20170615_Virginia_Giles_Mountain Lake Lodge
Mar 05 2024

Virginia’s Mountain Lake Lodge Welcomes Acclaimed Executive Chef Stephen DeMarco

Array of culinary experiences include new seasonal menus at Harvest Restaurant, Salt Pond Pub and dining poolside


Chef headshot in front of stone wall with arms crossed

Mountain Lake Lodge’s new Executive Chef Stephen DeMarco brings
inventive flavors and savory culinary experiences to guests and area residents alike, just slightly pushing the boundaries to make them his own.

Mountain Lake Lodge is celebrating a new culinary tradition as it welcomes Executive Chef Stephen DeMarco to the award-winning resort. Long a visionary leader in the area’s culinary scene, DeMarco brings sumptuous, inventive fare and the highest culinary standards to resort guests and area residents alike, overseeing culinary operations at Harvest Restaurant, Stony Creek Tavern, Salt Pond Pub, themed weekends, meetings and special events.

Following a grand 10-year association with The Hotel Roanoke, Chef DeMarco’s classical training and innovative style feature menus rich in locally-sourced ingredients, freshly prepared and with exciting flavors and delectable options to suit every palate.

“We are excited to welcome the talented Chef DeMarco to Mountain Lake Lodge,” said Heidi Stone, president and CEO. “His passion for inventive culinary experiences celebrates the flavors of southwestern Virginia and appeals to the generations who savor delicious food in a comfortable setting.”

As Harvest Restaurant begins a new season, DeMarco has created his signature 32 oz. “Country Fried” Long Bone Tomahawk Ribeye. Menus take their cue from such new Spring dishes as Bourbon BBQ Charred Quail, Elk Stroganoff and Smokey Shrimp & Grits, in addition to the iconic Mountain Lake Crabcake and Bald Knob Big Bison Burger. The impressive fare also includes Whole Grilled Trout and other local seafood specialties topped off by scrumptious Warm Chocolate Brownie, Crème Brulee, or Mango Mousse.

“Harvest stays true to the freshest farm-to-table experience to celebrate this region’s agricultural heritage and community,” says Chef DeMarco, “now with a modern twist, but still keeping its rustic and approachable quality, as menus rotate throughout the seasons.” DeMarco is committed to environmental stewardship and takes an active role in building community through food.

Breakfast and lunch offer such favorites as Wild Boar Sausage Breakfast Skillet, Country Fried Venison Steak & Eggs, Mountain Lake Eggs Benedict, BBQ Pork Belly Quesadillas, Virginia- Raised Black Angus Burgers, Fried Green Tomato & Crab, homemade soups and fresh salads.

During his 30-year career, DeMarco has served as executive chef for several top Manhattan restaurants including Asia de Cuba. He opened the Capitol Grille’s Jirst location in New York in the Chrysler Building, then served as executive chef for Roots Steakhouse and the Harvest Restaurant Group. He earned his degree from Johnson and Wales culinary college.

Mocktails & Cocktails

With an already impressive wine list, Mountain Lake Lodge has introduced mocktails, expertly handcrafted non-alcoholic cocktails. Highlights include Blackberry Smash, a mix of mint, blackberry puree, lemon juice and honey syrup served up in a Rocks glass. Poolside Cooler delivers a bright, balanced drink with pineapple juice, coconut milk, lime juice and almond syrup topped with nutmeg in a Collins glass, while Daisy Sour combines lime and orange juice infused with agave and a salt rim.

Diverse Dining Experiences

Additional dining opportunities include:

  • Salt Pond Pub, the open-air pub with magical views, wood-fired artisan pizzas, signature cocktails, all-local draft on tap and live music.
  • Stony Creek Tavern, a comfortable, rustic mountain place complete with a stone fireplace, local craft brews and wines, and special Tavern menu.
  • Poolside dining with casual fare.
  • Celebratory occasions, i.e., upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Irish Buffet, Easter Brunch, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Brunch.

Mountain Lake Lodge, where the classic movie “Dirty Dancing” was Jilmed 37 years ago, is also known as Kellerman’s Mountain House and still the ideal place “to have the time of your life.” The resort is located in the center of a 2,600-acre nature preserve and bird sanctuary in the Blue Ridge Mountains, boasting glorious views, 22 miles of pristine trails, and numerous outdoor activities. For information and reservations, visit https://www.mtnlakelodge.com or call 540-626-7121.


HARVEST is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, reservations call 540-626-7121, x 424. STONY CREEK TAVERN is open from 3 p.m. Mon. thru Thurs., and from 10 a.m. Sat. and Sun. SALT POND PUB is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. beginning Memorial Day.



Barbara Fischhof

Mountain Lake Lodge Public Relations


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