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Diners, chefs, community to benefit from Dinner on Main

Next weekend Pilot Mountain will shut down its Main Street to hold another installment of Foothills Dinner on Main. The unique event born in 2017 is a chance for people to visit the town and enjoy delicious food from local chefs along with regional beer and wine paired with live music.

Pilot Mountain downtown events coordinator Christy Craig said it best, “Foothills Dinner on Main is a unique dining experience. It is a way for diners to experience a wonderfully prepared meal by talented local chefs while dining outdoors under a picturesque view of Pilot Mountain.”

“It is a unique opportunity to share a meal, make new friends and give back to the community. It also gives us a chance to not only show off what we love about the town but to give others a chance to see, feel, and taste it.”

Foothills Dinner on Main will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, right in the beating heart of Pilot Mountain on Main Street proper. As of Friday, organizers said they still had just a handful of seats remaining along the table for $100 each.

What makes Dinner on Main a different sort of beast is that friends and strangers alike will be seated in a long table right smack in the middle of Main Street as day gives way to a cool autumn night before a five-course meal takes diners on a flavorful expedition without leaving Surry County.

Proceeds from the dinner are going toward downtown revitalization projects. Craig said, “We are using the funds raised to help fund the cost of a greenway from downtown to the Armfield Civic Center. This will be the catalyst for future greenway projects.”

The evening begins a 5 p.m. with a cocktail reception featuring wine and beer tasting, live music, and tasty bites to hold folks over until the main event. At 6 p.m. dinner service will commence, and diners will be presented with a multi-course meal with entertainment from The Robertson Boys throughout the evening.

To simply read down the five-course menu may require a stop to catch one’s breath. Attendees to Foothills Dinner on Main will begin their journey with an arugula and pear salad featuring Niki’s pickled pears, plant-based feta herb crusted walnuts and cranberries dressed with a maple dijon vinaigrette.

Entrée service opens with a pork belly porchetta with a Calabrian chili cotija pesto, hominy pickled radish salad, a birra spiced pork glaze, and cauliflower guanicale arancini — with the help of the internet, a non-foodie can find arancini translated as a fried risotto ball and guanciale as pork jowl.

Course three transitions from land to sea with Mediterranean sea bass on a bed of herb polenta cakes served with grilled asparagus and smoked corn and lime coulis. The final entree heads back to the field and features beef short-ribs bordelaise with sauteed kale and buttered local radish.

For dessert in the final course diners will enjoy chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream and strawberry puree and chocolate covered strawberry with 24 karate edible gold leaf.

Having fresh ingredients and a vibrant seasonal menu are great, but without the right hands in the kitchen it could all be for naught. Therefore, among the chefs participating this year are familiar names from Foothills Dinner on Main events past.

Niki Farrington of Niki’s Pickles and Chef at 6th & Vine in Winston-Salem is one of the event’s founders in 2017. She returns to serve up her pickles and will also be serving short ribs during entrée service.

Erin Needham is operator and chef of Viridescence Bottles & Bites which has the distinction of being Surry County’s first and only plant-based cafe which she opened with Trisha Frye back in 2022. She said she thrives off working in a small kitchen to create fresh, innovative and delectable food for her guests.

Organizers say Donald Mueller, former owner of Mountain View Restaurant and current owner of My Kitchen Food truck, is a local favorite and purveyor of American cuisine; he is presenting the sea bass.

Olivia Rodgers of Liv For Sweet Bakery is on board again this year. She specializes in cakes, gourmet cupcakes, and handcrafted sweets with new flavors daily. Chef Ashana of The Flour Company in Elkin will be providing bread service for the meal.

Event coordinators said that Lesser-Known Beer Co. has “graciously donated their ‘The Fest’ beer” to this year’s Dinner on Main.

With so many moving parts, Craig said they have been in planning mode since near the end of the last Dinner on Main, but the final decisive push has been happening just in the last couple of months.

She explained, “There are many people that come together to make this event happen, all of which are volunteers from the chefs to the wait staff as well as our setup and tear down crews.”

“The food is going to be prepared in commissary kitchens and then plated onsite before reaching the table along Main Street. Attendees are able to see firsthand as their plates are put together and served.”

For those who worry about any threat of foul weather, as wind and raindrops have found their way to Main Street for these events in the past, Craig said fear not. The contingency plan for bad weather is to move the event indoors to the Pilot Center if needed.

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