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Ruka's Table
Ruka's Table

Ruka's Table Details

  • 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
    Sunday: 5:30-8:30
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Southern, Seafood
  • 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 (828) 526-3636
  • Special Events & Promotions: Atlanta Food & Wine Festival May 30 - June 2, 2013

Getting there

  • 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 chasdash@rocketmail.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
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "Six 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."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "We 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!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Service was excellent and food was good. I had mountain trout, and my husband had grouper."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "I'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."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Clueless 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."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "We 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!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "We have been here 3 times in the last year and that the food continues to be somewhat inconsistent. The fired oyster starter was very good. The scallops had good texture, were cooked to properly BUT we way too salty. The quail was very good. The ice cream over the chocolate pie was superb. When we reported the over salting on the scallops, the reaction was appropriate. The staff offered another entree which we declined but they insisted on giving us a desert. The service was top tier. Very prompt, knowledgeable and pleasant! We will give this restaurant another shot to see if they can solve their "consistency" issues."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Why this place is not packed. Ambitious menu that hits lots of high points especially using local fresh ingredients. Very accommodating for our grandchildren too- fixing a large bowl of pasta for them to share. Some service lapses but overall a great find in Highlands."
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "We enjoyed another great meal at Ruka's this past Friday night June 6th! We have had several great meals there and wonder why more folks don't frequent this great spot. The food was great, the service was good, and the only thing Ruka's lacks is a good location, but otherwise we really enjoy Ruka's and highly recommend it!"
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Wonderful atmosphere, friendly service. But the food, out of this world. Chef Joe Fahey works wonders. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Love to dine at Ruka's where the menu changes seasonally and Chef Justin creates each dish with his own unique flair and attention to every detail. I keep craving the fava bean, charred corn and bacon salad. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "In our party of 6, two enjoyed their meals & 4 were disappointed. Our server was friendly but struggled to answer my questions about the entrees. Being on a "carb restricted" diet, I decided on the Grouper in a corn, fava, & seaweed dashi. I asked what was a "dashi" & were the corn & favas sides or as a garnish? He couldn't answer either ? A friend was concerned about the seaweed but he said it was in the liquid?? 55 minutes later we had not received our dinner. I inquired:"Had our order been lost or were they still trying to shoot the quail in one dish. Dinner did arrive in 5 more minutes. For a party of 6 they automatically added a 20% tip."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Celebrating our anniversary a Rukas Table. The hostess was lovely and put us at her favorite table then lit the massive fireplace for us. The food was delicious and beautiful on the plate. We recommend it highly!"
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "GREAT RESTAURANT. WOULD HIGHLY RECCOMMEND THIS RESTAURANT FOR QUALITY OF FOOD, SERVICE, AMBIENCE, AND FRIENDLINESS OF STAFF. MENU HAS SOME UNUSUAL ITEMS."
    Dined on 5/12/2014
  • "If you are a foodie and you're looking for high quality, then this place will make you happy. I had the NY Strip and it was perfectly cooked as well as seasoned. The salted caramel chocolate torte was to die for! "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "The decor complements the mountain area. The music played through speakers was great! Everyone at our table enjoyed their food. It was a great evening."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "This was not our first time visiting rukas, but once again it was fantastic! All the staff was very friendly and accommodating! We had our 4 year old daughter with us and she had a great time to! We sat in front of the fire and enjoyed tge music! The food was absolutely amazing! I had the the pork loin and my husband had the strip! Both were cooked to perfection and had an amaxing taste! We will definitely be back the next time we are in town! "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "We enjoyed our meal very much! My wife choose two appetizers the Scallops & Little Neck Clams, both as she put it were out of this world.. Highly Recommend, especially if you love Southern Cuisine."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "We sat by the fire, had a blood orange martini, opened a bottle of wine, and here comes the food. Very creative, ingredients will blow your mind, but it all fits beautifully together to make a truly gastronomic experience. Love that it's local food and ethically treated animal sourced. You will love the chef and he loves to create a wonderful experience for you. From local beets, carrots, UGA caviar, yes, I said UGA ( University of Georgia). Sauces made of black ink squid, or dehydrated lime, or dehydrated onion. Foams too! Yum!"
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "entrees were very salty--trout, flounder and ribeye. appetizers were good--fried oysters and endive salad."
    Dined on 12/30/2013
  • "Charming, rustic interior. Farm fresh ingredients. Overall a lovely experience."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "We had a wonderful evening and all of our food was delicious. We will definitely go back. Very charming atmosphere."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "The restaurant is attractive, the food excellent, the servers knowledgeable. The only drawback is slow service, both from the bar and from the kitchen. That's easy to overlook when the food is so good."
    Dined on 11/29/2013
  • "Dinner was a culinary explosion of vibrant flavors blended to perfection. The cheese plate eclectic and full of flavor, Ahser Bleu the best! The scallops perfectly seared on a creamy base of grits. Pork Belly was crisp with a delicate glaze that was full of flavor. The oysters are the star of show. Perfectly fried with a light texture and the sauce was just delicate enough as to not smother the wonderful flavor of the oyster. Duck seared to perfection, sauce and greens served with this was a treat and compliment to dish. By far one the best meals we have ever had! Do not miss this gem in beautiful Highlands. Service was prompt and very friendly! Chef Justin Burdett is amazing and knows how to pair foods! Can't wait to return."
    Dined on 11/5/2013
  • "Once again rukas was wonderful! We have been here four times now and each time has been wonderful ! We went there this time for our anniversary! We had a lovely dinner with candle light and music ! Our three year daughter had a wonderful time as well and was treated like she belonged there! We plan on returning to rukas again ! Thanks for a wonderful evening !"
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "Good food and service. Worth a visit if you are in the Highlands area."
    Dined on 10/19/2013
  • "Good dinner..crowded Friday night. Food was good, service slow...waitress had too many tables, and worked at the bar too. We have been here before and will come again..food is good and nice portions."
    Dined on 10/18/2013
  • "The ambience was no more than a chain steak house. Our waitress was disinterested and never checked to see if we needed anything. As for the food, the tomatoes were very fresh and tasty on the salad. That was where it ended. We were informed that the fish "didn't look quite right" when the chef opened the box of frozen filets so only one of us could have the trout. So, one of us was offered the remaining "good" trout, and the other was offered the grouper . Needless to say, the trout was overdone and the grouper was nothing we would have ordered. There are many restaurants to choose from in the area with fresh, farm to table experiences, good wait staff and excellent food. This is not one of them."
    Dined on 9/1/2013
  • "Award winning Chef Justin Burdett changes the menu regularly to highlight best of season. I've been here several times and it's always a treat. Everything is great, but don't count on finding the same dish twice. Southern flare but not your Granny's cooking. YUM! Don't miss this when in Highlands. The fireplace area is romantic."
    Dined on 9/28/2013
  • "The night we were there, they had some nice music playing in the bar, which provided a good background to the dining area. Ruka's uses locally sourced food and the menu changes based upon what is fresh at the time. The lettuce salad was very fresh and flavorful, with the diced bacon giving a nice salty bite. Portion sizes are generous on the appetizers. For the main course, I had the oyster appetizer which was plenty for an entree portion. The oysters were lightly fried and served with a migonette sauce, my husband ordered the roasted chicken, which was accompanied by a roasted corn puree and nutty, chewy farro with muscadines. The flavors of the overall dish worked very well. We enjoyed dining at Ruka's Table and will return."
    Dined on 9/28/2013
  • "We come to the Highlands area twice a year and was glad to try a new restaurant. Enjoyed the music and did not feel it was too loud for our group to have conversation...which was nice! The group felt the food was prepared very well. Compliments to the Chef! I would definitely eat at Rukas again."
    Dined on 9/28/2013
  • "We were very pleased with food. Whoever is frying in the kitchen knows their craft. Fried catfish and okra fabulous. Anson Mills products tell you all you need to know about quality sourcing. Purple cape beans and farro piccolo do not just show up on menu by chance. Very accommodating of our young ones too, made a special plate of pasta and split it for them. Service can be a little off but they are pleasant and try to please, just maybe short handed?"
    Dined on 9/12/2013
  • "First trip to Ruka's. Overall, one of the best meals in a while. Every detail of food prep was top-notch. We split three appetizers - scallops, pork belly, bone marrow - and shared the duck breast entree. Finished with panna cotta. We were oohing and ahhing at every bite of every dish. Surprising ingredients and flavors combined with perfect preparation made each sublime. A jazz duo playing classics made it an almost perfect evening. The only hitch at all was with the bar. We ordered kirs to start and the waiter and bartender seemed confused. We ordered 2 glasses of the same pinot noir but were brought different ones. When asked, waiter checked and said the bartender ran out and substituted another. No problem if we'd been told."
    Dined on 9/7/2013
  • "We two locals took a visitor to Highlands to Ruka's Table. We two ordered the trout, which was very good and plenty to eat. Our visitor ordered Grouper Scallop Soup. It was served in a large-rimmed bowl with a tiny center cup. There was only about 1 cup of soup for $28. Very disappointing."
    Dined on 8/31/2013
  • "Chef Justin is amazing! He is creative, uses the highest quality local ingredients, and is unquestionably the best farm to table restaurant in the Highlands area. While I enjoy other restaurants in Highlands like Paoletti's, Lakeside, Wild Thyme, and Rustico, none can match the inventive quality of the food at Ruka's. my wife and I have eaten there a number of times, and the last time we just asked Justin to "bring us food." He seemed to enjoy the challenge and out came four courses of food that inspired us to take pictures of each course as each was wonderful. Do go support this gem of a restaurant. True, the room is average. The service in the past has been uneven but recently has been excellent and the prices are very fair. Enjoy!"
    Dined on 8/31/2013
  • "The food 10 out of 10, but the service was a 5 out of 10. It is a very nice venue, but they had the AC on really low so everyone at our table and neighboring tables was freezing. This restaurant has great potential. It just needs someone who can run the "front of the house" effectively and efficiently. They currently seem very short staffed and it is a long wait for food and drink. The chef is superb though!"
    Dined on 8/24/2013
  • "The setting inside if wonderful with a huge old stone fireplace that is so romantic! The food is farm to table fresh with an unusual twist and wonderful - Chef Justin knows how to make it fit for foodies. He was a winner on the acclaimed Chopped series recently ...last year? In any case, if you are in Highlands and looking for a place with great atmosphere inside, and fabulous food with terrific service and no long wait -- this is it. The location is close to main downtown, so a little bit easier to get in and not so hectic. I've been going for 2 years and love it. The peach, tomatoe, and cucumber salad is not to be missed. I've enjoyed several entrees -- all great!"
    Dined on 8/22/2013
  • "Although there were not many customers, we had a wonderful dining experience at Ruka's Table. The food was prepared and presented in an excellent fashion. Carol's appetizer of tomato & peach was fresh and tasty. I had scallops with tomatoes and an eggplant sauce that enhanced the scallops. Our entrees were grouper for Carol while I had the catfish. Would return to Ruka's - highly recommended!!!"
    Dined on 8/14/2013
  • "We have been to Ruka's twice now and we think it is fantastic. The food is awesome and the service is wonderful. We don't know why it is not crowded when we have been there because we think they have just about the best food in town. Only thing we can figure out is that they are not right in the middle of Main Street where a lot of the "action" is. We think people are really missing the boat if they don't try Ruka's."
    Dined on 8/10/2013