Balsam Mountain Inn

3.5
44 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
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 and southern classics.

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

The Balsam Mountain Inn is in the Great Smoky Mountains about 42 minutes west from downtown Asheville.
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
Lunch
Sun 12:00 pm–3:00 pm
Dinner
Mon–Thu, Sun 6:00 pm–8:00 pm
Fri, Sat 6:00 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
Mikey Kennelly
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Old Balsam Depot Rd.
Additional
Banquet, Beer, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Menu, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wine
What 44 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.5based on recent ratings
3.3
food
3.2
service
4.1
ambience
3.3
value
Noise · Quiet
60% of people would recommend it to a friend
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2.0Dined on June 12, 2018

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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3.0Dined on June 3, 2018

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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4.0Dined on June 2, 2018

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

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4.0Dined on May 27, 2018

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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4.0Dined on May 27, 2018

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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3.0Dined on May 21, 2018

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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2.0Dined on May 20, 2018

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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2.0Dined on May 13, 2018

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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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

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

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1.0Dined on May 13, 2018

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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2.0Dined on May 10, 2018

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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3.0Dined on April 21, 2018

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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4.0Dined on April 21, 2018

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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4.0Dined on April 7, 2018

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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3.0Dined on April 1, 2018

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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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

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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5.0Dined on March 21, 2018

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

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5.0Dined on November 3, 2017

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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4.0Dined on October 28, 2017

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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4.0Dined on August 27, 2017

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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3.0Dined on August 23, 2017

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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5.0Dined on July 8, 2017

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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5.0Dined on May 19, 2017

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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5.0Dined on April 28, 2017

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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5.0Dined on April 6, 2017

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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5.0Dined on February 13, 2017

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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5.0Dined on January 14, 2017

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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3.0Dined on November 8, 2016

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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4.0Dined on October 11, 2016

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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3.0Dined on August 22, 2016

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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4.0Dined on August 10, 2016

Best trout we ever had.

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4.0Dined on July 3, 2016

Relaxing, beautiful and delicious. The Balsam Mountain Inn is tucked away in the trees off of the road between Waynesville & Sylva. It is charming and quaint. The food was delicious - they specialize in fresh trout fixed in several different ways. The service was prompt and attentive.

The only thing I wished we had was air-conditioning. It was a warm day and we're of "that" age where we need cool breezes.

Aside from that, I look forward to bringing family and guests back. When it's cooler.

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4.0Dined on May 9, 2016

Very quiet and our waiter forgot how an order was to be prepared. He gave it complimentary though. I will go back.

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4.0Dined on January 17, 2016

Everything is homemade and wonderfully delicious. Beautiful 108 yr old Inn has been preserved and makes for a great romantic evening. Great service and reasonable prices. Can't wait to go back.

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2.0Dined on October 18, 2015

My whole family had some type of fish and it was all very good.

I decided to go with the NY strip, medium. It came out very well done, looking like cubed steak. I would have sent it back if our waiter would have ever come back. I'm reasonably sure it was the wrong cut of meat, and cooked to chewy. Very disappointing for $30. Maybe AVL has spoiled me.

Also, left my empty wine glass at the edge of the table for half an hour with only two other tables, and nobody offered to refill it. Frustrating dinner. Poor service.

Interesting place to go, though. Sort of fun to look around for a bit. Might be more fun to stay here.

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3.0Dined on July 4, 2015

The inn is in a beautiful location near the bottom of Balsam Mountain. That's the good news. The food was average at best, the service was poor and the decor is incredibly dated. Their breakfast is good, but not lunch or, in this case, dinner.

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5.0Dined on June 26, 2015

This is a beautiful old inn. The ambience is very nice, and the food was wonderful. The salmon special was well-prepared, and the accompanying vegetable were delicious. Service was excellent, very attentive without hovering.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2015

The Balsam was one of the very few taking reservations Valentines evening. Though we had a 50 minute drive to get there, and not having any real knowledge of the restaurant, we took the chance. We were not disappointed! We loved the rustic atmosphere, the friendly and cordial nature of the staff, and relaxing by one of the fireplaces before the ride back to our hotel. Had we thought of it, we would have booked our weekend stay there, too!

The seafood bisque was excellent for a cold night. My rack of lamb & scallops were tender and tasty, and my wife's fillet & mashed potatoes was one of the best in her book.

We will be back, and perhaps stay the weekend, too.

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4.0Dined on February 14, 2015

Made a reservation for Valentines night dining. We have been several times before and each time the food was delicious. This was no exception. My wife had the Pecan Encrusted Catfish with rice and I had one of the specials, Rack of Lamb and Scallops with a vegetable medley. Both were served hot and the vegetables of asparagus, green beans and carrots were perfectly prepared. My lamb was cooked to order and the sauce was just right to enhance the natural flavor of the lamb. The Zinfandel was very good and enhanced the meal. The servings were just the right size and left room for dessert; however, we had a special dessert waiting for us at home so we declined the enticing dessert menu. Because the weather was icy, the restaurant was not full at 6:00 pm which I am sure affected the noise level and helped us enjoy an intimate dinner with pleasant, quiet conversation. In the summertime you may dine outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It would have been nice to have had flood lights to light up the outside to enjoy the snow falling and beautiful mountainside. Instead you could only see your reflection in the windows. It turned out to be a perfect evening for us to enjoy good food and pleasant conversation in a relaxed atmosphere.

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4.0Dined on December 24, 2014

Our big family dined here Christmas Eve and the food was good, not great. There's not a lot of places open, but we definetly had all our needs met well. We had a wide menu with good food in a charming inn setting.

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