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Ramps: Appalachia’s First Taste of Spring

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on May 25, 2017

Ramps appear in two of the dishes on our current menu, including the Braised Rabbit, which comes with pickled ramps, and the Wild Mushroom “Toast.” If you aren’t familiar with Appalachian cuisine, you might be wondering what on earth a ramp is. If you’re in the know, you might be pretty excited to see this regional ingredient with our spring dishes. The simple answer is that ramps are essentially a wild leek (that’s allium tricoccum to you botanists) indigenous to the eastern United States and especially the Appalachian Mountains.

Ramps have a spicy, pungent flavor similar to spring onions or ...

Dancing Bear Lodge New Construction and Renovations

Posted in All News on Apr 11, 2017

UPDATE: The Landing event space is completed! We are thrilled to share these photos from our Live on the Lawn Concert Series with you, and we look forward to hosting your next private event in our gorgeous new pavilion! Call 800.369.0111 ext. 3 for more information.

Townsend event venue Smoky Mountain event venue Townsend TN event space

We are thrilled to welcome new additions and renovations this season! They include an expansive new event pavilion, 4 new luxury accommodations, along with beautiful updates to The LeConte cabin and additional renovations to existing loft cabins.

The new pavilion, known as ‘The Landing’, is a grand gathering space adjacent to t...

Smoky Mountain Bicycling Suggestions

Posted in Activities, All News on Feb 23, 2017

There are excellent places for bicycling all around Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend, TN. The primary form of bicycling is road biking. While there are some mountain biking options, they are all on private land, as the National Park does not allow mountain bikes on any of the trails inside the park. So for the purposes of this post, we will concentrate on road biking.Smoky Mountain biking

There is a great bike shop only 15 minutes from Dancing Bear, called Cycology. It has great gear, a full service maintenance department, and even a craft beer counter. If you forgot anything, need something fixed, or just want to b...

Appalachian Cuisine: An Underrecognized Trend

Posted in All News, Bistro on Nov 06, 2015

The Oxford American magazine published an outstanding article on New Appalachian Cuisine In the Spotlight and At the Margins’ Courtney Balestier noted the link between current food trends and traditional Appalachian foodways, and how that link is under recognized amidst the hubbub made over New Southern recipes and buying local. She wrote, “People are, in some sense, rediscovering Appalachian cuisine; they just don’t know it. Without getting swept away “without forgetting that these hunter-gatherer acts represent an era that many barely survived” it’s still important to remember that trends li...

Quick Pickled Garden Vegetables

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Nov 06, 2015

Quick Pickled Garden vegetables

These pickled garden vegetables are sweet, tart, spicy and crunchy. They complement any meat and are especially delicious with pimento cheese and deviled eggs. Now is broaching peak growing season, so we've included everything we can get our hands on in the mix.

Step 1: Prepare your chosen vegetables and keep them separated.

1 Carrot Peeled, Cut into ¼Inch Thick Sticks
1 Cup Celery Cut into Sticks
1 Cup Radishes
1 Cucumber Cut into Sticks
2 Jalapeno- Keep Seeds If You Want Heat, If Not Remove Seeds & 1/2 Peppers
1 Cup Green Beans Of Choice, Sug...

Butternut Squash Burrata

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Nov 06, 2015

BUTTERNUT_SQUASH_BURRATA_AND_SAGE_CROSTINI-webDancing Bear Appalachian Bistro Chef Shelley Cooper brings a wealth of worldly experience to the table when it comes to fine cuisine. Today, she offers a recipe for a party-perfect snack: Butternut Squash, Burrata and Sage Crostini.

1 large Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons (packed) light brown sugar
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 fresh sage leaves
2 balls of fresh burrata
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
12 half-inch-thick baguette slices, toasted
Add fresh le...

Stuffed Squash Blossoms (Yields 12 Blossoms)

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Nov 06, 2015

Set oven to 350 degrees
Clean 1 dozen large squash blossoms
Pick any shells from 1# Best quality fresh crab meat
In a bowl mix 1/8 cup fresh chopped tarragon, Zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 orange, ¼ cup best quality mayonnaise, 2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp white pepper and crab meat. Taste mixture and adjust seasonings to your liking
Gentle stuff crab mixture in blossoms
Place blossoms on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
Brush blossoms with 1 egg slightly beaten and then lightly dust with ½ cup breadcrumbs
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crab is hot
Enjoy with green goddess dressing—r...

Bacony Baked Green Beans (Yields 6-8 Servings)

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Nov 06, 2015



Oven set to 350 degrees.

Clean and cut 4 cups green beans then cut into 1-2 inch bite size pieces.

Bring a pot a salted water to boil then quickly blanch beans for 1-2 minutes only, they should still have a nice crunch and immediately shock the beans in ice water.

Julianne 2 medium sized yellow onions.

In a medium size cast iron skillet cook 1 cup roughly chopped best quality thick cut smoked bacon. When bacon is done remove from the cast iron skillet and add julienned red onions to the hot greased skillet and wilt.

Turn heat off of skillet. With a flat bottom wooden spoon stir in...

Crisp Soft Grits

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Nov 06, 2015


2 cups yellow grits- NOT INSTANT
3 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
2 TBS kosher salt
1 TBS white pepper
1 tsp sugar
Parchment paper
Vegetable oil cooking spray
4 eggs slightly beaten
2 cups unbleached seasoned all-purpose flour
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
2 cups vegetable oil


Cook grits as directed on package, using milk and cream not water

Season grits with salt, sugar, white pepper and taste to make sure you have enough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; coat paper with cooking spray.

Pour grits onto sheet pan; smooth into an even layer. Grits should be about 1 inch thic...

Putting up for Winter: Fall Appalachian Food Traditions, Canning, Pickling, and Country Cooking!

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Nov 04, 2015

Fall Appalachian Cooking traditions canning

Walk into many groceries, big box stores, and other shops this time of year, and you’ll see more Ball canning jars than ever before. Canning, like many other culinary and craft arts, is seeing a big resurgence. As local and organic food has grown more popular, so have the traditional ways to preserve it.

Appalachia never really let go of its “old canning ways” in a poor region where foraging got dinner on the table as much as farming, it’s important to save every scrap of the summer harvest. This is a land of stew tomatoes, bachelor’s jam covered with a protective layer of hooch, and preserve...

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