163 Main Street
Highlands, NC 28741Neighborhood:
Highlands / Sapphire
AmericanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.rukastable.com/
- Phone: (828) 526-3636
- Hours of Operation:
Wednesday & Thursday: 5:30-8:30
Friday & Saturday: 5:30-9:00
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Seafood, American, Southern
- Executive Chef: Justin Burdett
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Private Party Facilities: Private Dining is available for anyone wanting to reserve space for larger groups, intimate dining, parties, rehearsals, showers, or reunions. Special menus are available. Advance notice is preferred and will be necessary for special menus. Reservations are subject to availability and size of party. Please call 828-526-3636 or 828-335-7653 for details.
- Private Party Contact: Brooke Palmer 8285263636x
- Special Events: Atlanta Food & Wine Festival May 30 - June 2, 2013
- Cross Street: 2nd Street
- Public Transit: Public Transportation is not available in Highlands. Private transportation is available through a "For Hire" service in the Highlands/Cashiers area. You may contact them by calling 828-526-8645 or emailing email@example.com
- Parking: Public Lot
- Parking Details: Ruka's Table is situated in the heart of Wright Square on Historic Main Street in Highlands. Wright Square offers a large parking area for its customers as well as multiple handicap parking spaces located at the front of each entrance. Parking along main street is available and is located directly adjacent to Wright Square on the same side of the street. Overflow parking is available in the rear parking lot next to Helen's Barn and across from our brother restaurant, Flipside.
A word from Ruka's Table
Ruka's Table embodies the spirit of Highlands with a casual but elegant atmosphere, excellent food and service, and a commitment to quality in every sense. Executive Chef Justin Burdett was recently nominated by Food & Wine Magazine in the southeast division of America's Top 10 Best New Chefs and also became a champion on the Food Network series Chopped. His seasonal menu offers a modern interpretation of southern cuisine sustainably sourced from ingredients of the highest quality. Ruka's features a beautiful copper bar that offers a huge assortment of craft beer, fresh cocktails, and a fantastic wine list.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
- Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
- Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
Ruka's Table - Best Restaurants in Highlands / Sapphire ›
Ruka's Table reviews from OpenTable diners
37 reviews since July 25, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (28)neighborhood gem (15)special occasion (11)notable wine list (10)romantic (9)good for groups (5)great for lunch (5)kid-friendly (3)vibrant bar scene (3)great for brunch (2)hot spot (1)Show More
- SaltyOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 11/9/2014I am a salt lover and it was too salty for me. The salt overwhelmed the favors of the dish. I almost sent it back but we were the only customers there and I did not want to prolong the meal. The waitress had already missed up my appetizer order but was gracious to apologize and not charge us for it.
- yes food no serviceForkshankDined on 11/7/2014Food outshone the service. Room was cold ("Heater hasn't worked for a long time"), waitress auctioned the food ("Who ordered the grouper?"), the drinks were served in thimbles and were poorly made. The chef is a chef, not a restaurauteur. The staff needs training and the back room needs heat.Special Features:
- Awful environment/poor serviceFatBoyEatsGoodVIPDined on 10/31/2014Restaurant was frigid cold. It was 33 degrees outside and every table was wearing coats. When we asked hostess to turn on heat she said she couldn't. When we asked to speak to a manager or owner we were told that no one was there that night. This was a Friday night. Restaurant is poorly managed. Too many other restaurants with competent employees/management to explore. Look elsewhere.
- Excellent Farm to TabledwritesDined on 10/24/2014The most outstanding dish was the pickle plate. The chef has done an excellent job of bringing out the best qualities of each farm fresh vegetable. Our scallops were perfectly seared on the outside, tender on the instide with a lovely beet puree that added color and flavor. Their use of locally produced ingredients whenever possible is eveident in each dish. The one complaint that I did address to the staff was dealt with professionally and swiftly.Special Features:
- First time but not lasteleanoreatsDined on 10/23/2014Overall, food was great. Some items previously recommended in others' reviews were not on the menu ( it changed periodically), but we were very pleased with our orders. My skillet pork loin was exceptional; tender, juicy and cooked just right. My husband loved his steak. Everything was so fresh! Don't miss the fried oyster appetizer. Best we've ever had, including coastal restaurants!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- a very special eveningtinabeanDined on 10/19/2014Chef Justin is one of the most talented chefs I've had the pleasure of knowing over the years. Everything we tasted was genuine to the season and made thoughtfully and deliberately. We've never tasted pork belly like his before. He incorporates local & regional ingredients from farmers he has built solid relationships with -- his loyalty to pure, wholesome produce is really special. His cooking is simple and delicious. The dishes are beautiful. We loved every moment of our evening! Don't miss it.Special Features:
- early dine treatWilburVIPDined on 10/18/2014We went early, just about oprning time. It was great. Treated like we were royalty. We will go back for sure.Special Features:
- Ruka'sWaldenDined on 10/15/2014Great food in Highland's tradition. Chef's pickled veggie tray unique and outstanding appetizer. Really nice spot.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food, very fresh.ServiceFirstVIPDined on 10/11/2014Had a delightful dinner seated at the bar table in front of the fireplace. Dined on two entrees: the chicken breast and the duck. Both dishes were delicious. Wine list is superb. Will return to Ruka's Table next time we visit Highlands!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great meal!diningcubeDined on 10/11/2014After a wonderful active day in the fall beauty of the NC mountains, we had a really good meal at Ruka's. We were very tempted to order appetizers and desserts, but kept to entrees and wine. The chef really knows how to get the best out his ingredients. Both of our meals (pheasant for my wife and duck form me) were hugely enhanced by the way he blended flavors to enhance the natural flavors of the birds. Outstanding! And the service was timely, pleasant, knowledgeable and attentive. A memorable evening.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Creative Dishes that Delight!tradergalDined on 10/11/2014I really did not know what to expect from Ruka's. I had last minute company and Ruka's was the only place with a table at a decent time. Most fortuitous, as the food was creative and delicious and the live music set a great mood. My husband ordered the North Carolina Trout and it was WONDERFUL! It had a smoky tomato cream sauce that I can't stop thinking about. I had the vegetable plate...for sure an understatement in describing a trio of delicious and unique sides...Sweet Potato blue cheese au gratin (OMG), need i say more!!, perfectly seasoned braised swiss chard, and a small arugula salad with marinated white grape slices for dressing...tasty, fresh and unique. The chef has been getting good press and he deserves it!Special Features:
- Very creative foodluvgoodfoodDined on 10/4/2014Our meal was delicious. Early dinner, sat by fire on a cold evening. Fabulous!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great eveningMagicBruceDined on 9/18/2014This restaurant has great food, paired with attentive service. Our mixed drinks were unique & delicious.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- luv2travelDined on 9/15/2014Our entrees were good but not really worthy of being called "fine dining" and not worth the very expensive price. We realize they were trying to use local produce, etc. A $27 entrée should have some side/ vegetable included. Everything was a la carte. $10 for a salad, really ? The service was a little slow but the waitress was very attentive. We also realize that Highlands is an upscale community in the NC mountains but we really felt everything was overpriced.Special Features:
- Succulent Quail dishOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 8/29/2014Great entrees Pleasant waiter atmosphere a little brightly lit for my taste Desserts need some workI would recommend this to a friend.
- Exciting and wonderfulDorothyVIPDined on 8/29/2014The most creative chef ever with food. Always exciting. Always wonderful. Thanks Chef Justin Burdette.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A lucky find!OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIPDined on 8/27/2014In a town where getting a reservation is a challenge this restaurant doesn't get much recognition yet I would consider the food more creative and enjoyable than the top picks mentioned everywhere around town. The chef incorporated fresh garden ingredients in every course and melded the flavors perfectly. My husband and I each had three courses and all six courses were well thought out and executed beautifully. Had we not enjoyed our last meal in Highlands at go Ruka's Table we would have left Highlands less than impressed by the local foodSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- BroadlandsDined on 8/26/2014Food and service was very good. Well-made cocktails and good wine choices, but the restaurant is dark. Could use some brightening up.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- funky foodlookin4greatFoodDined on 8/22/2014The food can be a little "funky”, but this makes Ruka’s fun. The flavors are spot on. My pork belly appetizer was incredible, and our guest's bone marrow appetizer was equally incredible as were the seared scallops. The quail entry was delicious. The grouper was cooked perfectly. On the downside, a favorite wine selection was not available (Jefferson Cuvee-Monticello Cab), but the very pleasant and experienced waitress substituted a tasty Cab. On the downside, if there is a large group of maybe 12 or more, the staff seems a bit challenged and sometimes service suffers a little. But this shouldn’t discourage trying Ruka’s as the good food more than compensates. Also, they are open in the off season and the cozy fireplace is welcoming.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- RukasKarenSVIPDined on 8/9/2014We have dined here on several occasions the food is good and it is a creative, fresh menu. Service was a little slow and language was a bit of a problem this time. But all in all an enjoyable meal and we will return!Special Features:
- FCKKDined on 8/8/2014We had a superb dinner at Rukas August 8th. The service was excellent and the food and wines were superb. My 4 guests visiting from Virginia loved Rikas.Special Features:
- Amazing they have open tablesPam2ricDined on 8/8/2014Last minute decision to take neighbors out to eat, this was the only open table for fine dining in Highlands before 9 pm. Amazing as every thing was good, but must admit not great. Cheeseplate, grouper, trout, chocolate pie all delicious but with wine too expensive. Would go back but not as first choice.Special Features:
- Wow! We love this place!MountainLoveDined on 7/28/2014We had never been to Ruka's but we are so glad we went last night! This food is AMAZING! Definitely something different & we were told that the menu changes often, which we were happy to hear. The menu is the perfect size with plenty of options. Service was outstanding, & the cocktail list was very creative & both cocktails we tried were delicious. ( summer cocktail & señorita) Though we did not opt for wine, the list had something for everyone & we will be back to sample soon! We really had a great dinner & can't wait to try out the new lunch menu.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- First time at Ruka's...FANTASTIC!foodieforlifeDined on 7/26/2014Had our first dinner at Ruka's Table. Food, Service, Atmosphere all were excellent. Started with a peach/vodka cocktail...very enjoyable. Nice live piano & guitar music (just a little too loud). The fried oyster, scallops and peach/tomato salad were all fabulous starters. We are originally from New Orleans and have been eating fried oysters all our lives. We know "good oysters", and so does the chef at Ruka's! They were as well prepared as any you'll get in N.O. or Apalachicola Bay. Grouper and grilled pork loin entrees were well prepared, with unique flavors.....smoked tomato broth and corn for scallops, tomato grits with pork! The chef is very knowledgeable and creative! We will definitely be returning to Ruka's Table!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Blows my mind!DorothyVIPDined on 7/26/2014Chef Justin Burdette is a true food artist. Beautiful presentations and amazing flavor. Enough said!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Where You SHOULD Eat in HighlandsEyeWrite2EatDined on 7/25/2014It's simple, I travel for food and Chef Justin Burdett is a chef that I will travel back to the region for without hesitation. From the very first drink, a handcrafted Moscow Mule, to the final course, his exceptionally crafted menu pays tribute to his upbringing in the south with a clear sight for the future of the region's flavors. The group I traveled with was intrigued by the many house-pickled products and started the meal with a not-your-average pickled vegetable platter, followed that with a charcuterie plate, and proceeded to try four uniquely delicious entrees. I'd highly suggest the quail with pickled blackberries but certainly expect a changing menu based on seasonal availability. You'll never find mahi-mahi here just great food!Special Features:
- The following 172 reviews are from the Ruka's Table reviews archive.
- Modern Cuisine in a Vacation Spotgaf11Dined on 7/20/2014Highlands, North Carolina is a lovely vacation community in the western part of the state. As such it has a range of restaurants of various kinds. Ruka's Table is a nice addition because it is one of two restaurants in town that serves modern cuisine (interesting combinations of flavors and contemporary techniques), and at a price point lower than many other restaurants. The ambiance is casual, given the dishes, but it is a pleasant place to gain a taste of dishes often found in big cities.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great find!foodiejudyDined on 7/19/2014We LOVED the food - chef is very creative and skilled. The music was very good too, though probably geared toward us mostly older people who were dining there last Saturday. Can't imagine why this place wasn't full. Maybe it's because the location is down a block or so from the main drag, and people just don't know about it.Special Features:
- FCKKDined on 7/18/2014I have dinner and lunch at Rukas. The food is superb and the service has improved a lot.Special Features:
- Brilliant againamjsm24601Dined on 7/16/2014So well done all the way around. Food was better than I remember. Staff was attentive and knowledgeable.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful!!Ellis1234Dined on 7/14/2014I can't say enough about this wonderful restaurant! The cocktail was tasty, the fried oyster appetizer was to die for, the entrees were delicious, and chocolate torte was amazing. This is the best food in Highlands, hands down!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing food!OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 7/12/2014My husband and I recently spent our anniversary dinner at a Rukas and our dinner was absolutely delicious! Flavors were amazing! Definitely will be going bavk the next time we're in Highlands!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing FoodDorothyVIPDined on 7/12/2014Chef Justin Burdette is amazing and blows my mind every time. How does he know the ingredients will work together? Genius!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very Pleased!!KriskissVIPDined on 7/5/2014We stumbled upon this place on open table and decided to try it out, even though we had never heard of it. Most of the reviews seemed to be positive so we were hoping for a similar experience. Was very impressed upon walking in and finding a guitar and saxophone player playing great music next to a fire place. So quaint!! I ordered the trout with grits and it was the best trout and best grits I've ever had. Everything was on the salty side - which I love and for once did not have to add any of mine. Even the bread had a salty crust and was delicious. The dessert was awesome - peach crumble with homemade ice cream (I requested the SALTED caramel ice cream - and wow it was amazing!!). I definitely recommend giving this place a try!Special Features:
- A great treatOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/5/2014We enjoyed our Saturday night dinner at Ruka's. The peach, cucumber and tomato salad was delicious and perfect for summer. The risotto was very well done with local chanterelle mushrooms. Yum! The service was attentive, and our waitress helped us find a nice bottle of wine, that wasn't over our budget. Most of the wine is priced too high.Special Features:
- Dinner at Ruka's TableAutumnDined on 7/3/2014Service was excellent and food was good. I had mountain trout, and my husband had grouper.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointingJPN1Dined on 7/2/2014I've eaten at Ruka's a couple of times previously and had decent experiences so this was a particularly disappointing evening. We arrived and were seated quickly and given menus, but not a wine list. We sat there for I believe 15-20 minutes without even being offered water. One of us finally went to the front and asked politely if we should go elsewhere. After apologies a waitress appeared in a few minutes. We got a wine list and ordered appetizers. She said she would place the order while we picked the wine. She did not reappear to take the wine order until she brought the fried oysters to the table. As the evening went on, the service did not improve and we never got from any of the servers or staff any sense of urgency or care.
- hungrygirlVIPDined on 7/1/2014Six of us visiting Highlands dined that night, and everyone got something different. All the food was delicious and well presented. Those who like oysters were very impressed with the taste and quantity. The restaurant wasn't very busy, but I hope that it will last. We would definitely go back next time we're there. My only complaint--it was quite warm inside, but once I mentioned that to our server, he must have turned the AC down a bit. We were sitting in a big corner booth and not under a fan.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food/bad serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 6/28/2014Clueless server. Slow, untrained, bad. No management to be seen. No one seemed to care. Too, bad because food was delicious but, bad service overshadowed entire experience.I would recommend this to a friend.
- pattycakeDined on 6/27/2014We first read about Ruka's Table in the Laurel magazine, a guide to Highlands and Cashiers, NC. We found it to be just as great as the magazine said. It was absolutely the very best grouper that I have ever eaten! I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Highlands, NC!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.