Have you ever eaten at a restaurant where every single bite was amazing and you never wanted it to end? Well that’s exactly how I felt while dining at The National Tavern on Reynolds Lake Oconee this past weekend.

In case you missed yesterday’s post {click here to read}, I had the pleasure of staying at the Reynolds Lake Oconee. Less than two hours away from Atlanta, Lake Oconee gives you a perfect escape from the city life.

Designed to emulate a craftsman-style farmhouse, The National Tavern is warm and welcoming from the minute you walk in. Our waiter, John, was sensational and incredibly knowledgeable of the menu and what it had to offer.

Staying true to the southern hospitality Tavern offers, Chef Mike came out to welcome us and tell us a little about the menu. He also introduced us to Freddy, Head Liquid Chef at The National Tavern. With over 31 years behind the bar, including five years as a personal assistant to Donald Trump, Freddy’s vast knowledge in the industry makes him quite the expert. He brought over two of his most famous drinks- an Old Fashion and Blueberries a la Fred, both made with their spirits they infuse in-house. Freddy told us that he uses fresh blueberries, pineapples, an aged oak barrel with aged sherry and a 20 year old port to create matchless vodkas and bourbons.

After sipping on our delicious drinks, we moved onto the appetizers. We tried- Curried Chicken Meatballs, Edimame Hummus, Goat Cheese Beignets, Prosciutto and Melons, Sesame Calamari, Bacon-wrapped Quail Poppers, and Ahi Tuna Sushi. As you can see the Tavern has a wide selection of appetizers to choose from. Everything was absolutely delectable! My top two favorite appetizers were Goat Cheese Beignets and the Melon and Prosciutto plate. John told us that the melons were actually soaked in rose water before serving! That gave them a fresh, soft taste.

For our main entrees Chef Mike brought us a Wood Grilled Pork Chop and Rosemary Lamb Meatballs. After taking one bite of the meatballs I had to shake Chef’s hand for how perfectly cooked they were! Lamb is a naturally dry meat but Chef made these extra juicy and packed with flavor.

Last but certainly not least was dessert- a pineapple upside cake, apple oatmeal streusel and a banana crème brule. Freddy also whipped up a coffee, vanilla dessert and a strawberry dessert cocktail. Everything was phenomenal! The strawberry cocktail tasted like a strawberry milkshake!

Whether you are visiting Lake Oconee for the weekend, or simply looking for a new restaurant to try- The National Tavern will not disappoint. And take my advice- request John to be your waiter, then sit down and order two Blueberries a la Fred, and enjoy your night.


Meet Luisa, the creator of the blog Peaches to Pearls, where Atlanta’s best food and fashion come together. Born in Colombia, Luisa was raised in the South, currently living in the beautiful city of Atlanta. Recently graduated with my Masters in Clinical Nutrition from Georgia State University. Currently a dietetic intern at Southern Regional Emory Healthcare.

Join me in my journey through learning more about nutrition, shopping on a budget, and eating my way through Atlanta!

For more information about Luisa or Peaches to Pearls, please e-mail me at peachestopearls@gmail.com

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