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.
Cupped behind the restaurant and buildings on either side is a sweet patio for dining outdoors.
Whether 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My advice? Go!
205 Fashion Circle