I’ve been doing my reading and research on ChowHound, on restaurants in the Knoxville Area and, though many of the replies are related to articles from ‘02 - 05, there are a few that are more recent. The reason that I am asking is that my wife is being recruited for a position in Knoxville. This is a very similar post to ones that I have done on other boards, as she has progressed through the interview process, so please excuse it, as it has only changed regionally.
I’m a ‘hound in Phoenix, who spends much time in fine-dining establishments, around the globe. While PHX is not NYC, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New Orleans (pre-Katrina), Paris or London, it has a lot to offer - just got a new James Beard Award winner two weeks ago. If we were to relocate to Knoxville, what would be in store for us?
I’ve looked at a few of the on-line menus, that I can find. I’ve poured over ever PDF wine list available (almost none). It looks like there are a few good spots, but, from the research, not that many, and mostly they would be typified as “family” restaurants, or chains. It does look like there is good mid-range eating, but I’ve found nothing, that I would qualify as “fine-dining.” Now, a lot of my research was probably limited by the differences in geographical references, between anything in Knoxville and the vast American West. Not knowing exactly what constitutes the Knoxville Area probably has me eliminating some places that would seem close-by, by Phoenix standards. I’ve spent time on Mapquest and with my atlas, but just do not have a handle on the outlying burgs. I have probably missed a bunch in my searches. Phoenix is 500+ sq. miles, and growing hourly. The Metro-Area incorporates a dozen smaller city-entities, that I know. I realize that Knoxville is much smaller (175,000 vs 4.5M in the Winter), but I’m sure that some of the towns, that I would consider immediately accessible and next-door, are not in my search criteria, because of my lack of geographical knowledge of the area.
Since my wife is a great cook (could be a chef, if she wasn’t so good at other things) and we have no children, I’m most interested in fine-dining, since the “family” oriented spots would probably be just a diversion, when we do not cook in and want to explore local cuisine. We are not limited by budget, or by the ethnicity of the restaurant. Being omnivores, we'll eat anything (wife cannot tolerate bi-valves, but I love them), so long as it's prepared well and has good wines to match.
What I am looking for is an overview of the fine-dining scene in Knoxville, and its environs, plus recs. for wine lists, that are notable, and wine shops, that are well-stocked. Also, as I have a 6K btl. cellar, that would be moved, what are the laws, charges, general feelings, about BYO[Wine]? Here, in PHX, there are a lot of laws, that generally preclude much. Also, I’d rather support the restauranteur and buy off their list, unless it’s a special occasion.
It's been decades, since we last visited Knoxville, and in our limited trips through, it seemed that fine-dining was not obvious, however, much has changed since those days, 1970's.
I have many more questions, but none that are food/wine oriented. I’ll have to locate some other fora to post those to.
Phoenix ‘hound, Hunt