Knife & Fork in Spruce Pine, And A New Paw Paw Obsession

Knife & Fork in Spruce Pine, And A New Paw Paw Obsession

Lucky for me my husband is a devoted fisherman, and by that I mean he will travel without hesitation to gain access to some of the best fishing around. What does this have to do with Nate Allen’s Knife And Fork in Spruce Pine? You don’t “happen” to find yourself in Spruce Pine unless you live there, or are in search of the local Toe River Council Arts scene or happen to be an avid fisherman. It is a somewhat sleepy town, that the Appalachian fishing haunt The Toe River runs smack dab through. I have been itching for an excuse to get out and try Nate’s place, and an appropriately planned anniversary trip that honors both the foodie and the fisherman seemed like a perfect occasion. After a day of fishing the North Toe, (myself included, although I admit to taking a few breaks along the way) we had our first Knife And Fork meal. It was a weekend of lots of rabbit on the menu, rabbit pot pie, rabbit snitzel, you name it. Our only disappointment is that neither of us are huge rabbit fans–fortunately there were so many other delectables to choose from we did not skip a beat. Started out with a local cheese tray and decently priced bottle of Cab/Merlot blend. Next up was a couple of small plates. A crown pumpkin latke and chili-infused sauteed greens and bacon. Honestly, I am still thinking about those greens. Just a touch of heat and the thick cut bacon added the extra flavor, without weighing it down with fat. We split the main course, a grilled hangar steak with potatoes, more greens and a smattering of cheese fondue.

You would think we were stuffed after that. And we were. But our server introduced us to the dessert menu and it was just too hard to decline. We chose a cinmammon bread pudding and gluten-free chocolate pumpkin brownie. One adorned with homemade whipped cream ( the pudding) and the brownie was topped with an amazing Paw Paw ice cream. I have to admit to hearing of Paw Paw and being curious about it, after this dish I can honestly say it made our night. We loved it so much I was researching how to grow our own in the mountains. To me, it’s a combined flavor blend of banana, mango… and avocado? Deliciously creamy combined with warm chocolate and pumpkin, we were practically fighting over the last bite. One last thing about Knife And Fork- the service was absolutely spot on. So often you get the amazing culinary expereince on the food side, and sometimes the service lacks. Not the case here. You can tell the team that works at Knife And Fork are well educated, have a passion for what they are serving and take pride in what they do. They delight in explaining how an ingredient or product is locally sourced. A smudge on a wine glass won’t do, taken away and brought back with a freshly polished replacement, before you can even bat an eye. It’s the little things like that which stand out, above and beyond. Well done Nate and team.

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