I was more than a little taken back by the lack of reviews of this restaurant on Yelp (7 total reviews), and even within those reviews it was like a tale of two very different restaurants - terrible or amazing! That "other" review site had nearly 7 times more reviews, the clear majority overwhelmingly positive, just seemed odd. Give this conundrum, we were very interested in what this venerable Morganton eatery had to offer, and we headed that way!
We arrived around 6 PM and were quickly and warmly greeted, promptly seated at a well sized table for two in one of the main dining areas. The restaurant is in a vintage house, and is very attractively appointed, with fresh flowers, paintings, and beautiful light fixtures. The tables are generally well sized and are covered with linen table clothes! One downer is only beer and wine are available.
We chose classically prepared Escargots and Smoked Trout as starters, to be followed by a daily special, pan seared Grouper topped with a rich Crab based sauce, and a Flounder Filet, sautéed with Capers, and served with lemon, garlic butter, and white wine sauce, and a horseradish caper sauce - the sides were identical (Chef's Choice says the menu), Baby Bok Choy and Potato Salad. We enjoyed the complimentary rolls as we waited.
Both appetizers were excellent. The Escargots were in a great garlic butter sauce, and were perfectly cooked, very tender. The Smoked Trout was every bit the equal of the Escargots, and the Horseradish Cream Sauce with Capers was as good as any "tarter" type sauce I've tasted (the capers providing a nice sour hook), and the serving size was huge for such an appetizer.
The Entrees did nothing to diminish this dining experience. The Grouper exploded with taste and freshness, which the crab and cream sauce it was topped with only enhanced the overall dish. The Flounder was perfectly prepared, and the sauce was a great match. We finished with Creme Brule and Key Lime Pie, each an awesome version of these desserts.
The service was excellent as provided by the hostess/server, a very warm and engaging lady. She was the only person we saw on the floor, but then again, the traffic was very light, which is a bit worrisome. We were very pleased with this entire experience, and Chef Peter Chan seems a master at creating the right sauce for the dish. We'll definitely look for an opportunity to return.
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