We were with cousins who took great pains to take us to the best of the local experience around Blowing Rock and Boone. Dinner one evening was at the Casa Rustica in Boone. It's a log home kind of building, not spacious inside but plenty of warmth and character.
The menu is based on Italian cuisinse with addiitional choices in beef, chicken and fish. Some at the table ordered pasta, some beef, some fish. Some ordered soup; some ordered salad. All food showed the care and skill of the chef. Pasta was cooked just right, seasoned and sauced well with spices on a light touch so that the freshness of ingredients could shine. Freshness is the key to Casa Rustica's fish offerings, too. The fish of the day selection included sanddab, not frequently found in restaurants. It was cooked perfectly with a faint crisp to the outside and just the right moist flakiness to the meat beneath. I was also impressed that the regular menu includes duck confit.
So if you want to settle in with the locals for some tasty Italian cooking and warm atmosphere, follow them to Casa Rustica.
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