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May 23, 2010 01:20 PM

Chez Liberte Bearden Area Knoxville

Anybody tried this new place that took over the former site of Bistro by the Tracks?

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  1. Yes, tried it the other day and was very pleasantly surprised by the menu BUT all went to hell upon its execution. We ordered the fig/jamon/goat cheese appetizer. The fig was very good, the cheese (Humboldt Fog) excellent (though we had to suffer through a detailed description of it) but they had no notion of how jamon serrano should be served (they gave us huge inedible lumps of it when anyone in the business of selling jamon serrano knows it has to be very finely sliced). Also the concept of bread seemed alien to them, you cannot serve cheese without some sort of bread. When we asked for it our server seemed very surprised at the request and tried to palm pita bread off on us (pita and serrano ham, I don't think so). So all in all, give this place a miss until they learn to present the food properly.

    1. Had lunch there yesterday with a small group. Only had the salad but also had the bread problem. The grilled pitas did work with the salad but definitely wouldn't work with a cheese course. Am going to a wine tasting this afternoon. Must say they have an ambitious menu and hope they can pull it off.

      1. We went a few weeks ago, and had a drink at the bar before being seated for dinner. Martinis were lovely, and bar service excellent. Then we moved to our table, and things took a turn downhill. We also ordered the cheese plate, which was adequate, featuring varieties that you can readily purchase at EarthFare, so not terribly challenging but good. I ordered a filet medium-rare with a side of broccoli rabe. When I cut into the steak, it was cooked rare around the edges and the center was essentially raw. I'm pretty okay with rare meat, but this was not at all appetizing. And instead of broccoli rabe, I was given broccolini for a side. When the chef came out to inquire about our dinner, my husband told him he had enjoyed his dish, but brought his attention to my filet, asking him how he thought it was cooked-perhaps a tad bit less than medium rare? (All very non-confrontational, mind you. He's a pleasant guy.) Chef's response, "Yeah, that's pretty rare." He did not offer to throw it back on the grill, which was okay with me, it already tasted like whatever medium it had been cooked over, a la Ye Olde Steakhouse. Then I mentioned that I had received broccolini in lieu of broccoli rabe, and the chef told me they were the same thing. I honestly don't know if he really believed they were the same thing or if he thought I was too stupid to know the difference. And even though it was obvious that we were having a less-than-stellar experience, he did not offer any expression of regret that things weren't right. I mean, we didn't expect them to take my entree off the bill, (although in hindsight they should have offered), just a simple but sincere apology and an invitation to come back would have sufficed and probably made us loyal customers. We don't anticipate going back, needless to say.