Cypress Cellar owner Renee Ellender brings family recipes from Louisiana’s Terrebonne Parish on the bayou to the restaurant’s creole menu. She and her culinary team flavor crawfish étouffée with a roux-based tomato sauce and simmer andouille sausage alongside shrimp, crab, and chicken in a rich Louisiana-style gumbo. They also prepare freshly shucked oysters in four ways and offer eight varieties of po’ boy sandwiches, ranging from classic catfish to smoked turkey. Ellender’s father handcrafted the restaurant’s furniture, including the bar and table, from cypress wood to offer a higher level of comfort than the moss-covered logs they were previously using.
Though it's named in honor of author Edgar Allen Poe, The Poe House isn't full of talking ravens and men descending into madness. Pictures of Poe, however, do adorn the exposed brick walls behind the rustic establishment's bar. Like the six-packs on its shelves, the bar's taps are filled with microbrews and craft beers, many of which are sourced from local and regional brewers. The Poe House also specializes in high-gravity beers—which, unlike antigravity beers, don't float into space when you open their bottles.
At The Quarry, melodies dance through the evening air as knives clink over Angus steaks, veal, and seafood. The Quarry’s executive chef, Craig Gosnell, drizzles shiitake bordelaises, simmers white wine with lemon capers, and stirs mornay sauces, whose aromas waft amid the dining room’s layered rock walls, which are adorned with local art including six murals depicting new and old facets of Brevard. Patrons escaping from the labors of cooking and the low-hanging branches that snag chef hats chatter happily over dishes that tag in regional ingredients such as Carolinian trout. Nightly live music gives time in the limelight to local troubadours, who perform everything from jazz to bluegrass before basking in cheers and signing autographs for applause signs. Glasses of port kiss with a crystalline tinkle in the flickering light of handmade soy candles. Handcrafted tablecloths hearken back to old-fashioned artistry, and eyes wander to the smooth whorls of a walnut bar and a wrought-iron wine rack forged by the hardened hands of a blacksmith.
The Phoenix’s cooks needn't travel far for excellent ingredients. Using produce and proteins from local farm and distributors, such as BusyBee Farm and Cape Fear Seafood, the farm-to-table restaurant’s culinary team creates a seasonal menu of upscale eats for both dinner and lunch. They do everything from coat grilled quail with local honey gastrique to slow-cook braised local rabbit in a tasty mixture of garlic and white wine. Cooks even put their own spin on casual classics like po’ boy sandwiches, which they fill not only with shrimp, but also mountain trout or Philly cheesesteak fixings.
While the kitchen stays open from noon to midnight every day, The Phoenix’s bartenders stick around at least an hour longer. Besides pouring beer and wine from a biodynamic, organic, and sustainable selection, they whip up house-made liquor infusions, including peach- and apple-flavored moonshines. Libations pair perfectly with The Phoenix’s lineup of local and regional musicians, who fill the roomy restaurant with infectious rhythms six nights a week.
Adam Dalton Distillery's namesake aims to concoct craft liquor with a special distillation method that increases quality and decreases hangovers, according to Mountain Xpress. The spirited establishment's handcrafted rum pours as freely as the sky every time Fred Astaire performed his rain dance, along with an expansive roster of other drinks at a full-service bar, including beer, wine, and whiskey. As guests sip, their minds are free to wander to football games broadcast from televisions, warm paninis that complement cold brews, and regular live music or open-mic nights. Beer caps stud the corrugated-metal bar's surface, stretching out with colorful logos like a racecar driver's sleeve of corporate tattoos.
Carmel's whips together a menu of traditional Southern favorites with fresh, forward-looking ingredients fortified in cross-cuisine partnerships with locavores including Imladris Farm, Sunburst Trout Company, and Short Street Cakes. Ceremoniously cut the duct tape over a mouth to usher in the cornmeal-fried-chicken sandwich's apple-and-cheddar battering rams ($9.50), or fire up Sunday brunch with the shrimp and grits' spicy poblano pyre ($10). Evening ingesters, meanwhile, may retire to the warm incandescence of Carmel's ornate dining room to feast on savory mainstays, including the Hickory Nut Gap beef-and-mushroom jus of Carmel's meatloaf ($16).