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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dinner at Restaurant G

During our weekend trip to Blowing Rock, the owner of the condo provided a helpful list of restaurant suggestions. When I saw the Gideon Ridge Inn was recommended for dinner because of its "fabulous view," I knew it would be right up Mom's alley. Oh, my. We were all charmed upon arrival. It's a bit like a miniature Grove Park Inn, where the innkeeper knows your name and suggests you enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail on the terrace, complete with fleece blankets to block the chill.

It was about two weeks past the peak of the fall leaves, but there was still enough color to impress us Florida girls.
We even made a few new friends. This couple was from Charlotte, was staying in our condo complex, had visited our church, and her dad was from Monticello, Fla.!
As we moved into the dining room for dinner, Leigh Ann whispered, "Lynsley, did you check the prices when you made the reservation?"

"Um, no, why? Is it bad? What, are the entrees all in the $40s?" I whispered back.

"Yep, and the $50s. Fortunately for you and Mom, I am feeling generous tonight!"

It certainly is nice to have a successful sister who doesn't mind subsidizing her relatives! "We make a good team," I told her. "I pick 'em, you pay 'em!" She just laughed.
We settled into our table, with another lovely view of the mountains. It turned out there were two prices on the menu: a la carte entrees, which ranged from $34 to $45 and a prix fixe four-course option from $46 to $57 (depending on the selected entree). Naturally we went with the prix fixe, since Sister was treating!

We all started with the fall sweet corn and apple soup, which was absolutely scrumptious. I wanted to lick my bowl but had to settle for a few swipes of bread when no one was looking.
For the next course, Mom and Leigh Ann had the local baby greens with spicy walnuts, proscuitto, local goat cheese, heirloom apple and balsamic vinaigrette. I had the foie gras with Yukon potato, heirloom apple, balsamic syrup, micro salad and butternut pickles. It was divine. I marveled over how tasty it was with every bite.

Mom had the N.C. coast red grouper with spaghetti squash, brussels, fava beans, herb cream and basil salad. She loved it until she detected a flavor she didn't care for toward the end. I reminded her she does not particularly care for basil, but she assured us it was something else.
Leigh Ann had the Piedmontese (not sure what this means? I assume "from the Piedmont" or perhaps it is the name of a farm?) strip loin with smoked bacon and bleu cheese pudding, white bean and asparagus hash, and arugula salad. It was excellent. I proclaimed it a unique combination of "sweet, savory and smoky notes," and of course Leigh Ann and Mom just laughed at me. But it was!
I ordered the braised short ribs, at the recommendation of our waiter, Andrew, who told me they were slowly cooked for nine hours. They were served with lentil and truffle cake, roasted green tomato, pan-fried plantains and "natural jus." (I think they call that pot likker where I'm from?) 
It was very, very tasty, but short ribs are just a fancy word for pot roast. I enjoyed every bite, but if I had it to do again, I might order the duck breast (served with potato and parsnip rossti (another new word), braised local greens, red rosie salad (again, not sure what 'tis) and port demi. I could have saved my sister $10!

Dessert was a sampler of three petite portions of a white chocolate sweet potato pie, chocolate bread pudding (he called it "Oxtail" bread pudding -- apparently that is a name-brand chocolate? Must investigate), and an apple puff pastry. I didn't think Restaurant G could do anything else to win our hearts, but a dessert sampler was the finishing touch on an absolutely perfect meal. On their way out, our new friends made reservations to stay there next year during peak weekend. Would love to do the same! Sister better start saving up...

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