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This cozy restaurant on the banks of the New River is a gem with its charming atmosphere and inventive seasonal menu.
The Roanoke Times | File 2009
A rhubarb and strawberry tart fresh out of the oven at The Palisades.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Head cook James Moore tosses hand made pizza dough next to his stone hearth oven in The Palisades Restaurant is located in the former Pynes General Store building in Eggleston Thursday.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Food lovers looking for decorative country charm in a restaurant that serves creative meals should head to The Palisades Restaurant in Eggleston .
This cozy restaurant, situated on the banks of the New River, is in the building that housed the Q.M. Pyne general store . The structure, which first was home to C.C. Whittaker & Co., was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
The proprietor of this restaurant, Shaena Muldoon, grew up 2 miles from the general store and remembers visiting it when she was a little girl. Chef Ashton Carter runs the kitchen.
The seasonal menu consists of a range of innovative dishes such as lobster pot pie ($19.95) or an 8-ounce filet mignon with chipotle butter ($22.95) . It also boasts items such as venison with kiwi puree and cremini mushrooms ($20.95).
Diners also have the option of choosing from several pizza selections, including seasonal concoctions such as the Jack-o-lantern, which consists of pumpkin puree, fire-roasted red peppers and smoked Gouda ($13.95).
On our first visit, the inviting menu led me to try the confit of smoked chicken ($6.95) with lentil puree, orange and fennel as an appetizer, while my dining partner chose the spicy shrimp ($7.95) with honey, chili and cilantro. Prior to the appetizers arriving, we were treated with a tasty offering of hummus, bruschetta and crostini .
To our delight, the appetizers were brought to the table by our very attentive server shortly thereafter. The beautifully adorned plates revealed the chef’s emphasis on presentation. The baked chicken thigh had a tender , moist texture that married well with the smooth lentil puree. The eight colossal shrimp were cooked perfectly and dressed with a spicy sauce that was pleasing to both our palates.
For my entree, I chose the baked French- cut pork chop ($16.95) stuffed with herbed apples and braised greens. My dining partner settled on salmon cakes ($21.95), which happened to be the chef’s special feature of the day.
While we waited for the entrees, our server revealed that all entrees (as well as the pizzas) are cooked in a stone-hearth oven, which is visible from some tables in the dining room.
The entrees arrived in a timely fashion and were just as pleasing to the eye. The stuffed, bone-in pork chop was situated on top of a bed of delicious and creamy garlic mashed potatoes. The chop, which was nicely seared, was extremely moist and flavorful, as was the apple stuffing. The braised greens were flavored well but seemed to be overcooked .
My companion raved about the three salmon cakes, dressed with a guacamole mixture and nestled on top of mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed vegetables. She commented on the freshness of the salmon in the cake, which was made with very little filler. After tasting for myself, I agreed the generously portioned dish was spectacularly flavored .
On our next visit, we decided to try one of the stone oven pizzas . Of all the choices, and against the server’s recommendation to try the barbecue chicken pizza, we ordered the supreme ($14.75), which was topped with sausage, ham, pepperoni, green peppers, onions, mushrooms and black olives. We chose the regular crust over the honey-wheat and gluten-free offerings.
The hand-tossed pizza arrived about 20 minutes after ordering. There was a nice balance of fresh ingredients covering the pizza, which was still steaming hot from the oven.
As we pulled cheesy, hot slices to our plate, we immediately noticed the nice texture of the crust. The first bite revealed a tender and light crust that supported the abundance of tasty toppings .
This delicious pizza was more than enough for two, so we boxed up the leftovers and took them home to the kids. It reheated well, and they loved it.
The bottom line
The Palisades is a gem for folks who live nearby and a wonderful dining getaway for those willing to make the trek to Eggleston. The staff makes you feel right at home by catering to each diner’s needs. The food will not disappoint, which is why I will return in the very near future.
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