Dining Day Trips

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

(page 6 of 10)

Chef Ryan Van Winkle regularly plans special menus for guests of his restaurant, The Chef's Table. There he prepares food in front of guests, plates each course and serves them one-by-one.

Table for Twelve

Make a trip to Dawt Mill Resort, and snag reservations at The Chef’s Table, which takes guests on a palate-pleasing culinary adventure unlike any other in 417-land. By Savannah Waszczuk 

As we pulled our car into the driveway of Dawt Mill Resort, we listened to the gravel crunch under our tires and agreed it felt as if we were transported back in time. I was with my friend, Kaitlyn McConnell, and we were both happy to see the property after our two-hour drive. The spot is scenic, with the mill, established in 1897, still boasting an old-timey charm. 

We were there for dinner at The Chef’s Table, the fanciest restaurant on the property. A hand-hewn oak table built around a central kitchen takes center stage, and oversized windows and reclaimed wood preserved from other buildings on the property complete the intimate, rustic-modern atmosphere. It’s home to Chef Ryan Van Winkle’s elaborate dinners, which can seat as many as 12 guests for 3 to 12 courses. 

When we entered the restaurant around 4:30 p.m. for our 5 p.m. reservation, Chef Ryan was behind the counter working on prepping our 12-course meal. He had been at it since early that morning. Along with his culinary arts training, a plethora of hands-on experience and a vast knowledge of all things food, Chef Ryan is tall and handsome with an adorable smile to match. We were more than happy to have him as our host. 

Our 12-course meal was broken into five flights, each with a wine pairing. With each course, Chef Ryan explained where the ingredients were from and how he paired and prepared them. Much of what we ate came from the gardens on the property, and the few proteins and cheeses that didn’t come from right outside the door were sourced locally as well. Chef Ryan plans his menus based on what’s available, so there was a freshness with every forkful. His culinary talents shined with every plate, as he paired simple items like local country ham, pork jowl and sausage with locally grown delicacies like squash blossoms and lichen. It was unexpected, and it was out of this world. 

I definitely plan to go back and visit Chef Ryan again, and next time I might just stay and have more than one meal. A handful of cabins, a house and an inn offer plenty of lodging and make Dawt Mill Resort a perfect weekend getaway year-round.

Not much in this world sounds better than two consecutive days of Chef Ryan’s cooking. Who said dreams don’t come true? 

Chef Ryan prepares all of his meals with locally sourced ingredients, many grown in gardens on the property.


Dawt Mill Resort is home to cabins, a house and an inn, all that offer plenty of lodging and make the perfect weekend getaway.


The Chef's Table Menu

1st flight paired with

Nobilo Savignon Blanc 2014

•Bass, Sorrel, Salt, Pepper, Thyme

•Country Ham, Pickles, Lichen, Eggs

•Cornbread, Pork Jowl, Maple Butter


2nd flight paired with

Charles Krug Chardonnay 2013

•Charred Beets, Parsley, Feta, Chimichurri, Pattypan Squash, Carrot

•Squash Blossom, Goat Cheese, Sausage, Okra, Chive Blossom


3rd flight paired with

Force of Nature Tempernillo 2013

•Flank Steak, Tomato Conserve, Chow Chow, Nasturtium

•Cantaloupe, Blackberries, Fennel Blossom, Shiso, Cucumber Ice


4th flight paired with

Root 1 Carmenere 2012

•Pheasant, Sassafras, Kale, Garlic, Bergomot

•Skin, Bleu Cheese, Beets


5th flight paired with

Kaiken Ultra Malbec 2012

•Peaches, Cream, Basil, Rice, Lavender

•Chocolate, Mint, Daylily, Whipped Cream

•Biscuit, Strawberry Jam, Sage

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More Articles Like This

What to Eat Now

Forget your old favorites and prepare your palate for something new—these food trends are taking 417-land menus by storm.

Best Lawyers 2018

The law can be a complicated and stressful topic, especially when you find yourself in a courtroom, so you want the most qualified attorney at your side. With this list of top local lawyers, find the expert who can help you navigate the system.

How to Wear Velvet

Local fashionistas share their tips on how to rock velvet this winter.
Edit Module
Edit Module
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Sign up for our newsletters Follow us on Instagram
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

  1. Healthful Eating Made Easy at The Press Coffee & Juice Bar
    Healthful eats take on a flavorful and creative twist at The Press Coffee & Juice Bar.
  2. Learn How to Cook Fried Chicken from a Master
    The ins and outs of cooking truly incredible fried chicken.
  3. The Backlot at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
    The Backlot at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has tons of freshly made dishes and drinks on its menu....
  4. Drink of the Month: Spicy Mango Mojito
    Sip the Drink of the Month at Frida Mexican Cuisine
  5. The 5 Best Cinnamon Rolls to Drown Your Winter Blues
    Sweet, swirled and oh-so-perfect for warming up on a chilly morning, cinnamon rolls are made to...
Edit Module
Edit Module