Crowned Best Overall Restaurant by the Knoxville News Sentinel in 2010, Puleo’s Grille takes tongues on a whirlwind taste tour with its eclectic menu of Southern and Italian classics. Circle tooth wagons around scrumptious orders of fried green tomatoes partnered with a savory side of stone-ground cheese grits and country gravy ($6.99), or lay a delectable claim on Italian mainstays such as lasagna ($11.99) or artichoke- and caper-flecked chicken piccata, which gets its beauty sleep atop a bed of linguini draped in lemon wine sauce ($14.99).
Reveling in a new location and an updated menu, Dylan’s Restaurant delights famished throngs of visitors with a hunger-smothering selection of casual American eats. Seafarers sporting sea-fare tattoos can sample the fish 'n' chips ($10.99), and the pork-loin sandwich, served with fries and a pickle ($5.99), sates both loyal customers and wandering bands of out-of-work Y2K experts. Pasta dishes include linguini with red sauce ($7.99) and four-cheese ravioli ($8.99–$9.99), both of which stop starving vegetarians from biting down trees.
At CiCi’s Pizza, feasters can sample hearty slices of pizza and a wide selection of buffet fare ($4.99 per person over 10 years of age), filling bellies like a pouch-stuffing kangaroo preparing to weather the harsh Australian winter. Offering endless helpings of fresh salads, tantalizing pastas, tasty desserts, and oven-fresh pizzas, CiCi’s tames the most voracious hunger attacks via all-you-can-eat tactics. Pizza dough is made fresh daily and doused in a savory sauce crafted from vine-ripened tomatoes and prescience-instilling spices, while salads are hand-tossed with the freshest ingredients delivered hourly via teleportation.
Tully's is the realized brain baby of executive chef Tully Wilson, a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. This villa of victuals features classic American favorites presented in a French-influenced, aesthetically pleasing manner. Menu options vary, though sample dinner items include two pounds of fresh Prince Edward Island mussels ($10) served in a white-wine-butter sauce, and pecan-pear salad ($12), a sprightly summer salad that evokes thoughts of William Blake's romantic salad-inspired poetry. Savorlicious steaks gratify meat-believers, like the eight-ounce filet mignon ($19) and the 16-ounce cowboy steak ($30), a bone-in rib eye that can be shared with your significant other or an insignificant identical twin. Climb a mountain of chocolate with Tully's six-layer chocolate cake ($8), slipping and sliding on the delectable raspberry sauce along the way.
Smashburger isn't just the name—it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market.
This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded from one restaurant in 2007 to 220 today, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
Let's Make Wine helps vino aficionados brew and bottle their dream blend of wine during a four-week course, available in the evening or on Saturdays by appointment. The foray into brewing begins by selecting one of the many wine kits to serve as a base, adding in ingredients and softly whispered compliments to customize the fermenting concoction to a palate's demands. Grape gastronomes pop in once a week to check on their burgeoning brew, spending a combined total of two to three hours overseeing their tailored creation with the help of head winemaker Cheryl Lisi. Once fully fermented, wines slink inside corked cages, with customized labels spelling out the vintage or the appropriate type of cereal to pour it in. The 30 bottles of resulting wine, each 750 milliliters, make for pleasant gifts or decorative cellar-stuffing.