The Biltmore Estate is a mansion constructed by the Vanderbilt family in the late 1800s. At almost 180,000 square feet, it's the largest privately-owned house in the United States. These days, the Biltmore Estate has a museum, a winery, and sprawling gardens. You could easily spend a whole day exploring the grounds. Go wine tasting, visit the spa. or go shopping for books, furniture, chocolates, and more. Activities for kids include horseback riding, hiking, and a visit to the farm.
Part of the Biltmore Estate experience is dining at Village Social, located next to the Biltmore Estates winery. To dine at the restaurant, you need to have an admission ticket to the Biltmore Estates, be a guest at the on-site hotel, or be a Biltmore annual pass-holder. Despite the fact that Village Social is located next to a fancy estate, the ambiance is relaxed and casual.
Much of Village Social's menu is inspired by the Gilded Age, the time period when the Biltmore Estate was constructed. The menu also focuses on sustainable, local ingredients. To start, try the blue crab cake or the steamed clams, which come with white wine, butter, garlic, ham, and garlic bread. If you're in the mood to share, order the seafood fondue, which includes lobster, shrimp, and toasted bread.
Chilled seafood is the house specialty. Oysters and salmon tartare are great options. If you're with a big group (or just feeling fancy), try the seafood platter, an $85 dish with poached shrimp, king crab legs, oysters, and lobster tails. For the main course, consider the Frogmore Stew, which has shrimp, clams, lobster, corn, sausage, potato, and grilled bread. If you're tired of seafood by now, the chili-dusted ribeye or the pork tenderloin might be the choice for you. Vegetarians are safe with a roasted butternut squash risotto.
Cover image by Tim Collins is made available on Unsplash.