Thanks to all the chowhounds who gave suggestions. We ended up at Tosca afterall. The food was quite good. Crab bisque was flavorful and "crabby". My first impression of a successful meal is always confirmed by the soup course and the bread. Their bread was well textured and crusty. House salad wasn't anything great. Grilled mahi with tomato-capers was done well (the person who recommended Tosca to me originally said to have the fish). Dessert was amazing: a zabaglione/gianduia concoction that I'd only ever read about! We thought they had a fairly extensive wine list and lots to order by the glass so you could do your own pairings (my "person" is a V.P. for a local wine distributor, I guess theirs). Then, I ended up having lunch in Durham. Saw an add for the Blue Corn Cafe on Ninth St.-- Latin American -- and unbeknownst to me, owned by the Tosca people! Best sangria I've had out in a while, tasty tostones and a great (savory) pulled chicken sandwich on very good Cuban roll. Unfortunately, many of the dishes have typically been americanized, which is always the problem. I found a hole-in-the-wall-next-to-a-gas-station Salvadorian Taqueria/Pupusaria where their English is as bad as my Spanish but they make great pupusas! (Think arepas with meat). And they know how to fry plantanos, too. So if anyone is ever on Hwy. 321 in Lenoir on their way up the mountain to Blowing Rock, El Continental is next to the Holiday gas station at the last light before you head up the mountain. It's the real thing! P.S. I'm a good resource person for restaurants in Blowing Rock/Banner Elk area.