By Christian Kowalski, 2016
Highlands’ downtown area was by far the most charming collection of shops and stores we had visited thus far on our trip. The streets were lined with boutiques, seasonal shops, gourmet food places and so on. Each little block had a store that piqued our interest. Based on the amount of great local shops in Highlands, our group knew we had to find a nice restaurant in this part of the town.
While walking around we spotted the Bistro on Main Street, which was an old-fashioned white Inn resting on top of a hill. It looked like a dream destination for lovers of bed and breakfast type places. Upon entering the Inn, it was warm and cozy, the feeling you want when choosing a small, local inn. The furniture was old-fashioned but clear, the spaces on the floor were small and intimate—it was an ideal setting to have a nice lunch and unwind. Other aesthetic points that stood out were the restaurant’s chandelier which was a collage on intertwined branches wrapped in lights. It had a seasonal, wreath like shape that really embraced the fall weather setting. There was also a fireplace tucked away in the back of the room that would breathe warmth into the room during the colder nights in Highlands.
The dining area inside was small but comfortable, and we were seating closer to the main atrium. The menu had more expensive meals than the other restaurants we visited and offered other options beyond southern cuisine. The entrees were all over twenty dollars which included fish, steak and chicken-based dishes. Beyond these more expensive meals were a variety of soup options, chicken pot pie and other warm meals to make you feel good during the cooling months. I ordered shrimp and grits, mainly because I wanted to remain consistent with ordering southern dishes throughout my time on Highway 64.
The grits I ordered were perfectly creamy. The chef added cheese to the grits to add more flavor on top of them to give the meal a fuller taste. The shrimp was fresh and soft and complimenting the rest of the dish really well. Many combinations were tasting between the shrimp and grits, the grits separately or when I scooped with the freshly baked bread that was provided with our meal.
The shrimp and grits was one of the cheaper dishes offered at the restaurant totally around thirteen dollars. For the price, the portions were decent but could have had more shrimp with the dish. But it was quality over quantity as the entire meal despite it size was incredibly balanced and delicious.
Overall, the Bistro on Main Street had a very warm and home-like feel that fit given its place as a popular Inn at the heart of the town.