We struck out in N. Georgia.
Smith House in Dahonega was a disappointment. The fried chicken was fairly good, though a bit dry, and the accompanying vegetables went downhill from there. Don't get me wrong, I've been to a lot worse southern/countrycooking/meat&three type places, but I've seen better (Wades in S'burg SC for example). They didn't even have biscuits. Geez.
For dinner in Hiawassee we choose the restaurant at the Fieldstone Inn where we were staying. I was pretty sure it was a bad choice before we ate there, but we were too tired to drive to places in neighboring towns that had been recommended by 'hounds. The outdoor patio dining by the Lake was really nice, and I had a decent bottle of wine for $15, but that's the end of the nice things I can say. It was mostly awful. Bread frozen in the middle, menu different from actual preparation, "grilled" salmon soaked in yellow grease, yada, yada.
Dinner on the way home we crossed the border into NC and ate at Paoletti's in Highlands. Pleasant hosts, warm atmosphere, great wine list, good service, good food, fascinating people watching. Our appetizers and salads were very good. Our entrees (cannelonni and risotto) were just OK, but given the quality of the rest of the meal I would give them another chance. I don't like creamy, thick risotto, I think it should be a bit runny, a bit al dente, and "broth-y" not creamy. Others may disagree.
Anyhow, the crowd appeared to be ridiculously "money-ed". Many older gentleman dressed like the club members in Caddyshack. Man across from us appeared to have brought a call girl with him. We counted 6 Jaguars and a Rolls parked out front.
Oh, and we saw Lance and Cipo and many other great riders, it was a totally successful weekend sporting-wise if not dining-wise.