Dinner at Echo Mountain Inn
Echo Mountain Inn & Restaurant is an *extremely* charming Inn & eatery in Laurel Park, NC.
Laurel Park is a cute little town in the mountains, right next to Hendersonville.
The gorgeous stone building that is Echo Mountain Inn was originally built in 1896 as a private residence, and throughout the past 100+ years has been a tea room, girls camp, wedding venue, and much more.
In 2019, when it was acquired by the Bonnema family - renovations began; and a wellness center was opened.
In 2020, the restaurant at the Inn officially opened, which is run by Chef Thomas Makowski - who came with a decade of experience working in Michelan star restaurants.
Not only is the restaurant convenient for guests, it is also open to the public!
I had seen an ad for the restaurant on IG & it was Saturday night; so I decided to treat myself like a lady and take myself out.
I made a reservation - put my ladylike pantsuit on, and headed out.
*did not actually wear pantsuit, it was at the dry cleaners.
After driving through the windy roads of Laurel park, you’ll be immersed in Christmas charm once you arrive at the Inn (unless of course you’re reading this blog after the holidays, then presumably - you won’t - but I’m sure it’ll still be charming).
So once you get to the Inn, go in the main door & then follow the signs to the restaurant - I know it’s difficult, but you can do it.
It’s Omg so cute on the interior with a warm and cozy vibe (cue fireplace) and Christmas villages galore. It’s kind of been a life goal of mine to have a home filled with mini Christmas villages, but I just haven’t made it there (yet) so this was a dream come true - I was in Christmas Village Heaven.
Each table in the restaurant was adorned with a solitary red poinsettia (also one of my Christmas faves).
Plus; each table had a cute little name plate.
Initially I thought the name plate indicated the your worth they assigned to you - depending on how nice you were when you made your reservation. (I was like “what $5, thats it?!” as a solitary tear formed in my right eye.) But (luckily) - I quickly put two and two together, and realized it was *actually* just the time of my reservation, which made me feel much better about life in general.
I was sat by the window so I had the most *perfect* view of the mountains.
To start I had a glass of the Red Bliss wine from Point Lookout Vineyards in Hendersonville (also a cool place - you should check it out).
The restaurant also has a nice selection of local beers to choose from.
Immediately my server brought me a nomz bread basket with delightfully tasty bread.
For my entree I had the Fall Harvest Salad (sans pecans) & the Hand-Cut Truffle Fries.
The Truffles Fries smelled *so good* when they came out, and tasted even more delicious. The fries themselves were perfectly crunchy & The Roasted Garlic Aioli sauce that came with the fries was to die for - super trufflie.
The Harvest Salad was fresh, delish & bountiful - and the dressing was superb; sweet with a slight kick to it. The roasted pumpkin & sunflower seeds made it hearty, filling & healthy.
So - one of my favorite parts of the experience was me realizing I had been sat next to a figurine of a dog.
My second favorite part (besides the food) - was the lighthouse village set up right in front of me, that I noticed mid meal.
Having grown up in a seaside town, I absolutely adore lighthouses.
After dinner, don’t miss the history room on the way out!
So word is, the Inn used to be haunted by an apparition of a woman in the kitchen & dining area. The new owners must have thoroughly saged the Inn because there was no haunting to be found. But that was cool, because it was nice to have a wholesome dinner around the holidays.
However, The lamp posts *did* flicker on and off on the way out & I almost died - until I realized it’s 2020 and we have the technology to make things do that.
Again, super cute & charming ambiance.
Oh, and btw; by the time I left my fabulous dinner it was dark & the holiday lights were absolutely enchanting. Make sure to leave some extra time to bask in the holiday spirit of the Inn.
So the Kitchen of the Echo Mountain Inn may not be haunted by a ghost anymore, but the new chef is absolutely amazing.
Tip; I (also) suggest making your reservation early so you can leave time to stare in wonder at all the Christmas decorations and history - without disturbing other diners. Plus; if you arrive before dark you’ll get to enjoy the amazing Mountain View’s.
The restaurant is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner and Sunday for brunch.