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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Special Occasion Restaurant

Posted April 22, 2008 7:58 a.m. EDT
Updated April 28, 2008 10:52 a.m. EDT

A big political debate is coming up tonight. Let’s have our own culinary debate today. If a special event is coming up where do you go? What restaurant do you call for reservations for a truly special occasion?

I thought about those questions this weekend when Cindy and I went to the Angus Barn. We hadn’t been there in ages. Would it still be as good as we had remembered? The answer: yes and then some!

Call me old fashioned but I still love the cheese spread with crackers up front. The Angus Barn has been serving that since before I first went there in 1972. You’ve got to the careful and not fill up before the main course.

The wine selection is mind boggling. We chose an old vine zinfandel from Sonoma. St. Francis vintage 2005 was heavenly.

Our bacon wrapped filet mignon was perfectly cooked and the mushroom sauce on the side added a rich and delightful dimension to the taste of the beef. I try to avoid a lot of starch but capitulation came in the form of those famous Angus Barn stuffed potatoes. I will gladly spend an extra hour at the gym this week for my dietary crime. And there is no way I am going to dine at this legendary restaurant and not try a little chocolate chess pie. It doesn’t get any better anywhere.

Service here reflects the qualities of owner Van Eure: gracious, charming, warm and always accommodating. Our waitress even recited the names of my CDs. I was impressed.

Where do you dine for that special occasion?