Tucked away in the peaceful mountain village of Hot Springs, North Carolina, the Mountain Magnolia Inn is worth visiting not only as a romantic escape and your gateway to the Appalachian Trail, but also for its farm-to-table cuisine. Chef Tom Fecke is dedicated to sourcing only the best products in his culinary creations — hence his focus on local farms. He is not only a chef, but also a committed shopper; he visits farms himself to ensure that only the freshest ingredients enter his recipes.
Because the Mountain Magnolia Inn places such an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients, the menu is small by necessity. Despite its diminutive size, there’s usually something available to keep both vegetarians and gluten-free eaters happy. The restaurant accommodates special dining requests when possible.
Mountain Magnolia Inn offers a limited beverage list featuring several craft beers brewed right in Asheville, along with fine wines from California, France, Italy, and Argentina.
As a bed and breakfast, the Mountain Magnolia Inn serves its guests a feast every morning. Those not staying at the inn are welcome to stop by for dinner and stay afterwards to enjoy the magnificent view. A 45-minute drive from Asheville, this makes for a wonderful mountain getaway.
The atmosphere at the Mountain Magnolia Inn is just as enticing as the food. Take in Victorian decor as you await your meal. The room in which you dine is small and intimate; while this imparts a cozy experience, it means you’ll want to make reservations well in advance to ensure you score a seat.
A few of our favorite menu items include:
Enjoy a delightfully fresh salad consisting of spring greens, yellow peppers, and blueberries. The salad also features goat cheese, sunflower seeds, and honey croutons. It’s tossed with a delicious parsley vinaigrette. You can often find some variation of this salad at the Mountain Magnolia Inn, although ingredients may vary slightly based on which produce is available or in season.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
A great option for vegetarian visitors, this flavorful acorn squash entree comes with brown butter Brussels sprouts and parmesan risotto.
Bison Short Ribs
Carnivorous types will adore the bison short ribs at the Mountain Magnolia Inn. These tender ribs are braised to perfection with delectable bacon chive sweet potatoes. The recipe also features seared napa cabbage.
A beloved Italian recipe created from local ingredients, this take on piccata is guaranteed to satisfy. Enjoy this dinner delight alongside basil pasta ‘rags’ and tomatoes — and a delectable lemon caper sauce.
The dinner menu at Mountain Magnolia Inn changes either nightly or weekly, depending on the availability of ingredients. This is a common trend among Asheville area farm-to-table restaurants. This practice keeps the dining experience fresh; no two visits to the kitchen at the Mountain Magnolia Inn will look exactly alike. The dishes highlighted above should give you an idea of the types of recipes served at the restaurant, but don’t expect them to be available when you arrive.
-For the ultimate in culinary pampering, upgrade to the Chef’s Table experience. This unique dining package features a five-course meal specifically prepared with your tastes in mind. On warm days, you and your partner can eat at one of the Mountain Magnolia Inn’s beautiful outside locations. Otherwise, you’ll dine before a glowing fireplace. Set aside two hours for a leisurely dining experience. At some point, the chef will leave the kitchen for a special introduction.
-If you try the Chef’s Table package, be sure to add the wine flight. For an extra charge, you can enjoy a variety of excellent wines from the proprietors’ reserve. These are carefully paired with your meal and selected based on your wine preferences.