Executive Chef Doug Triolo takes a modern approach with each dish on his menu to foster an open, contemporary environment at Graffiti’s Bistro. Medallions of pork tenderloins are stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon to complement the citrus sweetness of an orange marmalade. The chefs temper the spicy kick of blackened tilapia with a Grand Marnier sauce and rub filet mignon with traditional Montreal spices. Diners get in on the experimentation by customizing gourmet burgers with eclectic toppings such as coleslaw, applewood bacon, and bermuda onions. In the bistro’s dining rooms, dark wood accents create an elegant atmosphere complemented by cabinets filled with wine bottles and a marble-plated fireplace. On the weekends, local musicians strum guitars and shatter priceless vases to the beats of Motown and contemporary rock, which can be heard on the outdoor patio as patrons dine underneath oversize umbrellas.
Chef Rob Keener and his accompanying culinary crew at Square 1 Cafe craft fresh, locally sourced comestibles into mealtime masterpieces for brunch, lunch, and dinner. A seasonal menu rotates through an assortment of appetizers, such as a baked-brie pastry puff, oozing with blackberry jam and crowned in candied nuts, and honey-drizzled fried green tomatoes. Hand-cut fry fences surround a Sq burger entree, built on a foundation of a patty fortified with gorgonzola steel beams and furnished with grenadine-poached onions, whereas blackberry barbecue and applewood bacon sheathe blackened chicken in the cheddar-covered Blackbird. Unhinge jaws to swallow whole a Southern specialty of shrimp & grits, brimming with a bacon-and-herb béchamel sauce bubbling over stone-ground grits and South Carolina crustaceans performing synchronized-swim routines. Though Square 1 Cafe's online menu is seasonally changing, this menu provides a list of regularly showcased items.
Although steak, seafood, salads, and desserts share the spotlight, it's the fondue pot that transforms the dining experience at The Melting Pot into an interactive one. Steaming fondue pots at the center of the table allow diners to dip slices of granny smith apples, artisan breads, and veggies into warm blends such as aged cheddar and lager beer, or fontina, butterkase, and buttermilk blue. Although a wine and cheese fondue pairing may suit the evening on its own, a fresh salad followed by lobster and steak continues the dipping feast. Turn the experience into a four-course meal by adding one of nine velvety chocolate fondues; diners can gather around the table to dip strawberries, marshmallows, or pieces of cheesecake.
Mansour Zand, owner of Willow Creek Inn, has transformed an early 20th-century farmhouse into a venue for fine dining. He's facilitated this change through an internationally inspired approach to cooking as well as design. Using fresh produce and herbs from his own garden, he composes plates of European-style chicken, fish, and beef. This ever-changing cuisine is most often served in the formal dining room, which is adorned with lace drapes and antique furniture, or at the intimate chef's table, where groups of up to 16 can take in views of the countryside and watch the chef prepare the meal. Larger parties, meanwhile, take root on the open-air terrace or in the garden pavilion.