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