25 www.BlountPartnership.com Fine Dining RIGHTATHOMEFOR Second best to the food at Blount’s fine-dining restaurants is the classically casual atmosphere. While many tend to think of these restaurants as “special occa- sion” venues, the truth is that the welcoming attitude is as warm and comforting as the food. Most do take a little “plan ahead” time because most are small and fill up quickly. Here’s a sampling of what Blount has to offer in fine dining: Blackberry Farm – Two restau- rants are at Blackberry, with The Dogwood open only to guests at the hotel. The Barn, a James Beard Award-winning restaurant, specializes in regional Appala- chian ingredients with a multi- course menu. Reservations are required, and there are a limited number of spots open for non- hotel guests. Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro – Appalachian gourmet cuisine best describes the menu at the lodge’s upscale yet casual and rustic restaurant. Comfort- food classics are inspired by those found around mom’s dinner table, elevated with the chef’s experienced hand. Chef Shel- ley Cooper also offers special three-course suppers of her own creation on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings. Foothills Milling Company – Ever since its humble beginnings in Wear’s Valley, Foothills Milling Company has maintained a loyal clientele, and for good reason. The restaurant, now in down- town Maryville, is casually classic, with upscale dining choices. This family-owned restaurant knows what they do best, and they just keep on doing it. Reservations are usually a must unless you want to eat at the bar. RT Lodge – Even the offerings on the charcuterie board are house- made at this cozy restaurant nestled in the woods of Maryville College. The pictorial setting is well-complimented with the excellence of the food. Menus are seasonal, shaped by what’s fresh and fits the chef’s dedication to showcasing local foods. Walnut Kitchen – The newest fine-dining restaurant in Maryville has a rich history in its chef-owner David Rule. A native of Maryville, his training in a local small family restaurant as a teen led to a passion for cooking and stints with Aubrey’s Restaurants, Dancing Bear Lodge and Black- berry Farm. He opened Walnut Kitchen in late August, and his culinary skills have been the talk of the town. The restaurant now also has a retail butcher shop under the expertise of Ashley Gaylor, former meat manager at Butler and Bailey Market in Knoxville. Menus at Walnut Kitchen reflect what is seasonal.