my wife and i tried the pinecrest inn recently. all-in-all it was a good dining experience, but not without a few misses.
we started with their take on calamari. perfectly fried, bite-size pieces in a very fine breading. served with a wasabi sauce and an "asian dipping sauce" that reminded me of tamari & hoisin. sauces were a little salty for me, but that was easily remedied by using less. overall, one of the better calamaris i've had, and the highlight of the meal.
that was followed by a mixed salad with a cider vinaigrette for my wife, which she seemed to like, although she didn't eat either the red onion or tomato that were the primary non-lettuce vegetables. i had an apple and spinach salad with pecans and a lemon vinaigrette that was quite good. salad prices were a little high for the portions.
my entree was the pork tenderloin. grilled and served with an apple-bbq sauce, it was good, although a trifle beyond the medium i requested. the sauce was good, but applied a little too liberally. this was served atop roasted potatoes that were fine but nothing special and a few stalks of broccolini.
my wife had the blackened tilapia served atop risotto and accompanied by the same broccolini. the tilapia was cooked perfectly, and was nicely seasoned. the risotto was a little overcooked, but tasty.
we finished with a blueberry bread pudding for my wife and a chocolate-hazelnut strawberry torte for me. my wife said the pudding was ok, but no better than that, although she did clean the plate. my torte was overbaked, and the strawberries were identifiable by their seeds but not much else. it was definitely the weak point of the meal.
wine-by-the-glass prices were high, and i didn't check the full-bottle prices. they also have a full bar.
the menu featured a flat iron steak that sounded good, but the waiter described it to another table as a flank steak, so i opted against it (not that i'm against flank steak, it's just not what i would want if i were expecting a flat iron steak) and i'm not sure what you would get if you ordered it.
service was friendly and fairly attentive.
oddly, at least in my experience, they added an 18% gratuity to the bill for a party of two. we paid it without complaint, especially so since left to our own devices we normally tip in the 20-25% range. i don't appreciate it when a restaurant does this "service" for me/small parties. i understand it for large parties, but in this case it cost the waiter a few bucks.
relative to the thread a ways down regarding this restaurant, shorts are verboten, but jeans are acceptable.
would i go again? i wouldn't make the trip down the mountain again just for dinner here, but if i found myself in tryon again, i would go back.
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