Southern Living’s Best Restaurant of 2015 names Highland Avenue Restaurant

kyleHighland Avenue Restaurant was thrilled to recently be featured as one of Southern Living’s best restaurants of 2015. The text from Southern Living’s article read, “At executive chef Kyle McKnight’s restaurant, the commitment to local sourcing is visible not only on plates but in glasses as well. The bar program highlights a number of North Carolina spirits, like TOPO Vodka from Chapel Hill, and Mother Earth Gin from Kinston, North Carolina. At tables, expect to see McKnight utilize Southern ingredients in fun ways, like pork belly with a sweet onion buttermilk vichyssoise or green beans garnished with smoked peanuts.”
Highland Avenue Restaurant owner Meg Jenkins Locke was absolutely delighted with the Southern Living feature. “I am so excited to share this news! All my life, at my Mother’s knee, I learned about how to make a home from her and from Southern Living magazine. I am so proud of our entire team!” said Locke.
Throughout 2015 Highland Avenue Restaurant has generated a great deal of press, beginning with several mentions in the Hickory Daily Record. The Hickory Daily Record’s articles covered such topics as Executive Chef Kyle McKnight’s intensive pig process and his participation in New Appalachia’s Sunday Supper Series. The Citizen-Times of Asheville, NC covered the annual Kyle & Friends Chefs Dinner which raised over $1,500 for the Hickory Soup Kitchen. Carolina Epicurean reported the January addition of Sam Stachon to Highland Avenue’s staff when Sam came on board as Sous Chef. In June Our State Magazine listed Highland Avenue Restaurant as one of the six farm-to-table restaurants to try during the summer. An online voting contest in June, hosted by Scoutology, declared Highland Avenue Restaurant the “best bar in Western North Carolina”. Highland Avenue Restaurant has also been awarded Best Ambiance in Charlotte, Best Contemporary American Restaurant in Charlotte, and Most Booked Restaurant in Hickory by Open Table.
Most recently, Highland Avenue Restaurant was elated to be featured on an episode of “Anglers & Appetites”. Executive Chef Kyle McKnight welcomed Phil into the kitchen where the two gentlemen had a great time cooking local fish and swapping stories about Southern-influenced cuisine.
“We believe our time has come,” says Locke. “This recognition affirms who we are and what we are trying to do in this community. We know that breaking bread and coming together around a common table is one of the greatest blessings in this life. Our team believes in providing that environment for each and every guest.”

Destination Hollar Mill includes Highland Avenue, Hickory’s premier fine dining restaurant, and
The Crossing at Hollar Mill, a 10,000-square-foot full-service rental venue and concert hall. The businesses was founded with a mission to offer extreme hospitality to each guest. The company is committed to preserving Hickory’s history and honoring it with sustainable and thoughtful development.

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