dinner salad with oysters and bacon
I was looking for a good place to eat in Knoxville. I wanted some place chef inspired, not chain inspired. So, before I left I contacted some people I know in the Knoxville area, and asked for some recommendations. There were a few lists flying around, and there were a couple that bubbled to the top. I decided on the Northshore Brasserie because it came highly recommended by the peeps, as well as most every restaurant rating site.
I set out from downtown Knoxville and drove about 20 miles from downtown to this dark remote exit off of the Pellissippi Highway. There is some non-descript strip mall with a bunch of non-descript store and this restaurant, Northshore Brasserie. It does not look like much from the generic outside, but I was pleasantly surprised after walking in. There is hardwood floors, and spacious bar area, and a spacious dining area with crisp white table cloths on each table. The menu is really fun, there are daily specials made in the chef choice, there are les moules - mussels, steak frite, salads, entrees (one of each kind of meat) and desserts.
beet ice cream
The day I went, the daily special was rabbit, and the chef's preparation was in three ways. I stopped the waiter from telling me what those 3 are because I have never had a decent rabbit dish. All the rabbit I previously had were dry and stringy, and nothing like chicken. I just did not want to risk another meal of rabbit. I am sure the chef here does a really nice job every week with the rabbit, but I just think rabbit is just not for me. I stuck to my decision, and what I order was terrific!
I got a small order of mussels steamed in a white wine broth, and an oyster salad with Benton's bacon lardon and grilled romaine. The mussels came in a big pot and reminded me of Brussels. The waiter was so kind to bring me some extra bread to dip in the steaming broth. I rarely get mussels anymore, so this was a treat for me.
The grilled romaine salad was good too. We have grilled romaine on a very hot wood fire, and then topped the romaine with S&P, crumbled blue and a drizzle of 20 yr aged balsamic vinegar. Our romaine is a bit charry on the outside, and cool in the middle. The romaine here only had the outer leaf slightly grilled, and then topped with a few fried oysters, Benton's bacon lardon, and a creamy parm dressing. I just love Benton's bacon, so how can this salad be bad?
I was not going to do dessert, but the waiter conned me into beet ice cream. Of course I just love Roderick's, from Silly Goose
, beet ice cream, so I indulged. The Brasserie beet ice cream is a lovely muted plum purple color dotted with cherries. I love the little surprise of sweet and tart cherries.
It is so refreshing to have a nice option with food cooked in house with many local organic base ingredients in Knoxville. There are so many chains serving industrial pre-made product in Knoxville that are ok, but nothing to blog about. It is nice to be able to go to the Brasserie and enjoy my meal prepared just for me.