marc at Chateau Elan ~ The Finest Dining in North Georgia - Lake Lanier (2023)


Written by Robert Sutherland

I was invited to dine at marc at Chateau Elan Winery and Resort in Braselton, Georgia, the newest and finest restaurant in the vicinity of Lake Lanier. One word says it all: “Sensational!”

In late August 2017, I arrived rather unannounced and feasted on a meal that was, in all sincerity, one of the finest I have ever had … anywhere.

Here’s my perspective on what you can expect when you visit marc for a fantastic lunch or dinner.

The best way to find marc is to stay at one of the onsite accommodations offered by Chateau Elan.

marc is a pleasant stroll from anywhere on the grounds: the spa, Inn, Villas or winery.

Presuming you will drive to Chateau Elan, the directions are simple: take Interstate 85 to Exit 126.

Chateau Elan ~ Photograph © Robert J. Sutherland 2017

Look out your window. Drive toward the resort and winery — pretty much the only spectacular French castle within sight.

Motor up the exquisite driveway and marvel at the setting and the scenery. Pause and gaze at this unique spectacle for a moment. It’s worth your time.

Should you have friends with you who would be less-than-delighted to walk the length of a football field from the parking lot to the door, drop them off at the circular drive in front of the estate. In this case, it is more than a courtesy.

To park your car, go back down the driveway and take the first left-hand turn. Ignore the signs that say “Winery Visitors Only.” Pull in and park there.

Chateau Elan ~ Photograph © Robert J. Sutherland 2017

(Video) Chateau Elan Winery & Resort Review | Georgia Winery Resort Golf and Spa | Braselton GA

If the lot is full, there is another one down behind the castle on the right side, at Paddy’s restaurant.

Before you walk through the front door, turn around and absorb the sight of the vineyards and fountain.

Try not to walk through the regal doors alone. That’s because you’re probably expecting a grand foyer or a rotunda — such as at the Biltmore House. (Chateau Elan has such a masterpiece, behind a different door.)

I hate to say this, but the next 90-seconds of your visit might not meet your expectations.

After you go in, you will see a large open room on your right where wine tastings are offered and T-shirts are for sale. On your left … are giant curtains with tables on the far side.

Unfortunately, when I visited, there was nothing that indicated the presence of marc. No visual clue to welcome guests, as you will commonly find elsewhere at Chateau Elan. Not even a blinking Sam’s Club “Open” sign.

That single oversight betrays the warmth behind the curtains — where you will find marc. It’s a bit unusual; especially if you, unlike me, frequently tour fancy castles with exotic entryways.

My guess is marc will install a sign by the time you arrive.

Enter the dining room at the left side of the curtains. You will be comforted by the warm welcome of a cheerful hostess who will promptly seat you — if you have reservations. On a slow night, you might be fortunate enough to get a table without calling ahead. Don’t chance it.

Now, your adventure begins!

At marc, you are not merely assigned a waiter. You are greeted by a professional who is your guide to dinner. Nothing pretentious or snooty. Just a man or woman who really knows the deal and who can help you choose what you want most — as compared to deciding for you.

I scored Brad Boenke as my pleasant server. After six years at Chateau Elan, he should wear a cape to indicate his amazing super powers. He is the best; therefore, he belongs at marc at Chateau Elan.

marc at Chateau Elan ~ Photograph © Robert J. Sutherland 2017

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You’ll be served bread and butter. That’s when you’ll realize you’re “not in Kansas any more” or Georgia, for that matter.

If you are dining with a picky eater, find a subtle way to alert your guide. You might decide to conspire not to tell [you-know-who] that the unusually tasty butter, for example, is a custom creation from Winery Chef Cameron Udick. His secret sauce? Seaweed and sea salt. Honest.

I am not a picky eater; except, of course, when it comes to green wiggly food at church suppers or tofu anywhere. Would I have preferred not to know that I was going to eat seaweed butter? Maybe. Either way, it was fantastic.

The next time I find myself at the shore, I might bring a stick of butter and see if I can make my own! How hard could it be?

You might be appalled, but I am not a drinker and didn’t have any of the many award-winning wines bottled or sold at Chateau Elan. Brad graciously allowed me to have water, although his eyes said, “I respect your preference … but the meal is even better with a glass of ….”

I must say this. We all have friends who do not and should not drink, for one reason or another. I personally felt no pressure or judgement when I declined the wine. That’s a big deal. I commend Brad and the management of marc for that.

For my appetizer, I chose a sample of the Short Rib Arancini.

Risotto, braised short rib, an amazing jelly and a pimento cheese spread (that makes what they serve at the Masters taste like Velveeta on stale Ritz crackers) rolled in a ball.

While munching on the short rib treats, I began to look around. marc had been open for about 100 days. The floor is a polished concrete. The word “industrial” is used to describe the setting.

marc at Chateau Elan ~ Photo by Chateau Elan

They have old sliding farm doors on one end, with old wooden farm implements on the wall at the far side of the room. The chairs and tables were comfortable. Industrial would describe them well.

The lamps looked like giant lampshades oddly dangling below an exposed metal framework ceiling.

One wall had a 20-foot-long leather seat beneath a half-dozen oval mirrors, illuminated by what appeared to be imitation street lamps.

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I’m sorry. I didn’t get the convoluted decor. I kept thinking the furnishings didn’t know what they wanted to be when they grew up. Who knows? You might want to rush home after dinner and gut your home to make it identical to marc.

We have all had festivities in gorgeous surroundings. Personally, I recall New Year’s Eve on San Francisco Bay; spinning over Niagara Falls at their needle thingy; a paddle-wheel replica in San Diego Bay; on the Ryman Auditorium stage; and, a buffet aboard John Wayne’s yacht (a converted Canadian Navy wooden minesweeper) watching the Super Bowl with friends, cruising near shore.

At marc at Chateau Elan, it’s about the food, in my opinion, not the ambiance — or the lack thereof. Your memories of marc’s finest dining will suffice.

Then … Brad graciously arrived with my salad: Broken Caesar …

From the menu of marc at Chateau Elan ~ Photograph © Robert J. Sutherland 2017

Shaved Parmesan cheese, a huge pumpernickel crouton, anchovies, with a white anchovy vinaigrette dressing. Yes, the Broken Caesar salad is available for two. Chef Cameron Udick’s anchovy dressing is so good you will want to lick your plate. In public. On a first date. Try to control yourself … but follow the crowd.

Brad introduced me to several members of the staff, the Winery Chef Cameron Udick, Winery Food and Beverage Director Peter Evers and Pastry Chef Arnasha Hudda.

Each and every person I met had the same passion, love, respect and purpose in their particular positions. They described their love for their jobs as I would tell of my beloved grandchildren.

From the menu of marc at Chateau Elan ~ Photograph © Robert J. Sutherland 2017

By then, Brad brought me my main course: the Brasstown (North Carolina) Beef Bistro Filet — with the red wine demi-glace sauce, heartily recommended by Brad.

As a side, I chose the Garlic & Parmesan cheese Fingerling Potatoes.

Man’s highest achievement in meat and potatoes!

Every taste was incredible. Seriously. I have never had a better meal. Anywhere. Not even anywhere I was taken on a week-long writers tour of other fine dining establishments in Georgia.

Don’t let dining solo keep you from experiencing marc at Chateau Elan.

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Everyone — from my first chat with the sparkling hostess to Brad himself — suggested the same choice for dessert: Buttermilk Pie.

Buttermilk pie from marc at Chateau Elan ~ Photograph © Robert J. Sutherland 2017

Based on Chef Udick’s grandmother’s precious memory and recipe. Blueberry and sage compote; house-made smoked sea salt; and, honey ice cream, upon the most flaky and delicate crust imaginable.

marc is dedicated to its farm/winery roots. Their commitment is more than “farm to table.” They want you to remember that you are dining at an authentic, working vineyard and winery. Perhaps that explains the decor.

I regret not staying for coffee. You might opt for “marc” after your meal.

Märc/ noun: A French fiery spirit from the heart of the grape. Just like farmers and cellar hands paid homage to the essence of the grape, marc is committed to honoring the essence of our hand-curated, locally sourced ingredients.

Play a round of golf or spend time in the luxurious spa before lunch or dinner at marc.

marc at Chateau Elan ~ Photograph © Robert J. Sutherland 2017

I believe everyone at Chateau Elan will give your their best … personally and professionally.

Here’s another example from marc.

Their finishing dinner course looks like a simple piece of caramel. As with everything else, it is anything but simple.

This delicacy — infused with duck fat and sprinkled with sea salt — will melt in your mouth.

From the inventive butter to your final goodbye, you will never forget your finest dining experience at marc.

The next time someone says to you, “Let’s go out to dinner. Someplace really special!”

(Video) Chateau Elan Birthday Experience | Honest Review | Video Walkthrough | Pretty Boss Mom

Choose marc at Chateau Elan.


Is there a dress code for Chateau Elan? ›

It can be nice casual attire. I was there in warm weather so wore sundresses or leggings and nice overtop. It is a wonderful place you will really enjoy.

Can kids go to Chateau Elan? ›

Across 3,500 Acres. From premier golf and tennis programs to a world-class winery and culinary studio, our expansive destination resort offers a wide range of recreational and culinary pursuits for guests of all ages.

How old is Chateau Elan? ›

A Legacy

From its humble beginnings in 1981, Chateau Elan Winery has grown to offer more than 30 wines crafted under the direction of accomplished Italian winemaker Simone Bergese.

How many rooms does Chateau Elan have? ›

Chateau Elan's charm can be attributed not only to its architectural authenticity but also to our approachable and enthusiastic service-oriented staff. The Inn offers 300 deluxe guest rooms, including 24 suites and 17 ADA accessible rooms.

What is smart casual dress code? ›

Smart Casual is a style halfway between formal and casual. Therefore, it is neither an elegant look with a jacket and necktie, nor an overly sporty outfit with sneakers, t-shirt and jeans. Smart Casual stands for 'simple, but elegant'.

What is casual resort attire? ›

Resort Casual

You can comfortably wear swimsuit coverups, jeans, capris, and shorts with a t-shirt or polo. Tennis shoes, sneakers, and sandals, are all acceptable as well. You can even wear flip flops with this relaxed dress code!

Can you buy wine from Chateau Elan? ›

Chateau Elan Winery is partnered with VinoShipper to offer wine sales online in accordance with local and state laws.

Is Fontainebleau child friendly? ›

While it's certainly known for its nightlife and fine dining, the Fontainebleau is extremely family-friendly. With an FB Kids Camp, dedicated Family Concierge and babysitting services, there's also a kid's pool with waterslide to keep the little ones entertained.

What time is check out at Chateau Elan? ›

When is check-in time and check-out time at Chateau Elan? Check-in time is 4:00 PM and check-out time is 11:00 AM at Chateau Elan.

Who is Chateau Elan owned by? ›

Chateau Elan is the creation of Donald and Nancy Panoz. The couple began spending time in Georgia after 1969, when they founded their Elan Corporation, a biotechnology company with a research center in Gainesville.

Who owns Chateau Elan Braselton GA? ›

Established in 1981 by Donald and Nancy Panoz, Château Élan was the first winery in the region after the prohibition. Today one of the most awarded wineries on the Southeast Coast, Château Élan in Braselton is the vision of Donald and Nancy Panoz, an ambitious, entrepreneurial couple.

Who lives in the Legends in Chateau Elan? ›

Lil Durk and his girlfriend India Royale reside in one of the houses in the estate. According to Reddit, their home was priced at $595,000 almost a year ago. The property features six bedrooms and 6 and a half bathrooms.

Can you smoke at Chateau Elan? ›

Chateau Elan Winery does permit smoking in some areas and is not 100% smoke-free.

Is Braselton Georgia a good place to live? ›

Braselton is in Jackson County and is one of the best places to live in Georgia. Living in Braselton offers residents a rural feel and most residents own their homes. Many families and young professionals live in Braselton and residents tend to be conservative. The public schools in Braselton are highly rated.

How many rooms does blue marlin have? ›

With 112 rooms and exquisite sea views, The Blue Marlin offers modern 3 star standard accommodation and a range of facilities to suit your needs.

Is jeans OK for smart casual? ›

Can you wear jeans in smart casual? Generally, jeans are acceptable for smart casual dress codes, but you'll want to stick with a darker wash, without any rips or distressing. If you're worried about being underdressed in denim, try a pair of chinos instead.

Can I wear sneakers for smart casual? ›

Can you wear sneakers for smart-casual dress code? Yes, you can wear sneakers as part of a smart-casual dress code for women, men and gender-neutral styles. You can pair sneakers with jeans, khakis and chinos. You may even wear sneakers with some skirts for a more athletic smart-casual look for women.

Can I wear jeans to a smart casual restaurant? ›

Dark-wash denim jeans are acceptable, but they should be tailored and distress-free. Flowy skirts and pencil skirts are appropriate, but avoid skirts that feature formal details like pinstripes, which can skew too business casual. 3.

What is casual elegant for a woman? ›

Casual elegance is similar to business casual attire in the sense that it's put together but not to the level of a ball gown or suit. While the exact details of casual elegance are fully up for interpretation, it really depends on where you're going!

What are the 6 types of casual attire? ›

  • Sundress.
  • Long or short skirt.
  • Khakis or nice jeans.
  • Shorts (depending on occasion and climate)
  • Plain T-shirt (no slogans), polo shirt, turtleneck.
  • Casual button-down blouse.

How do you dress up a dressy dress? ›

How to Dress Down a Dress
  1. Add a Sweater.
  2. Top It Off with a Faux Leather Moto Jacket.
  3. Throw on a Long Sleeve.
  4. Tie a Knot.
  5. Wear an Oversized Cardigan.
  6. Belt a Flowy Dress.
  7. Put on Some Sneakers.
1 Feb 2021

Does Gretzky own the winery? ›

The hockey legend owns Gretzky Estates in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario that features wines made from Okanagan and Niagara grapes along with “Innovative Canadian whiskeys, spirits and beer,” according to its website. Gretzky has been operating an outlet in Kelowna in conjunction with Sandhill Winery since last year.

What is the richest wine in the world? ›

PositionWine Name
1Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, France
2Leroy Domaine d'Auvenay Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France
3Leroy Domaine d'Auvenay Criots-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France
4Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, France
46 more rows
2 Oct 2022

What is Olive Garden's house wine? ›

The wines include Head-to-Head rosé, a merlot blend called Red Blend Porta Vita, a slightly effervescent red wine called Roscato Rosso Dolce and two sweet moscatos: Pink Moscato Blend Confetti and Moscato Primo Amore. Ordering wine by the glass is not available for to-go and delivery orders.

Is Fontainebleau expensive? ›

Fontainebleau hotels range from $57 to $259 per night with an average of $103, while most vacation rentals will cost $120 to $400 per night for the entire home.

Does Fontainebleau have a dress code? ›

The dress code is the same for everyone who plans to go to Fontainebleau Miami. The dress code at Fontainebleau Miami is Pool Wear & Casual so please choose your outfit properly so that you avoid any issues at the door.

Is Chateau Fontainebleau worth visiting? ›

As Napoleon I liked to say, the Château de Fontainebleau remains a “true residence of kings, a house of centuries”. We obviously recommend a visit to this castle where French history will continue to live through the centuries.

Can you check in early at Chateau Elan? ›

Check-in isn't until 4pm but you can ask for an early checkin and if they have it then you can throw your stuff in the room and then head to your tasting.

Can you check in early at Hotel Breakers? ›

Yes, you can pre-reigster as early as 8am the day of arrival and pick up/purchase your admission tickets. If you leave your mobile number with us, we can text you when your room is available. While check-in is at 4pm, we can notify you if a room becomes available sooner.

How many rooms does estudio have? ›

All 162 Suites at ESTUDIO Playa Mujeres feature exquisite decor with wood and marble. Their spacious areas reflect an innovative design, with charming views of the Mexican Caribbean and the golf course.

Who owns Chateau by the sea? ›

Owner Nonie Uy says The Residence has eight spacious rooms, four of which have a great view of the sea.

Who bought Chateau? ›

Bill Foley, who owns 25 wineries in the U.S. and New Zealand and a hockey team, has purchased Chateau St.

What winery does Carter oosterhouse own? ›

Bonobo Winery was founded by brothers and longtime Traverse City natives, Todd and Carter Oosterhouse.

Does Lil Durk live in Braselton GA? ›

Lil Durk's home is in the Chateau Elan neighborhood of Braselton - a gated community located just north of Atlanta, Georgia.

What is Braselton village? ›

Braselton Village is positioned to become the premier retail and mixed use destina- tion servicing Braselton, Hoschton, Winder and beyond. The project is directly across GA Hwy 211 from the renowned Chateau Elan featuring over 2,000 homes, an award winning winery and the 394 room resort.

When was Chateau Elan Valley built? ›

In October 2006, Stevens Group announced the new joint venture partners Don and Nancy Panoz, to build Chateau Elan Resort & Spa at The Vintage in the Hunter Valley.

Did Basinger sell Braselton? ›

Eventually, Basinger came to an agreement with Main Line that meant she didn't have to pay the full amount, but the damage to her finances was done. Basinger sold her interest in Braselton, but the town is doing okay without her.

Who designed Chateau Elan Golf? ›

This beautiful 7,030 yard, par 71 with contoured fairways, three lakes, and two meandering streams, was originally designed by renowned course architect Denis Griffiths. This championship layout was instantly recognized as one of the top courses in Georgia.

What county is Braselton GA? ›

The Town of Braselton has a rich heritage and the unique characteristic of being located not only in Jackson County but also spanning into three additional counties: Hall, Gwinnett, and Barrow.

Can I vape on hotel balcony? ›

Vaping from the balcony

If your hotel room is smoke-free that includes the balcony. So vaping from a balcony would be a violation.

Can you smoke on hotel balconies? ›

Absolutely not! A balcony is considered an integral part of a non-smoking area because the stench of cigarette smoke wafts up and into nearby apartments if those neighbours have decided to leave their doors or windows open.

Can you smoke anywhere in a casino? ›

Ultimately, what the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act means for casinos, is that allowing smoking is the properties prerogative, but only in the areas of the casino where minors are prohibited.

What is the blackest city in Georgia? ›

With an 92 percent African American population, South Fulton, Georgia is officially the Blackest City in America.

Is blue marlin good eating? ›

Worst: Marlin

“Marlin often contains unhealthy levels of mercury and other toxins that may be harmful to humans,” says Appel. Avoid all striped marlin and most blue marlin, with the one exception being blue marlin caught in Hawaii.

Is blue marlin healthy eating? ›


Hawaii Blue Marlin is an excellent source of healthy, extra lean protein. It is also low in saturated fat and low in sodium. It is rich in niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and selenium. Hawaii Blue Marlin is a good source of iodine and magnesium.

What do they do with the blue marlin they catch? ›

When fishermen catch any marlin, they normally release the fish and not bring it into the lab. Marlin have very high mercury content which is toxic to humans so we can't eat them. So scientists see the Big Rock Tournament as an opportunity to collect as many samples as they can.

Is there a dress code for vineyards? ›

Don't worry, there's no dress code – but we have some tips to help make your wine tasting tour more comfortable.

What do you wear to a winery resort? ›


For women, sundresses, blouses, and skirts all fall into this category, as do white jeans or nicer jeans with wedges. For the men, short-sleeved dress shirts, golf shirts, and khaki pants or nice jeans all work. A long-sleeved button down with dressier shorts and boat shoes are fine, too.

Can you wear jeans to the Langham? ›

the dress code is smart casual. We look forward to welcoming you. we hadn't realised & r wearing jeans and trainers will we be allowed in? you won't have a problem.

How should you dress for a Skybar? ›

Dress Code: Resort casual is the customary attire. No tank tops, ripped jeans, athletic gear, baseball or brimless hats are allowed. Appropriate shorts are allowed and men must wear collared shirts to gain entry.

Can I wear jeans to a winery? ›

Can I wear jeans to a winery? Yes! Jeans are acceptable year-round – we call it wine country casual (for women — sundresses, blouses and skirts, nice jeans, wedges, sandals, etc.; for men – golf shirts, khaki pants, nice jeans, dressier shorts, stylish sneakers, boat shoes, etc.).

Do you tip at vineyards? ›

Even though it's not typically expected, at most wineries and tasting rooms, tips are always appreciated. Especially if you've had a great experience, tasted more wines than you expected to, or are with a large group, tipping your pourer is typically considered a lovely gesture.

What shoes do you wear to a vineyard? ›

Recommended shoes include wedge sandals, flat dress shoes or stylish boots. (See below gallery for photos.) If you're going to a winery where walking through the vineyard is part of the experience—which is becoming more common, especially in Sonoma County—leave the stillettos at home and wear flat, close-toed shoes.

Can you wear sneakers to a winery? ›

In general sneakers are a bit too casual for a winery. Although some people will still wear them, we suggest leaving them at home and going with a dressier shoe option.

Can I wear leggings to a winery? ›

As for what to wear on your body, in most cases we would suggest not wearing your yoga pants or leggings, but instead opt for a classier look. A nice dress or top with a nice pair of darker jeans or cute shorts would be a great way to visit a winery.

What should I bring to a winery? ›

What to Pack for Wine Country
  • A quality water bottle to keep you hydrated.
  • Comfy pajamas for lounging in your accommodation.
  • A small crossbody purse or wristlet.
  • Comfortable, dressy clothes and shoes.
  • A travel umbrella, just in case it rains.
  • Yummy snacks.
  • A portable phone charger.
29 Sept 2020

Can you wear sweats in Paris? ›

The do's and dont's of what to wear in Paris. DON'T wear workout clothes. They have no place on the streets of Paris, and Parisians will immediately spot you as a tourist. If you want to fit in, avoid sweatpants, workout shorts and tees, and flashy sneakers.

Can I wear shorts to Fazenda? ›

Hello Amandatait24, Fazenda's dress code is “elegant smart casual", smart shorts are fine, however, we do not permit sportswear or beachwear.

Is there a dress code for Brasserie of light? ›

Our dress code is Smart Casual. Our nearest parking is at Selfridges car park, W1H 6HL. Are Dogs Allowed at Brasserie of Light? We are unable to allow dogs in the restaurant.

Can you wear jeans to Sky Garden? ›

Sky Garden London aka the public park doesn't have a dress code (yes, you can wear jeans, shorts, cowboy hats, etc) UNLESS you're making an evening reservation at Darwin Restaurant and Sky Garden Bars from 6 pm onward – in this case, you have to stick to smart casual attire.

What shoes should I wear to a bar? ›

Here's a very important tip: don't wear shoes that are difficult to walk in. Wear comfortable wedges, platforms, or sneakers instead. Whether or not you've had a few drinks, you'll likely be out on the dance floor, so it's crucial to show up in footwear that's comfortable. Overpacking can also be an issue.

Is there a dress code for Up on the roof? ›

No there isn't a dress code.


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