Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Casual Dining Biltmore Style

When we visited the Biltmore Estates over Christmas break our favorite meal was Sundaylunch in the Bistro next to the winery.  From the welcoming atmosphere to the cloth napkins decorating the tabletop, everything was nicely laid out as if we were enjoying a casual lunch with the Vanderbilt's themselves.




Like the Stable Cafe, the menus and food here rely on local grown and fresh seasonal ingredients.  The menu had so many wonderful items, it was difficult to chose what to have for lunch!  Our waitress was so friendly and extremely attentive.  Near perfect service is often something a large party doesn't always experience.  
When a waiter or waitress pays attention to young people at a table, answering questions and listening to their desires, they earn much admiration from me.  Children often go ignored.  Since I expect mine to behave as young adults, I expect others to treat them as such.  The young lady that took care of us will go far in life with her care and attention.


Audley and I both chose to start of with baked French onion soup.  It was so rich and delicious and totally satisfying.  I considered a second bowl, but remembered that I has already ordered a main course!






For my main course I chose a beef tenderloin tip sandwich with sweet onion jam, bacon and arugala lettuce.  It was served up with kettle cooked truffled chips.  I am not quite sure that I can put into words how delicious these chips were.



I was so full after lunch, but the cheesecake with cherries and chocolate was too much to pass up.  Thank goodness for friends and family to help eat it!  


I loved how the kitchen was set up for viewing all of the action.  The chefs were all so intent on creating the perfect dish to send out to each customer.  It was like watching an artist work.  Chefs are definitely artists in my book because it takes a lot of work to make some of the dishes they create.

Look at the tower of chicken salad!




Audley enjoyed the Pastrami Rueben “Croque Monsieur”, Bacon-Fennel Sauerkraut, Gruyère Fondue for his lunch.  That was the quietest he had been the entire weekend, so I am assuming he enjoyed his choice!


The kids all went for pizzas.  These weren't just your normal pepperoni and cheese pizzas (although you could have them), but topped with ingredients that were "out of the box" and wood oven fired.


A table favorite was the Roasted Mushroom, Spinach, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Swiss and Mozzarella topped pizza ordered by our friend Amy.


One of my girls tried the Italian Sausage and Pepperoni, Mozzarella, Pomodoro Sauce topped pizza.


And the pizza of the day topped with mushrooms, pepperoni, pineapple and fresh arugula lettuce was very flavorful indeed.


This butter pecan and chocolate chip bar dessert was a hit all around the table!


This was Christmas, so after lunch we all ventured over to Antler Hill to walk off some of our lunch and have our picture made with Santa.  There is nothing better than enjoying a vacation with precious friends.


And don't you just love the vintage Santa costume?  


I'll be honest with you, the pizzas have been the topic of many conversations over the last several weeks.  On display in the entryway was a cookbook assembled by the chefs of the Biltmore Estates.  I bought it two years ago and have prepared several dishes from it.  The Bistro was high lighting the pizza recipe , over the weekend we made our own homemade pizzas trying the recipe from the Biltmore.


Pizza Dough Ingredients:• 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
• 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon quick-rising dry yeast
• 1 cup warm water
Method:Combine the flour, sugar, garlic, basil, rosemary, tarragon, olive oil, vegetable oil, and salt in a mixing bowl; mix with a dough hook. 


Add the yeast and mix at low speed. Add 1/2 cup of the water gradually, mixing constantly. Add the remaining water gradually, mixing constantly until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Mix at low to medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove to an oiled bowl, turning to coat the surface. Let rise, covered with a clean towel, until doubled bulk. 

 Punch down to remove air bubbles and divide into 4 to 5 equal portions. Makes four or five pizzeta crusts.
  



Roll out and bake for 5 minutes on 350 before topping with your favorite toppings.  Cook until cheese bubbly and the crust is cooked through.









Dinner was not a disappointment at all.  The crust was fabulous and we topped the pizzas with our own favorite ingredients for a wonderful family supper.



Try the crust.  You won't be disappointed.

Do you ever find inspiration from eating out?


  

1 comment:

  1. Oh thank you for sharing that pizza crust recipe. I have looked high and low for one I might really enjoy. This looks as if it could be THE one. That Santa looks like the real deal, too!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by! I love reading your comments!