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Father’s Day Dining

Posted On June 4, 2019

Time to make a reservation to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood 

Dad’s a four-star guy. After everything he’s done for you, treat him to a Father’s Day dinner worthy of his majesty. Restaurants in Aberdeen, Pinehurst, Southern Pines and across the Sandhills offer menus with dishes fathers will savor: steaks, seafood, burgers, freshly made pasta and brunch.

You’ll find Father’s Day promotions and specials, family-friendly restaurants offering kids menus as well as upscale experiences where Dad can relax with a fine glass of wine, premium bourbon or aged scotch. Being with his family will be the cherry on top!

Here are a few ideas for Sunday, June 16th

By LIZ BIRO

1895 Grille

155 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst, 855-679-6058, pinehurst.com/dining/the-1895-grille

Every leather chair qualifies as a throne in the old-world dining room at Pinehurst Resort. Under a canopy of carved wooden beams, toast the “king” of your family with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot and jumbo lump crab cakes covered in caviar béarnaise. Almond butter risotto, brown sugar crumble and grilled asparagus accompany a half rack of Australian lamb. Applewood-smoked cheddar lobster mac-and-cheese is the must-try side with a half-pound, center-cut Angus filet. Chef pours white chocolate anglaise over triple-chocolate souffle, but don’t be surprised when Dad picks the Macallan 25-year, single-malt scotch instead.   

Ashten’s

140 E. New Hampshire Ave., Southern Pines, 910-246-3510, ashtens.com

One of Moore County’s finest cellars will thrill wine-loving papas! The cabernet sauvignon list alone will earn you brownie points thanks to respected wineries Caymus and Rodney Strong in the line-up. The “What Else is in The Cellar” lets Pops play his oenophile card. Only one bottle of each vintage is available, and bottles can run up into the hundreds of dollars. The elegant, intimate dining room spotlights farm-to-table fare that includes a local-steak special. A late spring pan-roasted N.C. mountain trout with dairy-fresh horseradish crème fraiche may be among the seasonal array of dishes, and be assured that fresh biscuits with molasses and local butter will be brought to the table. The full menu is also served in the casual Ashten’s Pub downstairs.

Beefeaters

672 S.W. Broad St., Southern Pines, 910-692-5550, beefeatersofsouthernpines.com

Whether your father is looking to crush a 2-pound, bone-in rib-eye or tuck into a thickly cut slice of prime rib, this traditional steakhouse makes the cut. Thirteen steak selections include kabobs. Whatever piece of beef Dad chooses, he can have it one of six ways, including blackened, Oscar-style or coffee-rubbed. The diverse appetizer menu runs the gamut from classic shrimp cocktail to a half-rack of fried ribs and deep-fried frog legs. Don’t let the candlelight dining room fool you. This is a family-friendly restaurant with reasonable prices and a kid menu.

Bonefish Grill

190 Partner Circle, Southern Pines, 910-692-1131, bonefishgrill.com/locations/nc/southern-pines

If it’s just you and Dad, and you’re both seafood lovers, consider the $55 Bangin’ Dinner. It begins with the restaurant’s popular bang bang shrimp appetizer to share. Two grilled fish or two seasonal entrees follow, plus a house or Caesar salad for each of you. Luckily, Father’s Day falls during soft-shell crab season. Catch the delicacy here stuffed with a crab cake. Don’t miss the warm carrot lava cake cradling molten cream cheese and whipped cream. There’s a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, set atop graham cracker pecan crumble. It’s like two desserts in one, and don’t expect Dad to share.

Carolina Dining Room

80 Carolina Vista Drive, Pinehurst, 855-235-8507, pinehurst.com/dining/the-carolina-dining-room

Chef Thierry Debailleul’s aged, hand-selected beef and signature dry rub is near-legendary at the flagship Pinehurst Resort restaurant. He lays scallops instead of shrimp over tasso basil-pesto grits. Black garlic and bourbon thyme demi-glace give Debailleul’s porterhouse distinctive notes. All that adds up to an impressive dinner in a stunning dining room hung with crystal chandeliers and vintage golf photos. You should seriously consider treating Dad to brunch as well. As Golfweek magazine put it, “the fabulous breakfast buffet (is) arguably the most famous meal in golf this side of the Masters Champions Dinner.” A pianist tickles the ivories while chefs craft omelets to order.

Curt’s Cucina

515 S.E. Broad St., Southern Pines, 910-725-1868, curtscucina.com

Don’t be surprised if Dad shouts “mama mia” at this cozy Italian restaurant. Chef Curt Shelvey proudly accepts the “old-school Italian, red gravy restaurant” people say describes his place. Shelvey grew up in those kinds of restaurants, and it shows in the classic Italian-American dishes and nightly specials that come from his kitchen. “Tomato gravy,” as Shelvey calls it, cooks slowly, no sugar, just the sweetness of San Marzano tomatoes. It goes on sausage lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs and eggplant parmigiana. Also find spaghetti alla carbonara and pan-roasted cod. Shelvey is a stickler for fresh ingredients, which means he sources N.C. seafood and as much local produce as he can. End your meal with an authentic tiramisu, rich with mascarpone. 

Elliott’s on Linden

905 Linden Road, Suite A, Pinehurst, 910-215-0775, elliottsonlinden.com

More than 20 farms and dairy operations stock chef Mark Elliott’s food store, and his community caring doesn’t stop there. The restaurant donates to numerous non-profits including the Golf Capital Chorus. It just feels good to eat in Elliott’s comfortable space where stone walls buttress polished wood and big windows. The creative, seasonal menu goes from light, fresh offerings such as seared scallops with strawberry, cucumber, hazelnuts and ginger beurre blanc to papa-pleasing grilled meats such as elk with lemon sage marmalade or N.C. bison with Jerusalem artichoke gratin and foraged mushrooms. The wine cellar is tremendous, hitting a range of price points, but have no doubt that Elliott’s is a splurge. And Dad’s worth every penny.

Pine Crest Inn

50 Dogwood Road, Pinehurst, 910-295-6121, pinecrestinnpinehurst.com

Take nostalgia-loving dads back in time to this circa 1913 vintage inn. Pine Crest retains the charm that has attracted a century of famous faces, Arnold Palmer and Annie Oakley among them. Book a room and make it a weekend. Your father might be ready to stretch out after enjoying the 22-ounce porterhouse pork chop and gravy in the formal, white-columned dining room, a signature item that has been on the menu for 60 years. Start with an old-school shrimp cocktail or mussels steamed in garlic, butter and wine. If Dad wakes up hungry for breakfast, biscuits and sausage gravy, banana pancakes and the Sunday buffet are worth an early wake-up call. Stick around for lunch, too. Mr. B’s pub offers throw-back deliciousness, so consider indulging in the port wine cheese spread with crackers and a beer before a French dip sandwich. Afterwards Dad can take a post-dining rest in one of Pine Crest’s porch rocking chairs.

Southern Prime Steakhouse

270 S.W. Broad St., Southern Pines, 910-693-0123, southernprimesteakhouse.net

Handsome elegance fills every room, especially a stunning wine cellar area where tables are surrounded by so many vintages. Let the seasoned staff select from a list of nearly 40 impressive wines while Dad considers the irresistible steak selections. Dinner serves every significant cut aged 21-28 days and broiled at 1,400-degrees. Pair steaks with lobster Oscar, or ask for the beef crusted in gorgonzola. Those are just two add-on options. Lobster also fills rangoons, one of the various seafood dishes that are as enticing as the steaks. Brunch perhaps? Prime rib hash with poached eggs and hollandaise will brighten Father’s Day morning, and if Dad just wants the grilled cheese sandwich, don’t try to change his mind. You’ll need a bite. Smoked gouda, crispy pancetta, fried shallots and braised red pepper fill a toasted brioche bun alongside truffle-Parmesan steak fries.

Squire’s Pub

720 U.S. Highway 1 South, 910-695-1161, thesquirespub.com

An afternoon round of golf or a baseball game on the tube, a few beers, a great burger and not a lawnmower in sight is enough to make many fathers happy. Raise a glass of Guinness or Smithwick’s at this true pub where you and Pops can get rib-sticking Welsh rarebit, shepherd’s pie, chicken pot pie and Guinness-spiced London broil with from-scratch mashed potatoes and gravy. There are wings, renowned onion rings and an award-winning basic burger, too, all served in a snug space sporting stained and etched glass, dark wood and antiques including a 1719 map of Kent. Play darts, cribbage or backgammon while you’re hanging out. 

Table on the Green

2205 Midland Dr., Pinehurst, 910-295-4118, tableonthegreenrestaurant.com

There’s a secret, not-so-secret menu at this all-American-looking place at Midland Country Club. Fathers who fancy themselves food enthusiasts will love it. In addition to straight-from-the-U.S.A. burgers, broiled salmon, steaks, buttery lobster tails, a Thai chef turns out curries, house-made spring rolls, pad Thai, fried rice and all sorts of other Thai dishes. Sit back in colonial chairs and watch the greens through floor-to-ceiling windows at Sunday brunch, which has few surprises of its own, like sunny-side-ups with lamb chops.

The Leadmine

132 Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines, 910-684-8703, instagram.com/theleadmine

The chef fashions a fun, seasonal menu of world flavors at this upbeat New American meeting place where Dad can sip a spot-on Old Fashioned. Sit at heavy wooden tables, industrial-fashioned with gears and bolts. Nibble jalapeño-spiced, honey-fried chicken into soft Chinese buns. Blue cheese and sweet beets land on flatbread pizza. Bacon-wrapped meat loaf comes with a truffle mac-and-cheese that everyone will want to taste. You might as well call the bartender a “bar chef.” Sazeracs, Manhattans and Old Fashioneds are proper while the creative cocktails go off the rail just enough. The signature Leadmine blends bourbon, lemon, ginger and activated charcoal. 

The House of Fish Seafood Restaurant

9671 N.C. Highway 211, Aberdeen, 910-944-0826, facebook.com/thehouseoffish

You might not notice the little, white gable-roofed fish shack at first from the road. It resembles a house, except for the commercial ice cooler opposite Adirondack chairs on the front porch. Inside, furnishings are sparse with kitschy fish art and coastal motifs covering the walls. Yes, there are big platters of fried seafood, shrimp, scallops, oysters, fish filets galore, even whole red snapper. Chef Danny Hayes also crafts creative dishes that rank as high-end experiences, for example, garlic butter broiled lobster covered in seared shrimp. Find spicy Jerk branzino and stuffed trout. For the Dougie, Hayes spoons crawfish, lobster and crabmeat gravy over a polenta cake and then crowns the mound with a fish filet and more gravy. True down-home Carolina dishes pepper the menu with old-fashioned favorites like collard sandwiches on pan-fried cornbread. For dessert their cheesecake flavors change all the time, with sea salt caramel often in the mix.