Browsing Category

Dining Out

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

Where Down Home Meets Chic

Rebel Kitchen brings an Appalachian approach to French cuisine on West Jackson Avenue For starters, the name Rebel Kitchen is a misnomer. Chef Preston Williams is all about farm-to-table Appalachian cuisine, but his food and atmosphere tend more toward a tony Charleston vibe. “Rebel” actually refers to Williams’ original idea of “taking French cuisine and making it more rebellious.” But the irony of the name works to their advantage in the re-energized artists’ beehive of West Jackson Avenue, just down the block from


Chef Seisuke "Sei" Fukuoka brings his superb and authentic Japanese cuisine to Gay Street Emerging from his behind-the-bar kitchen area with a playful grin, Chef Seisuke Fukuoka, who goes by Sei, presents a chef’s special, Okonomiyaki (Japanese for “grilled as you like it”), as if he is sharing a special surprise. It’s his version of a Japanese pancake, made with flour, eggs, shredded cabbage, shrimp, tempura, green onions, and topped with savory seasonings. In his new location, Sei’s mission is to bring authentic

Mediterranean Flavors in the Old City

“Food for the Gods” and a cocktail laboratory in a haute cuisine hideaway. Building on their successes with Kalamata Kitchen in Homberg and Café 4 on Gay Street, owners Jim and Lori Klonaris named their Old City restaurant Kefi, after a Greek expression that translates roughly as “profound passion.” They drew on their respective Greek and Lebanese heritage in creating a Mediterranean menu that they call “Food for the gods—expert crafted, made with love.” With their trademark élan, the Klonarises used high-concept

Garden to Table in the Foothills

The Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro Stays True to Its Mission of Authenticity When asked how she makes her Fall Squash Soup both creamy and light, Shelley Cooper lights up with the passion that she brings to her creations. “We begin with the vegetable stock, which we make in-house,” she says. “We add enough cream for velvety richness and smoothness. Peanut dust and bacon bits add flavor, and pomegranate seeds provide the pop.” With her pulled-back blonde hair, large eyes, and sly smile, Cooper could be played by Kirsten

Spicing Up SoKno

In the early 1900s, a streetcar line was extended across the Gay Street Bridge and along the waterfront to the planned suburb of Island Home Park. Around that time a Craftsman-style home was built at 1147 Sevier Avenue, just where it bends to the right before the left turn onto Island Home Avenue. Around 110 years later, South Knoxville residents Zach and Hao Land bought the house, which had most recently housed the Tennessee Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. The Lands took the house down to the studs and left the original wood…

A Jewel Shines in Bearden

Tucked away on Chambliss Road is a place many Knoxvillians may remember as “Eva’s for Lunch.”  The new owner, Misty Mills, has transformed the former shopping and lunch spot into a delightful casual Italian restaurant: Merelli’s. In an inventive use of the space, Mills has created an intimate outdoor courtyard, a main dining room, and five private dining rooms. Chef Joseph Pereyo has developed a menu suitable for a casual weeknight supper, a business lunch, or a weekend special occasion. The restaurant’s…

Sunspot: A fresh look at an established favorite

At the corner of Cumberland and 22nd Street, Sunspot is easy to access in the new traffic pattern, and parking is available both behind the restaurant and on Lake Avenue. The new location retains its contemporary atmosphere and cool vibe, with a stained concrete floor, reclaimed hardwood walls, and a dining room divider fashioned of re-purposed wooden doors.  These elements, combined with deeply padded booths, provide an airy, but not noisy, dining experience. 2018 Top Chefs Second Place winner and Blackberry Farm alumnus…