The Hil on the Hill at Serenbe – Palmetto, GA

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We had eaten at the Hil on the Hill a couple of times since it opened in 2007, but had not been in several years.  Every time that we had been before, we had remarked as we left that we wondered if it would still be open the next time that we went to Serenbe, as it never seemed busy.  Tonight, when we were heading to the Serenbe Playhouse with another couple, we made a reservation for 6:30 and I was shocked that it was packed.  Bully for them.  If you aren’t familiar with Serenbe, it’s a planned community southeast of Atlanta, that my kids have always sworn seemed kind of like The Village.  The three things that “Those We Don’t Speak Of” definitely are NOT in Serenbe, are hipsters, yuppies and hippies – there are plenty of those around.  Serenbe is also home to some very good fried chicken at the Farmhouse.

We started off with the flatbread appetizer with prosciutto, apples and arugula.  The apples were the intriguing feature here, and part of the seasonal menu, as Chef Hilary White had apples flown in from an orchard in Ohio for fall flavors.  It was cooked right to the edge of crispy, but could be folded in half without breaking.

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It was a little heavy on the arugula, but with some of that removed it was quite tasty.  I also discovered a new root beer,

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Sprecher, from Milwaukee.   Sprecher is a full brewery, with a line of beers and a couple of malt beverages, including “hard” root beer and “hard” ginger beer.  Who ever heard of such a thing?  The “soft” root beer I had was strong on honey and vanilla and quite tasty.  It wasn’t Abita or Red Hare (my two favorite on-tap root beers), but it was good stuff.

Jo decided on the Hil burger with shiitake mushrooms, Swiss cheese and H1 sauce (I’m guessing Hillary’s version of A1 sauce).

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She attempted to split the burger with the fairer half of the couple we were going to the show with, but was rebuffed.  I think it worked out okay, as she managed to clean the plate on her own.  On the occasions that we’ve been to the Hil in the past, I’ve ordered (and been a big fan of) the pimiento cheese burger, but it wasn’t on the menu tonight.   After careful study of the menu, I ordered the chicken pot pie.

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The server warned me that it wasn’t a traditional pot pie, and she was right.  The crust (with a signature H atop it) was served in the center of an iron skillet atop a soup of chicken, butter beans, carrots and potatoes.   When you crumbled the pastry topper up (and added some salt, which was noticably lacking), this was a fabulous dish – among the best chicken pot pie that I’ve ever had, and I’ve eaten my fair share.  I’d be fine with going back for that dish (or the pimento cheeseburger) any time.

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