#16 of 22 Boone Restaurants

Gamekeeper Restaurant

Where The Wild Things Are: Gamekeepers Restaurant
Local Expert's Rating:
5.0 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Experience dining in a unique setting and enjoy dishes that you won’t find at every restaurant on the block when you dine “where the wild things are” at the Gamekeeper Restaurant. Try exotic dishes, game meat and more, all featuring the freshest locally sourced ingredients. 

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Well known for their delicious and interesting interpretations of Southern classics, the award-winning Gamekeeper Restaurant and Bar is conveniently located between Blowing Rock and Boone, NC. The menu changes seasonally and blends exotic offerings with traditional favorites, satisfying guests who enjoy both meat and veggies. Quality care is apparent in everything produced at this location.

All meats are raised in a humane environment and the ingredients used by Gamekeeper Restaurant are locally sourced. The knowledgeable staff stands behind everything served and produced in this ultimate combination of fine dining and comfort food. No need to wonder if you will leave the restaurant satisfied as this is a virtual guarantee when visiting this unique eatery.

Known as “where the wild things are”, guests will enjoy the unique fare at the Gamekeeper Restaurant where they serve interesting fare of emu, bison, venison, elk, boar, mountain trout, and duck. Being blessed to be situated within the Blue Ridge mountains, Gamekeeper was one of the first restaurants in the area to fully embrace the mantra of farm-to-table. Everything on the menu still represents this philosophy. They use only regionally organic produce, including eggs, cheeses, sustainable fish, and humanely raised meats.

Gamekeeper Restaurant further expounds on its environmentally responsible philosophy through the preparation and presentation of all menu options. They use a wood fire grill, where nose to tail, they cure and smoke meats and vegetables. The restaurant is housed in a 1920s stone cottage offering lovely views of large poplar and maple trees, and ferns. The cottage was renovated in the 1950s when it was redesigned to serve as a residence for the Kepharts, known for their historic girls’ camp, Camp Yonahlossee.

The current owners of the Gamekeeper Restaurant, Ken and Wendy, purchased the property in 2000 after it was turned into the Gamekeeper Restaurant originally in 1987. The historic cottage’s rustic charm only adds to the ambiance of the locale and celebrates the traditional fare that is still served today.

As mentioned above, due to the nature of this restaurant and the fact that they source from locally supplied ingredients, the menu is subject to change or vary slightly. However, when visiting, make sure you try the following signature items…

Starters
To get your meal started right, try the Mixed Game Grill, featuring a chef’s choice of game meats and sausage with tasty dipping sauces and fries. The Potato Soup, featuring cream of new potato soup with bacon and chive oil is also another popular starter as are the various salads made with fresh ingredients.

Entrees
There are many unique dishes to try that you simply don’t see anywhere else at the Gamekeeper. Dishes like the Emu, served in a grilled fan filet, with spinach and mushroom risotto and sun-dried tomato thyme, or the Elk Denver Leg, which is served with blue cheese, mac n’ cheese, and mushroom, or the Bison, which is grilled hanging tenderloin served with garlic mashed potatoes served with horseradish and sour cream are just a few options.

À la carte
Some of the sides here at Gamekeeper are so good patrons order them on their own or to add to their meal. Choices like the Veggie Plate, with a variety of seasonal vegetables, starches, and accouterments, along with the Pesto Pasta, which is sauteed colossal shrimp tossed with Basil’s fresh pappardelle, basil pesto, spinach, and mushrooms are just a few options.

Desserts
No visit to the Gamekeeper Restaurant is quite complete without trying some of their amazing dessert dishes. Their Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart, with a chocolate crust, creamy salted caramel, chocolate ganache, topped with toasted hazelnuts, fleur de sel, and chantilly cream, or the Bread Pudding, with classic GK bourbon bread pudding with crumbled pecan topping and caramel sauce and whipped cream are just two of the many choices.

Insider Tips:
-Reservations are required for parties of five or more.
-The Gamekeeper Restaurant has maintained an AAA Four Diamond Rating since 2007