Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dating for Dinner {With Friends}

Lake Rabun Hotel Restaurant
Lakemont, Georgia

My girlfriend Beth shares a birthday month with me and so thankfully there is always a reason to celebrate in January. This year our husbands treated us to a night on the town, well, lake with dinner at Lake Rabun Hotel. Our reservations were set for 5:30 so our long drive {about 20 minutes from Clarkesville} that took us around the winding lakeside road was timed for a winter sunset. As I was walking up to the hotel across the stone paved walk way, I noticed this place is quite the romantic getaway... especially if you like fairytales. The lodge style hotel is quaint and aptly decorated to give way to an ambience reminiscent of a hidden cabin in the woods and it faces the beauty of Lake Rabun, a pristine crisp water tucked into the low country hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

 photo courtesy
photo courtesy
click the photo to be taken to the restaurant website
So what to say about our supper? We had an amazing seat near the windows adjacent the bar, we had amazing attention served to us along with a polite compliance to our request that we have a lengthy meal. Backstory: My Mom tells me about dinner in Europe and how when you take a table at the restaurant it is assumed you'll be there all evening and dine for hours. I have always wanted to take that much time to dine and wine! Our evening took us through 4 courses and a bottle of wine in about three hours.

There is a new chef at the restaurant and I do think he deserves his credit. Chef Ryan Spruhan was named a Best Chefs America chef in 2013 (BCA Award), which kinda speaks for itself doesn't it? I could not wait to experience what he had to offer us. The menu was filled with so many delicious suggestions, complete with newly added dishes from the chef, that we debated every item. We started our dinner with fried green tomatoes that were served with grits and blackened shrimp and then ended up not being able to resist the newly added classic style french onion soup, roasted cauliflower & parsnip bisque, and a winter salad. Each of us was satisfied at this point but anxious to try our main courses. We ordered pork shoulder that was topped with pomegranate seeds and served with fried sweet potatoes, rice, braised kale; a cajun style shrimp and grits; crab cakes {made of crab and not filler, so good!} with honey roasted carrots;  and a satisfying vegetarian dish of creamed parsnip, rice, braised kale, with pomegranate seed and garnished with pecan and a mustard seed honey. I also managed to indulge my tastebuds with a flour less chocolate torte and Beth had a blood orange infused creme brulee. We left happy campers with love in our bellies from a new favorite restaurant. I think that's quite a perfect treat for my birthday! It's no secret good conversation and deliciousness are the way to my heart. 

P.S.  Excuse the following poor image quality of my photos of our meal. My 3G iPhone camera was all I had to work with and turns out it isn't candlelight compatible, imagine that

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