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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 WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "Great entrees Pleasant waiter atmosphere a little brightly lit for my taste Desserts need some work"
    Dined on 8/29/2014
  • "The most creative chef ever with food. Always exciting. Always wonderful. Thanks Chef Justin Burdette."
    Dined on 8/29/2014
  • "In 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 food"
    Dined on 8/27/2014
  • "Food and service was very good. Well-made cocktails and good wine choices, but the restaurant is dark. Could use some brightening up."
    Dined on 8/26/2014
  • "We 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!"
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Last 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."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "Had 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!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Chef Justin Burdette is a true food artist. Beautiful presentations and amazing flavor. Enough said!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "It'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!"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Highlands, 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."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "I have dinner and lunch at Rukas. The food is superb and the service has improved a lot."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "So well done all the way around. Food was better than I remember. Staff was attentive and knowledgeable."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "I 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!!"
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "My 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!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Chef Justin Burdette is amazing and blows my mind every time. How does he know the ingredients will work together? Genius!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Wonderful atmosphere, friendly service. But the food, out of this world. Chef Joe Fahey works wonders. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "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
    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
  • "If you find yourself in the Highlands please do yourself a favor and eat dinner at Ruka's Table. The chef is incredibly talented and creative. We have have eaten at all of the other restaurants this is by far the best. Enjoy!"
    Dined on 4/30/2014
  • "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