Rustic Elegance

One of my favorite things to do in life is 

fine dining with people that I love.


There's nothing better. In fact, I think heaven might be a lot like that. Where the dining table goes on and on and on and on...

When we were in North Carolina this past weekend my sweet Dad treated us to dinner at Artisanal- an absolute gem in the middle of Banner Elk, NC.

 where is that? Here.

 Bill Greene, owner and chef, started off at a very young age working at a country club in NC. He then went on to cook at some of the best restaurants in the country- including becoming the sous-chef for one of their 4 star restaurants, Le Cirque,in New York. But apparently the fast pace life didn't work for him because he soon returned to his hometown in Banner Elk- and now graces this tiny town with his amazing culinary skills. 
His precious wife, Anita, runs the show.

<flatware wallpaper by anthropologie>

(+1= reasons to visit Artisanal)

Picture 9

“This place is amazing”. There is no other word to describe the beauty of the setting and the barn like building, but inside is warmth and elegance. We call it Rustic Elegance”. -Anita Greene

I was going to say that I cannot even begin to describe what is was like pulling up to the restaurant but Anita just said it for me... Trust us- it's perfect. The exterior is dramatic with its dark stain and rustic roof yet it gracefully blends into the setting.  +1

Picture 3

And the interior... +1

Where SCALE is everything.

Picture 11

the wine cellar below- amazing. +1

Picture 2

<all images above from artisinal website>

I pulled my camera out to take a few pics of my own but immediately felt like the paparazzi. That combined with my mouth hanging open for 4 hours straight are reasons for dismissal in my opinion. But they let me stay+1... and devour my food. +1


 OTTN: the driftwood horse sculpture... absolutely stunning. +1 Their 'horse theme' is repeated throughout but not overdone in the slightest bit.

***I'd like to state here that the food here is out of this world+1.... the calamari is the best I've ever had. It's not fried but yet it's not raw either-- again, unexplainable. +1


The outdoor dining porch sits beside a quiet stream.+1 We sat at the far table in the back- and let me tell you: a peaceful stream + self-induced food comatose = Night night Rachel.

One reason I loved it is because of the fabulous, carefully selected decor+1 <I can't find the name of the designer for Artisanal but as soon as I find out I will let you know. Whoever you are- I'm very impressed.>

Some items I spotted (or "look alikes"):

Picture 12Hickorychair


Solaria chandelier Picture 14

(1) Lee barstools sat at the bar.

(2) Hickory Chair Gunnison leather chair

(4) My dad, Hoyt and a great looking sofa from I-don't-know-where

(3) Solaria rope chandelier

(4) Lee Grand Lounger chair

I told Anita as I left- "Even your toilet paper holders are impeccable." +1

< they are old horseshoes nailed flat against the wall and carefully bent to hold TP- nothing else to it >

If you'd like to take your spouse or significant other on a romantic getaway for a weekend I highly recommend staying at:

Eseeola Lodge in Linville, NC


and treating yourself to Artisanal for a little taste of heaven.

Picture 6

I just gave you 10+ reasons!!! That's why.


p.s. If anyone in my family is reading this I promise I'll stop talking raving about Artisanal. I admit- I've gone a little overboard and probably embarrassed you in front of the staff. It's only because I think it's amazing... best restaurant I've ever been to... aaaaaand I'm doing it again.