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More WataugaLakeMagazine articles:

The Butler Museum

Learn how and why Watauga Lake was formed and how the citizens of "Old Butler" Tennessee were changed forever. . . .

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Pioneer Landing

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Jonesborough TN

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See this beautiful lodge with breathtaking views ...

Rat Branch Boat Ramp

This is the westernmost boat ramp on the lake ...

Watauga Point

This beautiful park is great for picnics, boating and swimming ...

The Carter Mansion

Where Tennessee history started. Learn about the Carter family ...

Doe River Gorge

See the beautiful gorge and ride the rails where the Tweetsie Train traveled ...

Gray Fossil Site

A spectacular fossil site discovered not long ago ...

Colonel Roderick Butler

Learn about the man for whom the town of Butler was named ...

Sugar Hollow Retreat

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Fish Springs Marina

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Carter at Main Restaurant in Elizabethton Tennessee near Watauga Lake Tennessee

Spring 2009 Update:The Carter at Main Restaurant is no longer open
Carter at Main Restaurant

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All photos and illustrations by Pat Johns ©2007 - present
All Rights Reserved
See links to article references at the end of the article.

October, 2007

The first thing you will notice about the building that houses the Carter at Main restaurant is its coral-red color. In the long run, however, you will most likely remember the great food and service and the beautifully restored interior.

Owner Linda Whitehead renovated the 200-year old house with the help of local artists, craftspersons and talented family members. The result makes for a special place to dine for any or no occasion.

Locally, the house is known as the Alfred Moore Carter house. It is believed to be on the former site of an Indian village. Alfred Carter was the son of Landon Carter for whom Carter County Tennessee was named. Alfred Carter's mother was Elizabeth, for whom Elizabethton was named. Alfred's son was Samuel Carter, who was born in the house and who had a distinguished military career including leading the East Tennessee "Bridge Burners" during the Civil War.

Carter at Main Restaurant in Elizabethton Tennessee near Watauga Lake Tennessee

On their website (see link below), Linda Whitehead states the mission of the business as:

"Carter At Main Restaurant is dedicated to preserving Elizabethton's heritage by creating a unique and historic atmosphere coupled with a world class restaurant where the food is made from the highest quality ingredients and the service is so good that the customers will rave about their unique dining experience.  "
~ www.CarterAtMain.com (see link below)

Carter at Main Restaurant in Elizabethton Tennessee near Watauga Lake Tennessee
Carter at Main Restaurant in Elizabethton Tennessee near Watauga Lake Tennessee

She has successfully combined memorable dining with an elegant and unique setting and capped it off with the history of an influential East Tennessee family. The result is a dining "experience" rather than just dining out.

Carter at Main Restaurant Gazebo near Watauga Lake Tennessee
Carter at Main Restaurant Gazebo near Watauga Lake Tennessee

The lunch menu includes items such as crab cakes, sandwiches with fresh ingredients, homemade soups and fried green tomatoes. During the week there are "Express Lunch Blue Plate Specials" designed to allow diners with limited time to enjoy special meals without delay.

Carter at Main Restaurant Gazebo near Watauga Lake Tennessee
Carter at Main Restaurant in Elizabethton Tennessee near Watauga Lake Tennessee

The dinner menu includes starters such as "Oysters a la Carter" and entrees including a selection of fresh fish plus pastas, beef and some "lighter" selections.

All in all, the menu has mostly familiar sounding dishes but each is prepared with fresh ingredients and with special touches that make them a "cut above" standard fare.

Carter at Main Restaurant in Elizabethton Tennessee near Watauga Lake Tennessee
Carter at Main Restaurant back garden in Elizabethton TN near Watauaga Lake Tennessee
"Samuel Powhatan Carter Aug. 6, 1819 ` May 26, 1891
Born in this house. After attending Washington College and Princeton, graduated from U.S. Naval Academy; serving in the navy until May 1, 1862, he was appointed brigadier general, U.S. Volunteers. His most conspicuous service was a raid into East Tennessee with a cavalry brigade late in 1862. Brevetted major general, he returned to the Navy as a commander, retired as a commodore in 1881, and was named a rear admiral on the retired list in 1882. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, D.C. "
~ Tennessee Historical Commission marker at Carter at Main house
Carter at Main Restaurant back garden in Elizabethton TN near Watauaga Lake Tennessee
Carter at Main Restaurant Historic Marker in Elizabethton TN near Watauaga Lake Tennessee

Carter at Main is a great setting for weddings, reunions and other special events. The back garden gazebo and other outdoor venues make a romantic backdrop for groups gathering to celebrate.

The restaurant is open every day of the week except Mondays. Their Tuesday through Saturday hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Sundays they are open for a Brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Their phone number is (423) 543-4212.

Carter at Main Restaurant outdoor dining in Elizabethton TN near Watauaga Lake Tennessee

Links to references in this article: