Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Chophouse of Hiawassee

After traveling to Hiawassee, GA for our “premiere” of "Trouble With the Curve," my aunt and I decided to swing by Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa for an evening toddy before dinner. The magnificent view and the large stone fireplace make this a romantic destination for a cocktail or a wedding. And they make a killer Manhattan.

If you go to The Chophouse of Hiawassee, go hungry. Or rather, be prepared for a feast. What appears to be a family restaurant is actually a classy dining establishment. To continue the celebration, we ordered a bottle of Graffigna Centenario, an Argentinian Malbec. I’m a recent fan of Malbecs, and I’ve always been told that if you don’t know what kind of wine you like, you just need to drink more.

Warm Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia is nicely salty, and is even better when dipped in a mixture of white balsamic vinegar, herbs and extra virgin olive oil. Baked Brie is served in a little phyllo pouch on a bed of lettuce and grapes (a bit random), and drizzled with a tangy blackberry sauce. The texture and flavor of the Brie was quite reminiscent of a goat cheese.

 Entrees are served with a salad, vegetable of the day AND your choice of side. The charming and pleasant server did his best to pace us, and thoughtfully timed the delivery of each course. Also a recent fan of bleu cheese (maybe my taste buds are growing up), I opted for the Wedge Salad - crisp iceberg lettuce with classic toppings like bacon, tomato and red onion.

Crispy Duck is just that – tender, juicy meat underneath crispy skin. I could have used more of the thick Raspberry and Pomegranate Sauce, as it brought a nice sweetness to the dark meat. They aren’t portion-shy (a serving is two legs and two thighs), and I would have sucked the meat off the bones, but didn’t want to draw unnecessary attention to myself.

Tuscan Tenderloin Tips were a perfect medium rare, topped with Mushrooms and Crispy Onion Rings. I'm not sure the origin of the "steak and onion rings" combination, but it's definitely classic. Steamed Green Beans are topped with Feta Cheese and Raisins, which seemed like an afterthought, but made the green beans much more enjoyable. Whipped Cinnamon Butter is a sinful topping to the Baked Sweet Potato.

Hiawassee, Georgia is very much a resort town, and with restaurants like this, I can definitely see the attraction.

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