When you grow up on the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains, sometimes you miss some obvious stuff.
In other words, for years, I overlooked one of the most popular restaurants in the Smokies: The Greenbrier.
While The Greenbrier is a favorite among locals, you might notice that it’s not really heavily advertised. Also, it’s not right along any main roads. It’s in an area of the Smoky Mountains where you have to be looking for it to know it’s there.
The Greenbrier in Gatlinburg menu prices
It’s worth noting that this establishment is a higher-end restaurant for the Gatlinburg area, which is likely why my parents never took me there as a kid. It’s also why it took me so long to take myself as an adult.
It features a unique chef-driven menu and unique dishes that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the mountains.
But the downside is that if you have a favorite item, it’s possible that it may only be available for a limited amount of time since these chef specials are known to rotate or change.
So are the prices at The Greenbrier high? Perhaps a little for East Tennessee.
The main dishes range from $26-45. Steaks, bone-in ribeye and pork chops range from $48-55. It’s not the kind of place where you can decide to order a sandwich with water to keep the bill low.
But that being said, the food is high quality. The prices, in my opinion, are well justified.
You can view the current full menu online here.
What to order at The Greenbrier restaurant
The Greenbrier is Gatlinburg’s premier steakhouse, so it offers some of the highest quality food and an unparalleled dining experience.
They use only fresh produce and fresh vegetables and the finest cut of meats. But it’s important to remember that the house specialties change because they are unique chef creations.
For the appetizers, they currently offer items including (but not limited to) Ribs and Belly, Nashville Hot Oysters and Brie en Croute, which is Brie cheese baked in pastry served with saffron cream and raspberry melba.
For the main entrees, you can choose from delicious options like Chilean Sea Bass, Cavatelli Pasta, Chicken Marsala or Lobster and Shrimp Tagliatelle.
Of course, the Greenbrier has a selection of steaks, chops and pork dishes that compete with some of the best steaks in Gatlinburg. Current cuts include Bone-in Ribeye, New York Strip, Filet of Beef and Rack of Lamb.
A choice of soups or house salad with a selection of homemade salad dressings and crisp salad greens is also available.
Be sure to also ask for their cocktail and dessert menu.
Is The Greenbrier worth it?
In short, yes, it’s worth it. It has amazing food, and it’s also rich in history.
The restaurant itself is beautiful, and it would be a great spot for a romantic date night.
It’s also home to the Greenbrier Whiskey Society, meaning there’s a wide selection of bourbon, whiskey and spirits to taste. They also have bottled and draft beer.
On our visit, I ordered the salmon, my sister had trout and my brother-in-law got the filet of beef. On a more recent visit, my husband had the duck. And y’all, it was some of the best food I’ve ever had in the Smokies.
The poultry was flavorful and juicy. And the steak? The steak was cooked beautifully. Melt-in-your-mouth perfection.
We were too full for dessert, but I think that means we’ll have to make another trip soon.
Is The Greenbrier restaurant in Gatlinburg haunted?
If you’re into Tennessee folklore, you’ll probably enjoy a visit to The Greenbrier restaurant. Even though the restaurant has an exceptional atmosphere, it’s also said to be one of the most haunted places in Gatlinburg.
In the 1930s, it was a mountain lodge that hunters, loggers and hikers frequented.
Legend has it that a young bride-to-be named Lydia hung herself from the rafters of the old lodge after being left at the altar.
The man who left her was said to be found within days following Lydia’s passing. He appeared to have been mauled by a mountain lion.
Some believe that Lydia’s spirit took revenge on him. Some even believe that she took the form of a mountain lion to do so.
If that’s the case, I suppose she returned to her human-like form when she came back to haunt the lodge-turned-restaurant.
The Murfreesboro Post provides the most detail on the legend. Some workers have noticed “food items being knocked off shelves” in the pantry.
Some diners have reported seeing the spirit as a “small, sad figure” lingering along the stairway, or around the upper-floor landing. Additionally, some employees claim to feel her “chilling presence”.
The lodge was eventually converted into the food and spirit outpost as we know it today, where it currently serves high-quality food with Appalachian tradition.
Ghost hunters at The Greenbrier restaurant
I can’t say that my family or I have seen Lydia at The Greenbrier. However, there is something chilling about looking up toward the second floor.
In fact, the first time we visited, before knowing about the legend, one of the members of our party looked up at the staircase and said it felt “spooky”.
Despite the alleged revenge on her ex, some reports say that Lydia is a “friendly ghost”. Some even speculate that she doesn’t know she has perished.
Ghost Hunters once visited The Greenbrier restaurant to investigate.
The East Tennessee Paranormal Research Society found photographic anomalies and “cheeky responses” to questions via Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP.
For a bit of added fun, the restaurant acknowledges the spirit by naming menu items after her. For example, the “Lydia” martini has vodka, freshly squeezed lemon and house-made lavender simple syrup. She even has her own cellar reserves.
Does The Greenbrier restaurant take reservations?
Yes, visitors can reserve a table online here. You can also call the restaurant at (865) 412-1576.
I do recommend making a reservation. The Greenbrier is a popular restaurant.
While you might be able to find a spot at the bar seating area if you’re lucky, it’s always best to reserve a table in advance.
Plan your trip to The Greenbrier restaurant
The Greenbrier is open on Tuesday-Sunday from 4:30-9 pm. It’s closed on Mondays. Remember, hours may vary by season.
The Greenbrier is located at 370 Newman Road in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Have you been to The Greenbrier restaurant? Have you seen the ghost Lydia? Let us know in the comments!
View the web story version of this article here.