Twigs is a long-established fine-dining establishment in the downtown Blowing Rock scene. It doubles as a watering hole for locals with its very comfortable bar – sufficiently large to host live music on weekends. The thing you will love about Twigs is how friendly and easy-going the atmosphere is without compromising quality of food, service or preparation. As a side note you’ll also love the convenience of walking to this restaurant from anywhere in downtown Blowing Rock. “Southern” is on tap here any way you slice (or drink) it – so come on down and enjoy an evening among friends!
One big reason this place is so enjoyable is the personality and dedication of the owner, Doug Beech and the passion and commitment of Executive Chef, John Dean. Doug wants above all for this to feel like a neighborhood restaurant and bar where people are comfortable. Doug’s mother started Twigs twenty-five years ago. He wants to continue the tradition of being a friendly neighborhood retreat for high country denizens at the end of their day with as little change as possible from when his family began it two and a half decades ago. They want Twigs be the “go-to” venue in-town for anybody in the high country looking for an enjoyable outing with upscale food. But they emphasize they don’t want anyone staying home for fear of a dress code. Come as you are and enjoy! Doug says they’re in the business of facilitating friendships – between the staff and customers and among the clientele themselves. He says he feels good things happen over great food and he sees Twigs as the catalyst for that magic. There’s no price on friendship and they’re here to make that happen. The way Doug puts it is, “Come see your old friends and make new ones at Twigs.”
Something we shouldn’t overlook is the location and architecture. Located on Hwy 321 just down from Sunset Drive, the building is comfortably set back from the road so that any road noise is gone along with any sense of traffic. You get the feeling you’re “home” when you walk in and I’m not quite sure I can describe it but the exterior of the building is completely inviting and makes you want to come in. Walking in – you’re immediately taken with the friendly, warm, cozy and comfortable atmosphere of the rustic, softly lit interior. I would describe it as romantic, comfortable and informal. Settling in makes you want to stay put for the entire evening!
Matt and I were both struck at the passion in their philosophy of bringing people together and providing a venue to foster good times and friendship. With all of the stress of modern society I think they’re onto something. I can tell you that when I sat listening to Doug and John Dean, I was simply moved by how fervently they enjoy being part of this creation – both the atmosphere of conviviality, great service and the creativity of this unique, southern, fine-dining cuisine. Listening to them, I was carried away with the sense of magic in the air and it was totally their enthusiasm. That translates as you will find when you visit into a very enjoyable evening and captivating food!
In keeping with the theme of creating an atmosphere for fun and enjoyment in a local fine restaurant and watering hole they provide a really comfortable bar in which to linger over your favorite libation while awaiting company or simply mingling with the locals. On weekends when live music is scheduled you’ll appreciate the lack of a cover charge. They want you to come enjoy a drink, listen to good music and dance if the mood strikes you. How many high country restaurants offer live music and dancing! It’s a part of their 25-year tradition of providing fine food and fun.
Executive Chef, John Dean is a force in fine dining in this restaurant. We talked at length with him and will let him speak for himself in the videos. I strongly encourage you to listen in because when he talks you’ll find yourself falling under the spell of a young man who obviously loves his work and is having the time of his life practicing it at Twigs. The first thing I noticed when he began talking about his food and his art was the enormous smile that broke open across his face and how it carried me with him into his infectious enthusiasm and mood. I can attest as can Matt that the meals he described were every bit as mouth-watering as expressed. After the interview we sampled the fare and my palate is aching to return! This is a place that makes you want to go back and turn into a “regular!”
John describe their cuisine as very heavy on southern and otherwise, “American Classic.” He talks proudly of their commitment to sourcing their foods as much as possible locally, working with nearby farmers and coops. He says he loves the southern aspect of their cuisine – the things people in the Carolinas grew up with – he’s not gonna short you on your shrimp and grits, heirloom southern chow chow and oysters “lots-of-ways.” They like their signature North Carolina trout and I can’t imagine you won’t. John could have talked all night about his art and presentation and when you meet him or simply his creations – you will be a believer.
Manager Phillip Bruch is devoted to implementing Owner Doug’s philosophy that the experience be enjoyable and the setting so comfortable that whoever enters the door is destined to become a return customer. Phillip is the detail man here and, with his attentive wait staff delivers the dream of Doug and John. Phillip wants you to know that you can come casual, formal, business-casual, shorts, suits – so long as you come. And once you arrive he assures you that they are dedicated to making you feel at home and feel so welcome that you will be unable to resist coming back.
There is no question that there is a magic to this local legend which has become the staple of so many visitors and residents of the high country. It’s as comfortable as your favorite easy chair at home. It’s the place you come to right in-town Blowing Rock for world-class cuisine. And it’s the place you’ll continue to visit to renew old friendships and form new ones. Come to Twigs and enjoy life!