vineyard chardonnays are as appealing as any wine can get. Every Alex Gambal white burgundy (chardonnay) is as different and exceptional as any other varietal. Every vintage of the Lucien LeMoine Bourgogne Blanc is a celebration of passion and dedication to chardonnay.

My point is that ABC is not over. It is irrelevant. We are in the midst of a chardonnay renaissance – therefore rules and preconceptions no longer apply. In this climate of farm-to-table, organic, sustainable and biodynamic farming, it’s all about the terrier, the land. Today’s chardonnay is being made by what nature provides the winemaker, not by over manipulation.

Don’t get me wrong. There will always be wine made for ratings as long as there are rating hounds. But in my opinion, there has never been a better time to drink chardonnay. So, I say to the ABC people, thank you, renew your membership and drink something else because there is not enough of these great chardonnays to go around.

Just finishing an amazing glass of Davis Family chardonnay,

Curt Christiansen, Wine Navigator


Will You Walk the Plank?

worklikeacaptainMurky waters lap against the deserted shore of Lake Sequoyah. A heavy moon hangs low in the sky casting pale light on weathered bones.

In the distance a flag is heard rippling on an abandoned vessel on the shoreline of On the Verandah. Creatures are seen stirring inside beckoning all those who dare to enter the party. Strains of music from the Chuck Folds Five Band drift across the water enticing listeners to come inside.

On the Verandah summons those who are brave enough to “walk the plank” to join them on October 31 starting at 6:30 P.M. until the last bone has dropped, to feast and dance the night away. All hands are invited aboard for $30 per person and $5 for small mateys.

Captain Andrew Figel will be serving bounties of the sea and treasures of the land. First Mate Trae Ellison will be pouring tempting grogs and specialty ales to quench any carouser’s thirst. Call (828) 526-2338 to reserve your spot amongst the living for a night to remember.

Contributed by Courtney Scarborough


Wild Thyme Gourmet



Crab and Corn Chowder

Salmon with a Vidalia Onion Crust

Salmon with a Vidalia Onion Crust

In less than a year at its new location, Wild Thyme Gourmet has firmly established itself as a Highlands Main Street institution.

Part of its appeal is the luxurious full-service bar, plush in its appointments and designed for sparkling conversation. The new location has allowed Wild Thyme to expand its wine list (earning it The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the last three years) and beer selection (both bottle and on tap).

The dining room is bright and cozy and adorned with gorgeous art.

Wild Thyme’s patio, with its bright red umbrellas, recalls the casual elegance of European bistros – during the day it’s the perfect spot to view the endlessly fascinating parade of humanity.  At night, it’s candle-lit and perfect for whispered intimacies.

But let’s face it, that all takes back seat to Wild Thyme Gourmet’s exquisitely composed menu.

That menu derives from the genius of chef/owner Dindu Lama. He learned the fundamentals of kitchen work in his native Nepal, but it was his immigration to America that sparked his passion for culinary art. It was his arrival in Highlands that brought his gifts to their full flowering.

“It was good to be in America, I learned to cook Chinese and Thai food, but New York is so big and so different from home,” he explains. “But a friend of my brother was a chef at On the Verandah and he said I should come to live in Highlands. He said there was work and the people were nice.”

A visit convinced Dindu that Highlands was closer to the America he imagined as a boy.

After a lot of hard work, fate provided the perfect opportunity.

Now that he owns Wild Thyme, Dindu’s menu is a provocative blend of nouvelle cuisine infused with Asian spices and sensibilities.

Some people visit for a quick lunch – a salad or soup of sandwich.  For them, the bistro is just a stopping point in a day built around shopping or golf or a vigorous hike. And sure enough, the food is fresh and delicious and undeniably nutritious.

They’re wise choices and it’s a good strategy, but I recommend you come to Wild Thyme ravenous.

That’s how my sweetie and I arrived, and we dove into each selection with unbridled delight.

She started with a wonderfully constructed Heart of Palm Salad – an emerald bed of mixed field greens, julienned vegetables, splashed with a carefully balanced Balsamic vinaigrette.

For me, The Wedge – a majestic chunk of iceberg lettuce drizzled with house-made bleu cheese dressing and warm bacon. It was difficult to share with Tricia.

The Wedge was complemented by a bowl of Crab and Corn Chowder that was hearty and delicately spiced. I did not share.

The singular quality of the salads set the tone for the entrees that followed.

My sweetie’s Salmon with a Vidalia Onion Crust had been slowly oven-roasted with a delicate citrus beurre blanc. The shallots in the reduction acted as a perfect complement to the salmon’s just-hauled-out-of-the-water freshness.

For me, it was the Panéed Breast of Chicken, a subtle parmesan-and-rosemary-crusted creation, served with a lemon caper butter sauce.

Despite my previous reluctance, we shared entrees because, come on, it’s Salmon with a Vidalia Onion Crust!

In fact, so right were the entrees that I ordered Waterfall Beef to go. It’s a spicy stir fry of beef tenderloin, fresh vegetables, ginger, cilantro and lime, served on a bed of basmati rice. Once, a thousand years ago, I lived in Bangkok and darned if Dindu didn’t return me to those halcyon days.

There’s obviously a lot of attention lavished on these dishes. Whether you’re one of those who considers Wild Thyme a quick stop bistro or you’re looking for a place to relax and indulge, you’ll find that Dindu and his crew have a place that’s just right for you.

Wild Thyme Gourmet is located at 343 Main Street in Town Square.  Call ahead for reservations at (828) 526-4035.  It’s open seven days, lunch 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., dinner from  5:30 P.M..-‘til.

By Luke Osteen



Cyprus Restaurant in Highlands NC


Here’s the problem about reviewing the menu at Cyprus: By design it’s kaleidoscopic, changing on a regular basis from Italian to Thai, Mediterranean, French, South American, Pan-Asian or Caribbean native cuisines.

Of course, that’s not really a problem if your palate is a world traveler.

Having said that, there are constants to Cyprus that’ll ensure the validity of this piece, regardless of which evening you visit.

First, there’s the luxurious décor, which informs every moment of the experience. Walls are tricked out in impossibly rich shades of olive, orange and sage. The copper-edged bar is at once elegant and electric with its highlights of deep red. The dining room is spacious enough to allow intimate conversation while larger tables are made for boisterous exchanges – Cyprus is that kind of place. It’s all enhanced by soft music and a carefully designed lighting scheme.

Yet somehow, even with all the care given to the details, the center of the restaurant is the dazzling open kitchen overseen by owner/chef Nicholas Figel. It’s an endlessly fascinating show that’s inviting and endlessly surprising, much like the Cyprus experience itself.

On the evening my companion and I were there, Nick’s kitchen was turning out astonishing creations.

We started out with fresh-from-the-sea appetizers – South African Kwazulu Coast Barbecued Red Grouper with Pumpkin and Norland Red Potato Souffle, spread upon a succulent Dutch Snap Pea Salad for my sweetie; Oahu Napali Coast Mixed Sushi Rolls with Wild Salmon, Pineapple, Pepper and Spam, served with Wasabi and Pickled Ginger for me.

If the inclusion of Spam on such a rarified menu surprises you, well, that’s the point. As one who lived for many years on Oahu, I can promise you that Spam is a staple of the Hawaiian diet. Nick is faithful to his peasant-inflected cuisine and there’s an unshakable authenticity that infuses every part of Cyprus’ menu.

“It takes a little more effort, but I regularly shop the ethnic markets in Atlanta to ensure that we maintain uncompromised quality in each dish that we serve,” Nick says. “In the kitchen, we go the extra mile to express ideas in food which are sincere, and we remain mindful that our food is a vessel for communication
with you.”

Sure enough, the extra attention gave the appetizers a fresh immediacy that set the stage for our far-corners-of-the-world entrees – Cape Flattery Washington Coast Grilled Troll King Salmon with Transparent Apple & Sour Cherry Coulis, Barbecued All Blue Potatoes and Tellecherry Black Peppercorn Compound Butter; and New Zealand Coromandel Peninsula Roast Rack of Lamb Seasoned with Garlic and Rosemary, Crushed Potato, Dijon Mustard, and Fresh
Plum Tomato.

Since I only have a limited amount of space here, let me just say that the food was exquisite. Cyprus is celebrating 10 years and its reputation has spread far beyond this little town. That should be testimony enough.

And though our meals were deeply satisfying on so many levels, my sweetie and I wisely saved room for a couple of desserts, the kind that wake you up years later with impossible cravings. She selected the Lavender Ice Cream Sandwich dipped in delicate wildflower honey, while I fell hard for Quetzalcoatl’s Dream – a heady blending of Cayenne and Cinnamon Ice Cream and Seasoned Dark Chocolate Ganache over Chocolate Cake. There was nothing subtle about my choice, it was a full-out seduction.

And while I’ve devoted most of this to the unforgettable food and the luxurious décor, I have to mention the service staff. While there’s an air of flash and showmanship to Cyprus, the servers are a perfect complement – unobtrusive, alert and, quietly confident.

Cyprus is located on the Dillard Road, four-tenths of a mile from Main Street.  Call (828) 526-4429 or visit for reservations.

You won’t need your passport.

By Luke Osteen



Stars of the Bar on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau

Sasha Kikoin and Olivia Lovell are two of The Ugly Dog Pub’s bar stars.

Sasha Kikoin and Olivia Lovell are two of The Ugly Dog Pub’s bar stars.

Carpano Sweet Vermouth and Bulleit Rye Whiskey combine perfectly into a classicly delicious Manhattan.


Add whiskey and vermouth.

Add whiskey and vermouth.


Combine with ice and shake it up.

Combine with ice and shake it up.


Pour into a martini glass.

Pour into a martini glass.


Top with bourbon infused cherry.

Top with bourbon infused cherry.

Cocktails, and the art of making them well, have undergone a strong resurgence in the last few years.  This passion for quality drinks, which can be referred to as ‘liquid baking,’ is alive and well in Highlands.  Liquor-by-the-drink has only been allowed here since 2007.  Once approved, our local establishments lost no time in providing quality cocktails to Highlands.

One of the most well-known watering holes in Highlands is The Ugly Dog Public House (a.k.a. The Dog) located at 294 South Fourth Street, “On the Hill.”  “The Dog” truly is your neighborhood pub where the staff will greet you with a smile and your favorite libation.

The Dog’s bar menu includes a wide variety of local craft beers, fine wines and a full range of spirits.   Feel like you are in a rut with your cocktail?  Try something new and exciting. If you enjoy a Gin and Tonic, give their Jack Rudy small batch tonic a try. Their experienced staff includes Olivia Lovell, Justin Taylor, Caprisha Hall, Becca Ashburn, Sasha Kikoin, and Lindsay Gearhart. They are all well-trained in the art of mixology and are anxious to be sure that everyone gets their drink-of-choice each and every time they visit the Dog.

Branch out from your usual.  Put these stars to work creating unique drinks for your pallet. Let Becca make you a Skinny Margarita or watch attentively as Olivia creates the cool and refreshing Mojito. Trotter’s customers rave about his Puck – a tantalizing combination of organic cucumber vodka, gin and a splash or two of tonic. Don’t worry about stumping this talented group of bartenders – they are ready for any challenge. Caprisha relishes in making the Sazerac-the New Orleans version of the Old Fashion and Sasha makes a Manhattan with the Dog’s own bourbon infused cherries.  Lindsay and Justin’s customers gravitate more to one of the many craft beers and ales on tap.  Be sure to pair your favorite drink with some of the tasty foods that The Dog is known for.  Chef Adam Bresnahan is constantly revising the menu depending on the season to keep it fresh and delicious. For the after dinner crowd, liqueurs, ports or brandies are available for a special night cap.

The Dog’s Proprietors-Kay and Thomas Craig sing the praises of all of their staff. “No matter how hectic things get here or how late the party goes, the entire staff works hard to give you a great experience,” Kay tells me.

Stop by The Dog often to lift your spirits. Don’t expect to see dancing on the bar, but the bluegrass music every Wednesday and the bands on Saturdays will get you up and moving. When you visit The Dog expect a fun time with tasty food and drink and a welcoming smile.

By Wiley Sloan

Nominate your favorite mixologist to be the next Star of the Bar at:


Highlands Culinary Weekend

anna-kincade-john-collette-cashiers-ncThe 7th Annual Culinary Weekend takes place Thursday, November 7, through Sunday, November 10.

Join us as we embrace an amazing weekend of food, wine and fun in the beautiful mountains of Highlands.

Kick off the weekend at the Opening Night Celebration, Thursday, November 7, at 7:00 P.M. at the esteemed Highlands Country Club. Enjoy fine wines and the delectable cuisine of Highlands’ local chefs.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, fill your itineraries with an array of activities, tastings and dinners hosted by local restaurants, merchants and accommodations. Plan to attend the annual Sip & Stroll  from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Friday and Saturday, November 8-9, in the downtown area.

This year’s participating restaurants include Cyprus International Cuisine, Kilwin’s, Lakeside Restaurant, Old Edwards Inn & Spa, Ruka’s Table, The Gamekeeper’s Tavern, Mountain Fresh Grocery, The Ugly Dog Pub, Rosewood Market, and Wolfgang’s Restaurant & Wine Bistro. Participating Wineries include;  Empire Distributors, Mutual Distributing, Lambert Bridge, Silver Oak Cellars, Cakebread Cellars, Justin Vineyards, and Kobrand. Sip & Stroll participants include; 4th Street Boutique, Acorns & Acorns on Church, Alyxandra’s Boutique, Highlands Fine Art and Estate Jewelry, Hen House, Mountain Fresh Grocery, Oakleaf Flower & Garden, TJ Baileys, Vivace, Xtreme Threads, Potpourri and Potpourri 2, Cabin Couture, Cabin Casuals, Bags on Main and Wit’s End.

Tickets to the Opening Night Celebration are $75 and can be purchased in advance via the website or by calling The Highlands Chamber of Commerce at (866) 526-5841.

The Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is the presenting sponsor of Culinary Weekend. Event sponsors include The Laurel Magazine, Old Edwards Inn & Spa, White Oak Realty, WHLC 104.5, The Highlander Newspaper, Inland Seafood, A Moment In Time Photography and Trudie Gagne Photography.

The Highlands Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities or to be a part of the 7th Annual Culinary Weekend, please call (866) 526-5841 or visit

Contributed by Laura Huerta


Pancake Breakfast Helps Fund Scholarships

It is exciting to think of the 50+ high school graduates that we have helped over the past several years and are currently aiding in their quest for a higher education, whether it be college or a trade school. Many of these young people have gone on to careers not only locally but in far flung places as well. Our scholars have become, among other things, nurses, medical techs, teachers, EMS personnel, mechanics, cosmetologists, business owners, chefs and attorneys. The list goes on and on.

Qualifying students may receive up to a total of $6,800 in support. They must submit an application, along with their transcripts and two letters of recommendation. Once this is done, our scholarship committee follows up with a call. Representatives from our club attend high school graduation and present the graduate with a certificate representing our support. The student must maintain a reasonable grade point average while on scholarship, sending us a copy of their
college transcripts.

The reason this is so gratifying is because most of our fund raising is funneled into these scholarships. Included under that umbrella are our pancake breakfasts, held on the fourth Saturday of the month; our local cookbook, A Second Helping; our annual auction in July, and the chocolate fest in October, where all things chocolate are sold. We appreciate your attendance at these events, where 100% of the profit is given back to the community!

Contributed by Margaret Spraggins



Award-Winning Cuisine at Wolfgangs Restaurant and Wine Bistro in Highlands NC

Sommelier Annelize Giliomee, Chef  Christopher Dupont , and Chef Wolfgang Green.

Sommelier Annelize Giliomee, Chef Christopher Dupont , and Chef Wolfgang Green.

Chef Wolfgang Green and his dedicated staff offer Highlanders a truly memorable dining experience in a comfortable, elegant setting.  Dine alfresco in the garden pavilion near the waterfall or fireside in the dining room of the historic Gray Cottage.  Enjoy a summer afternoon on the patio or grab a table in the Bistro.

Prior to coming to Highlands Wolfgang honed his skills as Executive Chef for the Brennan Family of New Orleans’s renowned Commander’s Palace. Chef Christopher Gregoire Dupont has brought his classical French training supplemented with recipes gathered through years of experience and travel.  Enjoy recipes from Northern California, France and the Pacific Rim plus his unique pasta specials, all made in-house.  The chefs produce a dining experience that is second-to-none.

Choose from over 800 wine selections or let Sommelier Annelize Giliomee find the perfect wine to complement your dinner. She is passionate about winemaking and excels in finding wines that are the hidden gems from the world’s best boutique wineries all at reasonable prices.

The Bistro menu includes a wide selection of small bites complimented by great wines and cocktails. New to the bistro is a Hawaiian Pu Pu Platter. Also, served on weekends are freshly-shucked Oysters on the Half Shell.  I like to drop in often to enjoy Wanda’s Cream Cheese Jalapeno Dip, and the Lamb Chops.  My wife’s favorites include the Lamb Chops or the Oysters Rockefeller.

Wolfgang’s dinner menu includes something for every palate.  Enjoy the freshest seafood, tender Black Angus aged beef, veal, and lamb, along with the restaurant’s signature Short Ribs.     Satisfy your sweet tooth with a choice of Strawberries Romanoff, Bananas Foster, Bavarian Chocolate Mousse or your favorite dessert wine or cordial.  Let your kids choose from Wolfgang’s special Children’s Menu.

Over the years Wolfgang’s Restaurant has been honored by a wide array of awards.  For the past 11 years they have received The Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence.” They were voted as the best place for dining in Highlands by Southern Living, plus “The Place You Must Eat in Macon County” by Our State Magazine.   Highlanders voted Wolfgang’s the Best Restaurant and Best Wine List in The Highlander Newspaper’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

There’s no better place to celebrate a special occasion than at Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro.  Whether you’re hosting a rehearsal dinner, a wedding reception, a birthday party, or any other special event, be sure to let Wolfgang, Mindy and their professional staff create an event that you’ll remember for years to come.

If you are not a regular diner at Wolfgang’s you owe it to yourself to see what many Highlanders already know:  “Wolfgang’s Restaurant offers a truly unique dining experience in a comfortable, casually-elegant setting.” Smiling faces, quality food, friendly atmosphere – there’s nothing better than Wolfgang’s.  For more information check out their website at or call them at (828) 526-3807.

By Wiley Sloan


The Kitchen CarryAway & Casserole Kitchen

Chef Holly Roberts’ The Kitchen CarryAway catering business ramps up with the arrival of spring. For information or to place an order, visit the lower level of the Peggy Crosby Center in Highlands or call (828) 526-2110.

Chef Holly Roberts’ The Kitchen CarryAway catering business ramps up with the arrival of spring. For information or to place an order, visit the lower level of the Peggy Crosby Center in Highlands or call (828) 526-2110.

Oh, the welcome signs of spring! Beautiful yellow daffodils dancing in the mountain sunshine, dogwood blossoms in their resplendent white stir in the gentle breezes.

Tantalizing aromas drift down Highlands’ Fifth Street as Holly Roberts and her dedicated staff prepare an ever-widening array of taste-tempting casseroles, hearty soups and delectable hors d’oeuvres. Check out The Kitchen’s Facebook page to see what’s new and exciting for this season.

Remember to stop by The Kitchen CarryAway anytime you need something nourishing and tasty — whether it’s for a simple evening meal or an evening of entertaining, The Kitchen can feed your guests in style.

Throughout the winter, Holly has kept us all healthy and happy with a variety of items including her Beef Tenderloin, Vegetable Soup and her Black-eyed Pea Stew. I always enjoy her Chicken Tetrazzini; the Seafood Tetrazzini is good, too.

Need a good side dish or an appetizer for that “just planned” get-together? Stop by the Kitchen Carry Away to select items from the freezer. You’ll be able to choose from several different casseroles, a variety of soups, appetizers, hors d oeuvres and desserts. Vegetarians applaud Holly’s recent offering Veggie Bake — a sumptuous layer of cheese grits with mixed beans, squash, kale and tomatoes. This is great as an entrée or a side dish. Have you tried her Lemon Pepper Boursin? Don’t miss this
tasty appetizer.

Holly wants to thank all of her loyal customers who have helped her fulfill her dreams of helping others. In October 2012, we told you about her new venture, The Casserole Kitchen, named after her Grandmother’s Catering business. Since its opening last fall, The Casserole Kitchen has provided food to all of us hungry winter residents, plus Holly has generously donated $900 to area non-profits like the Food Pantry of Highlands, MANNA Foodbank, Fishes and Loaves in Cashiers and the Gathering Table. Be sure to take advantage of the many delicious casseroles throughout the summer.

Holly is launching her website this spring for The Casserole Kitchen. There you can select items and Holly will ship them to you. Plan early and let Holly help you eliminate stress in your life. She’ll get your casseroles out on Monday or Tuesday and you will have them on Thursday. You’ll be ready for that weekend dinner party with
no fuss.

The Kitchen CarryAway and Catering is a trusted source of well-prepared foods for your entertaining and everyday needs. It’s located in the lower level of the Peggy Crosby Center at 350 South Fifth Street. Throughout April give Holly a call to order your items. The Kitchen opens May 1st; stop by from 12:00 noon to 5:00 P.M. daily or you can call Holly at (828) 526-2110. Don’t forget the Kitchen Carry Away and Catering for all your special party needs. For a small soiree for six or a party for dozens, Holly will help you entertain in style. Let her create a special menu that fits your unique desires.

By Wiley Sloan


Southern Hospitality in Napa

Boo Beckstoffer in her  beautiful Napa Valley  tasting room.

Boo Beckstoffer in her
beautiful Napa Valley
tasting room.

I’ve been to California wine country several times in the past, tromping through vineyards and the famous Rutherford Dust to learn about the nuances of viticulture from hardworking vineyard managers.

I’ve enjoyed barrel sampling with winemakers amidst the clanging of pumps and the bottling machines of a working winery.  Sure, it was fun, but the learning curve was aimed high and the motives were far
from hedonistic.

My recent trip to Napa was very different. Instead of going as a vineyard and winery owner, I made this pilgrimage as a tourist. I loved it.

There were different types of tasting experiences— the grandeur of Ovid Winery to an intimate tasting in the downtown St. Helena office of Notre Vin, a winery owned by Denis and May-Britt Malbec, formerly of Château Latour, a First Growth in Bordeaux.

Lasting memories and friendships were made on the last day in Napa with a wine tasting with Boo Beckstoffer, an Atlanta native married to Tuck Beckstoffer whose family is one of the largest vineyard owners in Napa. His family is of the land, devoted to the cultivation of great wine through a deep connection to the vines and those who carefully tend them.

I met Boo at the public tennis courts and followed her in a labyrinth-like weave to one of the Beckstoffer Vineyards.  We tasted Hogwash, a delicious, dry rosé that will certainly grace my table as well as the Semper Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Tuck, Boo’s husband, made the Semper brand of wines as his vinous love letters to Boo.

The Southern hospitality of the wine tasting in the vineyard on that sunny winter day– Boo, another friend of mine, and an interloping jack rabbit that squeezed under the fence Peter Rabbit style–was the true highlight of the trip.

The wines of Boo and Tuck Beckstoffer will be among the many boutique offerings featured at the Bascom’s upcoming Collective Spirits Wine andFood Festival from May 16 to 18. Please see the Bascom’s website for more details.

Contributed by Mary Ann Hardman


Curried Quinoa and Arugula Salad

Contributed by Dr. Anastasia Halldin, Nutrition Coach

Contributed by Dr. Anastasia Halldin, Nutrition Coach




After an overload of heavy winter foods, there is nothing that tastes more like spring in the mountains than a fresh, crunchy salad. A salad can easily become a satisfying meal, if you add the right foods to it. Adding nuts, seeds, cooked grains, and chopped eggs adds protein and nutritional value to your regular cucumber-tomato salad.

Curried quinoa, arugula and goat cheese salad is a celebration of spring on a plate. It is bright, colorful and full of life. Cucumbers cleanse the kidneys; arugula supplies iron and folic acid; tomatoes give you lycopene; quinoa is a complete protein with all essential amino acids; curry contains cancer-fighting turmeric;  parsley is a good source of potassium; calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium and avocado supplies you with the right kind of fats, while goat cheese provides calcium.

You can take this salad to an outside picnic  (take the dressing separately, in a Tupperware container.)

Curried Quinoa, Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad

Makes 3-4 portions


1 cup quinoa, cooked

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

½ teaspoon curry
Pinch cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon sea salt, divided

1 ½ cups arugula leaves

½ cup parsley, diced

1 medium avocado, sliced

1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced

1 large tomato, chopped

1 tablespoon apple
cider vinegar

optional: 1/3 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled


In a medium sauté pan, sauté cooked quinoa in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add curry powder, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. Combine well and sauté for 3 minutes.

Set aside.

Arrange arugula, parsley, avocado, cucumber slices, tomato on a large plate in layers. Put the warm quinoa mixture on top, in the center.

Sprinkle with goat cheese crumbles.

In a cup, combine apple cider vinegar, the rest of the oil and salt. Pour this dressing over the salad and serve immediately.


Wine and Dine on The Mountain in Highlands NC

Wine and Dine on the Mountain will kick off the 2012 culinary season in Highlands, April 13th and 14th, by pulling together a sizzling line-up of fine wines, superb food and fine art. Guests of all events will watch the wines come to life, as Thomas Arvid paints for the occasions.

The “Wine and Dine on the Mountain” weekend is a sensory extravaganza that begins with a “Blue Jeans, Bluegrass Spring Harvest Barn Dinner” at the Farm at Old Edwards on Friday, April 13th. Pisoni Vineyards Wines will be on the tables throughout the dinner. On Saturday, Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro will host David Arthur Vineyards with winemaker Nile Zacherle and four-course dinner starting at 6:30 p.m.

Named one of the top “25 Artists You Should Know” by US Art magazine, Thomas Arvid receives critical acclaim for his monumental compositions of wine and his mastery of light, depth and reflection. Inspired by the grace and hospitality of the southern culture in which he lives, Arvid’s compositions are an invitation to take the time to appreciate sharing a great bottle and good conversation with friends.

“I can’t think of a better place to spend an evening with great friends,” says Arvid. “Highlands and events like this – with wonderful food, wine and culture – truly foster camaraderie, similar to what I try to evoke in each of my paintings.  I’ll have my easel with me; it’s going to be another inspiring weekend in the mountains.”

“Last year’s event really set the bar for a fun weekend of wine and food,” says Richard Delany, President of the Old Edwards Inn and Spa. “We’re looking forward this year to offering an even more diverse assortment of experiences, all tied together with great wine, food and music.”

Wolfgang Green, owner of Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro, says, “We’ve always had great success with our wine weekends, and last year’s Thomas Arvid event was no exception. By partnering with other businesses like the Old Edwards Inn and Spa, we can pull together offerings to celebrate spring by bringing guests to Highlands for some art, music, superb wine and fine dining—an unbeatable combination!”

Limited seating available. To reserve for Friday evenings dinner, call (828) 787-2625. To reserve for Saturday evenings dinner, call (828) 526-3807. For more information, visit

Scaly Mountain’s Pancake Breakfast


The Scaly Mountain Women’s Club is serving up breakfast at the old Scaly School House.

Contributed by Betty Bandy

If you haven’t this year, plan to bring your family and friends to Scaly Mountain for a scrumptious breakfast in the mountains at the newly remodeled historic old Scaly School House.  

These breakfasts are held on the fourth Saturday – through October from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. This is the seventh year that the women in Scaly Mountain Women’s Club, who are known for their culinary skills, have sponsored these breakfasts. 

Breakfast will feature a full meal of piping hot homemade pancakes (with or without blueberries), patty sausage, coffee and juice in the historic old Scaly School House. It is on the corner of North Highway 106 and Buck Knob Road in downtown Scaly.  

Guests will be treated to a seated meal either in the old school house or on the deck overlooking the mountains. Cost is $5.50 for adults and $3.50 for children. The breakfast will be served by club members or you may order takeout, if you choose.  Proceeds from the event provide scholarships for local students of all ages who wish to continue their post-secondary education. They also benefit area non-profit human service agencies that serve the Scaly Mountain community.  

Come to the breakfasts and join the best cooks in Western North Carolina for a morning of fun enjoying the friendly folks in Scaly Mountain and an unforgettable breakfast. For additional information, contact Susan Bankston, (828) 526-9952 or visit

Remaining dates for the Scaly Mountain Women’s Club breakfasts for 2011 are September 24th and October 22nd.