Carver’s Applehouse Restaurant (3460 Cosby Hwy., aka Hwy. 321, 423/487-2710, daily 8 a.m.–8 p.m., $6–16) is country dining the way it ought to be. The dining room overlooks the Carver apple orchard, and the home-style fare is comforting and tasty. Each meal—breakfast, lunch, or dinner—comes with sweet-savory apple fritters and a glass of homemade apple cider. The apple-smoked barbecue is a stand-out, as well as the chicken pot pie. Other choices include steaks, chicken, and fresh mountain trout—grilled or fried. The breakfast menu is extensive, with eggs, pancakes, fried potatoes, and more.
Next door to the restaurant is a farmer’s market that sells fresh apples plus other local specialties.
The folks in Cosby  know that as strange as it may seem, homemade Mexican food goes well with homegrown mountain music. The Front Porch Mexican Restaurant (2912 Cosby Hwy., aka Hwy. 321, 423/487-2875, Fri.–Sat. 5–10:30 p.m., Sun. 5–9:30 p.m., $10–20) serves real homemade food—it’s not your run-of-the-mill Mexican restaurant. The enchiladas, burritos, and chiles rellenos are made from scratch with fresh ingredients. On Friday and Saturday night at 7 and 9 p.m., local musicians take the stage to play bluegrass and folk music. Overall, it’s a dining experience not to be missed. The Front Porch is closed in December and January.
For fine dining, make reservations at least 24 hours in advance at the Mountain View Restaurant (1500 Pinnacles Way, 423/623-6555, daily 7–9 p.m., $35–45), the restaurant at upscale Christopher Place resort on English Mountain, near Newport. Dinner is served at 7 p.m., and diners must choose their entrée when they make their reservation the day before. The food is excellent, and the refined ambience perfect for that special occasion.
For something decidedly more casual, go to Christopher Place’s Marston’s Library Pub (1500 Pinnacles Way, 423/623-6555, Tues.–Sat. 5:30–8 p.m., $12–15), which serves casual English-style food without advance reservations. Menu options are bangers and mash, fish-and-chips, or a ploughman’s lunch of sliced meats, bread, cheese, and mixed greens.