Charlotte Fresh took a long weekend away to relax with hubby and celebrate our anniversary. We thought it might be a good chance to try out the Old Edwards Inn & Spa in Highlands, NC. The inn pulled out all the stops: champagne and roses everywhere. It was a slice of heaven in a feathertop pillow.
While on the road, we like to eat well, and we like to try to stick to our local food preferences, if possible. That’s one of the main reasons we chose the Old Edwards Inn & Spa for our getaway. The inn has several restaurants, but the one that caused us to book our reservation was Madison’s – it billed itself as “Farm-to-Table sustainable cuisine.” Madison’s has a beautiful setting – we had a table overlooking the waterfall pond. But when it came to the food, we found we had to ask questions carefully. Because many, but not all of the dishes at Madison’s were Farm-to-Table. If you had the trout, chicken or beef, then you were eating from local sources. And if you started with a salad, you were getting local produce. But some items on the menu featured fruit, like apples, that were not in season. And the duck and scallops were not local. Even in a “farm-to-table” restaurant, it pays to ask questions when you are ordering your meal.
We ordered the most local meals we could find on the menu: the Poached Sunburst Trout and the Mushroom Stuffed Local Chicken. And they were delicious. I’m sure the other meals would have been lovely, but the fact that these inputs were local, these dishes were that much fresher and tasted that much better. Take a look for yourself.
Incidentally, Sunburst Trout is farmed in the heart of the Pisgah National Forest in Canton, N.C. It is a delicious trout, and we’ve had it before. It has a pink, dense flesh and cooks well on cedar planks on the grill. In Charlotte, you can buy it at Earth Fare in fillet or whole trout form. They also have it pre-packaged smoked. If you visit Sunburst in Canton, you can even go trout fishing, and they’ll clean, fillet and pack your trout in ice to go.
I’m still dreaming about the chicken dish with mushrooms. Will keep working on something close to it with inputs from our local markets and will post back when I have a recipe worked out.