Knife & Fork, Spruce Pine, NC

For years I couldn't wait to get to Spruce Pine.  And being a lover of all things food, I wanted to see what Spruce Pine offered as far as restaurants.  Nothing appeals to me more than a hole-in-the-wall barbeque joint or off road diner, and I hoped Spruce Pine offered something like that.  But I had no idea they offered a restaurant like Knife & Fork, opened and operated by Chef Nathan Allen and his wife, Wendy.  Trained at Johnson & Wales University, Nathan moved to the western mountains of North Carolina to "pursue a closer relationship with the people that grow vegetables and raise animals, and to be more connected to the earth and the seasons."  I coveted everything on the menu for several years without being able to taste it, and I made a point of it in May 2012.  If you are in this area, you must, must, MUST get to the Knife & Fork.  And if you don't:  lie to me.  This establishment is a true gem.

Knife & Fork, 61 Locust Street (lower street), Spruce Pine, NC 28777, 828.765.1511

Honey chevre pancake with candied hog jowl and kimchi

Braised chicken leg & thigh with lacinato kale and mashed potatoes

Coffee ice cream on a warm doughnut