The Shenandoah Valley is known for many different attractions — natural beauty, small town charm, historical sites, outdoor recreation, and a growing wine and craft beer presence.
Among people serious about fine food, it is known as an exceptional place to dine.
Nancy Craun of Taste of the Blue Ridge said, “Food in the Blue Ridge carries a sense of tradition that’s present in every dish. Here we like to call it “Root to Table.” Our foodie community lives and breathes their commitment to our roots in order to bring the best quality food to our friends and visitors.”
Taste of Blue Ridge and its parent Go Blue Ridge Travel are great resources for what is happening in the foodie world of the Blue Ridge Mountains. “For example,” Craun said, “The 2nd annual Root to Table Open Feast is August 24th at the Hillbrook Inn and Spa in Charles Town, West Virginia. Taste of the Blue Ridge chefs from leading area restaurants will be cooking outside; farmers and restaurant owners will be talking with guests and all will be listening to live music. A great overnight lodging package is available, too.”
If you are looking for local dining spots and u-pick farms, check out Go Blue Ridge Travel’s Culinary Trail.
Consistently rewarding meals await diners at all these locations — but to consider something a “culinary event,” we go a bit farther, and suggest the following when you are ready for a meal to be special event. In no particular order:
Shenandoah Seasonings Dinners—Backpackers in Shenandoah National Park often consider a good meal to be spray cheese food on a Pop Tart. But there are wonderful options at Skyland and Big Meadows called the Shenandoah Seasonings Dinners, which combine excellent food with local wines, whiskey, craft beer or hard cider. Coming up this month are a Craft Beer Dinner July 5 at Big Meadows and Vintner Holiday Event July 11-13 at Skyland. Several other events are scheduled into September. Book reservations and investigate packages here.
One sample menu from this program—First Course: Grilled Spicy Lemongrass Prawns avocado puree, cucumber yogurt sauce, Viognier; Second Course: Local Charcuteries, gourmet cheeses, whole grain mustard, ﬁg spread, crostini, Chardonnay; Third Course: Stewed Petite Eggplant roasted tomatoes, crispy romano cheese, basil pesto, Cab Franc; Fourth Course: 72 Hour Boneless Beef Short Rib, speckled grits, roasted mushroom, braised kale, red wine sauce, Mertiage; Fifth Course: Apple Tarte Tatin, vanilla bean ice cream, caramel sauce.
L’Auberge Provencale — US News and World Report called L’Auberge Provencale one of its ten top romantic getaways, on par with hideaways in San Francisco, Jamaica, New York and Dublin.
On July 8 L’Auberge will host “A Day at the Shore,” featuring steamed clams, herb steamed mussels, peel your own shrimp, clams casino, crab imperial, and roasted vegetables straight from their own gardens. Then on July 15 you can meet and greet wine make Jason Murray at the Arterra Winery Wine Dinner.
Located in White Post, about 75 west of Washington, DC, L’Auberge Provencale has the definite look, feel and charm of a French country inn, and the cuisine has a French flair featuring herbs, vegetables, and fruits from their own orchards and gardens, along with the freshest and best of ingredients from local farms.
Harrisonburg Restaurant Week was held March 5-11 in 2018, but put it on your calendar for next year. During this time, restaurants come together to present innovative menus, one-of-a-kind restaurant collaborations, culinary workshops, chef demonstrations and more.
At the Mimslyn Inn, Luray, a Down East Crab Feast was just held June 30, and there will be an Oyster Party/OysterFest Nov. 16 and 17. Enjoy delectable oysters from this iconic inn on the hill overlooking the charming town of Luray. And if you have not investigated the Mimslyn’s Manor House and Cottage collection, do so here.
On September 2nd at the Augusta Expo in Fishersville, discerning lovers of truck cuisine can enjoy the 4th Annual Virginia Food Truck Battle. Eighteen trucks and a variety of craft beer brewers will be on hand to vie for top honors. Many children’s events plus live bands will keep all entertained. Proceeds benefit The MaDee Project, a non-profit foundation that provides support to pediatric cancer patients and their families in the Augusta County areas and surrounding counties. For more information send e-mail to: VAFoodTruckBattle@gmail.com.
Dine with “Thomas Jefferson” at the “Jefferson at the Peaks Dinner,” Sept. 19, Peaks of Otter Lodge, Bedford. Through a partnership with the National Park Service and Poplar Forest, guests will join “Mr. Jefferson” as he provides his unique perspective on cultural and natural histories. (Also Friday Night Surf and Turf Buffet, and Sunday Bruch Buffet.)
Chef’s Table Dinner, Massanutten Resort– Dining is a big part of this multi-faceted resort outside of Harrisonburg. Enjoy a fabulous water park, golf, serious mountain biking, a family adventure park, ziplining, concerts, and many kids’ activities among other diversions. On the Food Front: Delight in a three-course dinner prepared and served by the Executive Culinary Team at the Campfire Grill. Held Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. Space is limited to keep the experience intimate, so reserve your seat today!
Photo courtesy Shenandoah Seasonings Dinners