Lodge at Buckberry Creek Restaurant

Fine Dining in the Smokies

Recently, on an anniversary date with my wife, we decided to try something new: the restaurant at the Lodge at Buckberry Creek.  This establishment had been recommended to us by friends and they told us that it was the best dining experience in the Smokies. I have lived here since 1996 and I thought I had heard about all of the supposed ‘best dining’ experiences an I had not heard of this one before.  Little did I know that we were in for the best meal we had ever had as a couple.

I called the Lodge at Buckberry Creek because it had also been suggested that we get reservations and that we sit outside if at all possible.  I spoke to a very nice lady at their front desk that made the reservation for me and when I asked if we could sit outside, said that was no problem at all and told me everything was taken care of.  She also gave me directions to the lodge itself.  We left our house in Sevierville and headed to Gatlinburg (it is great to live so close to the Smokies).  We arrived at the lodge and parked near the lobby.  The entrance for the restaurant is through the lobby area, so if you arrive and are trying to figure out where to go, just head to the check in desk.  We were taken straight to our table on the deck outside and were treated to the best view you can imagine.

The deck off the back of the restaurant looks out over the park to Gatlinburg.  You can just barely see Gatlinburg from the deck and there are none of the garish lights or noise drifting in from town.  This was in October so it was a bit chilly and the fall colors were perfect.  The waitress, a very professional and courteous young lady got a fire going in the outside fireplace and in moments we were toasty warm.  The staff at the restaurant is amazing.  Every single person that we dealt with was wonder, well-informed with the menu and ready to help in any way that they can.  She gave us menus, explained the specials and took our orders.  Throughout the meal she was the perfect waitress:  always there when we needed her but unobtrusive.  Back to the menu and the food

The menu changes all the time.  It is based on what ingredients are fresh and what the chef feels like cooking that night.  This use of fresh seasonal ingredients make for an amazing experience in the mountains.  I ordered a veal porterhouse and my wife had the beef tenderloin.  The sides were paired with the entrée to bring out all the flavors of the food.  The chef sent out a special to all the tables (in this case a special sausage that he had crafted for the evening) and the artisan bread was out of this world.  Quite literally this is the best meal that we have had in the Smoky Mountains and though we keep looking, we have not found a place to top it yet.

Lodge at Buckberry Creek
961 Campbell Lead Road
Gatlinburg, TN

Park Grill

Fine Dining in Gatlinburg

The Park Grill in GatlinburgGatlinburg has a lot of traditions.  If you are looking for the traditional live show in the Smokies, it is Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre.  If you are looking for a great traditional attraction, it is Ripley’s Odditorium.  And if you are looking for that special place to eat then you need to give the Park Grill a shot.  A great menu, combined with tradition and a familiar mountainy look have made the Park Grill a tradition for thousands each year.  They come to enjoy the food, be waited on by an amazing staff and soak in the feel of the mountains and of Gatlinburg itself.

The Park Grill is a sprawling log cabin.  The beams on the inside, the ones  that hold up the roof, are full timbers, like a traditional log cabin.  Whole logs, bigger around than a man.  The interior is sparsely but eloquently decorated.  The booths and tables are designed to give you privacy in a public setting and the staff is there to make sure that you have a great time while you are eating at the Park Grill. From the moment you walk in the door you will know that you are in for something special.

The Park Grill is one of those iconic buildings in Gatlinburg. If you drive down the Parkway, as if you are headed to the National Park, you will see the Park Grill on the left hand side of the road near traffic light 10.  There is parking in front of the restaurant and there is parking in the rear as well.  Of course, seeing as you are near to a lot of the hotels and motels in town it is always nice to stretch your legs and walk to the restaurant before a wonderful meal.

The food though is what they are famous for.  From their world class salad bar to the specials that are indicative of the mountains.  Rainbow trout, Moonshine Chicken and other items dot the menu.  Their steaks are amazing and their ribs are to die.  The ribs come on a plate that they are almost too big to for.  Hanging off the side, the ribs have been given a signature rub and they have been cooked for hours so that the smoky goodness has been cooked in.  But it is their desserts that stick with you.  In particular the Jack Daniel’s Crème Brule.  This dessert of custard with the crunch sugar torched to a crunchy brown on top is a staple on their menu.  They move fast so order yours when you sit down and get ready to taste Crème Brule perfection with just a hint of Jack.

The Park Grill needs to be on your list.  It needs to be a stop you make in the Smokies at least once.  And I bet, after you eat there once, that you will go back each time you come back to the mountains.

Park Grill
1110 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN