Here's a couple. Enjoy your visit.
Blue Water Grill @ 224 Broad St., Chattanooga, TN 423 - 266 - 4200.
Boathouse Rotisserie and Raw Bar @ 1459 Riverside Drive, Chattanooga, TN 423 - 622 - 0122.
Hennen's Restaurant @ 193 Chestnut Street, Chattanooga, TN 423 - 634 - 5160.
St. John's Restaurant @ 1278 Market St., Chattanooga, TN 423 - 266 - 4571.
Southside Grill @ 1400 Cowart Street, Chattanooga, TN 423 - 266 - 6511.
I carefully checked out every website you generously posted and want thank you for them and I also want to press you for your opinions.
Bluewater seems overly corporate not much personality and not unlike a hotel restaurant very far removed from its location in Chattanooga. Same with Hennen's.
Boathouse seems a bit more authentic to its location but I wonder if the original Canyon Grill is better than it’s second location in Chattanooga.
Southside Grill’s menu seems trendy trying to appeal to a mainstream audience including many tourists.
On the other hand, St. John's Meeting Place & Restaurant seems to be the real deal, (even though it is a restaurant in a [former] hotel). It looks like a place with a sincere dedication in making a permanent reputation in Chattanooga.
Our group is looking for a local experience so the restaurant we find should be unique in everyway to Chattanooga so maybe it needs to be farther away from downtown? It doesn't need to be fancy but it does need to be unique. Do you have other ideas?
I haven't been to any of these restaurants, but I thought I'd toss this factoid out for you. A Nashville chef that I like and respect tweeted recently that he ate at St. John's and liked it a lot. No details, but there ya go.
Another factoid: St. John's was launched by Nathan Lindley. His brother now runs it, and Nathan also has another restaurant with a good rep, Public House. I know Lindley's work due to his fairly brief sojourn in Nashville as the start-up manager for Watermark. I went to Watermark under Nathan's tenure and it was truly excellent.
So ... scuttlebutt and reputation and opinion-based-on-other-experience, but maybe it'll help you out.