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Dining Out


Vida brings chic flavors and presentation downtown Stepping into Vida, Knoxville’s new Pan-Latin restaurant on Gay Street, it’s hard not be impressed. Owners Jim and Lori Klonaris, who have been working the restaurant lane for the last 25 years, have transformed the bottom level of the Holston Building into a high-end dining experience. All of the Klonaris’ undertakings have been well-received, from Kalamata Kitchen in the early years to their more recent ventures in Café 4 and Kefi, and it was clear upon visiting that

Sunspot: Eclectic Meets Delicious

Sunspot delights both veggie and carnie crowds Why does a place known for its salads and vegetarian offerings have so many customers who come in specifically for what they insist is one of the best burgers in town? “Well,” answers Sunspot manager Jeff Breedlove, “we make our own grill seasoning. And we use local ground beef. Along with the grass-fed beef from Simpson Farms.” It’s unfailingly juicy and tasty, with a combination of flavors deriving from the mayo, mustard, house pickles, tomato, onion, arugula and cheddar

Taking stock

Seasons Innovative Bar & Grille chef pays attention to the details A formative moment in Deron Little’s development as a chef came on Page One of the 923-page Escoffier Cookbook. Under the heading “Basic Principles of Cookery,” M. Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935) wrote, “Indeed, stock is everything in cooking, at least in French cooking. Without it, nothing can be done. If one’s stock is good, what remains of the work is easy; if, on the other hand, it is bad or merely mediocre, it is quite hopeless to expect anything

Steaks & Style

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar offers a premium dining experience The Prime Tomahawk specialty cut makes a bold statement when it appears at your table. Where other steakhouses may offer prime rib cuts with the bone in, this one comes with 16 inches of rib protruding from a juicy 35-ounce, inch-and-a-half-thick cut, making it resemble a tomahawk (hence the name). Cooked medium rare, it sated three carnivorous diners and later made a canine at home wonder what he had done right. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse

Neighborhood Spirit

Cazzy’s Corner Grill brings a lively take on classic American cuisine to Northshore Town Center Before the pandemic shutdown, Cazzy’s didn’t do much take-out. Rather, it made its name on relaxed business lunches, as an after-work watering hole, and as a comfortable hangout for Northshore Elementary School families. (It was named for the original owner’s daughter.) But in the weeks when the dining room was closed, “We had crazy to-go business,” says Kitchen Manager Annie Fletcher. “It’s what’s kept us alive.” Something

Memoirs of a food critic

“It’s a bad-ass feeling of peace in knowing the authenticity of that concept,” said Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro Executive Chef Shelley Cooper, talking about her commitment to true farm-to-table Appalachian cuisine with inventive twists. She is faithful to traditions she learned from one set of grandparents in Western Carolina and the other in the Mississippi Delta. “It’s my ancestry. It’s my history,” she says. I still remember her Appalachian Hot Pot, served in a mini cast-iron skillet. It’s a jambalaya of

Knox Mason

Knox Mason in the downtown Embassy Suites maintains its culinary roots. Downtown Knoxville’s latest addition to the hotel scene gets your attention when the glass doors of the new Embassy Suites lobby on Gay Street whisk open to reveal a 50-foot-tall light array, artistic cast-bronze ceiling lights, and modern décor looking like a fashionable boutique hotel in a large city. A space that many remember as a cavernous and boring bank office, as silent as a tomb, now makes each patron feel like a red-carpet celebrity.

Abre Tus Oídos

Soccer Taco Northshore Town Center wants patrons to “open their ears” to new dishes. You know you’ve walked into a restaurant that’s serious about soccer when you see Megan Buzzeo, charismatic former goalkeeper for Farragut High and UT Martin tending bar. Now Head Keeper Coach for Hardin Valley Academy, Megan’s flashing Argentinian-blue eyes welcome both soccer aficionados and people just looking for authentic, carefully prepared Mexican cuisine. “We get people coming from downtown,” says Megan, “There’s a little more

Land, Sea, and Vine

Seasonal, local cuisine in Bearden’s Homberg area It can be a challenge keeping up with the many restaurants in the Homberg area, but the corner of Kingston Pike and Mohican is now the home of Harvest, right across from its cousin Nama Sushi Bar. “A neighborhood restaurant is just what we needed in the GBA—that is, the Greater Bearden Area,” says Hugh Nystrom, dining with his family after chairing a Knox County Commission meeting. Harvest has the kind of local feeling to make it a regular favorite, whether for a

Farm-to-Table Treat

Walnut Kitchen combines a neighborhood feeling with farm fresh cuisine In its 100-year history, the two-story red brick building on High Street in Maryville has been a hotel, bawdy house, laundromat, and market. Thanks to cattlemen Jim Simpson and Jason Parkerson, it now houses Walnut Kitchen and WK Butcher retail shop, offering hormone- and antibiotic-free beef and pork raised on local farms, dressed and dry-aged in an upstairs room, then trimmed by in-house butcher Ashley Gaylor. Gaylor got his start at 8