On a recent trip to Bryson City and the Nantahala Gorge area my family decided to eat at the restaurant on the grounds at the Nantahala Village. Primarilly because this was the resort we wanted to stay at, but made last minute plans for this trip and the Lodge rooms were booked. On a trip a couple years back we had stumbled across the Village Resort and popped in and asked if we could see one or two of their cabins along with a Lodge room. The Tree House Cabins were not very well appointed and they were "pet" friendly and that was very noticeable. For the $$$ they want to rent those cabins I would expect a lot more than furniture I had in my college dorm room……. 20 years ago! But the lodge rooms were a bit more reasonable and much better condition relatively speaking.
Any way, we ate here more recently and in a nut shell it solidified the fact that while convenient to the Nantahala Outdoor Center, there was no longer the feeling of need to stay here. The restaurant (Bistro) was inviting, decor and table settings appropriate for the lodge setting, we sat outside on the patio and the view of the mountains in the distance is spectacular. Even if you sat inside, I don't think there was a bad seat in the house. The hostess was very pleasant, The waitress, for the most part, was attentive. My wife HAS to eat gluten free and the waitress was super accommodating reading labels on dressings and various ingredients. Not sure if this was unfortunate or not based on my opinion of the food the rest of us ate, but many of the dishes that my wife was interested in, the seasonings were questionable, so just to play it safe she limited herself to a salad with a plain grilled chicken breast. Our kids had the Filets, one medium rare and the other medium-well. Both came out pretty much on the medium-well side. When I pay close to $30 for a filet, I expect it to be on the thick and tender side. These were a little on the thin side, and dry. When eating with kids, I tend to not make a fuss and send things back just due to timing. They ate them without much complaint, which at that point makes making a fuss pointless and I didn't feel like like they owed me a free meal because of it. Each steak was complimented by real mashed potatoes, tasteless, but real and asparagus. The asparagus was sautéed which would've been fine, but it was caramelized in a very thin coating of something that gave it both a candied & oily texture. I had the salmon. It was cooked to perfection, however the marinade / glaze was very oily and was heavy on a buttery taste. I should've ordered it "dry" or "sauce" on the side. The fish was accompanied by the same potatoes and asparagus.
The food was not terrible, I would not turn down an invitation to join someone there for dinner, as frequent visitor to the area, I simply will not return because I don't feel the value is there. As an "exclusive" full-service destination resort, I had higher expectations for the quality. It is my opinion (not fact) that this was not "fresh" food, but rather food rich in preservatives that ultimately lacks on taste and requires a good bit of doctoring, unfortunately in oil and butter based spreads that are counted on to deliver moistness and some level of flavor to the end product.
For the money, one is better off renting a privately owned cabin in the mountains and cooking their own food. ***please note, in all fairness, I did NOT actually stay here. I only ATE here, but observed the rooms and cabins by way of asking the front desk for keys and access to unoccupied units in order to make judgements on staying here on future trips***
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Nantahala Village is a landmark Great Smoky Mountains destination that caters to family vacations, weddings, corporate retreats, motor club and special interest gatherings. Rental units include Lodge rooms, Fireplace Suites, and on site cabins. Horseback riding, swimming pool, fitness room, game room, playground, mountain biking and hiking trails are all on the property. Zipline adventures, whitewater rafting, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and other activities are nearby. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Nantahala Village Resort And Spa
- Nantahala Village Hotel Bryson City