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Dogwood Terrace

Just beyond the main drag of historic downtown Acworth lies an eclectic modern American eatery affectionately known as the best kept secret in Lake City. Since 2009, Dogwood Terrace has been serving up a little bit of heaven on a plate to those in the know and racking up quite a word of mouth following along the way.

Owner and Kennesaw resident Darlene Knight, who has owned Serendipity House next door for 20 years, first moved to the area in 1995 when Acworth had more vacant storefronts than it had much else. Today, she said, the city has become a wonderful little restaurant mecca and a true shopping destination.

“We’re blessed with all the offerings in Acworth today,” Knight said. “It’s a great improvement, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

And proud she should be. From the eco-friendly barn-like decor, designed to complement the preeminent Victorian architecture of the surrounding neighborhood and featuring nuanced details like a vaulted yellow pine ceiling with hand hewn beams, fireplaces made from native Elberton granite and a bar handcrafted by a local artisan, to the award-winning made-from-scratch menu items, every facet of Dogwood Terrace has been thoughtfully handcrafted down to the smallest subtlety.

Whether for catering, lunch, dinner or even Sunday brunch, where Knight is fond of saying, “If you come to Sunday brunch, mama won’t have to cook the rest of the day,” guests are always warmly welcomed and served in a comfortable atmosphere where the food is, appropriately, the star.

Start your meal off on the right foot with chef Steve Moughalian’s light and crispy House-Made Potato Chips. Topped with creamy, chunky blue cheese dressing, chives and sweet balsamic syrup before being garnished with South African piquanté peppers, this savory sweet appetizer is made for sharing with the table. Word of warning: If you choose to eat it solo and let yourself get carried away to the bottom of the plate, it may spoil your appetite for dinner!

And you really don’t want to miss the award-winning entrées, of which there are several, including the Georgia Pecan Chicken— 2013 Taste of Acworth Best Entrée winner. It’s a pecan-encrusted chicken breast drizzled with whole grain honey mustard sauce on top of mashed sweet potatoes and served with the veggie of the day. Big enough to split, this tender, nutty, sauced-just-right dish, a favorite amongst regulars, simply screams Georgia grown and is sure to have you coming back for more time and again.

But, be sure to save room for the literal icing on the cake. Another award-winner, this time a Taste of Kennesaw Best Dessert, the warm, airy carrot cake with slices of real, fresh carrot and topped with light, smooth butter cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans is a muffin-shaped, plate-licking showstopper—even if you’re not typically a fan of this quintessentially American sweet treat.

The secret is out! Dogwood Terrace is serving up award-winning cuisine, a soothing, familial vibe and some welcoming down home sensibilities in the heart of historic downtown Acworth.

The dinner bell is ringing. Come and get it!

Sign up for the Dogwood Terrace email blast at for the most up-to-date information and offers for special events like birthdays and anniversaries, as well as advanced notice of monthly themed dinners and wine tastings. Dogwood Terrace is kid friendly and offers up some of the best parking in downtown Acworth.

*Originally published in the April 2015 issue of Cobb Life Magazine.