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Knife & Fork - Spruce Pine NC - dining destination

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though about 1 hr from Asheville this small restaurant is worth a trip. Chef Nate Allen does a stupendous job utilizing local ingredients to create visually stunning & incredible tasting dishes. Their menu changes daily. The night we went rabbit and pork were stars of both app and entree dishes and fennel seemed to be the vegetable of choice. An appetizer portion of fried rabbit "wings" with a sweet and spicy glaze was a big hit. In fact, there wasn't one dish that we didn't like. 3 glasses of wine, 3 appetizers, 1 entree and 1 dessert were $81 (tax included) before tip.

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  1. We stumbled upon the restaurant several weeks ago during the Toe River arts tour. It's usually not open for lunch on Saturdays, but it was for this event. We were blown away by the quality and inventiveness of the food--a combination of the Admiral and Table, but with prices below either of them. The chef has had a table at the Saturday City Market at least twice. He prepares sample dishes using local produce and dispenses tastes of his creations free-of-charge. I guess it's a way of publicizing his restaurant. We told him that people would be standing on line if he opened a place here--but it sounded like he's not planning to leave Spruce Pine any time soon.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Zeisel

      I finally made it to K&F Thursday evening. I walked in at 6:20 without a reservation (just me) and was able to eat only because their 3 stool bar had one open seat. It was almost a full house at 7:30 when I left, and I saw several couples turned away for a lack of a reservation.
      I started with the candy roaster squash soup, and then had stuffed pork belly. The soup was great but the pork belly was over the top, stuffed with fennel, garlic, onions, peppers and served over roasted fingerling sweet potatoes. FYI - the portion was surprisingly large. Nate came out to check on me and was very happy to discuss his (local) ingredients and techniques. The experience exceeded my high expectations!
      I will be back as soon as possible, what a gem.

      1. re: Tee

        vote for him for James Beard!!!

        1. re: leahinsc

          Yes!

          I've never heard of fingerling sweet potatoes.... now, a new quest!

          1. re: Leepa

            ditto on the sweet potatoes!

            1. re: danna

              Now you guys have me questioning my memory!
              Maybe I was wrong about the fingerling part, I am often wrong......
              They could have been cut down to that size/shape.
              Regardless, they were delicious and a perfect side to the pork belly.

      2. re: Zeisel

        After ordering the braised rabbit over red quinoa with shiitake mushrooms and apples a couple of weekends ago, I'm not surprised at all that this dish was one of Garden&Gun's 50 must-eats in the South in their latest edition. Such an exquisite pairing of sweet, sour, savory and bitter, and an engaging balance of textures. I also appreciated that they offer starting "salads" on their menu that's basically a pile of kale or greens. I like my veggies.

        Pastry chef Brenda Poole is also quite a catch for Knife & Fork. Her local just-picked apple tart with fresh whipped cream dessert couldn't have been better.

      3. Here's a link:

        http://www.knifeandforknc.com/index.htm

        Sounds like a great addition to the area!

        1 Reply
        1. re: meatn3

          we went recently and really enjoyed a roasted persimmon & potato side. Never would have thought to do this but it works. Chef Nate is very creative and personable and his wife Wendy who runs the front of the house is charming. I like the fact that their servers remember us and haven't changed...always a good sign at a restaurant!