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Sanders Ridge's Big Woods Restaurant
A photogenic meal from Sanders Ridge's Big Woods Restaurant.
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Sanders Ridge Cabin
Meals at Big Woods restaurant are made from organic produce from the vineyard's own farm and other local farms.
After a long day researching vineyards, we were ready to relax over dinner. On the recommendation of the owners of Rag Apple Lassie Vineyard we set "Helga" (our GPS) for Sanders Ridge Vineyard in Boonville, and its new Big Woods Restaurant.
After driving through acres of grapes we discovered that the restaurant, a rustic contemporary post-and-beam building, was closed – but a door was open. The chef at that time*, Jim Stouffer, was startled when John walked into the kitchen but graciously offered to feed us if we'd take potluck.
We were overdressed for panhandlers but there was no disguising our appetites as he brought out warm bread with pate and some of the best scallops we've ever had. While we relished a "Stouffer's meal" as we've never had before, Neil Shore, the vineyard owner, happened drive down the lane. Surprised as may have been to see a pair of diners chatting with his chec on the deck of his closed restaurant, it never showed. Soon he was sitting down with us, pulling out bottle after bottle of his winery's best for an impromptu sampling.
Good food, good wine, good new friends – cheers to southern hospitality (and successful panhandling)!
* Jim Stouffer is no longer with Sanders Ridge. The new chef is Starr Johnson, who has worked as a chef at North Carolina restaurants including Noble's, South by Southwest, Rainbow News and Cafe and Bianca's.