Goodstone Inn Features New Fine-Dining Restaurant


(Tuesday, May 15, 2007 2:30 PM EDT)

A heated swimming pool, hiking trails and self-boarding stables are just a few of the amenities guests can find at the Goodstone Inn and Estate, and now they have a brand-new fine-dining restaurant to add to the list.

Hilltoppers at Goodstone was completed in October last year and has been open to inn guests only, but will open to the public beginning May 16. The restaurant offers traditional country-inn fare, but with a contemporary twist.

“The menu is always evolving,” said executive chef Christopher Carey, who studied at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan and the Cordon Bleu in Paris. “The concept is to present cuisine that is refined with global influences.”

The kitchen's offerings change on a regular basis to reflect the seasons and to include the produce that is freshest and most readily available. Goodstone has its own vegetable-and-herb garden, and Carey tries to utilize themes as much as possible.

Carey has found that most guests come to the restaurant in the mood for rustic comfort foods, and his goal is to marry upscale culinary concepts with simpler, country-style dishes by using unique breeds of beef and pork, or uncommon types of salmon.

“Most people have an image of ‘country' in food, and we try to play with that,” he said. “They come here to relax, and the last thing we want is for them to look at the menu and say ‘what is that?'”

Although the menu will change for the restaurant's opening to the public, some favorites on the current menu include roasted Snake River Farms Kurobuta pork with potato-fennel gratin and red wine-olive sauce, and the Mishima Ranch Kobe beef New York strip loin with foie gras, roasted Belgium endive and peppercorn-cream sauce.

In addition to the restaurant, a wine cellar also was built, housing about 1600 bottles of more than 100 different wines. The cellar doubles as a dining room for private dinners for up to 12 people.

Hilltoppers recently was given its name in a “name that restaurant” competition. Bud Gates, from Linden, Va., came up with “Hilltoppers” and will receive an overnight stay at the inn, afternoon tea, full country breakfast and, of course, a complimentary meal at the new restaurant.

Built as an extension of the great room in the Carriage House, Hilltoppers retains the same historic style, with 200-year-old pine floors and handcrafted windows. The roof of the restaurant serves as a large outdoor terrace for the “Hayloft,” one of the inn's most popular rooms.

“We're trying to do something different from what the area has to offer, but in keeping with the rest of the property,” said Goodstone general manager Brian Crook. “The restaurant looks like it's been here forever.”

Having a restaurant at Goodstone Inn and Estate, which is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, was a long-time dream of owner Mark Betts. And now that it's a reality, staff see it as a great new amenity for the inn's guests.

“The guests love it. The people who stay here do things all day, visiting Civil War sites and wineries,” Crook said. “Now they can come back, take a shower, get a drink and have dinner right in the inn.”

Dinner at Hilltoppers is by reservation only and the dress code is smart casual. To book a reservation or for more information, call (540) 687-4645.

Hilltoppers is the new restaurant at Goodstone Inn and Estate.

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