I have been looking for a great restaurant in the Waynesville, Maggie Valley area for many years since we have a summer home here. The usual recommended places, like J. Arthurs, have always disappointed. Last year, Frankie's Italian Restaurant opened in Maggie Valley. It's a great spot but very noisy, with spotty service. I gave up hope of finding another good place but then happened upon the beautifully restored Gateway Club in downtown Waynesville, where Anythony Wayne's serves a fantastic food at a great price with superb ambiance.
This old building where the restaurant is located was originally restored to be a private club, but when not enough memberships were sold, it was opened to the public. This is great for everyone since you can have the feel of being in a private club without the cost.
We had Sunday brunch and were seated in an impeccably decorated dining room with hardwood floors, beautiful draperies, and leather appointments throughout. The dining room tables all have linen tablecloths and comfortable fabric chairs. The first thing I liked was that the tables are not too close together. (It reminded me of the restaurants you see in movies but don't believe really exist.) The hostess and waiter were prompt, courteous and well-informed.
I had a delicious chicken pot pie and strawberry salad. With strawberries in season, the salad was one of the best I've ever had. It was mostly field greens with blue cheese, green apples, fresh strawberries, candied pecans and a blush wine vinaigrette. So light and delicious, and to die for. The pot pie was unlike anything I'd ever seen, and unbelievably mouthwatering. It was an open shell pastry filled with cooked fresh vegetables and tender pieces of white chicken in a very light sauce. The servings were just right and everything was prepared perfectly. Both my partner and I were amazed at how flavorful everything was and how little salt was needed. He had delicious Huevos Rancheros -- corn tortillas topped with refried beans, 2 sunny-side- up eggs, cheddar cheese, fresh Guacamole, salsa verde, Spanish rice and chorizo. He finished his plate in no time and loved every bite.
Not only was the food exceptional but for all the panache and attention to excellence you'd expect high prices. Not at all. My pot pie was only $11 and my partner's rancheros were $12. We had a fantastic lunch with drinks for under $30.
We can't wait to go back for dinner. Thursdays look especially promising since every week there is a wine-tasting with one of the premier sommeliers in North Carolina.
If you're ever in western North Carolina, treat yourself to a wonderful experience at Anthony Wayne's. This is a chef going somewhere!
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