We were looking forward to trying some local cuisine on our trip to Gatlinburg, and were invited to try the Park Grill on the Parkway just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It has been years since we visited Gatlinburg, and we were excited to return. After the fires in November of 2016 we were not sure what to expect, and were delighted to see the town thriving.
We walked from the Hilton Garden Inn around the corner, which was a nice stroll to the locally-owned Park Grill. Once inside we found the restaurant is designed like a rustic mountain lodge that embraces the history of the park. The decor is rustic with a lovely sculpture of bears and other wildlife about the restaurant.
Our waiter was nice and found us a seat near the window overlooking Parkway. The restaurant was busy, and there were couples as well as families enjoying selections from their menu. The Park Grill creates their menu from locally sourced produce and meats, and one of the suggestions our waiter offered for a appetizer was the fried green tomatoes. It was the special for the evening, and the tomatoes were cooked just right with a nice crispness and seasoning, and were delicious. Other specials for the evening were a Veggie beef soup, Fried Green Beans for another appetizer along with Mountain Rainbow Trout, and a Black Bear Brownie Bash for dessert. All were tempting selections for dinner, and I decided on the fresh Mountain Rainbow Trout blackened.
While waiting for dinner we visited their Salad Bar that is huge. It's what The Park Grill is famous for and we could see why - there's so much to choose from. It includes wonderful fresh mozzarella, smoked oysters, along with homemade dressings, and pickled okra. The selections change with the seasons, and you can easily create a meal alone from the Salad Bar selections.
Leroy decided to try the Prime Rib that he said perfectly cooked with a side of fresh broccoli and cauliflower. While the Prime Rib sounded good, I really wanted to have some fresh fish, and was surprised when our order arrived and I found two hearty pieces of fresh Mountain Rainbow Trout along with the Sweet Potato Casserole with Coconut. What a wonderful meal - I loved the Trout - they were flaky and not over-cooked, and it was seasoned just right. And the sweet potatoes - they were divine.
We did save room for dessert and agreed on the sampler that was suggested. There were three selections that included Blackberry Cobbler, a Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse, and Jack Daniel’s Crème Bruleé - this was my favorite. The Crème Bruleé was smooth and creamy, yet not heavy or overly sweet.
Plan Your Visit To The Park Grill
The Park Grill also serves lunch, which would be a good time to enjoy a salad along with one of their local favorites like the Grilled Moonshine Chicken or BBQ Sampler. We've added those to our list of things to try next time. If you're visiting Gatlinburg be sure to stop in because it's a lovely restaurant that is as much a part of the Great Smoky Mountains heritage as moonshine and bluegrass!