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Knoxville, TN - Fine dining

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BRI328 Sep 12, 2008 04:18 AM

We are visiting the area for Thanksgiving. I have my selections for Asheville, NC while in town. Now we need some suggestions for the Knoxville area. We are looking for quality, upscale, trendy, unique, local flavors. We live in Philadelphia.

  1. o
    orbityvb Oct 5, 2008 08:56 AM

    Baker Peter's Jazz Club is a nice place. I had a great dinner there last evening.

    1. s
      Spreadhead Sep 15, 2008 04:13 PM

      Is Copper Cellar still around on Kingston Pike?? I always liked that place.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Spreadhead
        s
        shallots Sep 15, 2008 08:20 PM

        Copper Cellar/Cappucino's is still there, but I haven't eaten there in years. Not that it was bad, it's just not one we think of.
        We do like the seafood at Chesapeake's downtown.

        Has anyone here ever eaten at Blackberry Farm resort? I don't know anyone who can afford it.

        1. re: shallots
          b
          BRI328 Sep 16, 2008 07:13 AM

          We have had friends stay at the Blackberry Farm and enjoyed it very much. My only complaint about BF is during the week of Thanksgiving, you must have a min. of 4 nights. The least expensive I believe is $795 a night. We may stay there in the Spring for a weekend.

          1. re: BRI328
            r
            RachaelRay Sep 16, 2008 09:17 AM

            I have not heard much about BF since Chef John Fleer left. Surely they have kept up the high standards. I do know that to eat at BF you must stay there. Yes, it is very expensive. It caters to very wealthy individuals and corporate executive types that desire a luxury country get-a-way

      2. r
        RachaelRay Sep 15, 2008 03:23 PM

        Doubt that one restaurant in Knoxville meets all your criteria. Bear in mind corporate chains and franchises dominate the scene. Just drive by one of the many Chili's or Applebee's on a Friday night. Local places are not abundant.

        I highly recommend NOT dining at Regas or The Orangery. Many locals mistake their high-end prices and longevity for high quality food.

        Some restaurants I usually enjoy include....

        http://www.thecrownandgoose.com/
        http://www.rouxbarbfood.com/
        http://www.northshorebrasserie.com/
        http://www.namasushibar.com/
        http://www.soccertaco.com/
        http://www.thetomatohead.com/
        Pasta Trio

        http://www.easttennesseedining.com/
        http://www.knoxmenus.com/

        5 Replies
        1. re: RachaelRay
          FuzzyDunlop Oct 20, 2008 12:08 PM

          What, specifically, makes The Orangery a less-than-high-quality establishment?

          1. re: FuzzyDunlop
            Brawny Oct 20, 2008 03:41 PM

            Orangery is consistantly good......French overtones that might make some "southern" diners uncomfortable. If you enjoy buffalo or ostrich with a morel sauce not to your taste, then go somewhere else.

            1. re: Brawny
              l
              LGD Oct 21, 2008 04:50 PM

              Since The Orangery has been around for many years, I take exception to the statement that "southern" diners might be uncomfortable. If that were true, how could it have survived and flourished for so long!

              1. re: LGD
                Brawny Oct 22, 2008 03:41 PM

                RachaelRay disparaged saying " I highly recommend NOT dining at Regas or The Orangery. Many locals mistake their high-end prices and longevity for high quality food."

                I have never had bad food at the Orangery. I know the Orangery has been around for years...for a reason. It is good. I was being polite referring to "southern" diners as Shoney Hog Trough patrons who would consider it expensive.

                1. re: Brawny
                  Bill Hunt Oct 24, 2008 09:15 PM

                  While I cannot comment on the Orangery specifically, too many are put off if a spot has much longevity. It is perceived as “catering to the masses.” Some of these folk feel that a restaurant must be “new,” “hot” and have a “vibe.” They seem to feel that if the place has been around for more than a few quarters, it cannot be good.

                  Now, I have seen some very good reviews, and some of those recently. We were planning on a couple of nights in Knoxville and it was one of the spots that we were considering. This was based on many CH reviews, plus others from different dining sites/forums.

                  Going back a bit, when my wife was being courted to take a position in Knoxville, it was being recommended for one of the fine-dining options. Had she not declined the offer, we’d definitely have gone there. If so, I’d have done a review on this board.

                  I’m with Fuzzy Dunlop, in wondering what “specifically” makes it “less than a high-quality establishment?”

                  We’re all “chow hounds,” or should be. To issue broad generalizations does not help anybody. Now, I cannot argue with the assessment, but wonder what the specifics are. When we praise a restaurant, we need to back it up with something. Same if we pan a restaurant. Bad food? Bad service? Prices just too high for the value? If I have great things to say about a spot, I have reviews to back that up. If I am negative, well, it’s the same and I try to explain what I did not like and why.

                  Hunt

        2. l
          LGD Sep 14, 2008 06:49 PM

          Quality, upscale, trendy, unique, local- you are asking a lot for lil ol' Ktown. But here are my suggestions- By the Track Bistro (which is not longer by the tracks) is on Kingston Pike in the Homberg area. Locally owned, good wines, nice atmosphere. They have interesting wine dinners from time to time. Might want to make reservations. The same owner owners the SunSpot on Cumberland near UT which has a fun bar and some vegetarian items on the menu. The most elegant is The Orangery which is the most distinctive place in Knoxville, Very European look. Club LeConte is downtown at the top of a bank building but you have to be a member to eat there. Ruth's Chris is also downtown on the waterfront but hardly "local". I think that Regas is overrated. Puleo's at all 3 lcoations is delicious but hardly upscale. Downtown restaurants include the Tomato Head, Nama, Pasta Trio, and a couple of places in the Old City area. All are casual but tasty. For a taste of real Southern cooking, if you can schedule it go to lunch at Wright's Cafeteria on Middlebrook Pike, near the Western Ave. exit of I640. Not open for dinner or weekends but very authentic and fantastic pies.

          2 Replies
          1. re: LGD
            LaLa Oct 18, 2008 07:35 PM

            Club LeConte...that was the place to I was trying to remember...it was delish!

            1. re: LaLa
              Brawny Oct 19, 2008 07:30 AM

              Club LeConte is a very good place to dine...but it is a private club run by ClubCorp. You would need a member to get you seated.

          2. johnb Sep 13, 2008 07:56 PM

            This possibility meets none of your criteria, but if you even remotely like authentic Chinese food, Knoxville currently hosts perhaps the best Chinese chef in the US (this is serious--I'm not kidding), Peter Chang, at a place called Hong Kong House. Search Tasty China on this board, or Peter Chang on the DC Board, for more info (Tasty China is a place in Atlanta where he cooked previously).

            11 Replies
            1. re: johnb
              f
              FoodieGrrl Oct 6, 2008 02:46 PM

              OMG! johnb! Really? How did you find him? Does he own the place? Or is it possible he'll disappear again?? We're in DC, but my BF just said we could go for the weekend, just to have his cooking again!

              1. re: FoodieGrrl
                johnb Oct 6, 2008 05:52 PM

                He supposedly (he told me himself) has a 5 year contract so will be there for four more years. I think it's pretty safe to go, but not sure I'd go all the way to Knoxville just for a meal there (well, maybe.....). Combine it with a trip to the Smoky Mountain National Park--leaves will be very beautiful for the next few weeks. He is supposedly off on Tuesday, but is there all other days.

                There are also some posts on the Rockwell board, by me and others, with info.

                1. re: johnb
                  f
                  FoodieGrrl Oct 7, 2008 01:19 PM

                  Thanks, johnb! My BF (who three short years ago thought that the pinnacle of Chinese food was egg rolls with hot mustard sauce) is pretty insistent we try to make the trip, and I can't say I disagree! I guess it helps a little that he's from the South, and tells me that the drive to Knoxville isn't bad. Plus, he's been periodically cyber-stalking Chef Chang since he left the area - that's how we came across your post.

                  Saw your posts on Rockwell. Thanks so much for the intel!

                  1. re: FoodieGrrl
                    s
                    samlev Oct 7, 2008 06:39 PM

                    I have eaten at HKH 4 times over the past 3 months as I have the fortunate luck to get to Knoxville about once a month. There is a thread on the Atlanta cuisine boards that will provide a great deal of info on the restaraunt.

                    http://www.atlantacuisine.com/cgi-bin...

                    I can not speak highly enough of the food at HKH, especially the Dry Fried Eggplant or the Hot and Numbing Beef Roll. Both are truly exeptional.

                    Enjoy when you get there.

                    1. re: samlev
                      f
                      FoodieGrrl Oct 7, 2008 06:48 PM

                      Oh, samlev! If you knew how heartbroken we were when Chef Chang disappeared from DC! I still dream of his food. Does he have the Chen Cang beef with those wonderful steamed rolls at HKH?

                      1. re: FoodieGrrl
                        johnb Oct 7, 2008 08:07 PM

                        I'll jump in and reply ahead of samlev. I haven't had the dish there, but I'm nearly certain the answer is yes, and I think it's even on the menu this time---I believe it's also among the pictures of the featured dishes posted on the wall when you walk in.

                        On the subject of atlantacuisine.com, if you check out the recent entries in the Tasty China thread you will note there is now a new chef installed there from China, who seems to be doing very well. You might want to swing down to Atlanta and try him out as well.

                        Let me know (e-mail in my profile)--maybe I can join you at one or both, and sam too!

                        1. re: johnb
                          s
                          samlev Oct 8, 2008 07:48 AM

                          I have just emailed you. Hopefully we will see you tomorrow night for some grubbing at the HKH!

                          Also, where is a good place to take 2 partners from my firm to lunch before a business meeting? We will be in suits and these guys know I know food, so I need something very good.

                          1. re: johnb
                            f
                            FoodieGrrl Oct 9, 2008 01:36 PM

                            Well, turns out, we will be passing through Knoxville tomorrow unexpectedly for some sad business in Sparta. We're trying to make the best of it by stopping by HKH. I want to make sure I'm going to the right place. Is it at 8079 Kingston Pike?

                            1. re: FoodieGrrl
                              johnb Oct 9, 2008 05:41 PM

                              Sounds right.

                2. re: johnb
                  Brawny Oct 17, 2008 05:24 PM

                  Hong Kong House is a buffet restaurant in a strip mall. I wouldn't consider it to be fine dining.

                  1. re: Brawny
                    s
                    samlev Oct 18, 2008 01:51 PM

                    There is a lunch buffet, but that is it. I would not classify it as a buffet restaurant based upon that one aspect. As far as fine dining, no it is not but it has perhaps one of the best Chinese chefs in the country in residence especially when he is cooking in the Sichaun style. He would be considered trendy, quality and unique based on the many people who follow him around the country.

                    Finally, if you haven't eaten there yet, I highly recommend it. Order the Dry Fried Eggplant for perhaps the best dish on the menu. Stay away from the American Chinese section too.

                    Samlev

                3. p
                  Potomac Bob Sep 13, 2008 11:03 AM

                  The Apple Barn, Sevierville, about 25 miles from Knoxville, for breakfast. The New York Times, cupla years ago, said it was one of two places in the U.S. worth a long trip for breakfast (the other place was west of the Mississippi somewhere). Country ham, eggs, apple fritters, biscuits, gravy, fried apple pies, sausage, bacon, flapjacks, cider, etc. The setting is a pleasant but bustling modern-day re-creation of an old farmhouse.

                  1. c
                    crewsweeper Sep 12, 2008 11:49 AM

                    There's a thread on Puelo's (http://www.puleosgrille.com/) that has good reports.

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/396900

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: crewsweeper
                      b
                      BetsyinKY Sep 12, 2008 04:34 PM

                      Puleo's is good, but I don't know that I would classify it as "upscale". Also, not upscale, but unique and local is Litton's on Essary Rd. in the Fountain City area of Knoxville. Delicious burgers on homemade buns and fabulous desserts. They also have daily blue plate specials that are good, as well.

                    2. s
                      Spreadhead Sep 12, 2008 11:15 AM

                      The Regas has a long standing reputation as one of Knoxvilles finest.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Spreadhead
                        b
                        BRI328 Sep 12, 2008 11:38 AM

                        thank you. I checked their website!

                        1. re: Spreadhead
                          LaLa Sep 13, 2008 10:12 AM

                          Regas or the orangery....also what was that place that used to be in top of on of the skyscrapers downtown?

                          1. re: Spreadhead
                            Brawny Oct 16, 2008 11:59 AM

                            You can do so much better.

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