Balsam Mountain Inn

4.0
54 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
The Balsam Mountain Inn restaurant offers Contemporary/Classical cuisine to their guests. The Balsam Mountain Inn will highlight intriguing daily specials using fresh and local ingredients. The restaurant will be adding more International cuisines seasonally influenced by southern classics.

Breakfast at the inn is locally sourced and home cooked featuring the American breakfast classics.

The Balsam Mountain Inn is in the Great Smoky Mountains about 42 minutes west from downtown Asheville, 15 minutes from Waynesville, 20 Minutes from Sylva and 0.5 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Breakfast
Daily 8:00 am–10:00 am
Dinner
Daily 5:30 pm–9:00 pm
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Phone number
(828) 456-9498
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Chris Phillips
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Old Balsam Depot Rd.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wine
What 54 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on all time ratings
4.0
food
3.9
service
4.2
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Quiet
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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MC
Western NC
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

Our server was fabulous and the food was good, but it truly pales in comparison with a few years ago. Portion sizes are smaller and prices higher. If the ambiance of dining area and lodging had not have also declined considerably, I'd review differently. My mother in law and sister in law stayed in a room in the Inn which was cold with mismatched paint on the walls. When I'd stayed at the Inn for a special weekend getaway or came for a special graduation meal or other special event, the decor around the Inn had always been full of country or antique charm.... often there were displays of quilts on the walls or artists paintings or photography tastefully displayed.... none of that was present. It reminded me of a shabby 2 star hotel and not the grand historic inn it had once been. I was further disappointed to discover that the room journal of former guest visits was non existent. It was a very disappointing visit and I'm deeply saddened that the owners have let it get so run down and without the folksy charm it needs!

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JW
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, all that I ate here, was delicious!!
Highly recommend!!

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BM
Western NC
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The new owners have improved the menu. Look forward to more visits......

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OT
Wilmington
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Adorable waiter. Beautiful location. Would definitely recommend!

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BM
Western NC
2 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you are ever in Western North Carolina, dining at the Balsam Inn is one for your bucket list. Been coming here since 2004 and never once disappointed.

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LH
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a very special time at the Balsam Inn. The experience was wonderful. There was a wide selection of wines. The appetizer of the day, which was chicken and vegetables in an egg roll wrap, was excellent. When the waitress brought out the entrees, we saw that the chef had painted a picture with the presentation. Each plate was a work of art, not only in presentation, but also in taste and texture. The strawberry rose on the Crème Brûlée was the marvelous. We enjoyed our time at Balsam Inn very much

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Delicious, creative and very fresh farm to table fare; beautiful presentation. A true gem in an understated, old-timey atmosphere. Menu changes with produce and available meat/fish. Desserts are exceptional, especially the Bread Pudding! A must visit and stay (if rooms are available) when traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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MJ
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Fried chicken was dry and the green beans where over cooked. The entree was overpriced. The appetizer (fried green tomatoes) was good and appeared larger in portion than the entree.
While our server was very nice and energetic, she need more training.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

We have been dining at the Balsam Mountain Inn several times a year for many years. This experience was unfortunately completely terrible. We walked in the door at 7:00 with a reservation and our food was not served until 8:55. Several times over the two hours I got up and poured water for our table myself after waiting 20+ minutes for waitstaff. We did not get our check for another half hour after eating, and were finally paid and ready to leave at 9:35. The staff and manager cited an unexpected 16 top as the reason for all the delays, but not until we asked about where our food was at 8:45. We are very disappointed with the new management and are sad to be losing one of our Waynesville area favorites.

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MF
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great space and food! They were quite busy but were attentive and responsive. Food was done well and we enjoyed everything!

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TC
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

The small piece of Salmon brought to the table was sad. It could not have been more than 2 oz. The place is nice, OVER PRICED and we will not return. There were 9 of us and all 9 said they would not return. 2 1/2 hours for food to arrive, then a 2 oz piece of salmon? What were they thinking? Sad because this could be an amazing place to dine.

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G
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Food was very good - really enjoyed the catfish - and the hotel is a great place to visit with a nice dining room. Very quiet on the Sunday night we stayed and the waiting staff seemed to be a standin. We noticed too late that salad or soup was supposed to be included in the price of the entree, but it wasn't offered. Then we were offered our desserts when we were only three quarters way through our entrees - maybe she wanted to get home, as we were the last in the dining room - but it was nowhere near closing time.
The hotel generally seems to be having a few transitional issues following a change of ownership. It's a wonderful place, and some of the changes seem positive - but maybe give it a bit of time to sort itself out.

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K
Western NC
54 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Ho hum. Overly ambitious menu.
Not well executed but they did try.

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JI
Raleigh
20 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The atmosphere here is from a time long lost. A quiet, relaxed place. The food was very good, not overly simple or pretentious. Come to stay in the in and enjoy a meal or two.

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JS
Western NC
5 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

We had a great meal but it took a long time. We have been coming for years and we thought it was great that the inn and dining porch were so full, but our meal took a very long time to be served and my risotto came after I had finished my meal. Water service was also sporadic. Again, I think it was all due to the numbers which we were excited about, but if we were first timers we would not come back. The food was delicious.

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MM
St. Louis
5 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

The meal was great and the servers attentive and friendly and you could converse with other diners or not. However it was opening season and they were overwhelmed, they were out of the wine we ordered but offered another at no additional cost food was wonderful but slow and we were in no rush. Enjoyed the experience and like a lot of places enjoy the setting and the meal will get there and be worth the wait

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LL
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 5

Food was very disappointing. Skin on chicken Marsala was supposed to be crispy; it wasn’t. Portion was small. Few mushrooms; very little sauce so no Marsala flavor. Apple pecan salad was identified as an entree salad; it was very small. Candied pecans were a hazard to your teeth.
Service was very slow, but not the fault of the server because she had too many tables to serve. No dessert or after dinner coffee/tea was offered, but we would have passed because of the slowness of service.
We were staying at the Inn and it was nice.

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l
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

I love old Inns. This was a beautiful Inn, needed some TLC, but still beautiful. I was quite impressed with the piano player, nice touch. The food was a let down, and for the quality of it, I found it pricey. If the food was at it's best, I would consider coming back. The Salmon was over cooked, Chicken a bit dry. Egg and Waffle table, Dessert table and Roast Beef table needed to be brought out more. I didn't even realize there was Roast Beef until I was through with the meal. Our server did not even mention these tables. The bill was brought to our table long before our meal was finished, making us feel rushed to leave.

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C
Western NC
4 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Took my family there for Mother's Day breakfast. Everyone was extremely accommodating and we thouroghly enjoyed our experience!

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Made Mother’s Day reservations for four this morning. We were greeted up front, directed (not led) to dining room where a minimal buffet was set up, several tables weren’t cleaned or set up for service and no one was around to greet us. We chose a half set table and a server came out and told us to move to a table that was reserved for us, only two chairs were at the table so I had to take two chairs in order for myself and my mom to be able to sit down. We were told we’d be taken care of, no menu was present even though on open table a reasonable breakfast selection was provided. After filling our waters and walking away... 10 minutes pass before our server told us that only a buffet was available for service today. So disappointed that we drove 20 minutes for overcooked/old sausage and bacon, egg beaters, pale watermelon, savory blueberry muffins (best of the worst), a choice of one variety of yogurt, and either total or wheaties cereal. Another table of guests asked for menu service & were served from the menu while were uncomfortably eating what was offered... far too embarrassed to just leave or complain in such a quiet and intimate dining room. Almost room temperature hard boiled eggs that we had to peel ourselves... the two juice options were never offered to us and nearly empty anyways if we did want some. Same for the coffee. My mom bit into a bad strawberry and had to spit it out! Disgusting! I feel like I let my mom down, I haven’t spent a mother’s day with her in 15 years and she traveled from Ohio, we traveled from Virginia Beach for my brothers graduation in Sylva. It was supposed to be special. We rushed out of there upset but never rude. We could have had breakfast in our hotel for free in place of this experience and I’m really upset that we didn’t.

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C
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Service was lacking. Specific examples: waitstaff had to be asked to clear an empty space at the table. Had to request refills of water glasses. It took a very long time for the main courses to arrive. My duck entree did not have crispy skin, and the portion was very small -- three skinny slices. Our guest ordered a ribeye, medium rare, and it came out with no pink at all. The one positive note : delicious warm rolls served before the meal. I know this place is trying to be a bit fancier, with higher prices, than most of the restaurants in the area but unless they can find a better chef and train their staff in actual service, they'd be better off converting to a homier, less ambitious burger joint. For the cost, I was quite disappointed in the meal, and I live locally, so they will be missing my repeat business unless they up their game.

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K
Raleigh
8 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

We had a fixe prix dinner for a musical event. The inn is inviting, comfortable, and a great getaway place. Dinner was just okay; nothing wrong, just a bit ordinary especially the desserts. I would like to try the regular menu to see if it is better since this is a wonderful place to visit.

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A
Western NC
4 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Vegetarian option was macaroni and cheese. Not worth 34.00. Other meals were good. Song writers in the round was fantastic.

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CH
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

We had a party of 5 for dinner on same night as a songwriters music fest was planned for next room. We were seated on porch at 6:00 .... music to start at 7:30 in main dining. It was April & the porch was cold, loud noise coming from kitchen. Was hoping to have their famous trout ... but had to order from the “set menu” for the music group.... very disappointed! Food was basic, salmon (over cooked) green beans, rice. The ambience & history of the Inn made up for some of the disappointment..... I will try again, as I want to be able to give a good review. The best thing I can say is ...... the hot rolls were fabulous!!!

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DM
Western NC
1 review
Dined on April 1, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

New owner. Chef was touted as being great. Food was average at best. 38.50 per person Easrer Dinner, for burnt ham and vegetable medley. Ran out of dessert before the last seating.

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TS
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A jewel nestled in a 115 year old hotel. Located about 15 minutes from Sylvan, NC it is well worth the trip. We live in the Chicagoland area where there is no shortage of dining options. We found the food excellent, the staff above average, even the chef came out to talk with us to make sure everything met our expectations. They far exceeded them; when was the last time you were seated and your waitress said that your rolls were just put into the oven and would be ready in a few minutes. Now that's what we call fresh!! I usually don't order pork when dining out because it is usually overcooked and dry. Based on the menu description of their pork roast I took a chance and was very glad that I did, very moist, flavorful & a great apple bacon compote. My wife had the salmon and though it was better then any we had in Alaska. Try the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan pie for desert - - unlike any Pecan pie we have ever had . While your there allow some time to look around the hotel & the grounds, its worth the time. The new owner is taking great pride and pains to maintain the original beauty & charm of yesteryear. With any luck, we will be back there in the fall to spend some time in the mountains watching the colors change & enjoying more great food!

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GG
Western NC
30 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Awesome atmosphere and pretty good food. Some decent wines on the list. too.

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L
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Stayed at Inn. Restaurant was an unexpected surprise. Excellent food and service. Arrived late and did not have to leave the Inn for dinner.

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TH
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Excellent trout. Our group had 3 different ways and all were great.
Server was terrible. As soon as we sat down, she asked if we were ready to order. Didn’t ask if we would like drinks.
Kudos to chef though!

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Dining experience was great, but they didn't have our reservation. No worries, they weren't busy, but for an anniversary, it could have been a problem.

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g
Western NC
16 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Always enjoy the peaceful mountain view from Balsam Mountain Inn porch while sipping our wine in the rocking chairs. Food was average this time, service also. Good price.

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love dining at this Inn! It is always special and we enjoy being able to talk without loud
music. If you enjoy experiencing "Simpler Times", this could be the perfect place for you.

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JS
Western NC
4 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a songwriter's night. It was fun and the buffet was delicious! We've been many times and Balsom Mtn is one of our all time favorites!

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LA
Greensboro
4 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were staying at the Balsam Mountain Inn (Groupon) and since the restaurant got good reviews we decided to try it. Nothing short of AMAZING! The food was fresh, cooked to perfection, and beautifully presented. It beat out my go-to high-end steak house in Winston Salem where I usually get my favorite salmon. Homemade rolls were to. die. for. Wow. Going back and taking friends. It is a different sort of experience - a bit of a homey, historical, slightly unusual setting but awesome. Dining area is small and intimate. One waiter, one waitress. You got the impression that there was one chef in the back doing all the cooking, but I don't know if that's true.

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BB
Western NC
13 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We had always intended to stay and/or eat at the Balsam Mountain Inn for some time, before ultimately moving to western NC, but the timing had just never worked out. Finally, no pressure, we decided to go there on an impromptu, adventure whim for an Anniversary dinner. It was a very quiet, low key week-night visit, but turned out to be a very enjoyable, pleasant and memorable meal. The menu was not huge, but still wide ranging in choices, with excellent ingredients and a great touch by the Chef on our appetizer and entrees with his memorable wood fire cooking. The Wine list had many favorites and our choice set off our meal well. The final touch, to end an excellent meal before our drive back home, was excellent coffee along with an incredibly rich and creamy, best ever house-made Turtle Cheesecake. We will certainly be back again!

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P
Western NC
10 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have always gone to BMI but haven't been in a while. Glad to know it is still a great place
for dinner and relaxing. The meal was wonderful and at a very fair price. Marylee Teasley(owner) has always provided a wonderful place for food,music and fun.

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S
Western NC
61 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a friend in from Lynchburg, Tennessee and took her there and it was the first time she had ever had salmon and it was to die for!

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t
Pinehurst
34 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Pasta dishes were good. Salads had a bit of a sour aroma but appeared fresh.The inn itself is a treat to behold. Give it a try. Maybe more business would generate capital for better service and premium meats. The chef is knowledgeable and creative. The owner is beyond charming. Go!

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was wonderful . American thru and thru. The portion size was healthy but not over loaded. Seasoned well and presented nicely . The service was great the whole time we were there, friendly and helpful. Beautiful setting in the mountains with a dining patio and also private dining for large get together soon. One of the local politicians held a meeting there with a band the night we were there.

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CG
Charlotte
13 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2016
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We spent three nights at the Inn. Had breakfast and dinner there all three. The food was quite tasty and a good value.

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