Le Parigo's chefs create a menu that harvests bushels of positive press for its gourmet French dishes. Appetizers, such as pan-seared escargot in garlic-herb butter sauce ($9.95), provoke more oohs and las than vocal coaches before the debut of a Broadway musical. Chefs sear filet mignon before nestling it against gratin and an edible accordion of sautéed asparagus ($34.95), and entree portions of mussels a la provencal ($17.95) arrive at tables steamed from hot liquid and getting cut off in traffic. For a delectable finale, crack open the crusty ceiling of Le Parigo's Grand Marnier crème brûlée ($6.95), which receives a sparkling flavor dimension from cognac-and-orange liqueur.
The Bijou’s origins stretch back through American history, but it didn’t become a theater until relatively recently: 1908. For nearly a century prior to its dramaturgical reinvention, the building was a high-class hotel that housed high-ranking military commanders, influential civic leaders, and even President Andrew Jackson for a spell in 1819. When General Ambrose Burnside took the town of Knoxville during the Civil War, the hotel was converted into a hospital, makeshift war room, and oil-wrestling arena for Generals William Sherman and Phil Sheridan. The latter portion of the 19th century showed the building more favor, and during the lavish 1870s another president—Rutherford B. Hayes—paid call, and delivered a speech from the hotel’s balcony.
The early 1900s saw the hotel’s biggest renovation to date when it was purchased and upgraded by the Auditorium Company. The newly rechristened Bijou Theatre opened to a sellout crowd, and was a major outlet for vaudeville from 1913 to 1926. Hard times began to pile up soon afterward, and the lapsed theater would have been demolished in 1975 were it not for its eleventh-hour listing on the National Historic Record. Since its most recent renovation in 2006, the stage has hosted pop stars and musical blockbusters.
Garrett's Downtown Deli borrows both a name and a philosophy from owner and founder Garrett Scanlan, whose childhood job in his father's kitchen and formal apprenticeships at several kitchens across Europe have led to appearances in more than 50 cookbooks and his own television program, 90 Miles with Chef Garrett. Behind the counter, Chef Scanlan and his kitchen crew take time to construct his eatery's deli-style fare as if it were served in a gourmet bistro or about to be sacrificed to a vengeful volcano. Sandwiches are crafted from Garrett's own recipes and contain hand-carved meats that are roasted in-house, including turkey, ham, and corned beef sliced thin, piled high, and paired with a pickle and chips, coleslaw, or potato salad. A hot-entree-and-salad bar poses even more choices for eager eaters, with daily rotating spreads of pasta, barbecue, baked chicken, from-scratch soups, and diet-friendly salads and recipes.
The blog the Sunsphere is Not a Wigshop reviewed Shono's in the City. Seventy-two percent of more than eighty Urbanspooners recommend the restaurant. Though patrons are polarized about the sushi, five Yelpers give Shono's in the City an average rating of three stars.
Rita's lures sweet teeth into its shop in Market Square with its cool, customized treats. The treat haven’s desserts, which include custard, italian ice, and mixtures of the two, marry fresh fruit and sweet cream to conquer confection cravings. More than 50 flavors of sugar-free and regular italian ice can keep patrons cool inside the shop or on the patio. Rita's catering services deliver their frozen delights to corporate events, birthday parties, or family reunions of homesick settlers from Antarctica, which is surprisingly lacking in frozen treats.
Lenny's is known in lands near and far for its premium deli meats that are sliced to order, chicken and tuna salad made from scratch, signature hot-pepper relish, and hearty portions. A regular-sized cold sub ($6.35) is 7.5 inches long and has about half a pound of meat and cheese. The large versions ($10.75) are 15 inches long and pack about a pound of protein and veggie vitamins. Check the menu for the full sandwich selection, which includes warm 'wiches liberally loaded with slivers of juicy meat, such as the French dip ($6.35 for a regular) sided with au jus for dipping, and the Philly cheesesteak ($6.35 regular, $8.23 with chips and a drink). Lenny's also offers salads, kiddie meals ($4.50), and cookies baked in-house ($0.75 when added to a combo) to put a sweet finish on any lunchtime hunger cure or lunchtime argument over the philosophical implications of the Tron sequel.
Every morning, Coolato Gelato's sugarsmiths arrive in their kitchen and begin transforming simple milk, cream, and sugar into unique flavors—always whipping up a daily special. Offering anywhere from 18 to 24 varieties, they explore flavor possibilities from the standard sweetness of vanilla to the combination of mascarpone, caramel, and pistachio. To complement their frozen treats, they use imported ingredients to re-create other classic Italian specialties. The menu entices diners with espresso drinks, salads, homemade soups, and paninis stuffed with all manner of fillings, ranging from salmon and goat cheese to roast beef and brie.