The Best Dish in North Carolina 2012
The Best Dish in North Carolina Award 2012 • The Best Dish in North Carolina Award is presented every year by The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services and sponsored by Our State Magazine. The Best Dish in NC restaurant competition began in 2006 to bring awareness to the numerous restaurants and chefs who feature local cuisine on their menus. The contest appeals to a chef’s natural competitive nature and encourages chefs to be creative when adding their own flavor to local cuisine. It serves to encourage overall support of our state’s food producers, growers, and restaurants and supports the message “When you want the best, It’s Got to be NC”!
North Carolina has a rich tradition of providing quality food products for the foodservice industry. The Goodness Grows in North Carolina membership program believes in supporting that tradition with our local farmers and processed food companies. We are committed to encouraging our restaurants and consumers to make purchasing local products a priority. We believe buying and promoting local helps us all.
This annual statewide competition, open to any restaurant or restaurant group doing business in North Carolina, is the official restaurant contest of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Goodness Grows in North Carolina marketing program. It is our goal each year to determine who serves the best food in the state using ingredients that are grown or produced in North Carolina.
Restaurants know that using the freshest ingredients available will help them provide the best meal possible for their customers. Customers have the opportunity to taste the difference local products bring to the table. These restaurants also understand the importance of buying North Carolina products and the impact on the state’s economy and environment.
Our State Magazine • The Best Dish in North Carolina Award is presented every year by The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services and sponsored by Our State Magazine. Our State Magazine is North Carolina’s premier statewide magazine devoted to travel, history, people and places. Published for 77 years, Our State showcases the beauty of North Carolina through stunning photography and is the perfect source of information for those who’ve lived here all their lives or for those looking to visit!
Top 25 Restaurants
finalists for 2012
The Western Piedmont & Mountain region
Simplicity at The Mast Farm Inn, Valle Crucis, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/simplicitymastfarminn • www.themastfarminn.com/dining • What we offer is gourmet organic slow dining of extreme quality and freshness; a meticulous cuisine prepared with "Mindfulness", mindful of our mountain region’s heritage, and mindful of the high quality of the natural ingredients, with a level of care and personal service second to none. The Mast Farm Inn, a Historic Hotels of America member property, is an award-winning country inn & restaurant in the Valle Crucis Historical District, North Carolina, which has been welcoming guests since the 1880′s. "So Much More… The world renowned Mast Farm Inn of Valle Crucis is nothing short of a handcrafted masterpiece of North Carolina Folk Art". ~ Emma Johnson • Martha Stewart Living, August 2012, "The Best List", Best Hotel, Best Food & Drink, Best Southern Fare: The Mast Farm Inn of Valle Crucis North Carolina
Curate, Asheville, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/Cúrate/112436538783220 • www.curatetapasbar.com • The authentic Spanish tapas bar, Cúrate, is open for lunch, brunch and dinner service. Heirloom Hospitality Group’s lively full-service restaurant brings diners the best of Spanish food and wine with fabulous locally sourced ingredients. The cuisine at Cúrate is first and foremost traditional Spanish. From jamón Ibérico to croquetas de pollo to flan with caramel sauce, those who have traveled to Spain will instantly be transported back to one of the lively tapas bars beloved throughout the country, one plate at a time.
Vidalia Restaurant & Wine Bar, Boone, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/VidaliaBoone • www.vidaliaofboonenc.com • Upscale Casual Restaurant located in historic downtown Boone, just across from the Watauga county courthouse, serving creative American cuisine… think comfort foods with a twist!
Rowlands’s at Westglow, Blowing Rock, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Westglow-Resort-Spa/183259648638 • www.westglowresortandspa.com • Experience world-class culinary fare in our historic mansion, where the elegance of fine dining can be rediscovered amid gracious hospitality and the comfort of home. Mountain views and romantic fireside dining create a magical setting where you can enjoy the flavors of new American cuisine prepared with a flare of Southern sensibility. Rowland’s features an indulgent menu with an array of eclectic dishes including fresh seafood, prime steaks and savory game meats.
Marisol, Greensboro, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/MarisolRestaurant • www.themarisol.com • Stephen Schneider, a Johnson & Wales graduate and proprietor of "Marisol," fulfilled a dream when he opened the restaurant in 1997. Not only has he earned the respect and admiration from a faithful clientele, he has also inspired many assistants, several of whom have embarked on their own careers. One of his many associates was Robin Burkhart who began working with Stephen in 2001 while attending the GTCC Culinary Arts program. Inspired by his creativity and imagination, she was able to enhance her own skills to be consistent with his French technique and American ingenuity
Red Stag Grill, Asheville, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/Red-Stag-Grill/107601029330050 • www.bohemianhotelasheville.com/dining/dining.asp • The Red Stag Grill’s menu includes a masterful blend of chops, game and traditional favorites – all with an emphasis on the freshest local ingredients complimented by an extensive wine list.
Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, Greensboro, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/lucky32greensboro • www.lucky32.com • Lucky’s has changed—but not too much. Our culinary journey during the past few years with Chef Jay Pierce has been carrying us toward Southern foodways and locally-sourced food. So we’ve fully embraced this adjusted trajectory and we’ve even changed our name—to Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen! What’s more, we’re offering his amazing side dishes, like beans and greens and his incredible collard greens, as optional sides with most any menu selection. We bet that makes Lucky’s the only “meat-and-three” joint that has a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence
Spring House, Winston-Salem, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/Spring-House-Restaurant-Kitchen-Bar/158774544209738 • www.springhousenc.com • "Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar, scheduled to open in 2012, is located in the former Historic Bahnson House, a 1920′s-era home in Downtown Winston-Salem that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The planned renovations have been approved by the NC State Historic Preservation Office, and every effort is being made to preserve and adaptively re-use one of the last remaining homes on what was commonly called "Winston-Salem’s Millionaire’s Row"
Crippen’s Country Inn & Restaurant, Blowing Rock, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/Crippens-Country-Inn-Restaurant/100454725621 • www.crippens.com • Elegance, Delicious Food, Great Hospitality. Founded by Jimmy Crippen in 1994, the restaurant was the first fine dining restaurant in the area and anchors every list of High Country must-taste dining destinations.
Season’s at Highland Lake Inn, Flat Rock, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/HighlandLakeInnSeasons • www.hlinn.com/dining/index.htm • Peter Fassbender is the Executive Chef of Season’s at Highland Lake Inn. A native of Chile, Peter is a 1998 Business Administration & Chef graduate of Instituto de Los Andes in Lima, Peru, and was awarded a Grand Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in 2001. Before his debut at Highland Lake Inn in 2004, Peter lived and worked in South America, Europe, and the United States, and speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and even a little bit of French and Italian.
HomeGrown, Asheville, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/HomeGrown/127581127288511 • www.slowfoodrightquick.com • We are a local eatery, serving local food, cooked by local people, and we love what we do! Why "slow food right quick"? We believe in the Slow Food philosophy that "everyone has a fundamental right to pleasure and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that make this pleasure possible." We also know that out here in the real world people are in a hurry. So, we serve up "slow food," that is to say good, clean, local food, "right quick!"
bistro forty two, Asheboro, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/bistro-forty-two/77688841828 • www.ncbistrofortytwo.com • When you visit Bistro forty two, you’re in for a treat. Experience fresh seafood, hand-cut steaks, shrimp and grits or any of our other mouthwatering dishes. Our chefs are renowned for their creative combinations of spices, sauces and fresh seasonal ingredients. Menus are seasonal and change often. We try to use the freshest seasonal product available so come and see what is in season and taste what our chefs have done with this seasons products
Gallery Restaurant, Charlotte, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/GalleryRest • www.gallery-restaurant.com • The Forbes Four Star Gallery Restaurant serves contemporary American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The farm-to-table inspired menu changes seasonally to provide the freshest local ingredients
Pleasant City Wood Fired Grille, Shelby, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/Pleasant-City-Wood-Fired-Grille/130695600910 • www.pleasantcitywoodfiredgrille.com • A dream came true when Pleasant City Wood Fired Grille opened it’s doors in September 2008. The fun, friendly, family restaurant is located in Uptown Shelby, NC, where the smell of burning wood permeates the uptown streets drawing you in.
Sunny Point Café, Asheville, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/GoodGals • www.sunnypointcafe.com • Open since 2003, Sunny Point Cafe is the breakfast destination for Asheville. Breakfast might be what we are known for, but dinner is our new passion. Come by for nightly specials prepared fresh and priced right.
Off the Square of Albemarle • www.facebook.com/pages/Off-the-Square/161974600506725 • www.offthesquarenc.com • Off the Square is a casual, upscale gourmet restaurant focused on creating an unforgettable dining experience for our guests by using local ingredients to craft gourmet cuisine. We offer uncompromised service, and a large selection of craft beers, local and imported wines, and desserts made in house from scratch. We also offer full catering services.
The Eastern Piedmont & Coastal Region
Market Restaurant, Raleigh, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/MarketRaleigh • www.eatatmarket.com • Market Restaurant is committed to serving whole, all-natural, unprocessed foods from local sources. We make every effort to support organic and sustainable farming practices while providing our guests with the best experience possible. Healthy food, prepared fresh, from local seasonal ingredients
Gravy Italian-American Kitchen, Raleigh, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/Gravy-Raleigh/224196616994 • www.gravyraleigh.com • Ask any Italian-American what ‘gravy’ is, and they’ll tell you it’s the pasta sauce that their mothers and grandmothers cooked fresh every night. At Gravy Restaurant we take the same care, preparing our signature sauce every day using select tomatoes and locally grown herbs. The heart and soul poured into the preparation of traditional Italian-American dishes pairs with inspired modern twists and a focus on seasonal ingredients to define Gravy’s unique approach to this classic cuisine.
Sitti Restaurant, Raleigh, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/Sitti/73519461030 • www.sitti-raleigh.com • The most important, beloved figure in any Lebanese family is the grandmother, or sitti. This is especially true for the families, like ours, who started making the journey to America, from tiny Lebanese villages nearly a century ago. Our grandmothers were the caretakers and teachers of our home country’s culture, faith and food. Always food.
Catch Restaurant, Wilmington, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/Catch-Restaurant/62556196254 • www.catchwilmington.com • Specializing in Award Wining Modern Preparations featuring Wild Caught Seafood, Organically sourced Produce & Local Herbs. We also serve Angus Steaks, Free Range chicken, All Natural Pork & Duck. Bravo TVs Top Chef/2011, James Beard Nominee, Chef Keith Rhodes serves the Best Seafood the Cape Fear Coast has to offer.
Bald Head Island Club Restaurant, Bald Head Island, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/Bald-Head-Island-Club/178176708902618 • www.bhiclub.net • Every island visitor must experience the beautifully open clubhouse while enjoying a meal that you won’t forget. Club menus vary from venue to venue and include an array of regional seafood specialties, seared-to-perfection steaks, pub type sandwiches, hearty soups and salads, and desserts sure to complete the experience. The Club’s experienced culinary team entices visitors with specials that can be found in the clubhouse as well as at the Peli throughout the off-season.
Bull Street Gourmet & Market, Durham, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/bullstreetdurham • www.bullstreetgourmetandmarket.com • Bull Street Gourmet and Market offers gourmet coffee, tea, sandwiches, salads, soups, housemade bakery goods as well as convenient market items. In addition to great coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner, we offer milk, eggs, bread (things you tend to run out of at the worst possible time) to boutique wines and high-gravity beer, housemade dips and spreads, daily lunch and dinner specials as well as prepared meals to go when you want to serve a home-cooked meal but don’t feel like cooking!
Rhett’s Restaurant, Personal Chef & Catering, Southern Pines, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/Rhetts-Restaurant-Personal-Chef-and-Catering/148866091793297 • www.rhettsinc.com • Rhett’s offers a unique dining experience for lunch and dinner in a quaint downtown setting. Rhett’s works closely with the local farmers to feature fresh, seasonal dishes on his menu. Menu’s are changed seasonally, with weekly specials and feature many NC products.
Tonali, Durham, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/TonaliRestaurant • www.tonalirestaurant.com • We have been in business since 2006. We are proud to use local farms who supply us with organic fruits and vegetables and Durham’s FARMHAND FOODS who supplies quality, pasture raised local meats.
Angelina’s Kitchen, Pittsboro, North Carolina • www.facebook.com/pages/Angelinas-Kitchen/70972889537 • www.angelinaskitchenonline.com • Angelina’s Kitchen strives to offer healthy, affordable, in season and local food with a Greek and southwestern flair for the folks of Chatham County. We work with farmers from around our area to bring you everything under the Chatham Sun!
For More Information
Best Dish in North Carolina
WebSite • www.bestdishnc.com
North Carolina Department of Agriculture
FaceBook • www.facebook.com/NCAgriculture
WebSite • www.ncagr.gov
Twitter • www.twitter.com/ncagriculture
Our State Magazine
FaceBook • www.facebook.com/ourstatemagazine
WebSite • www.ourstate.com
Twitter • www.twitter.com/ourstatemag