Season’s at Highland Lake

Season's at Highland Lake: Orchard-to-Table Dining in Beautiful Flat Rock, NC
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Boasting fresh ingredients and inspired cuisine, Season's at Highland Lake brings a memorable orchard-to-table experience and sophisticated atmosphere to the Asheville area.

- The Local Expert Team

Natural beauty and historic architecture shape the small town of Flat Rock, which is located just outside of Asheville. Many vacationers stay in Flat Rock’s historic hotels in hopes of experiencing a different era close-up. Such is the case at Highland Lake, where tourists enjoy historic lodging and easy access to the great outdoors. The hotel’s onsite restaurant delivers a delightful culinary experience, complete with local ingredients and careful plating.

Restaurant visits are by no means limited to those staying in the hotel. Season’s gives others a chance to check out the property and its renowned views. While it’s a bit of a drive from Asheville proper, most visitors argue that the food and views are well worth the trip.

While lunch and dinner at Season’s are delightful, there’s something truly special about the restaurant’s weekly brunch. Regulars especially enjoy Season’s omelet station, which offers an excellent selection of cheeses, meats, and seasonal veggies. Soups, salads, and sides rotate regularly based on which types of produce are currently in season.

If you visit for lunch or dinner, be sure to order a glass of wine with your meal. Highland Garden boasts an extensive wine cellar containing at least 1,000 bottles. Wines are carefully selected to complement the restaurant’s seasonal menu. When in doubt, ask your server for pairing recommendations.

A few of our favorite menu items include:

Highland Lake Inn Cobb
This inspired cobb salad ditches the usual iceberg lettuce and replaces it with organic field greens. It also includes smoked bacon, avocado, gorgonzola crumbles, tomato, and egg. Feel free to choose creamy or vinaigrette dressing.

Village Burger
In keeping with its international theme, Season’s serves Wagyu burgers from Japan. The Village Burger also includes house-smoked provolone, gorgonzola, bacon jam, and Dijon aioli. Don’t forget your veggies; the Village Burger has plenty. Bibb lettuce, red onion, tomato, and house pickles complete this magnificent burger, which is served on a honey kaiser roll.

Gnocchi con Manzo
Few menu items at Season’s satisfy quite like hand-rolled potato gnocchi. Serving as the base of this dish, the gnocchi is tossed with slow-braised short ribs, sun-dried tomatoes, and baby spinach. The dish is served with a mouthwatering Parmesan cream sauce and parsnip frites.

Pineapple Upside Down Baked Pancake
Brunch is a big deal at Season’s; one bite of this pancake and you’ll know why. Mimicking the classic pineapple upside down cake your parents or grandparents used to bake, this pancake feels more like dessert that breakfast. Sour cherry syrup provides the perfect contrast to the pancake’s sweet pineapple flavor.

Triple Chocolate Cake
Don’t leave Season’s without ordering dessert — especially if you’re obsessed with chocolate. You’ll thank yourself later for saving room for this decadent cake. Layered with rich ganache, raspberry sauce, and whipped cream cheese, the cake is served with vanilla bean ice cream and an almond cookie.

Because each menu is so distinctive, it’s worth visiting Season’s on multiple occasions to get a feel for the many culinary styles represented there. Don’t be disappointed if your favorite is not currently available; in keeping with the restaurant’s name, dishes rotate regularly to be reflect the current season.

Insider Tips:
-Keep an eye on the special events page on the Season’s official website. There, you’ll find updates about fun happenings at the restaurant. Wine dinners occur regularly; these reservation-only events involve themed five-course meals with genius wine pairings. Additionally, the restaurant serves specials for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the North Carolina Apple Festival.
-Special events book up early, but seating can also be tough to come by during peak dinner hours or even regular Sunday brunches. When in doubt, reserve a table; it’s frustrating to make the trip out to Flat Rock only to be rewarded with a packed house and promises of a half-hour wait.