Crippen's, Restaurant, Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Crippen’sCrippen’s Restaurant is a hidden gem, a fine dining restaurant with a casual atmosphere in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The menu changes daily, featuring a variety of homemade breads, soups, fresh seafood, prime meats, game meats, seasonal homegrown organic vegetables and homemade desserts and ice creams.

Owners Jimmy and Carolyn Crippen, formerly of Crippen’s Oldsmobile, Mark’s Place in Miami and the Sheraton Bal Harbour Resort, are from Coral Gables.  Born and bred in the NC mountains, Chef Stan Chamberlain brings fresh energy and dynamic food to the cornerstone of the Blowing Rock dining scene.

Crippen's Country Inn & Restaurant, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
“Our customers expect to leave feeling very satisfied,” Stan explains. “Jimmy brings the ladies into the restaurant on his arm and seats the tables personally. He makes every guest feel special. I want to do that with the food. So many of our customers have traveled to come here. I want their dinner to be worth the trip.

Crippen's Country Inn & Restaurant, Blowing Rock, North CarolinaCrippen's Country Inn & Restaurant, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
The spacious dining area offers a surprising amount of intimacy despite the crowds. You may begin with a shrimp brûlée, pan-roasted with blue-spot prawns, or a crispy duck confit with spring rolls and peanut-ginger dressing. The chef’s specialties round out the main courses: chili-rubbed grilled rib-eye steak, and sesame-seared yellow fin tuna. Reservations are extremely important; the restaurant’s closing hours often reflect the number of reservations it receives for the evening

Crippen’s Restaurant earned Five Stars from Greensboro News & Record’s food critic in September of 1995, just nine months after opening. They have consistently kept that status since! Dishes are visual works of art as well as culinary ones and Crippen’s has been included in North Carolina’s Historic Restaurants and Their Recipes by Dawn O’Brien. The book includes a recipe for their signature horseradish-encrusted salmon.

Crippen's Country Inn & Restaurant, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
About Chef Stan Chamberlain • Stan Chamberlain was born in Asheville, NC. His grandfather owned the renowned Bill Stanley’s Barbecue and Bluegrass in Asheville, and Stan grew up in that toe-tapping atmosphere, helping with catering gigs at a young age.
While in college at Appalachian State University, he worked in nearby restaurants every summer. Although he graduated with a major in biology, Stan answered the fulltime call of the kitchen and worked at Crippen’s and Storie Street Grille in Blowing Rock and Morels in Banner Elk, NC. Now, at age 28, Stan assumes the executive chef mantle for the first time at Crippen’s.

“I grew up in the mountains. I didn’t relocate from a big city to cook here. Every recipe means something to me. They’re tied to my memories and my experiences.”

Crippen's Country Inn & Restaurant, Blowing Rock, North CarolinaCrippen's Country Inn & Restaurant, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
About the Food • Chef Stan features the local ingredients he grew up with
(he remembers first cooking collard greens at his grandmother’s side) and christens them with clean, classic combinations. Last week, a cornmeal-dusted, pan-fried trout was paired with creamed cauliflower, collard greens and a creamy red-eye gravy sauce .

While Stan plays from a mostly Southern repertoire, he lets the ingredients determine the tempo of the ever-changing menu. “If I get a great piece of tuna, I’m going to cook it rare and serve it with mashed sweet potatoes and plantain and a hot and sour banana sauce,” he says.

About Crippen’s Country Inn and Restaurant • Owner Jimmy Crippen is beloved for his ebullient, welcoming personality and his commitment to five-star service to clientele from across the Southeast. The restaurant, bar and lounge were renovated in May and outdoor dining space was expanded to welcome guests this summer. Come find your favorite spot at Crippen’s.

Crippen's Country Inn & Restaurant, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
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