Winter Closing for The Partridge & Pear Restaurant!

Wow, am I going to miss my weekly Spinach-and-Strawberry Salad with chicken on top this winter!  Something to look forward to during the long, dark days…

On Monday, December 31st, The Partridge & Pear Restaurant at Christmas Place is closing for the winter as the owners consider the future direction of the business.  While the restaurant’s popularity has grown steadily over the two-and-a-half years since it opened, gaining both a local fan base and repeat visits from out-of-town guests, profitability has been an ongoing challenge.

“We are very proud of what was accomplished by our staff at the restaurant since it opened in 2010.  Our creative chefs, dedicated kitchen staff, and caring service team worked hard to deliver a wonderful dining experience to guests over the years!” said Carolyn Fairbank Biggs, president of Christmas Place Properties.  “We wish each of them the best in their continued careers in hospitality in Sevier County.”

Immediate plans are for continued operation of the property as a food and meeting venue, to be utilized by The Inn at Christmas Place and for reserved events.  The restaurant has successfully hosted many weddings, parties, private meetings and dinner events, and expects to continue these functions.  However, continuing as a public eatery with the current business strategy is not likely to improve financial performance; therefore, new opportunities and concepts are being studied at this time.

Stay tuned for more as plans develop (as long as they keep my salad!).

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

But First, Thanksgiving Dinner!

So, I just posted about the best place to be in December (The Inn at Christmas Place, of course).  But first – how did I miss wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner??  My favorite food day of the year, when we have cardboard pilgrims and crepe paper turkeys on the table, along with linens and place cards, and little dishes of pickles and olives served with my grandmother’s tiny sterling silver condiment forks?  And jellied cranberries?  And pumpkin pie?

Well, if that sounds like a lot of work to you, not to mention all the cooking and cleaning up, let us cook your dinner for you instead at The Partridge & Pear Restaurant at Christmas Place.  For reasons mostly having to do with cameras, both still and video, I enjoyed not only a full turkey dinner last week, but also a plate of turkey sliders (they keep well overnight, too, just so you know) – and don’t tell anyone, but a slice of Sampler cake to top it all off.  WOW!  I just love our turkey and dressing, the mashed potatoes, the sweet potato casserole, the green beans, the icing.  Yum yum yum.  And we’re taking reservations now – we’ll be serving 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., so you can come before or after your game.

Call the restaurant now – 800-917-4263 or 865-868-0575.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. We’ll be offering the same menu for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, for those of you who like to plan ahead.

(Click on the photo twice to see the details.)

You are invited!

To the filming of “World’s Weirdest Restaurants” at The Partridge & Pear Restaurant – weird in a good, Christmas-y kind of way, of course.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be on film – only if you want to join in the fun!  If you’re planning to have dinner on Thursday night, though, we sure hope you’ll come join us.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  We’re also taking reservations for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners already – be sure to call ahead if you’d like us to do all the work for you so you can relax and enjoy the day with family and friends.

Around Christmas Place

It’s technically still “winter” for us around here, as we’ve got lots of construction and remodeling projects underway to get ready for summer – and your next visit to our little corner of paradise here at Traffic Light 2A on the Parkway!  Here are some images that caught my camera last week.

 

Raising the roof – every building is being reroofed!

Remember those walls we put up a few weeks ago?  All is now revealed!  We’ve opened up the spaces between the front entrance, the old toy store, and right into the Personalizing gallery.

When the walls come tumbling down ..

New spaces are revealed!

We’re excited to find out what our design team has in mind for the newly-painted area that previously housed our toy store.

Cool waters for a hot spring day.

Our Parkway Oasis!

No fishing, please.

The Big Kahuna in the Little Pond.

Have you toasted marshmallows with us around our fire pit?

Beautiful blooms at The Partridge & Pear Restaurant.

A beautiful thing I found – an egg, hand-painted with a Nativity scene.  I think it is an ostrich egg, as it is quite large; we are keeping it under a glass dome.

Brilliant Vera Bradley summer-pattern bags – just luscious!  Making me want to plan a vacation somewhere sunny just so I’ll need one of these colorful bags for the trip…. 

MAD LOVE for these Home Grown veggie critters!

 Okay, time to get back to work.  But I will leave you with one more image – a photo of a new threat now looming over the city…

Giant Ape Attacks Pigeon Forge!

Thanks for joining me for a stroll around our place.  What’s happening in your neighborhood?

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Early forecast for Christmas in July – fantastic daily fun for guests at The Inn at Christmas Place – check out the full month’s calendar over at facebook.com/InnAtChristmasPlace!

Christmas trees! More Christmas trees! (part C)

.. did you run out for a cup of hot chocolate or cider?  Because more trees -coming at you now ..

A white ballerina tree, glittering with white crystal-like leaf sprays and sparkling ribbons.  (I think guests may be harvesting ornaments from this tree already!)

Right next to it, our ‘tween tree, a lavender dream filled with Hello Kitty lights, texting cell phones, Converse All Stars, high heels & Uggs.

Y’all, I am just mad for these pink and blue flowers!

Are you more of a traditionalist?  Here’s a spectacular red-and-green composition.

What the..?  Alright, who’s the smarty pants who thinks they should be rewarded with a big slice of cake after all that tree-decorating inspiration??  Calling The Partridge & Pear for take-out, are you?!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. That cake number is 865-868-0575 ..

P.S.S. Sorry about the “y’all” – I was just over in The Boutique and they have a cute new collection of Southern Sass T-shirts!

Gerald Dickens at The Inn at Christmas Place

Gerald Charles Dickens, great-great-grandson of author Charles Dickens, returns to The Inn at Christmas Place in November for performances of his one-man enactment of “A Christmas Carol.”  We’re offering a special dinner-and-show package with The Partridge & Pear Restaurant at Christmas Place on Monday, November 14th.

For $48 per person, guests will receive a reserved dinner time at The Partridge & Pear, and a meal including your choice of four Christmas Traditions entrées, a Sweet Potato Ribbons appetizer or Cake from Christmas Past dessert, and a traditional beverage.  The show begins at The Inn at 8:00 pm, with theatre-style seating.

To purchase your tickets for dinner and a show, call the hotel at 1-888-465-9644 (or locally 868-0525).  This would be the perfect way to kick off your holiday season in 2011!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

 

Gathering for Thanksgiving

There are two big reasons I love Thanksgiving:  leftover turkey & cranberry sauce sandwiches, and putting up my Christmas decorations on the day after!

Okay, yes, I also love sweet potatoes and dressing and turkey – and I always bring the mincemeat pie.  But you really have to try a turkey & cranberry sandwich – most delicious.  Oh, and it’s marvelous to stuff myself and watch football in the company of family, too.  (Bigger t.v. set.)

Of course, thanks to The Partridge & Pear chefs, this year I’ll also trying slicing the dressing, grilling it up a bit, and adding that to my turkey sandwich.

If you’re looking to take a day off from cooking the Big Meal, we’re putting on quite a spread at the restaurant for the day.  Check out our menu for the day:

 

 We’ll be seating parties on the hour, starting at 11:00 am – and we won’t make you do the dishes when you’re done.  Come and have lunch with us!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

View from the Kitchen

I’ve sat down several times to write this, but true to form I ended up in some far away land via the proverbial rabbit trail.  So without further ado….fresh seafood, there, I said it!

I feel myself slipping into a rippled vision day-dream right now, thoughts of freshly harvested bounties from unbridled water ways, unmolested and free from human manipulation really gets the ol’gastronomy juices flowing.

Like anything else there is a good and a bad side to everything, but left alone, fish that is caught in its natural environment, packed in ice and flown directly to you doesn’t really have a “bad” side.  And if you’re worth your salt it stays that way.  Or better yet, if I’m worth my salt it stays that way!

When it comes to fresh seafood, simple techniques will always reign supreme. This is the philosophy the culinary team uses here at the P&P.  We feel that God has already done enough, we’ll just make sure that we don’t do too much more.

Spring is fast approaching, so be on the lookout for some fantastic fish specials coming soon! This weekend we’re featuring wild-caught Scottish salmon and our signature crab cakes.

Eat well,

Chef Aaron
The Partridge & Pear Restaurant at Christmas Place

View from the Kitchen

I’m so excited to introduce my first guest author, Chef Aaron Ward from The Partridge & Pear Restaurant.  I’m looking forward to hearing about food, cooking, and presentation from the perspective of the professional ~ and he’s a really fun guy, too!

Chef Aaron Ward

Take it away, Chef Aaron…

Another busy season in the books! Now it’s time to rekindle the culinary fire and prepare for the first full season at the Partridge and Pear.

Having lived and worked here in the Smoky Mountains most of my life, I was prepared for the drastic drop in business that always follows the New Year’s Eve parties, and after a much-needed week of lying around the house I am beginning to get that feeling again!  The feeling that is only shared between professional cooks and rock stars!  It’s like reaching the point of burnt saturation, worn thin from the repetitive nature of the beast.  Bam, it’s over! Now what?

Then, as it happens every year, Valenine’s Day rolls around and we kick off the fast-approaching season, usually with beef tenderloin and possibly lobster tails!  And I get paid for this?  C’mon!

All right men, listen up.  To have a successful evening you must always start with a great meal!  Let’s say shrimp cocktail, a crisp salad of winter greens and passion fruit, the previously mentioned filet and lobster, followed by a champagne toast with chocolate dipped strawberries.

My job is done here.

For Valentine’s Day reservations call 865.868.0575,  toll-free at 800.917.4263

Chef Aaron

Partridge & Pear Menu Updates

If you’ve had a chance to eat at the restaurant since it opened in July of 2010, you’ve hopefully enjoyed an amazing gourmet meal.  My favorites still include the Sweet Potato Ribbons, Andouille Sausage & Corn Chowder (which is a feature, they don’t offer it every day), and the Partridge & Pear Salad – which I attempted myself at home, but then forgot half the ingredients – but my guests seemed to enjoy it anyway!  The best thing about using pears in a salad is that they don’t brown in the way of some other fruits.

Oh- and the Fried Chicken Salad – they use a cornmeal coating that is so light and crispy, it really cuts down on the fat and keeps the meat tender and juicy.  And still the Pecan Crusted Rainbow Trout – the orange-cranberry beurre blanc makes me lick my plate clean.  No really.  It’s embarrassing .. for everyone around me.

We made a few additions to the menu both before and after Christmas, and I thought I’d list them for you here.

Last month they added three regular features to the lunch menu:

  • Christmas Cobb Salad ~ not your typical cobb salad!  Sliced turkey, spiral ham & three cheeses served on crisp romaine with boiled egg, cucumber, red onion & bacon, drizzled with our signature cranberry vinaigrette & topped with dressing croutons
  • Cordon Bleu Sandwich ~ 8-ounce chicken breast stuffed with country ham & Gruyère cheese then baked in Mornay, served 0n a toasted ciabatta roll with lettuce, tomato & cranberry mayonnaise.  8.99
  • Christmas Monte Cristo ~ thinly sliced turkey, country ham, & aged Swiss cheese grilled in raisin bread French toast garnished with cranberry mustard.  8.99

You can add cranberry to just about anything for an extra zing of flavor!  I need to sample the cranberry mustard.  (I have a thing for mustards ~ my favorite ever was a key lime mustard (not sauce), but I have never been able to find a second jar of it.  If you have a source, please share!)

Last week, we made more changes to the lunch and dinner menus:

  • Corned Beef Reuben ~ house-made corned beef brisket served on marbled rye with caramelized onions, Swiss cheese & red pepper aoli.
  • Grouper Po’ Boy ~ delicately flaky white fish in a cornmeal batter, served on grilled rye with Swiss cheese, coleslaw & a tangy remoulade.
  • Flat Bread Pizza ~ flat bread baked with marinara, spinach alfredo, mozzarella & Parmesan cheeses, served with a Caesar side salad.
  • Crab-Stuffed Tilapia ~ this feature dish has been so popular we decided to add it to the dinner menu permanently!  Tilapia is stuffed with crab meat & herbs, baked in a Mornay sauce, and topped with a panko & cheese crumb (served with 2 sides).

And now, I most sincerely apologize, but …..  {{desserts!}}  We just added a whole new range of cakes & pies.  I know it’s January, and the very air around us is shimmering with the infusion with exercise & weight loss resolutions .. but if we have to see these, then you have to see these!  (and while I was editing these photos, the folks in the next office were having an in-depth discussion about diet & exercise.  Thanks a lot.)

Coconut Creme Pie

California Cheesecake (not just cake!)

White Chocolate Raspberry - cake or cheesecake, not sure yet

We’re not sure what this cake is, but the order called for a “7 Sins” cake – what do you think??  There is also a Tiramisu, and Reese’s Mousse Cake, Hummingbird Cake, and Oreo Cookie cake.  Saving the best for last:  Key Lime Cheesecake!!  (I’m typing, I get to declare which one is best.)  Okay, who got the first two pieces?!?

So, when you’re ready to reward yourself, or celebrate an anniversary or a birthday or Thursday, be sure to save room for dessert!

Looking forward to sharing more great food and Christmas spirit with you all year long!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place