Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and love is in the air in the NC Smokies. But that’s not all … around every corner in every Haywood County town you’re also likely to get a whiff of some of the best food the region has to offer! The thought of taking your love up to the Smoky Mountains for an extended weekend of relaxation and reconnection should make you giddy with excitement. We know every great romantic getaway needs three things: a cozy place to stay, days full of activity, and an amazing spot for dinner. We’ve got plenty of blogs to help you with the first two items on your checklist, but here’s where you need to head for the perfect Valentine’s Day date. Keep in mind, we recommend a reservation for any of these options!
You’ll find this hidden gem tucked away on one of Waynesville’s side streets, and it’s worth the short walk off the well-worn path. Here, dishes are prepared with local meat and produce and delivered right to your table through a sliding door leading back to the kitchen. Chef/owner Josh Monroe has designed a menu full of unique wine country-inspired cuisine, each plate crafted with a specific wine pairing in mind. Its intimate atmosphere (the seating capacity is only 42) and polite service make dining here a remarkable experience.
Frogs Leap Public House
You’ll find this excellent date night spot located right next door to Chef’s Table. Frogs Leap takes local, sustainable, organic ingredients to create special dishes that are as vibrant as they are tasty. If you’re looking to spend your evening ordering round after round of shareables and cocktails, this is the place for you! We say charcuterie and martinis sound like a great start, but pace yourself — the cozy feel inside will make it hard to leave, so plan on a long and leisurely experience.
Southern Porch Restaurant
Southern Porch sits perched in the quaint, historic town of Canton, occupying a striking Victorian mansion that’s nearly 150 years old. Family-owned and operated, you can expect to feel like you just sat down at mom and dad’s dining room table for a home-cooked meal. Their menu is guaranteed to be just as sweet as your date (but don’t tell them). selections range from Southern comfort classics like shrimp and grits to the always-delicious cheesesteak, so this should be your spot for the evening if you’re hungry for a little bit of everything.
The Historic Lambuth Inn
This year, Lake Junaluska is hosting a special Valentine’s Day dinner buffet at its Historic Lambuth Inn. The dinner, held Saturday, Feb. 12 from 5-8 p.m. will offer folks Roasted Salmon with Creamy Dill Aioli, Roast Beef Carving Station, Baked Chicken in Velvety Mushroom Sauce, Lobster Mac & Cheese, Creamed Spinach, Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Green Beans with Roasted Grape Tomatoes, Honey Glazed Carrots, Homemade Yeast Rolls, Butternut Squash Soup, All-you-can-eat Salad Bar, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake, New York-Style Cheesecake, Other Assorted Sweets. Beverages served include coffee, iced tea, lemonade and water. The price to dine-in is $29.95, plus tax and 18% gratuity for adults and $14.95 for children between 4 and 12. Children 3 years and under dine for free. You can also hit the to-go line for $26.95. To request a reservation, complete the form located online at https://bit.ly/lj-valentine and a reservationist from their team will be in touch.
For a romantic Italian meal complete with antipasto, a main course and dessert, head out to Valé 234 in Clyde to savor owner Valerio Vuotto’s special Valentine’s Day prix fixe dinner. For antipasto, the choices include grilled oysters or prosciutto-wrapped pears. Main courses include veal, chicken and pork ravioli in a butter and sage sauce; fresh wide-cut pasta with savory broccoli rabe, garlic and mushrooms; gnudi (similar to gnocchi) in a duck meat ragu; or grilled jumbo sea scallops over pesto linguine. Desserts include a cheese and roasted nut plate, chocolate dipped strawberries or almond gelato. To make things even sweeter, all three courses come with wine pairings specifically chosen to compliment the flavor of the food. This exclusive meal will be served the evenings of Saturday, Feb. 12, and Monday, Feb. 14. For reservations, call 828-246-9199.