From Our Editors
When discussing the atmosphere at Meo Mio's Cajun Spirits, owner Brian Sabo told reporters from Nooga.com, "I want people to forget they are in Chattanooga, forget their worries." To that end, his restaurant abounds with New Orleans–style decorations, from the glittery masks that adorn the wood-paneled walls to the colorful Mardi Gras beads dangling from servers’ necks. Yet the roots of this Cajun feel grow within the kitchen, where chefs fold fresh seafood and spices imported from New Orleans into creamy pastas and po’ boys. These grill masters also sizzle up fine cuts of aged steak and fill buckets with boiled shrimp, fried oysters, and seasoned catfish until they overflow.
Back out in the double-tiered dining area, guests linger over long island iced teas and final bites of bread pudding beneath the glow of a towering television screen and the gaze of a 2,600-pound clay sculpture of Louis Armstrong. Live local bands toot horns and strum their guitars on the restaurant's stage, conjuring jazzy festivity by beckoning feet to twirl across the dance floor. Throughout the year, the restaurant also hosts special events, from costume parties on Halloween to ceremonial beard trimmings on the first day of spring.