By Krin Mims
Though I arrived at the Liberty Park Grill on a cold, snowy night, it didn’t take long for me to look past the frozen slush and imagine the perfect meeting spot for warm summer nights along the water. Driving along the Cumberland River, one cannot miss this well-lit, eye-catching restaurant. Upon arrival, I noted that the parking lot was large, clean and nicely landscaped. We easily found a spot to park and entered to find a deceivingly large dining area with a roaring fireplace, high booths for privacy, and classy yet consistent nautical theme. Colored glass, large rustic ropes and oars could be seen from our cozy booth.
Lexie, our waitress, greeted us at our table with a friendly smile and full explanation of their handmade appetizers. We chose the southwest egg rolls. These are cut and filled each morning with a blend of chicken, black beans, corn and cheese, then deep-fried before serving. Arriving with a southwest ranch dipping sauce, the crisp and gooey creations quickly disappeared.
Usually when a basket of bread is served, I only take a bite. It fills me up, and I’m not able to enjoy my meal. However, the bread at Liberty Park Grill is something to behold. There is no question that the large hunks of steaming bread were freshly baked. A soft and fluffy inside was accompanied by a crisp crust and sprinkled with chipped sea salt. It was an undeniable highlight of our meal.
A strawberry salad was delivered to our table complete with candied pecans, blue cheese crumbles, mixed field greens and a sweet and tangy honey vinaigrette. The salad was fresh, bright and while a little heavy on the blue cheese crumbles, it was overall very successful.
We searched the menu filled with unique signature dishes and ended up choosing Parmesan tilapia with pecan brittle sweet potatoes and the meatloaf stack served with steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes. The fish was coated in bread crumbs, fried and served with a warm tomato basil cream sauce. The portion sizes were huge, and I definitely would have enjoyed an extra cup of the creamy decadent sauce. The three giant filets of tilapia were crunchy, well-seasoned and flaked apart easily. My pecan brittle sweet potatoes were smooth and had hints of allspice and cinnamon. They certainly lived up to the sweet description, and I really should’ve ordered them for dessert.
The meatloaf stack looked like it had been baked and then grilled before serving. The huge portion was well seasoned and served with fresh sides. We told Lexie we couldn’t possibly make room for dessert, so she suggested we take home a piece of their famous Key lime pie. When she brought it to the table, the box could barely close. This giant dessert was a layer of Key lime cheesecake, a layer of Key lime pie, and another layer of whipped cream and flakes of coconut. It was rich, creamy and decadent. One slice was enough for the two of us to munch on for several nights.
Before leaving, I took a brief walk around the restaurant. On the far end, I discovered a fantastic bar with multiple cozy booths and a giant bar top complete with a frozen strip down the middle to keep drinks frosty. It was beautifully lit, well stocked and full of chattering guests. It is definitely a place I’d come with the girls or colleagues after work for a drink. This new-to-town gem is not to be missed. It is obvious that the entire team has worked hard to produce an
extraordinary experience for each guest.
Liberty Park Grill
Cuisine: American traditional
Location: 125 Marina Way, Clarksville
Try it at home: Tomato Basil Cream Sauce
In a saucepan, combine one jar of tomato basil pasta sauce, a can of crushed tomatoes, and cream or half-and-half to your taste. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity. Served warm, this sauce would be great on top of fish, pork, steak or chicken.