Taste Of Italy

—Taste Of Italy—

I made my way over to “Taste Of Italy” today.

They’ve been voted “Best Italian” in the County, and I’ll say that it was well deserved.
“Taste Of Italy” will now be my First Choice for Italian Food whenever I’m up in Gatlinburg.
I know that is surprising and shocking to some, but it’s true.
That “Other” place will now be my second choice.

“Taste Of Italy” is a well-hidden Gem here in Gatlinburg.
In fact, a gas station is blocking the building and the sign.
It’s easy to miss.

I met with the owners.
Geraldine, (Jerry) is from “Brooklyn New York” and has that thick Brooklyn accent that you fall in love with.

She told me that she is about to be 80 years young. My jaw dropped.
She looks much younger. Much younger. 20 years younger.
She said that she and her husband couldn’t sit around in their retirement, so they opened a restaurant.

I learned the whole story of how she went from working with IBM in New York to owning a top-notch restaurant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
If you’d like to know the story, just ask for “Jerry” when you visit them because I have to start talking about the Food.

All the Food on the menu is made in-house and is from family recipes.
I imagine if I visited “Jerry’s” home, she’d feed me, and it would be this exact Food.
I also imagine she’d hug me, kiss me, and pinch my cheeks before letting me leave. She is an authentic Italian.

She tells me that all of the ingredients are the best you can buy.

“The Veal is real Veal. Not that stuff they serve at other restaurants.”

They bring “Garlic Knots” to your table as soon as you’re seated.
It comes with a house-made marinara.

For an Appetizer, I had the “Caprese.”
—Slices of fresh Mozzarella and Basil on top of Fresh Tomato. Then drizzled with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinaigrette.

For my meal I ordered the “Home-Made Lasagna.” —It’s the most ordered item. The “Chicken Parmesan” is the second most ordered.

It came with a side salad.
I had “Italian” dressing with my salad.

My Aunt ordered the “Taste Of Italy.”
It’s a sampler of all the best foods from the menu.
—Home-Made Lasagna
—Chicken Parmesan

My Aunt’s Friend and my new Friend, “Linda,” ordered the “Philly Steak Salad.” —They have a fantastic Salad section on their menu.

I have to tell you that we each loved every bite of our meals.
I sampled theirs, they sampled mine, and it was all delicious.

It was more Food than we could finish.
Each of us took a to-go box home with us.

We sat around enjoying one another’s company and enjoying the same foods that Ms. Geraldine ate when she was young. It was a beautiful thing.

Linda said it had been the best time she’s had out in a long time.
Aunt Claudine and I both agreed that it was one of our best times out as well.

When the bill came, my Aunt grabbed it and paid.

“Happy Birthday to you!”

“That’s right! Tomorrow is my Birthday! I forgot…”

I thanked my Aunt for picking up the bill.

I did pick up (2) Gift Certificates for the fellas at the store at the bottom of the mountain.
It’s the least I can do for them turning me on to “Taste Of Italy.”

Taste Of Italy—One of Gatlinburg’s Hidden Gems.


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