March 2014


F i r s t   C o u r s e

Black Tiger Shrimp
shaved fennel and citrus salad, saffron vinaigrette

Duck Confit
French lentils, braised endive, bacon

Marinated Tuna Tartare
wakame, cucumber sorbet, wasabi oil

Arugula Salad
pecorino romano, croutons, roasted red pepper vinaigrette

M a i n   C o u r s e

Marinated Lamb Loin
roasted eggplant, shiitake mushrooms, sautéed spinach,
Asian pear chutney

Alaskan Halibut
fingerling potatoes, leeks, micro herbs

Filet Mignon
reggiano risotto, Maine crab, asparagus, bordelaise

Breast of Chicken
baked polenta, mushroom ragout, haricots verts, tomato confit, tapenade

D e s s e r t

Bread Pudding
brandied currants, caramel sauce, crème anglaise

Zinfandel Berries
fresh berries tossed in a red zinfandel and lavender honey reduction, served with basil ice cream

Trio of Sorbets
strawberry red wine, pineapple-star anise, coconut

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée

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house-11Chef Bill Klein began his training at age 21 working at River House.  Given his dedication, his skills and his extraordinary palate, Gayle encouraged him to broaden his culinary horizons.  So he left River House and embarked on a journey of discovery that has led him full circle.

First stop: the New England Culinary School in Vermont, where he earned his culinary arts degree and spent time cooking with Madeleine Kamman.  A world-renowned chef, restaurateur and author of The Making of a Cook, she sparked Bill’s interest in methods of traditional French cooking.  To become expert in French cooking, of course, demands training in France, so Bill went abroad to work with some of the best.

His teachers read like a Who’s Who of French cuisine, owners of two and three star Michelin rated establishments:Chefs Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, twins who had just been named the best new chefs in France at Le Jardin des Sens in Montpelier; Chef Antoine Westermann, who has held the highest Michelin rating for more than 25 years at Restaurant Buerehiesel in Strasbourg; and Chef Didier Clement, at Le Grand Hotel de Lion d’Or in Romantin.

Bill returned to the United States after a year, but his training was far from finished.  Gary Danko recruited him for the opening of Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco, which the James Beard Foundation named the best new restaurant in America that year, 1999.  Bill was part of the team that prepared the James Beard Foundation Dinner in New York.  Then Bill then went to work for Ron Siegel, the first American to win the Iron Chef competition.  They revamped a struggling San Francisco restaurant called Masa’s, which, within months, won the coveted four-star designation by San Francisco restaurant critic Michael Bauer.

With this amazing tutelage, Bill became the Executive Chef of Fig Bistro in Asheville, a restaurant that was a true reflection of his style and talent.  After 6 years, he left Fig to work a short stint at The Biltmore and has now returned, once again, to take the reigns of the wonderful kitchen at River House.  The classes offered here are intended to give the students a “taste” of the knowledge, techniques, and skills needed to make food amazing.  We are pleased to be able to offer this special opportunity for you to peer into the mind and spirit of an incredibly talented chef and to share in the culinary delights that are a part of the magic of River House.

River House Inn & Restaurant, Le Grand Hotel de Lion d’Or, Le Jardin des Sens, Restaurant Buerehiesel, Gary Danko, Masa,’s Fig Bistro, Biltmore Estate Bistro, and full circle, River House Inn & Restaurant.

Topical Seminars (1/2 day):    Seminars are designed to cover very specific culinary concepts and teach techniques for execution.  They are intended to be short, focused courses for individuals really interested in learning chef’s techniques.  Chef will host Seminars on Mondays (March through May) that cover different functions within a professional kitchen including: saucier (stocks & sauces), grillardin (grilling), friturier (frying), poissonier (fish & seafood), potager (soups), legumier (vegetables), patissier (pastry & desserts), and boucher (butchery).

Cost is $100/person (Maximum 5): includes the class & lunch.  Offered on Mondays: April 7, 21, 28 & May 5, 12, 19, 2014.  Will offer March, April, & May 2015.                                          

Garde Manger Package:        The term “garde manger” (French for “keeper of the food”) originated in pre-Revolutionary France.  At that time, maintaining a large supply of food and beverage was an outward symbol of power, wealth and status.  It is because of this duty of supervising the preserving of food and managing its utilization that many interpret the term “garde manger.” Modern garde manger can refer to a station that is generally an entry level cooking position within a restaurant.  This package will give the participant the chance to work with chef on menu planning, recipe preparation and execution, and incorporates demonstrations, recipe knowledge, and development of basic techniques.

Cost is $300/person or $480/couple and includes an overnight stay, breakfast, the class, and the culminating dinner.  $50/person additional dinner guests (excludes tax, tip & alcohol)  Courses are available on Wednesdays: April 9, 23, 30, May 7, 21, 28, Sept 3, 10, & Nov 5, 12, 19 of 2014.  Maximum 2 participants.

Apprentie Chef Package:       The Apprentie or Apprentice is someone who wishes to gain theoretical and practical training in school and work-experience in the kitchen. There are many core technical components that a chef utilizes to create a memorable meal. This package will give the participant an opportunity to work closely with the chef on menu development, technical execution of core components like stocks & sauces, daily planning, preparation, and cooking for service. Incorporating demonstrations, recipe knowledge, and hands-on experience, the participants will be engaged in 3 days of service giving them a comprehensive insight into being a chef.

Cost is $650/person or $960/couple and includes 3 overnights, breakfasts, the class, and culminating dinners. Maximum 4 participants.

Course dates for 2014:  September 15, 16, 17         

Course dates for 2015:  March 16, 17, 18 & Sept 14, 15, 16

To sign up for culinary courses, please contact us by email:
More info at!

We look forward to hearing from you.
Gayle Winston, Inn-keeper
Jennifer Gordon, Manager
Bill Klein, Chef

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Dr. Nancy Schneeloch-Bingham teaches flute and directs the flute ensemble at Appalachian State University’s Hayes School of Music. Her performance experience is diverse—she is a member of ASU’s faculty woodwind quintet, and Harmonia Baroque, an early music ensemble featuring period instruments. Her duo with flutist Leslie Marrs, Dúo Pelirroja, tours annually and presents dynamic, team-taught masterclasses.

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Next door to Room 1 behind the stone wall was Doc’s parking space.

You may have to duck when you enter the bathroom because we used a great old door that is not standard issue. A

nyway, that brings you down to the level of the Lilliputian lavatory in a little antique vanity.

Don’t worry, the shower is Brobdingnagian.
$150 Sunday-Thursday nights, $175 weekends/holidays

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Our guest rooms are all in converted farm buildings behind the main house. We’d much prefer to be less literal – to have you open a creaky old door and be surprised to find the king-size bed, the big Jacuzzi, the gas-log fireplace, the art,  the books – but since you insist…
Just down the walk from the main house, had been Dr. Ballou’s office where he saw patients and stored medical supplies in earlier days. Now we “store” books in a cabinet which formerly served as private club/speakeasy liquor lockers. Three misty watercolor nudes gracefully replace anatomy charts.
$150 Sunday-Thursday nights, $175 weekends/holidaysThe Weigh Station has a queen-size bed. All other rooms have king-size beds. No telephones, no TVs (but if you must watch that game, there is an old set in the library). And we do have broadband wireless access in the library and on the porch.
The nightly rates listed  – weekdays / weekends & holidays – are for two people and include full breakfast. Add $50 for each extra guest.  (After all, the beds are very big!) Pets are welcome if they are clean and quiet and can hold their liquor. There is a pet fee of $25 per visit. Guests are responsible for picking up their “litter.”  (Children, on the other hand, must be leashed and muzzled!)
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