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fine dining in banner elk, nc

I would appreciate a local's insight into where is good to eat in Banner Elk..or nearby. I know of several fine dining places but have never eaten at them. What's the scoop?

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  1. You may have more luck finding options in Boone or Blowing Rock - have you searched on this site?

    1. most places that you are aware of good.

      Louisiana Purchase
      Mountain Tavern
      The tapas palce that begins with a Z is very good
      Best Cellar in Linville

      I have family in BE and visit often, the above are all places we enjoy.

      2 Replies
      1. re: BBQJoe

        hey, bbque joe. Tell me about best cellar in linville. Thanks.

        1. re: joni mae

          oh, i forgot. have you eaten at sorrentos?

      2. I haven't been to Sorrento's in over 20 years, so I can't really say how it is now. The Best Cellar is similiar to the one in Blowing Rock. The pear and blue cheese salrd was good. I had shrimp and grits and it was pretty good not Charleston liek but good the trout was better that I sampled from another plate. Pricey but food is comparable to what you pay for. I am not trained or try to ctitique everything , I usually like it or avoid it. This past week end we went to the Chalet Restaurant in Little Switzerland right off the Parkway. The food was very good and the view was great before the rain came in. Well worth the 30 minute trip for a very unique dining expereince.

        1. Early this summer I had several great dinners at Zuzda's in Banner Elk (The tapas place that starts with a "z".) My last visit left much to be desired and I haved talked with a few regulars to hear there has been quite a turn over with cooking and wait staff and it is now hit or miss. I am going back this week.

          Morrel's gets my vote for best fine dining experience in Banner Elk.

          Another option would be Eseeola Lodge in Linville. They have an outstanding seafood buffet on Thursday evenings. My guess is that they are already booked for the remaining of the 2006 season, but worth a call.

          The Wildflower in Boone is expected to open up a new place very soon in the location of the former Mike's Seafood.

          For casual Italian, I have never been impressed with Sorrento's. Bella's opened up this summer (adjacent to Food Lion) and there is always a line out the door during prime dining hours. Good pasta, pizza, salads, a nice homemade blue cheese vinigarette dressing and garlic breat...nothing fancy.

          Hampton Grocery/Grist Mill in Linville serves the best BBQ in the area. Very casual with counter service and picnic tables indoor and on the front porch. If they are serving homemade sourdough rolls, get the BBQ sandwich, otherwise, order the plate with sides.

          1. I have been to Sorrento's twice, for my carb fix after the High Country triathlon. It's a kind of schizophrenic place; the regular menu is basic Italian and reasonably priced, the specials aim more for haute-cuisine and are much more expensive. From now on I will stick to the pasta and pizza menu. On my last visit I ordered a fish special (I know, I know, never order fish in the mountains) - I can't remember what kind of fish it was, but it was way overcooked, over some blah mashed potatoes, and when the bill came I was shocked at the price. But if you stick to the basics, the prices are reasonable, the garlic knots are a guilty greasy pleasure, and the atmosphere is a step above a red-checked-tablecloth restaurant. We also had a pretty good antipasto plate, with so much proscuitto and soppressata that we took half of it home for lunch the next day. But by all means skip the fish, or the other frou-frou stuff.

            1. I completely and totally agree, the best food in the high country is MOREL'S, this is the spelling and it is amazing. I ran restaurants for yrs and this is by far the best food, not only here, but compared to new york or philadelphia or DC. The presentation is beautiful. they have a great wine list and I go several times a week.

              for a great sandwhich, dunns deli is great. I highly reccomend the avalanche sandwhich.
              Best cellar is good, I love to lunch there. Probably the best food for lunch in banner elk.
              Zuzda is good, I have had more good food then bad, the service is usually good, but depending on the night it can be a little off. Still worth eating there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: miamoda

                Hi, Miamoda. Everyone seems to think Morels is so good. I guess after many years of going to Banner Elk, we'll have to try it. Thanks for the insight. joni mae.

              2. We have been visiting Banner Elk for going on 6 years now and have determined the best place to eat is Sorrento's. We normally go for a week of skiing in December and after a few years of trying to figure out where to eat every night, we just do Sorrento's EVERY night. The food is great and we have never had a bad server. Geri, the hostess, is very nice. The eggplant parmesan and rollatini are wonderful as well as the clams, mussels. We just enjoy it all. I have never even heard of Morels but I'll certainly check it out when we go back in Jan. We met the owner/chef of Zuzda's our last night at the bar in Sorrento's so we are going to try his place as well.

                1 Reply
                1. re: clik

                  Ok, so I know this forum is dead, and sorry, but I think this comment should be flagged for removal. There is some chance that it wasn't written by the owner or someone else that is affiliated with the restaurant, but I think it is unlikely.

                2. Dear Clik,

                  That's funny that you like Sorrentos so much. My husband and I have been going to Banner Elk for years also and we always loved Sorrentos, but wanted to know some other places that we may have missed. I guess great minds think alike. Thanks for your comments.

                  Joni Mae

                  1. We were in Banner Elk over the summer. Stonewalls was good, but a typical steakhouse. Bayou Smokehouse was great when we went at lunch. But Los Arcoiris was amazing Mexican. The place was immaculate. The food was great. Even the fried chimichanga wasn't greasy. Everyone agreed it was the best Mexican we have ever had. And the service was wonderful.

                    1. Headed back up to Banner Elk/Blowing Rock for skiing this weekend. Can't wait to find Morel's and give it a try as well as Zuzda's. Of course, we will have to go by Sorrento's as well! : - )

                      1. Wildfire, run by the same folks who have Wilfdflower in Boone, has been open several months and is worth a visit. More casual and a wider price range than Wildflower. Pizzas from a wood-fired oven about $8 or $9 up to steaks for $22 or so. Pasta menu a bit limited (angel hair and linguine with a choice of sauces). Attractive bar. I like the house sparkling wine (Chile, I think). I've had their pizzas, steaks, and pork chops and haven't been dissapointed. The dessert menu is a bit limited, but the Chocolate Cloud (a disc of chocolate sponge cake topped with a disc of chocolate mousse, all covered in ganache) is nicely done and a welcome break from the ubiquitous, standard High Country chocolate desserts (flourless chocolate tort/death by chocolate).

                        1 Reply
                        1. Well, we did not get to try Zuzda's. Got to BE on Thursday night and they were closed due to "impending weather". Hmmmm... Then I called Friday and made reservations for 6:30 pm. We got there about 6:25, were seated by the hostess and she filled our water glasses. 20 minutes later we were still waiting for someone to come and take our drink order. There were three tables in the restaurant (one large table eating dessert, a table of two paying and another table of two drinking ice tea & placing their order) and the bar was a little over half full. More than several times the wait staff and hostess walked past us and saw our table. At 6:50 we left and went to Sorrentos.

                          1. ZUZDA'S: Excellent! Make reservations. The bar atmosphere is very cool too. I recommend the gnocchi ---- SORRENTOS: Fabulous marinara sauce, well-priced lunch, owner & family are the nicest people ever. ---- BEST CELLAR (blowing rock & linville): Rudest owner in the entire world, slow & uncaring service, fatty filet mignons.

                            1. WOW! What a terrible story. I have been to Zuzda's muliple times...one time the waitress cried all night. The service can be strange. But then, I have had excellent service as well. If you go back, and I would recommend it, sit in or even at the bar. They serve the full menu there and the service is great!
                              P.S OOPS! this is a reply to clik! I like food but I am computer challenged.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: deborahtnc

                                Well, we are headed to the High Country on the 1st of Jan for our annual ski trip. Staying on App Ski Mtn for the first time due to being so busy over the fall that I forgot to make reservations at our normal cabin in Seven Devils. We are going to give Zuzda's another try on this trip. Also would like to try Artisanal Restaurant but last year every time we went by there, it was closed. Will also look for Morel's. We shall see!

                              2. wildfire is not fine dinning...very high noise level....overpriced for offerings.. I found the prime rib was poor quality .Try Stonewalls for quality and consistency

                                1. My wife and I have been visiting this area for many years and we currently have a vacation home in Linville which is right next to Banner Elk. By far the best restaurant is Artisanal 828-898-5395. This is a place for truly excellent food.
                                  Other opinions: Sorrentos...mediocre and overpriced. Bellas... better for plain simple Italian food.
                                  Lunch sandwhich and other things ...Henry's in Linville and The Ham Shoppe down 105 on the way into Boone are both teriffic.
                                  The Old Hampton Store and Grist Mill in Linville will have bluegrass music on the weekends (i think both days..call to make sure) and that is the time to go.
                                  We have been to Zuzda's many time and never really had a bad service issue....maybe we were lucky.
                                  Stonewalls has a decent salad bar and run of the mill American fare.
                                  Have been to all of the others mentioned but I have nothing of significance to add.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: marriedtoafoodie

                                    My wife and I have spent many weekends in Banner Elk this year as we are building a cabin in Beech Mountain. For our $ Artesinal is as good as amything we have found in downtown Charleston. They have a serious chef. Next I would select The Blackboard with Zuzda's a close second. Sorrento's has a very good lunch(the wild mushroom ravioli when available is fantastic). We tried Morrell's this past week and were disappointed. My wife had the pheasant and my fried chicken that I cook runs circles around that offering. For the same $ Artisinal is twice as good. For a great view with food about on par with Blackboard try Jackalope's View on Beech Mountain

                                  2. ARTISINAL--YOU CAN'T BEAT IT