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Asheville restaurants win 'Best Dish' honors

Three Asheville restaurants won top honors in the Best Dish in North Carolina competition, which showcases restaurants using local ingredients.

A perfect score of 115 points went to Sunny Point Café in Asheville, which took first place in the casual dining category for the Western Piedmont/Mountain Region. Two other Asheville restaurants also excelled. The Red Stag Grill tied for first in the fine dining category and Homegrown tied for second in the casual dining category.
Restaurants were divided into two regional categories: an Eastern Piedmont/Coastal Region, stretching from Chatham and Alamance counties east, and a Western Piedmont/Mountain Region that included an area between Guilford and Cherokee counties.
Following are the 2012 for the western Piedmont/Mountain region:
Fine Dining Category:
• First place (tie) — Red Stag Grill, Asheville
• First place (tie) — Spring House Restaurant, Winston-Salem
• Second place (tie) — Vidalia, Boone
• Second place (tie) — Rowland's at Westglow Resort, Blowing Rock
• Third place — Crippen's Country Inn and Restaurant, Blowing Rock
Casual Dining Category, Western Piedmont/Mountain Region:
• First place — Sunny Point Café, Asheville
• Second place (tie) — Homegrown, Asheville
• Second place (tie) — Bistro 42, Asheboro
• Third place (tie) — Off the Square, Albemarle
• Third place (tie) — Lucky 32, Greensboro
Sponsored by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Our State Magazine, the Best Dish in N.C. competition is an annual statewide contest that recognizes restaurants and chefs for using North Carolina agricultural products in their menus. The competition promotes the culinary advantages of buying local. Restaurants may enter a single-course entrée or any combination of courses to include with the entrée such as appetizer, soup, salad or dessert.

To be eligible to compete, each dish entered must contain a primary ingredient from a N.C. producer or farm. Dishes are scored on overall use of N.C. products, creativity of the dish, taste and originality. The depth of the "buy local" connection, overall appeal and value of the entries rounded out the judging.