RECOMMENDED BY: SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE
WOLFGANG’S RESTAURANT AND WINE BISTRO
It’s been a long time, what with the accident and other life events, since Dustin and I have been out to a nice restaurant, let alone a whole weekend getaway! Yet, that’s exactly what we did this past weekend.
We took a trip to Highlands, NC which is so beautiful! We had a few culinary clunkers along the way, but the ONE restaurant that made all of these misses worthwhile was Wolfgang’s in Highlands. I should also disclaim all of the photos that follow because my husband would not allow me to take pictures of our food because he was embarrassed. What a sissy.
Wolfgang’s is an unassuming place in downtown Highlands, located right across from the Old Edwards Inn. I was nervous about the dress code because I had on a dress with my boot and my high top tennis shoe. Now, the boot is self-explanatory (oh, she got hurt) but the high top tennis shoe just makes me look like an idiot. At times like this I wish it were appropriate to wear a sign on my back that states boldly “I WAS HIT BY A DRUNK DRIVER WHO BROKE BOTH ANKLES/FEET/LEGS.” I digress.
We must have looked fine, because several people on their way out thanked us for a lovely meal. Hey, I’m okay with being mistaken for a server/hostess over people staring at me because I’m dressed like a yahoo. When the maitre d’ came back to escort us to our table, we were seated at an intimate table by the bar. The table and chairs were lovely, and had a tree limb motif. I was charmed.
Yeah, yeah, it looked great…you want to hear about the food. Our server brought us a basket of warm homemade bread with soft butter pats. After our drinks were delivered, the server brought us an amuse bouche from the chef. Tonight it was a cherry pepper stuffed with creamy goat cheese and topped with a chiffonade of basil. All of this served in a nice, tidy white spoon. It was a delicious beginning to an even better meal.
For starters I had Escargots Au Gratin. These snails were tenderly baked in garlic butter sauce and then topped with a light Chardonnay sauce. Dustin had the Shrimp and Lobster Bisque, which was listed as a specialty of Chef Wolfgang. The soup was velvety smooth and full of flavor. It was better than any I’d had in Charleston, SC, the former champion of bisque.
Our entrees were absolutely spectacular. Both were served with a small salad of mixed greens, lightly dressed with a vinaigrette, roasted potatoes rubbed with sea salt and grilled asparagus, served al dente and perfect. I ordered the fresh fish of the night, which was a rockfish served “Oscar” style. My broiled fish was perfectly cooked and topped with a perfectly lemony beurre blanc sauce and lump crabmeat. Dustin ordered one of Chef Wolfgang’s Signature Specialties: Veal Medallions “Wolfgang”. These tender discs of veal were sliced thin and cooked to perfect tenderness. They were settled on a beautiful Cabernet sauce in addition to a béarnaise sauce that topped it with crawfish tails. I think the decadence got to Dustin’s head as he declared it the best thing he’d EVER eaten and you all know he eats my food nightly so that can’t be true.
We were bursting, but there was no way I was leaving there without tasting the strudal of a German chef. Dustin and I shared an apple strudal a’ la mode. Now, Dustin hates nuts. He inhaled this tender pastry, filled with chunks of apples, raisins and walnuts, swimming in our melting ice cream. While we were enjoying dessert, Chef Wolfgang came out to make sure all of his diners were enjoying his creations. A perfect end to a perfect evening.
Among Chef’s Wolfgang’s many accolades are his stint cooking for Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, write-ups in Southern Living, a ten-year run as excellence awarded by Wine Spectator, and a top choice at OpenTable.com.
Now, if you are a wine drinker, you should know that Wolfgang’s won some pretty fancy awards, and their wine list is extensive, and servers most knowledgeable. Dustin had a Cabarnet that night that was wonderful, while I had to forego the alcohol because of my pesky pain meds.
Also, I don’t know if you use OpenTable to make your reservations, but it is awesome and painless! Yes, you’ll have to register, but it’s minimal. On Wolfgang’s site there is a quick link that allows you to make your reservations quickly!
I made these reservations about a week before traveling, and I am now amazed at how many people know and love this restaurant. If you are in Highlands, NC or anywhere close, don’t miss it.