Quinoa, Goat Cheese & Lavender

Tucked away behind the Tanner (Doncaster) clothing factory (214 Fashion Cl, Rutherfordton, NC) is a cute bistro with anything but cute food. Lavender Bistro’s serves honest, heavenly and homemade fare.

Lavender Bistro

Cupped behind the restaurant and buildings on either side is a sweet patio for dining outdoors.

Lavender Bistro

Lavender BistroWhether you include shopping at the 90% off retail Tanner/Doncaster store next door or not, you must go to Lavender Bistro for lunch or dinner.

My friend Michelle and I stopped in for lunch after attending the Bechtler Mint Site Grand Opening a week and a half ago.

I’d heard good things about the Bistro and it’s owner/Chef JP Debeuf and co-owner Judith Debeuf, but wasn’t prepared for such an adorable restaurant, deck and delicious food all in what some might consider “the middle of nowhere”.

Enticed by this description, “sweet potato, kale quinoa cakes topped with lemon yogurt sauce”, we ordered the Quinoa Cakes ($8) to share. I’ve seen a lot of quinoa dishes, but not cakes. That crispy crust and subtle pops on chew, made this a tasty experience I hope to repeat on a future visit.

Lavender Bistro

Michelle is an admitted Goat Cheese freak. Who isn’t? She ordered the Harvest Spinach Salad ($9) as a starter. Just gorgeous, the dish was built on fresh baby spinach, topped with roasted butternut squash, parsnips, cranberries, walnuts and goat cheese “crumbles”, dressed with a cranberry vinaigrette.

Lavender Bistro

Cooler weather must have subconsciously pushed us both toward (comfort food) pasta. By the way, Chef Debeuf makes everything from scratch, including pasta and desserts. The daily pasta special, Roasted Vegetable Ravioli sounded just right to me. Pockets of roasted veggies and possibly a little pesto wrapped in delicate pasta were topped with a luscious cheese sauce and served with a small side of broccoli.

Lavender Bistro

For Michelle, Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Agnelotti ($10). A larger portion goes for &16. That’s right . . . more goat cheese. You go, Michelle. I forgot to ask Chef what he used to color the red portions of the pasta before joining it with strips of alternating regular pasta. Could it be beet juice? The menu described the sauce as a “light blush cream sauce”. So good.

Lavender Bistro

We were both members of the Clean Plate Club this day and declined dessert, until . . . Chef JP started seductively describing how he makes his Tiramisu: ladyfingers soaked in espresso, Kaluah and mascarpone mixed to what I have to call thick and light at the same time layers. I can honestly say this is the best Tiramisu I’ve ever had. Which is surprising since you’d think one of the Italian restaurant versions I’ve had would take that honor.

Lavender Bistro

Chef JP can cook. No doubt about that! He also hosts wine dinners and cooking classes at the Bistro.

During the day, tables are laid with wine glasses festooned with white cloth napkins. For dinner service, lavender napkins make an appearance.

Lavender Bistro
Lunch Service
Lavender Bistro
Dinner Service (facebook.com/lavenderbistronc)

My advice? Go!

Lavender Bistro
205 Fashion Circle
Rutherfordton, NC.
(828) 287-2932


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  1. Not only is the food “to die for”, which it is, but Judy and JP are two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet!

    If you’re ever in that part of the Carolinas, it is well worth the trip, and, believe it or not, even though it may seem “out of the way, my GPS drives me right past it on my route eastward through beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains it is nestled in after leaving the Landrum/Tryon area.

    This spot qualifies as one you “can’t miss”.

  2. i travel down from New Hampshire just to partake – we miss his fabulous cooking and her delightful hostess skills so much – can’t wait for my next trip down that way! Best food ever and totally worth the trip!

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