Lawton Haygood, owner of Boathouse Rotisserie & Raw Bar, constructed his first commercial wood grill in the 1970s. Since then, he has been perfecting the process, cooking up everything from tilapia to quesadillas. And there’s no better example of his skill than his wood-grilled green beans, one of the top sellers at this casual restaurant perched on the banks of the Tennessee River. The dish consists of nothing more than haricots verts (French for green beans), a splash of olive oil, and a dash of kosher salt. But a three-minute blast from the flames of the grill results in tender, slightly singed beans with a deep, smoky flavor. The green bean side runs $3.50.
Insider Tip: For scenic river views, ask for a table on the restaurant’s large deck. Don’t let the cold weather deter you—the deck’s enclosed and heated during the winter months.