The staff at Zarzour’s Eats and Jackie’s Treats, made up of members of the owner’s own family, whips up homestyle fare for breakfast and lunch within the kitchen and handcrafts desserts inside an in-house bakery. They fire up the grills at 6:30 a.m. each day, feeding hot skillets eggs, meats, and pancakes before switching culinary gears at 10:30 a.m. to prepare daily lunch specials. Meanwhile, Jackie bakes pies, cakes, and specialty breads that customers can bring home that day or order in advance for special occasions or stoogeless dessert receptions.
TerraMae Appalachian Bistro's chef, Shelley D. Cooper, is able to do something that seems impossible?put an upscale, modern twist on regional Appalachian cooking. Her kitchen churns out everything from rabbit stew in a sage broth to jumbo-lump-crab-stuffed trout served with wilted leeks, apples, and fennel. She's so passionate about highlighting the region's food that her dishes incorporate the bounty from local farms, including the family farm owned by TerraMae's owner, Mark Oldham.
The unique concoctions have garnered a variety of praise, including some from Susan Gregg Gilmore on Fodor's Travel. She particularly loved the Appalachian Lunchable?made with deviled eggs, pickled shrimp and vegetables, country ham, Benne Seed Bacon served in a mason jar, rosemary biscuits, and what she called the "some of the best-ever pimento cheese." In an act more sacrilegious than eating spaghetti with a spoon, Gilmore admitted the cheese was even better than her nana's.
In addition to seducing palates with regional farm-to-table food, TerraMae charms them with an Appalachian staple, homegrown whiskey. Mixologist Justin Stamper pays homage to the area's moonshine traditions by whipping up classic speakeasy drinks using Chattanooga whiskey and other liquors.
True to the name Backyard Grille, a bulk of the work chefs Teddy Miller and Tommy Barnhart do is in the backyard. It's where they smoke all their meat, from bone-in certified Angus rib eyes to the pulled pork that smothers loaded baked potatoes. Inside their microwave-free kitchen, Teddy and Tommy prepare all their sauces and dressings from scratch, as well as the housemade biscuits that dominate their breakfast menu.
Backyard Grille is likewise divided between outdoor and indoor attractions for its diners. Outside, patrons can lounge beneath lighted umbrella tables, recline on a porch swing, or groove on the backyard dance floor. Full of flat-screen TVs broadcasting the latest games, the sports-themed indoor dining room switches gears during intimate candle-lit dinners. On Friday and Saturday, live music later in the evenings swaps dinnertime romance for rocking until 2 a.m.
As part of their focus on local sustainability, the chefs at Chato Brasserie rotate their menu seasonally, constantly updating the menu of classic American cuisine with ingredients ranging from fresh tilefish to sweet-potato purées. Voted Best New Restaurant in 2011 by CityScope magazine, the eatery complements its casual dining room with both an outdoor patio and a private chef's table, where patrons dig in to a personalized tasting menu with exclusive tastings from the wine list. Drinks are always part of the Chato experience, however, as bartenders craft a variety of smooth brunch and dinner cocktails.
There are hundreds of possible burgers on the menu at Burger Bar. That's not because the chefs were on a recipe-creating overdrive, but because they fully customize every burger from the bun up. They start the process by filling a brioche, wheat, potato kaiser, or pretzel bun with one of four patties made of all-natural, USDA-certified Hereford beef, chicken, turkey, or vegetarian-friendly portabella mushrooms. The six styles of cheese?including pimento?can then be paired with up to four toppings, which include diverse items such as grilled pineapple, cole slaw, fried eggs, and onion strings. The final touch is one of the seven sauces, which work to bring all the disparate flavors together like a licensed in-sandwich counselor. For those not in the mood for burgers, they also make salads and entrees, including a pene pasta and a grilled flank steak with charred pineapple pico.
After honing his culinary chops at restaurants owned by Disney, Marriott, and the Wyndham Union Station hotel, chef Angelo launched a local bistro and steakhouse that makes dining feel like a vacation. Here, he stuffs whole racks of lamb with fresh basil, garlic, and feta cheese and sautés veal picatta in white wine and capers. To accommodate diners with dietary restrictions, they also prepare vegetarian and gluten-free items, such as a baked eggplant with zucchini, squash, organic spinach, and a tomato-based broth as light as cotton candy spun from summer sunbeams.
In addition to delivering grilled beef tenderloins and cowboy rib eyes, attentive servers uncork bottles of wine from around the world during dinner and special events such as tastings and private parties. Live music wafts through the restaurant Thursday–Saturday as the house pianist tickles the ivories from 6 p.m.–9 p.m.