Don't get me wrong- you could do a lot worse in this area but when it's ranked #1 and you read some of the glowing reviews- you could also end up being somewhat disappointed like we were. Expecting fine dining? Negative.
This place is just a good old, down home restaurant that probably wants to be fancier than it really is. We were seated in what appeared to be an added on room that was chilly and had an old rusty coke sign on the wall.
I had the house salad, which I'm guessing came out of a bag but I must say did have a very tasty dressing. I had the venison carpaccio which was also very good but I couldn't believe it was not local. For my entree', I had the trout with toasted almonds. It was very bland and when I inquired I found out it was farmed trout and that pretty much explains it all for me. The fish are fed pellets and don't have any flavor in my opinion.
It's important to note that this restaurant is in a dry county but you are allowed to bring your own alcohol. We were told on the phone when I made reservations that "brown bagging" was allowed. I interpreted this to mean that I could bring hard liquor but that they would offer beer and wine. No. It's a dry county and they serve no alcohol, period. Fair warning.
So, on my next trip to this area I will not be dining at The Orchard again. Maybe I'm a little spoiled but I figured the #1 rated restaurant would be stellar and it's far from it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
4 December 2011
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We regret that your recent dining experience at The Orchard Restaurant did not meet all of your expectations. It is our goal to serve good food, with friendly and efficient service, in a pleasant atmosphere.
We do appreciate you taking the time to let us know where we failed in making your visit completely satisfactory. Thank you for your positive comments on your salad and Venison Carpaccio; we are happy that you enjoyed. We are sorry that you were disappointed with other aspects of your meal. Furthermore, for the sake of accuracy, we would like to address some of your negative concerns.
We have always classified our restaurant as being a Casual Fine Dining establishment. The renovated 100 year old structure is decorated with primitive antiques and memorabilia reflective of our local area. This casual ambience lends itself to the mountain charm that we are trying to achieve, and that many of our guests have commented positively about (on this website among others). We apologize if the room temperature was not to your liking and could have adjusted the thermostat had we known.
Our Rainbow Trout is raised and harvested from one of two local trout farms we work with. Both farms use the highest quality feeds and operate their farms in an environmentally responsible manner. For your information, there is not such a thing as wild caught North Carolina Rainbow Trout used for commercial food preparation. Even if a private individual caught Rainbow Trout in a North Carolina river for personal consumption, chances are that fish began its life in a hatchery prior to being released into the wild. Regardless, we do apologize if the preparation was not to your liking.
Once again, we do appreciate you sharing your opinion from your recent dining experience at The Orchard. We will only use your comments to help us improve our restaurant. We do hope you will change your mind and visit us once again.
The Orchard Restaurant & Guest Cottage
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC