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The Vines Restaurant
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The Vines Restaurant and Sylvan Valley Resort

Many people might think that the best German-style restaurants are in the Bavarian-style village of Helen, Georgia but The Vines European Cuisine at The Edelweiss Inn is in nearby Sautee, on Duncan Bridge Road (Georgia 384), the well-known shortcut to the Alpine village. Although the restaurant has a decidedly German style, the menu features dishes from Germany, France and Italy wine regions designed to work with specific local wine.

The Wines

Innkeeper John Boyes selects a variety of local wines from the Northeast Georgia Wine Country and enhances the selection with some American and European Wines. Wines are "paired" with dishes intended to compliment and enhance the flavor of the food. Examples of John's pairings include:

- Paella Risotto with Sautee-Nacoochee's Sautee White
- English Garden Plum Salad with Serenity Cellars' Radiance
- Irish Potato and Cheese Soup with Frogtown Cellars' 13th Colony Cabernet Franc
- Greek Seared Rack of Lamb with Yonah Mountain's Genesis
- Charlotte Mousse au Chocolat with Habersham's Creekstone Chambourcin

Breakfast and Brunch

Brunch at The Vines
Saturday morning is the only day The Vines serves breakfast. For the dedicated American palate The Vines includes pancakes with apples, pecans, or chocolate chips or omelets with your choice of ham, bacon or cheddar cheese with a side of Tyrolean potatoes and sausage gravy (a German twist on an old Southern favorite). Shrimp and Crispy Grits takes another Southern favorite (shrimp and cheese grits) and serves a crispy grit cake covered in Asiago cream sauce.

For European taste The Vines offers a large "Tyrolean Farmers Breakfast" with roasted potatoes, onions, bacon and sausage complete with eggs on tops, a delicious reminder of Alps-style dining in southern Germany. Tyrol itself has been a district in the early German state, part of the kingdom of Bavaria, an independent county, and part of Italy and Austria so Tyrolean food is also frequently associated with these countries.

Other European-influenced dishes on the Saturday breakfast menu include browned Potato Pancakes with bacon and applesauce, Eggs Edelweiss (picture Eggs Benedict served over Tyrolean Potatoes instead of English muffins), and Schnitzel ala Holstein, a fried egg, breaded cutlet, anchovies and capers of Tyrolean roasted potatoes. For a unique breakfast flavor try the Creme Brulee French Toast.
For Sunday Brunch the menu varies greatly, but always with a wide selection of main dishes. On the morning (okay, early afternoon) that we went the chef had dishes such as sliced beef (medium to medium-well), shrimp tortellini in a cheese sauce, sliced lamb, and ham or pork with a variety of side dishes.


For the weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) The Vines offers Appetizers and small plated, two salads that can be turned into a meal with the addition of chicken or shrimp, and entrees and sandwiches. Made in the traditional Viennese style (Wiener means Viennese in German) their Wiener Schnitzel can be made with veal (the traditional meat for this dish) or pork. When the dish is made with pork it is called Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein.

The lunch sausage plate combines two of the Vines most popular sausages, Bratwurst and Knackwurst, both made in-house, with traditional German potato salad. Both sausages tasted remarkably fresh, while the potato salad provided an excellent flavor enhancement. For a German sandwich, try the bratwust and kraut amde with wienkraut (hot sauerkraut with a slight wine flavor). Additionally, they offer a Alpine burger with smoked ham, mushrooms, and Swiss cheese, a Monte Cristo (ham and Swiss sandwich batter-dipped and deep fried) and a Reuben, also with weinkraut.


Dinner, of course, is the major attraction at The Vines. For starters, try the potato pancakes or shrimp napoleon, delicious butterfly shrimp served in creamy Asiago cheese sauce. Salads and soups are pretty much standard fare, from a mixed greens House to a classic Caesar. Soup of the day can be widely varied, so check with the server.

For the main course there are selections of beef, veal, chicken, salmon and other fish, plus a group of chef-prepared Traditional German Favorites that first sparked my interest in this establishment. Having spent some time in Cologne, Germany, I had come to love almost all of the traditional foods closely associated with the Rhine Valley and Western Germany (Germany was still divided East and West when I was there).

King Ludwig's Bavarian Feast for Two is an excellent way to visit all of these traditional German favorites, but we easily fed three hungry folks from a single platter, so if only 2 people are dining you should expect to be able to take some home with you. Among the German specialties on the platter are Rouladen (also closely associated with Austria and Hungary, it is a slowly-roasted meat rolade filled with onions and bacon), Sauerbraten (beef marinated in vinegar and aromatics), Schwienebraten (sauerbraten made with pork), and Schnitzel, a bottom round roast marinated in vinegar and aromatics.

This platter, known as a Schlachtplatte (Slaughter plate) in Germany, is served with traditional accompaniments red cabbage, spƤtzle, potato dumplings, and weinkraut plus goulash soup or cucumber salad for each of the guests. Additionally, each of the meats in the platter can be ordered separately as an entree.

Among the American fare at the restaurant are Filet Mignon served with a mushroom brandy sauce, an excellent Eggplant Parmigiana (you can substitute veal or chicken for the eggplant if you prefer), and fresh "Sicilian" meatballs served in a sweet marinara sauce with capellini (a thin spaghetti) pasta. On Friday and Saturday night The Vines serves Roast Prime Rib with a wine-based vegetable jus.

Other things to do

If your sated on schnitzel or gorged on goulash soup, you can walk it off at one of the area's great hiking trails. Try Anna Ruby Falls for a short, moderate exertion walk in the woods. If you want something longer, at the Falls follow the trail to the right as it turns nearly 360 degrees and becomes the Smith Creek Trail. A warning, however, this is a total length of 10 miles, so be certain you have time, water and the ability to do the trail.


747 Duncan Bridge Rd., (GA Hwy 384)
Sautee, Georgia 30571
Phone: 706.865.7371
The Vines Restaurant at the Sylvan Valley Resort


From Atlanta: (note: this takes you on the popular shortcut to Helen, Duncan Bridge Road. Directions from a mapping site normally follows the tradition route to Cleveland which is shorter, however, because of traffic can take much longer) Take I-85 North to I-985(exit is to the left). Travel slightly less than 42 miles on I-985/GA 365 to Georgia 384, Duncan Bridge Road, and turn left on Duncan Bridge. Travel 15 Miles to the Edelweiss Inn, turn right into the driveway and drive up the hill to the parking areas.

From Cleveland or Helen: Take Georgia 75 to Duncan Bridge Road (right if coming from Cleveland, left if coming from Helen). Once on Duncan Bridge Road travel 0.7 miles to the Edelweiss Inn entrance on the left.

County: White County

The Vines at The Sylvan Valley Resort

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