Spring has sprung in the North Georgia Mountains
I am personally excited that the fishing is starting to pick up! Lake temperatures are in the high 50s on Burton and neighboring Lake Chatuge was 61 degrees when I checked the other day. The Rainbow Trout have spawned and are now feeding on Dark Dun/Caddis and Crawfish. This is a good time to catch large Native Brown Trout as they are feeding on the rainbow eggs and fry. Walleyes can be found in river mouths entering in to the lakes and are responsive to trolling up river. As soon as the windy weather pattern changes, large Spot Bass can be caught on a top water fly. Quite sporting! Now is the time for the Striped Bass, as well and many local lakes have plenty of them. Early in the morning and late afternoon, find the schools of Shad and you’ll find the bass.
Spring is also the time for Ramps, a local Leek, known for its unique pungent aroma. When the Ramp is par boiled for ten minutes in salted water the flavor mellows and adds a unique element to many dishes. Look for daily “off menu” features utilizing these local Ramps, while they are abundant. Branch lettuce is another local delicacy, a leafy cross between Romaine and Red Oak lettuces. Branch lettuce grows along small creek branches in the early spring. Morel Mushrooms will also start popping up as soon as the ground temperature hits 50 degrees. I love these spring delicacies.
Chef Jenn has been busy with making her own delicacies: ice-creams; Chocolate, Cookies & Cream, and Lavender, just to name a few. Soft fruits lend themselves to sorbets; Blackberry, Strawberry, Blood Orange, Mango, and Coconut are the crowd favorites. Check with your server at lunch or dinner for a sweet treat made right in house to finish off your meal the next time you dine with us!
The newly constructed kitchen at The Overlook is complete and I must say that Gary Speed, our Chief Engineer has built an awesome kitchen! We have been testing out the new pizza oven dreaming up new pizzas such as a White Pie with garlic, ricotta, and broccoli. Another neat twist combines grilled chicken with pesto. The Overlook menu will include other new items that are possible because of the new kitchen. Philly Cheese Steaks, Subs, Sausages of the World and several fresh salad options. The Overlook is going to be a rocking place come early May!
In the coming weeks we will have new ala carte dinner menus at The Lodge with many fresh fish and seafood dishes. There will be a focus on Light Fare on ALL menus, as well as vegetarian options.
Friends, take time to enjoy this special time of year! The rebirth of life, with many shades of green and all of God’s colors. The Lake is teeming with new life as the warming sun abounds. The majestic birds of prey are on the hunt. The Ospreys will return soon, baby American Bald Eagles and Hawks are in down. There truly is nothing like spring in these majestic mountains.
Chef Mark Wilkins