Monday, October 16, 2017

Muscadine Pie at The Lakewood

Wild Muscadine Grapes. (Photo from the Web.)
One of my fondest memories of childhood was eating Muscadines, the wild grapes that are native to the Southeastern United States.  In the woods near our house was a wild vine that had grown high up into a tree, and in September and October the fragrance of these delicious deep purple grapes wafted into my play area.  The vines were too far up to reach, but when the ripe grapes fell the ground would be covered.  The grape has a thick skin that can be discarded and there are seeds inside the fruity flesh ( I usually spit out the few seeds but eat the thick skin which I'm sure has the most nutritional value.) 

A recent review in the News and Observer of The Lakewood, a restaurant in Durham, featured one of their desserts, Muscadine Pie.  I knew I had to try that.  Laura and Anthony both have October birthdays so to celebrate we had dinner at The Lakewood last night.  The restaurant is located in a building that was once The Davis Baking Company.  That seems fitting since owner Phoebe Lawless is well known for her baked goods at her other restaurant, Scratch.  Much of the original building has been retained, including the tin ceiling, and there is outdoor dining on the roof.  The somewhat contemporary tables and decor suited my fancy.  I was intrigued by the wooden bird sculptures on the shelf at the edge of the wine glasses and asked Anthony to go over a get an artsy photo.  He's an excellent photographer. 
Roof top dining at The Lakewood. (Photo by Anthony Benson.)
Anthony's artsy photo with my Iphone. (Photo by Anthony Benson.)
I was tempted to order the Muscadine Pie first, but there were so many other interesting choices on the menu, I resisted.  We shared a small plate of their smoked blue fish dip with homemade potato chips.  I recommend this!  A side of charred beets with NC apples and dilly ranch dressing was also shared. (We were attempting to sample several of their offerings.) Equally good.
Smoked blue fish dip with homemade potato chips.  
Laura and Anthony both ordered the Bavette steak with long cooked broccoli, seared lemon gnocchi, and olive oil hollandaise.  I ordered the BBQ Pamlico shrimp with crusty baguette. The large shrimp were served with heads on (as they do in France) and with a spicy broth perfect for sopping with the bread.  It was a bit messy to eat, but they provide a slice of lemon and a wet napkin for cleaning your hands as you finish. 
Bavette steak with seared lemon gnocchi. (Photo by Anthony Benson.)
Pamlico shrimp with crusty baguette. 

Time for dessert.  Laura is on a low carb diet and resisted dessert, but Anthony and I shared desserts.  The Apple Scrap funnel cake with sesame caramel ripple ice cream was good, but finally the piece de resistance, the Double crust Muscadine Pie with creme fraiche ice cream and candied pecans was even better than I could have imagined.  Absolutely delicious!!!!
Funnel cake with caramel ice cream. (Photo by Anthony Benson.)

Muscadine double crusted pie with creme fraiche ice cream  and candied pecans. 
As we were eating our desserts, two children at a table near us were served the most delicious looking drink.  It was pink with a grape on the edge of the glass.  I asked the waiter about it, and when she replied that it was a Muscadine Soda, I immediately ordered one.  This drink from the children's menu, was the perfect nightcap to this Muscadine featured meal.
This Muscadine Soda garnished with a Muscadine grape was beautiful and tasty.
(Photo by Anthony Benson.)
I hope Muscadine season lasts a bit longer and I hope Lawless keeps the Muscadine Pie on the menu, because I'm going back!

Read Patricia P.'s review of The Lakewood on Yelp

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