Fine Dining in the Mountains



Fine dining is different at every restaurant, but there are common threads woven through all of them. First, there is a Chef-inspired menu, with his or her signature, stamped on each offering. Unlike casual restaurants, fine dining service usually includes eating utensils that are a matched set, and have more weight than your summer camp mess hall offered you. Generally, there is a linen napkin to lay across your lap, water served in a glass vessel sans the local bank logo and the table legs have been leveled to assure your plate doesn’t travel across the tabletop each time someone rests against it. There’s also the expectations of the staff. When visiting a fine dining establishment you expect the staff to deliver you a  higher standard of service, where they understand the menu and can assist you with accurate answers and solutions to your dietary concerns and preferences. Blue Ridge is proud to be home to many of such dining establishments. Let us introduce you to a small plate offering of seven of our favorites.

Bin 322 Wine and Tapas Bar

116 W. Main St. Suite 1-D – Blue Ridge, GA  

Photo Courtesy of Bin 322 Wine and Tapas Bar

We choose this as one of our favorite “wining” experiences.  Bin 322 isn’t your richest of decor settings, but it’s charm lies in it’s comfy, cozy atmosphere with many choices of seating including wing back stuffed chairs or around a game table playing checkers. You pick your ideal spot before choosing your sips from an exceptional wine menu. If you like to accompany your spirits with well prepared and incredibly tasty food, you will find just that at Binn 322. The menu includes tapas (salmon nduja), platters (Italian, French, Spanish or Mediterranean), salads, sandwiches, entrees (duck confit) and indulgent desserts (Crème Brulee) that team up perfectly with a sweet wine to complete a choice encounter with your lunch or dinner companion.

The Black Sheep Restaurant

480 W. Main St., Blue Ridge GA 

Photo Courtesy of The Black Sheep Restaurant

This stylish, and classy restaurant believes in fresh food that’s locally sourced and artfully prepared. Set in a historic house (circa 1814) you have your choice of pet-friendly patio seating under a 200-year-old oak tree, the enclosed porch with its flaming heaters, up at the beautifully appointed bar or in the main dining room, where service is second to none.  Start with an appetizer of pork belly and marmalade, add a perfect beet salad and eventually savor the lamb pappardelle. We can’t forget to mention that The Black Sheep offers a killer Brunch menu every Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 4pm. The Sunday paper, an inspired Bloody Mary and a chicken & red velvet waffle. Who can resist? Reservations are recommended.

Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar & Grill

733 E. Main St. Blue Ridge, GA 

Photo Courtesy of Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar & Grill

Everyone just refers to it as “Chester’s”, and it’s Blue Ridge’s answer to “Cheer’s”, where everyone knows your name, or at least it feels like they do. But don’t let this friendly bar atmosphere fool you. The dining experience at Chester’s is so noteworthy. The amazing craft beer selection shakes hands nicely with signature appetizers like chili and beer cheese nachos or deep-fried sticky ribs. The soup, salad and sandwich menu all have a plethora of delicious, inspired choices, but if you have a heartier appetite, dig into the entrees like the 14 oz blackened ribeye, cooked to perfection and served with herb roasted fingerling potatoes, garlic broccolini and finished with fresh herb butter. This is fine……real fine.

Cucina Rustica

76 Forge Mill Rd, Morganton, GA 

Photo Courtesy of Amy Walker Price

Chef Danny Mellman takes Italian fare to a new level at this fine-dining Ristorante. This is the perfect place to spend an evening with friends. Start out with a plate of Frito Misto (flash-fried calamari and fish with artichokes and lemon and charred tomato-lemon aioli). The salads are shareable in size. The Treviso is a patron favorite, w/ bacon, balsamic, fresh pear, walnuts, and Gorgonzola. A myriad of pasta, risottos, and polentas, with fresh roasted vegetables, compliment delectable fresh sauces, meat entrees, and the finest of seafood. This is Old World Italian cuisine served mountainside. On Friday and Saturday nights the chef offers a veal Osso Bucco that will transport you across the Mediterranean Sea without the jet lag. Reservations are recommended.

Harvest on Main

576 East Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA 

Photo Courtesy of Harvest on Main

This is the second of three Chef Danny Mellman eateries to make our list of eight. This was his first establishment in Blue Ridge and it has become what all its competition aspires to be.  You might think that it would be the service, the menu, the wine and beer selections that would put this place over the top. Not to minimize any of these, because they are all worthy of five stars, but it’s the rustic appointments of the décor that nails it. Every moment you are being treated to a dining experience at Harvest on Main you are made to feel you are dining at the most affluent of ski resorts, high up in the Grand Tetons when actually you are smack in the middle of downtown Blue Ridge. Make a reservation. Spend the evening. Know that you’ll be back to try every item on the menu. It’s that good.

Masseria Kitchen + Bar

67 Roberts Way, Blue Ridge, GA 

Photo Courtesy of Masseria – Kitchen & Bar

The third of Mellman’s family of restaurants to make our list, Masseria mashes together Mediterranean countryside food and infuses Appalachian sensitivities into the recipes to share food so fresh, so earthy, so flavorful and dare we say, healthy, that you will feel like you are eating in a Grecian farmhouse the evening of their best harvest.  Is pizza fine dining? Absolutely when it is topped with baked bourbon apples, raisins, gorgonzola cheese and ricotta. Couple that with a salad of kale, grilled chicken, couscous, quinoa, lemon vinaigrette, craisins and walnuts and you can see why they made our list.

South of North

257 East Main Street, Suite A Blue Ridge,GA 

Photo Courtesy of South of North

Forget your past Asian experiences when you ordered by the number next to the dish pictured on your giant menu. South of North dubs itself as “a counter casual establishment serving up a chef-driven twist on classic Vietnamese fare”. If you think that description is a mouthful, wait till you taste the Bún Chả (meatball)  with Snake River Kurobuta pork belly blende with a Joyce Farms filet mignon, house fermented mustard and infused chili oil. Menu items such as sticky buns, shrimp rolls, spicy noodle bowls , steamy buns, lettuce wraps – all elevated to a culinary height you’ve never quite experienced before. We carnivores love this place, but you vegans will be particularly in awe of this gastronomical voyage.

That wraps up our Top 7 Fine dining reviews. Did you really think that Blue Ridge was just about train rides and waterfalls? We are happy to share that we are fast becoming the culinary capital of the Appalachian mountains.

Cabin Provisions To-Go



Even on vacation sometimes you may just want a night in to relax. We totally understand! So sit back and do just that; while others prepare your hot, fresh meals for you. All you have to do is be ready to eat! Instead of cooking for hours, enjoy that extra down time with your friends and family and then come together for a delicious meal. Your taste buds and your tired feet will thank you!

You can now enjoy meals from the comfort of your own home away from home thanks to take out and delivery options. When you don’t feel like cooking in the cabin you can order food from many of the favorite Blue Ridge restaurants to-go. You can even order meals from some of our favorite local chefs! Here’s a list of 6 Blue Ridge restaurants, shops, and chefs that are helping to make mealtime easy!

Mercier Orchards 

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Mercier Orchards has a variety of pre-made, ready-to-cook meals to choose from. They’re made right on the farm and with fresh ingredients! Each meal serves two people and includes step-by-step instructions for preparing in under 30 minutes. They have a variety of options for you to take home including; Chicken Parmesan, Savory Pot Roast with Gravy, Stuffed Pork Chops, Local Trout wrapped in Applewood Smoked Bacon or topped with Lemon & Dill, and Chicken Cordon Bleu; and each come with a delicious vegetable side of your choosing! New meals are added weekly, so there will always be something fresh and new. To place an order email at theresa.waggoner@mercierorchards.com or call at 706-632-3411.

Mercier’s also has a Grab-N-Go Bakery where you can pick up all your favorite sweet treats like fried pies and apple cider donuts! Even pick up a bottle of their famous hard cider or wine while you’re there to bring home for a night in at the cabin. With so many delicious meals and treats to bring back, you won’t need to cook a thing! 

Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar and Grill 

Photo Courtesy of Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar & Grill

Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar & Grill in Downtown Blue Ridge has take out! That means you can take any of their delicious meals home and enjoy them in the comfort of your own cabin. Bring Chester’s incredible wings home with you to share with the whole family; choose from 10, 20, or 50 wings. Or bring home a delicious burger and fries or for a fancy meal in go for the Blackened 14oz Ribeye Steak. And don’t forget to take home the dessert of the week too! Choose anything off the menu and enjoy a night in your home away from home!

Rum Cake Lady

Photo Courtesy of the Rum Cake Lady

With two locations to serve you, Rum Cake Lady in Downtown Blue or in McCaysville/Copperhill makes it east to order anything off the menu for take out or delivery! If you’re feeding a large family or group, the Party Sandwich Platters and a handful of different Bundt Cake flavors are the perfect fit. Or order a bunch of Cuban Food Bowls to fill you up with a mix of rice, meat, and beans. Bring the taste of Cuba home to your cabin and some desserts that everyone will enjoy! 

Chef Jeff Servin & Company

Photo Courtesy of Chef Jeff Servin & Company

Cabin chefs are great for making preparations at mealtime a breeze, and Chef Jeff Servin & Company is one of our favorites! You can order a private chef to come in and give you a fine dining experience, cater in, or use their cabin concierge service to bring in groceries and packaged, ready to cook meals before you even arrive. Chef Jeff & team makes it easy for you to relax and enjoy your time with your loved ones. For meal selections, enjoy delicious choices like Heritage Pork and Georgia Peaches, Beef Wellington, New York Strip, and so much more. Chef Jeff Servin & Company bring the fine dining straight to you! In fact, they will create a tailor fit menu based on your preferences, allergies, and dietary restrictions. Trust us. You will not be disappointed with this company, this service, or their food!

Pasta Market 

Photo Courtesy of the Pasta Market

Stock up on all things pasta at the Pasta Market in both Downtown Blue Ridge and McCaysville/Copperhill. Pick up all kinds of pastas, sauces, spices, flatbreads, desserts, and more then bring them back with you to prep an easy meal at the cabin. You’ll love their large selection of imported Italian goods that will make you feel like you’re dining on a delicious, authentic Italian meal at a Tuscan villa. Even when you’re not in Blue Ridge you can order online to have your favorite Italian goods delivered right to your door! Take the taste of Italy with you, wherever you go!

Ingles Markets

Ingles Market is a great place to stock up for your week in Blue Ridge. You can find all your basics here like bread, cereal, meat, and more but you can also find a wide selection of local goods that you wouldn’t be able to find at the bigger grocery stores. Not only can you stock up on your usual groceries here but you can also order catering from The Chef’s Kitchen to serve your family and guests at your cabin. They have everything you could imagine from hors d’oeuvres, party platters, ready to eat boxed meals, soups and salads, wraps, bakery items, and hot buffets. Ingles is great for everything you need whether you plan on cooking up fresh meals in the kitchen or having them catered in; you can do it all easily!

Workcation



In the past year many of us have been forced to move from in-person work to virtual. They call it working from home but no one said where that “home” had to be! After all your hard work this year you deserve to be spoiled! Escape from the confines of your house and travel to Blue Ridge where you can leave the stress of daily life behind, but not get behind on your work.

With this break you’ve been given, you’ll find yourself being more productive than you have in months. You’ll be able to focus and recharge. Enjoy your home away from home with all the comforts you’re used to and more! Get active and outdoors, and find yourself feeling one with nature again. And when the work is finished unwind with all kinds of fun that only Blue Ridge can offer. You deserve this getaway, so treat yourself!

Peace, Quiet, Focus 

View from “Eagles Landing”

When you escape the hustle and bustle of your daily routine you’ll feel renewed and refreshed in no time. Getaway and find your own home away from home with Escape to Blue Ridge cabins! Our cabins have all the amenities you’ll need to relax and feel right at home. After all, we want you to feel comfortable and at peace.

You’ll find yourself with plenty of room to get your work done since our cabins are so spacious and you will be even more productive when you know you can relax on the back deck with your laptop, a glass of wine, and beautiful mountain views that will take your breath away! Or sink into our comfortable couches by the fire and type away. No matter what spot you choose to work, you’ll have your own space where you can fully focus and enjoy some peace and quiet.

And when the work is finished and you’re looking for a relaxing night in, you can take advantage of all the wonderful amenities we offer.  Watch the sunset on the back deck, cook in the large kitchen with everything you need, play a round of pool in the game room, sit outside by the fire and watch the stars; the possibilities are endless. 

Outdoor Escape

Photo Courtesy of @chushon

After almost a year cooped up inside at a desk, you are probably itching to get outdoors, and boy does Blue Ridge have the outdoor fun you’re looking for! From countless hiking trails through forests and mountains, past streams and rivers, to waterfalls, you’ll have so many different hiking options. If hiking isn’t your preference, then try your hand at fishing on the Toccoa River or go on a horseback ride with Appalachian Trail Rides. For adventure seekers check out Blue Ridge Adventure Park for ropes courses and challenges. Or hop on a boat and ride around Lake Blue Ridge. And if you don’t feel like being active but just want to be outside in the fresh air then choose from numerous wineries and restaurants that have live outdoor music. No matter what you do, being out in nature will have you feeling refreshed and alive in no time! And being one with nature is good for the soul. 

Unwind after the workday and work week

Photo Courtesy of @nataliabrayrealtor at “Cherokee Ridge” cabin

After a long day “in the office” you’ll need a chance to let loose and relax. Take some time away from the work, have some fun, and most importantly treat yourself! 

Wineries & Breweries

Nothing beats a cold beer or a glass of wine after a long day of work and we have the best places for you to check out. For wine sip your way around Bear Claw Vineyards or Serenberry Vineyards here in Blue Ridge, or try Cartecay Vineyards in Ellijay or Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris. There are so many wonderful vineyards to explore just a short drive away; all of which have delicious wine, snacks, and stunning views!

And for delicious craft brews check out Fannin Brewing Company, Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Copperhill Brewing, or Buck Bald Brewing; all perfect for the avid beer drinker. Even Mercier Orchards specializes in delicious hard cider. With so many options to choose from you might just have to try them all!  

Dining 
Photo Courtesy of Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar & Grill

Blue Ridge is home to some incredible restaurants, and most of our favorites are conveniently located right in the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge. For an intimate night over wine and tapas check out Bin 322. For fine dining and delicious food made from fresh, local ingredients visit the famous Black Sheep restaurant. There’s also Harvest on Main that serves classic dishes with a southern flair. For a friendly atmosphere and heart warming comfort food Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar & Grill is your place. and don’t forget to order a signature “Escape to Blue Ridge” drink!

For a great slice of pizza go to Mystic Mountain Pizza or the best burger ever check out Sue’s Burgers. And for a sweet treat after dinner stop by The Sweet Shoppe or Mona Lisa’s Dessert House. There are so many amazing restaurants all around Blue Ridge just waiting for you to try and with so much variety you’ll find something everyone can enjoy!

Shopping

Downtown Blue Ridge is also home to many trendy and unique shops. You’ll find all the best souvenirs to bring home with you! For all things antique check out the Blue Ridge Mountain Mall. For clothes check out Blue Ridge Cotton Company or Blue Ridge Adventure Wear. For a little bit of everything stop by Mitzi’s on Main. Explore these stores and so much more on the streets of Downtown Blue Ridge. You won’t be able to resist coming home with a bag (or four) of goodies!  

Spa
Photo Courtesy of Serenity in the Mountains

You deserve to be pampered and spoiled, so why not head for a spa day!? At Serenity in the Mountains you’ll get the works; facials, massages, mani/pedis, and skin care and body treatments. Before you leave be sure you check out their famous Salt Cave for the ultimate relaxation experience! 

Hot Tub
Phot Courtesy of @bayleigh_barnes at “Grand View” cabin

Make sure you take full advantage of your cabin’s hot tub! There’s no better way to unwind than in a warm tub with a glass of wine in hand. Soak it all in and completely relax. 

Hiking 
Photo Courtesy of @hikes_with_ash

Blue Ridge’s hiking trails are a big part of our charm! You’ll be happy to get up out of your seat and outside exercising. You can hike to the Toccoa Swinging Bridge, the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi! It’s truly a great experience all of our visitors love to see. Or you can hike to one of our beautiful waterfalls; Helton Creek Falls, Amicalola Falls, Fall Branch Falls, or Long Creek Falls. They are all unique and simply beautiful to behold. Or hike to some of Georgia’s highest peaks like  Fort Mountain State Park or Brasstown Bald. From the observatory tower at Brasstown Bald you can even see 4 states at once! 

Bars 
Photo Courtesy of Fightingtown Tavern

After a long day of working you deserve a chance to let loose with great drinks and great music. At The Blue Coyote Bar & Grill you can belt out your favorite song for karaoke and then enjoy an ice cold beer and delicious comfort food. And Misty Mountain Hops always has great music and drinks, and incredible desserts to end the night with. You’ll love the burgers and bar selection from Fightingtown Tavern as well. Whichever place you choose, you can usually find live music and ice cold drinks! 

Swan Drive In 

Jump back in time and go see a movie at the drive in! The Swan Drive In has been showing movies since 1955! Stop by and enjoy featured blockbuster movies and old school snacks right from the comfort of your own car. 

Fall is Prime Time to go to Blue Ridge



Guest Blog by Blake Guthrie as written for the AJC (Atlanta Journal & Constitution).

The Cabin

Photo Courtesy of Blake Guthrie

Cloud Nine. It’s the type of name one would expect for a mountain vacation rental home. It’s one of those places that if you try and follow GPS directions you’ll get lost. The rental agency sent a confirmation that stressed the importance of following the turn-by-turn directions provided in the email, including detail you wouldn’t get from a GPS such as “go right when you see a bunch of mailboxes.”

The Approach

Photo Courtesy of Blake Guthrie

What it didn’t mention was the very steep and winding one-lane road. After putting my Honda into its lowest gear for the first time ever and having to navigate past an approaching vehicle, I came to the crest of Sunrock Mountain four miles west of Blue Ridge. I saw that Cloud Nine was the type of place I might want to hole-up for a while, but, having never been to Blue Ridge or nearby Ellijay before, I came to do some exploring, to find the most beautiful scenery and the best outdoor spots to experience the autumnal ambiance.

The Train

Photo courtesy of @chusion

It turned out the back porch of the cabin was one of those places. In the morning I could see how the cabin got its name. It was literally in the clouds, the surrounding mountain peaks sticking up through a thick white blanket covering the valleys below. Still, I had to venture out. First on my itinerary was the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. The major attraction in town, the railway has been in operation as a sightseeing excursion train since 1998 along tracks that have a history going back as far as 1886. The tracks follow the route of the winding Toccoa River through the Chattahoochee National Forest to the twin towns of McCaysville and Copperhill, Tennessee. They’re essentially the same town with the state line running through the middle. Like a running joke, the line is demarcated by a blue stripe painted on sidewalks, roadways and running through the middle of businesses.

The train rolls at a leisurely pace and the open-air windows are large, making it a prime fall sightseeing adventure with a good dose of history thrown in. Along the way, you’ll see a Native American fish trap in the middle of the river that experts believe is 500 years old, and the old telegraph poles that used to be the fastest form of communication in a bygone era. The trip takes four hours, with two spent in McCaysville/Copperhill for exploring the towns.

McCaysville

If hunger strikes, Burra Burra on the River in McCaysville is near the train station and serves pub fare and local brews. Be sure to ask for outside seating, weather permitting. The real selling point here is the covered deck that overlooks the clear waters of the Toccoa River flowing past the state line where it becomes the Ocoee River after crossing into Tennessee.

Piano Bar

Photo Courtesy of The Black Sheep

Back in Blue Ridge, the largest patio bar in town can be found at Black Sheep Restaurant, where the seasonal menu leans heavily on seafood. Housed in a historic home shaded by a 200-year-old oak tree, the patio overlooks the center of town. It’s a popular place, so make reservations for dinner. Or just have a drink at the bar.

Breweries

The craft beer scene is surprisingly good in Blue Ridge for such a small town that was dry not too long ago. Two breweries — Fannin Brewing Company and Grumpy Old Men Brewing — both have large, inviting outdoor beer gardens where you can play cornhole, meet the locals and catch some live music. Wine drinkers have no shortage of options either, as wineries have been opening at a fast clip in this area over the last few years.

Photo Courtesy of Bear Claw Vineyards

Near Ellijay, Chateau Meichtry (pronounced “my-tree”) stands out not only for its wine but also its patio outside the barn tasting room where the rolling vineyards reveal a long-range view of the mountains to the north.At Bear Claw Vineyards visitors can spend the night in the Blue Ridge Treehouse, featured on the DIY Network show “The Treehouse Guys.” The treehouse overlooks the vineyards and contains all the amenities one would expect when staying in a hotel.

Apple Country

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

No trip to the North Georgia mountains during the fall harvest season would be complete without taking advantage of apple country. The pull of a roadside farm store backed by endless acres of fruit orchards is undeniable. Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge and R&A Orchards outside Ellijay both have roadside markets selling freshly picked apples and other fruits, fresh-baked goods, local foodstuffs and offer pick-your-own days as well as plenty of free samples.

Welcome to the Mountains!

Photo Courtesy of Blake Guthrie

Lake Blue Ridge is the centerpiece of a scenic drive worth exploring. Stop at the Blue Ridge Welcome Center to pick up a detailed map. Ringed by mountains, the lake has clear, emerald-hued water and a pristine, forested shoreline. The route also runs alongside the tumbling rapids of the Toccoa River, rolling farmland, historic houses, and has many side hikes to cascading waterfalls and other pastoral pleasures. Bring comfortable hiking shoes and make an afternoon of it if you plan to visit all the stops listed on the map. On my last morning at Cloud Nine, I got up early enough to see the sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains and stayed on the porch until checkout. Sometimes where you are is the best place to be.

If You Go

Blue Ridge is 92 miles north of Atlanta.

What to see

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. $35 and up. 241 Depot St., Blue Ridge. 877-413-8724, brscenic.com

R&A Orchards. 5505 Hwy. 52 East, Ellijay. 706-273-3821, www.randaorchards.com

Where to stay

Escape to Blue Ridge. Cabins $140-$1,800 per night. 866-618-2521, www.escapetoblueridge.com.

Blue Ridge Treehouse. $234 and up. 2555 Tennis Court Road, Blue Ridge. 706-223-3750, blueridgetreehouse.com.

Where to Eat

Burra Burra on the River. $11 and up. 100 Blue Ridge Drive, McCaysville. 706-400-6660, www.burraburraontheriver.com.

Black Sheep Restaurant. $20 and up. 480 W. Main St., Blue Ridge 706-946-3663, www.blacksheepblueridge.com.

Visitor Info

Blue Ridge Welcome Center. 152 Orvin Lance Drive. 800-899-6867, www.blueridgemountains.com.

Ellijay Welcome Center. 10 Broad St. 706-635-7400, www.gilmerchamber.com.

The Black Sheep



History, architecture, and flavor combine to bring you the most incredible Blue Ridge dining experience at The Black Sheep Restaurant. From the moment you walk up the marble steps, taking note of the pet friendly patio, and the door swings open to welcome you, there is no question that you are about to have a divine experience. From the attentive staff and thoughtful menu items, The Black Sheep is clearly not your average, ordinary run-of-the-mill dining establishment. It is in fact, an elevated, stylish, and classy restaurant that believes in fresh food that’s locally sourced and artfully prepared.

What to Expect

Expect your taste buds to do jumping jacks! Seriously, Executive Chef Greg Cornelius is an absolute master with his culinary talents and abilities.  He specializes in taking your favorite American fares and elevating them about twenty notches. For example, you may think a hamburger or meatloaf is an odd item to find in at fine dining restaurant, but once that first taste of meat crosses your lips, you will become a believer because it will be like no other you have ever tasted! Of course, you will find traditional upscale dishes like rack of lamb or duck breast but add a gorgonzola cream or gorgonzola polenta and we’ve just crossed the line from ordinary to extraordinary!

You know what else you can expect? A Raw Oyster Bar! That’s right, the only one you will find in Blue Ridge. You can choose classic on the half shell oysters or if raw is not your thing, they can be prepared Rockefeller style. On Wednesdays and Sundays, you can select the Three Course Dinner Special. For either $19.99 or $26.99 you can enjoy an appetizer, main course, and dessert! Oh, and we’re not done yet. Saturdays and Sundays now feature a decadent Brunch menu. From 12pm – 4pm you can feast on Crab Cake Benedict or Corned Beef Hash, but the Chicken and Red Velvet Waffle is so good it’ll make your tongue jump out and lick the eyebrows right off your head!

Dine on the Black Sheep’s Pet Friendly Patio!

Happy Hour

The Black Sheep features not one but two bars to enjoy craft cocktails, beer, and wine. In fact, their wine cellar is so superb that they have been recognized by Wine Spectator for their impressive selection of vino. Both the owner, Brandon Lofton, and the General Manager, Patrick, are sommeliers and can help you pair the perfect bottle with your menu selections.

Have you heard of the Blue Ridge Lavender Smash? Made with fresh blueberry, lavender, lemon & Sipsmith London Dry Gin, this refreshing cocktail is the hit of the season! You can order one at the inside bar or step out to the patio and enjoy an adult beverage on the largest outdoor bar in Blue Ridge. Here you can take in the sights and sounds of Downtown Blue Ridge while sampling the Bar Bites like Truffle French Fries or Tuna Nachos, watching the game, and chatting it up with both old friends and new.

Blue Ridge Lavender Smash!

Distinctively Unique

The Black Sheep has been historically known as a place to go for special occasions and while that is still true, their mission is to cater to the every day patron while making each dining experience special. Speaking of catering, you don’t have to be onsite to enjoy the gourmet flavors of The Black Sheep. Treat your corporate partners or family and friends to decadent eats for your meetings or festive celebrations. If you prefer the ambiance of the restaurant, you may choose to make use of one of two private rooms – The Wine Room or The Library Room for large parties, banquets or special events.

Photo courtesy of Candy Murdock-Hagerman’s Birthday Celebration!

Since we’re talking about events, The Black Sheep likes to mix things up and keep fresh ideas flowing along with their fresh cuisine. Last summer they premiered their Outdoor Movie Nights on the front patio under the big oak tree. This year not only will they host Movie Nights, but they will also add Yoga on the Patio. Just picture this: Brunch, Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, and Yoga. Oh yeah!  Keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages for all the latest happenings and upcoming events.

Beauty, Brains & Bayou

Deep in the bayou of Louisiana, a young chef took his passion for Cajun cooking and restaurant management to work for a large restaurant conglomerate in Southern Florida. By chance, Brandon Lofton found himself in an airport in Puerto Rico making conversation with a beautiful corporate executive, Ashlee, also from the Ft. Lauderdale area. Eventually they would marry and purchase a vacation home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Brandon and Ashlee love the outdoor life – hiking, biking, and boating, but after one fateful trip, the whole game changed. The Lofton’s went back to Florida and made the decision to leave Corporate America, become entrepreneurs, and make the move to be full time mountain residents. If you ask the owners of The Black Sheep if they made the right move, you will get an unequivocal..YES! It’s the best decision they ever made. They love being a part of the Blue Ridge community. They also love having the great outdoors so accessible and all the great people they get to meet along the way!

After settling into the mountain lifestyle and getting his restaurant where it needs to be, Brandon wanted to be able to showcase his Cajun side. In partnership with his GM, Patrick, Lulu’s Gumbo Shop can now be seen in their branded tent around town at festivals, during special events with partners like Grumpy Old Men Brewing, and at private events like weddings. Lulu’s specializes in chicken & sausage Gumbo and Jambalaya – a shrimp and crawfish combination, made from old family recipes straight out of LA.

Ashlee has also become a certified yoga instructor. Her business, Yoga Over Blue Ridge, is a mobile yoga studio. She offers private instruction and lessons and destination yoga classes. These are perfect for Girlfriend Getaways, Bachelorette parties, or any private yoga party. Recently she has partnered with Bear Claw Vineyards for a Namaste & Cabernet class. Yoga class + wine tasting? Yes, please! She’s also partnering with local breweries for Bend & Brew events. That’s right, yoga and a flight of beer! Keep an eye on her social pages to find out about future events.

If all of this wasn’t enough, the power couple recently purchased Blue Ridge Brewery in downtown Blue Ridge. Located less than a quarter mile from The Black Sheep, Blue Ridge Brewery is located at 187 Depot Street. You can look forward to new beers crafted by an expert brew master, a new menu designed to delight the taste buds, and a stellar lineup of live music and events!

Up Next For The Sheep

A new menu was just released and includes amazing dishes like an heirloom tomato Panzanella salad and seared diver scallops with lemon risotto and smoked tomato coulis. If you haven’t yet been to The Black Sheep Restaurant, what are you waiting for? Put it on the top of your must do list. If you haven’t been in a while, you need to come back and check it out. The vibe is comfortable and not pretentious, the food is on point, and the atmosphere will make this your favorite downtown spot. If you’ve been there recently, then you know what’s up!

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad topped with Ricotta Salata

As a special treat just for Escape to Blue Ridge Fans, The Black Sheep Restaurant is offering one free appetizer per table if you tell your waiter that you are the “Black Sheep of Your Family”. How cool is that? Now don’t be sheepish, make your dinner reservations today!