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Restaurants & Bars

Wanderlust, New River Gorge, WV - Report

Steve | Nov 21, 202007:11 PM    

We ate at Wanderlust in Fayetteville, WV three of four nights that we stayed at the Gorge. The reason we kept going here is because of our experience on the first night: one of the most sublime meals I've ever had.

For the record we had parsnip puree, naan dumplings, shrimp with dashi, and a beet salad. As the name of the restaurant implies, this is 'world cuisine' inspired by dishes and ingredients from far flung places. And true to West Virginia, it is a super casual hangout. You can eat great food here straight from a rafting trip.

The parsnip puree managed to be creamy and full flavored at the same time. A hard trick to pull off. The naan dumplings were a unique creation: blistered naan dough filled with a spicy potato and chicken masala. The dough had a brittle yet delicate outer layer, but the interior was fluffy as a pillow. Again, like having it both ways at the same time. The shrimp had slivered almonds and greens and was an American take on a Japanese dish. Although Japanese cuisine is thoroughly delicious as is, it can also be severe. So this friendly version had a faint touch of caramelized sweetness to the dashi, and the wok hay on the shrimp really sealed in the juices. The beet salad provided a refreshing pause to all the other flavors.

Our other two nights revealed more fine dishes: chicken pimenton, which is a pressed chicken dish with crackling skin served over Belgian fries and Basmati rice that both soaked up the juices and sauce from the chicken, served along with two fresh roasted cherry peppers still on the vine. A great touch. There's also a squash bisque with rich and deep flavor and finally a lamb burger with some potent toppings that still went down smoothly. The burger was served with Belgian fries so good they are like eating French fries for the very first time.

The only fail was an order of 'Turkish' spaghetti, a vegan play on spaghetti and meatballs. In this case the meatballs were giant blobs of felafel too dense to be enjoyable.

This was a great discovery.

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