Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on December 21, 2021
A couple of our recent Facebook posts have inspired us to dive a little deeper into a subject that's near and dear to all of our hearts: food. Those posts both referred to Smoky Mountain-area restaurants that are known for their fine cuisine, so this week, we thought we'd take a closer look not only at the two eateries we've already mentioned but a couple of others as well.
Don't get us wrong; you should build plenty of opportunities to chow down on funnel cakes, deep-fried Twinkies and pizza into your vacation time in the Smokies. But every now and then, it's nice to take a break from the typical vacay grub and splurge on a really high-quality meal that's been expertly prepared by an experienced culinary team. Here are our recommendations for the best places to go.
You'll find this tasty bistro in downtown Sevierville on Main Street (the road that eventually becomes Dolly Parton Parkway). It's operated by the same proprietors that launched Seasons Innovative Bar & Grille in Knoxville, and Chef Deron Little seems to have rightly earned his 2021 Top Chef Knoxville Award (his fourth). The setting is warm, cozy and intimate but not cramped by any means. A couple of different dining areas and a uniquely shaped bar area set the stage for multiple courses of tasty fare. The ever-evolving menu is seasonal and utilizes fresh, locally sourced ingredients all year long. For lunch, you might try a hand-pressed burger or a crab cake sandwich, while dinner entrees include signature offerings like a Black Angus filet mignon, walnut-encrusted barramundi, seafood ravioli and the Hunter's Platter-samplings of venison, lamb and duck.
Sevierville has really upped its dining game in recent years, and The Appalachian is yet another example of that trend. You'll find it on Bruce Street, in the heart of downtown, and this restaurant also has a lot going for it. Their menu also takes an ever-changing approach to fresh ingredients, utilizing sources like Cruze Farm Dairy and Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Ham. Starters include unique items like Buffalo frog legs, butterbean hummus and smoked trout dip. Entrees include a half-dozen different steaks as well as duck breast, pan-roasted chicken, pork tenderloin and grouper. For dessert, you might find something along the lines of a cherry Coca-Cola cake or a strawberry shortcake featuring strawberries and Chantilly cream served over homemade buttermilk biscuits.
You'll have to venture out a little further to dine at this gem in Townsend, TN. And while it sits not far off the main road, its wooded setting helps guests feel that they've been whisked away from the hustle and bustle and into a remote tranquil paradise in the mountains. The interior atmosphere is a little more rustic than that of the restaurants we've mentioned previously; in fact, the dining area has a barn-like feel. But their farm-to-table experience showcases produce grown on site to create regionally inspired dishes. The fare at Dancing Bear likewise changes seasonally, but examples of what you might encounter include crispy pork belly with Brussels sprouts, Creole mussels, confit rabbit cassoulet, pan-seared striped bass and North Carolina rainbow trout and grits.
This restaurant is an even longer drive, but it's totally worth it. You'll find Foothills Milling in downtown Maryville, TN, which is about a 45-minute journey from the heart of Pigeon Forge. Prior to that, this eatery was located in Wears Valley. But since its opening day, it's been wowing customers with a fine-dining lineup that includes appetizers like a goat cheese tart, truffle fondue and she-crab soup. Among their signature entrees are the low country shrimp and grits, cedar-planked salmon, braised pork collar and Maple Leaf Farms Duck Two Ways. Of all the restaurants we've profiled so far, Foothills Milling probably offers the most elegant setting, and the service is stellar. It's a great place to celebrate a special occasion or just enjoy a romantic night out.
Before we close out, we wanted to quickly mention that our Smoky zip line attraction will only be open through the end of the year. We'll be operating on weekends, weather permitting, and some select weekdays. Call us to verify days of operation and to book a fun end-of-year outing with friends and family.