One of the foodies’ favorite places is our NC Mountains. Specifically, Boone and Blowing Rock. We had an occasion to visit my beloved App State Mountaineers at a game recently and decided what better way to cap off our blustery day than a romantic, family dinner to Crippen’s in Blowing Rock. The birthplace, basically, of renowned Fire on the Rock…which begat all of those other wonderful “Fire” events. Crippen’s is popular, baby. I got reservations, but we got there earlier than expected and they managed to get a table for triadfoodies. Thanks, ya’ll! After walking up the lovely front porch area, you are welcomed in a beautifully decorated, cozy sitting room next to the bar which sometimes is filled with live music (and it was the case this night). The comfortable dining area is around the corner and away from the music so you can enjoy your dining companion(s). It’s just tasteful and relaxing and not at all stuffy. For an appetizer, we ordered the Fried SC Quail with sweet potato pancake, quail egg and honey. It was delicious. And beautiful. I “allowed” non-foodie daughter to enjoy one of the pancakes.
There was an interesting accompaniment with the shrimp. They are called Sea-Beans. They are from the ocean (by way of river or stream) and they are crispy and different and a little salty. Very cool. These were buttery (from the butter) and I was happy these little “beans” washed ashore. And the beet stack reminded me of a caprese salad but with beets and a sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar. Mr. Foodie doesn’t like beets but he ate most of it. Now for the entrees. I went with the Crispy Duck Breast with butternut squash mash, baby carrot, a natural lamb sausage sauce, and purple and white cauliflower. Yes, purple (they do that sometimes). This duck was prepared medium rare, as it should. The skin on my duck was chubby, had great flavor as did the mash and veggies and delectable sauce. Mister decided to play it safe with Frank Crippen’s Grilled NY Strip served with mushrooms and roasted potatoes. A good portion and excellent flavor. Be hungry for that one.
I’d like to mention that the kid foodies, who aren’t really foodies, had the most awesome Penne Alfredo. We stole a lot of bites from them. Hey, Crippen’s, ever thought of opening an Italian restaurant?
And finally, afterwards, our very nice server suggested we must try the bread pudding… Well, OK! It was made with a bit of chocolate swirled through and served with cinnamon bourbon ice cream with sea salt caramel. Yum town.
Crippen’s is considered by many as one of the best in the High Country (that’s no small feat given all the talent in those hills). And they certainly know how to make you feel welcome and taken care of. It was some of the best service, we’ve experienced and we even got to meet Chef Stan Chamberlain (he’s the ChefRef) for the FIRE events.
I had a pic but it was so dark you couldn’t see his handsome face, so I borrowed this one from Crippen’s. Our only regret is that we didn’t get to visit a little with owner, Jimmy Crippen. But maybe another day. Here’s a pic because I know he wants to say, “Hey, Foodies! Come see us at Crippen’s.”
Jimmy knows and promotes Farm to Table and they do it well at Crippen’s. They are open for lunch and dinner (closed Monday), open Thanksgiving and don’t forget if you are in town for the night, get a room at Crippen’s Inn. You won’t walk far for great food, drink and music.
Crippen’s Inn & Restaurant
239 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC