Welcome to Groupon, Knoxville! For our inaugural deal, $15 gets you $30 worth of Southern cuisine and drink at Sapphire, located at 428 S. Gay St. in downtown Knoxville. Since this is everyone's first Groupon, allow us to briefly explain how it works.
How Groupon Works
Groupon is a combination of the words group and coupon. Each day, we offer an unbeatable deal on the best of Knoxville: restaurants, spas, sporting events, theater, and more. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, we get discounts you won't find anywhere else. We call it "collective buying power." If you want to get the deal, just click BUY before the offer ends at midnight. If the minimum number of people (20 for today's deal) sign up by the end of the day, you'll be emailed a gift certificate the next morning. You can print your Groupons, or redeem them with our mobile app. Use them whenever you want until the deal expires—today's expires in six months. If not enough people join, no one gets the deal (and you won't be charged), so invite your friends to make sure you get the discount!
People eat three times a day to prevent mouthy mouths from brashly blurting out their distaste for the rest of the digestive system. Today's Groupon prevents inner-system quarreling by subduing chatty cheeks with elegant eats. For $15, you get $30 worth of fresh, eclectic Southern cuisine and drink at Sapphire. Your Groupon is not valid for happy hour specials or other offers, and you must purchase at least one food item.
Awarded the olive-perched prize for best martini by Metro Pulse in 2010, Sapphire delights diners and drinkers alike with its menu of Southern food favorites and luscious libations. Alert tongue sensors to coming waves of main-course mastery by opting for a small starter plate such as the thick-cut Bleu Cheese Kettle Chips ($6.99), the Stuffed Mushrooms ($4.99 for single order, $7.99 double order), or the Barbecue Pulled Pork Nachos ($9.95). With a solid stomach buzz going, patrons can cast lines for the Smoky Mountain Catfish ($12.99)—a tastily blackened Mississippi catfish served alongside cornbread and atop a mini-mountain of cheese grits—or cue the end of days (for hunger) with Rosemary’s Pork ($15.99), featuring two thick cut pork ribeyes with a bed of mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies. Sapphire also offers options for herbivoyeurs, such as the Market Square Primavera ($9.99—for ahi tuna, add $5.99), a penne pasta cooked in a lemony white wine sauce and tossed with fresh, locally grown vegetables. In addition to its locally lauded martinis, Sapphire serves a variety of beers and dessert cocktails—toast to next summer’s road trip to Antarctica with the Oreo-rimmed Cookies And Cream Cocktail ($10), which contains vanilla vodka.
Housed in a 100-year-old building, Sapphire matches its timeless shell with a contemporary interior, boasting radiant lighting and vibrant artistic fixtures. Gather the other three members of your Quiet Riot tribute band, dock the tour van in the parking area behind the restaurant, and feel the nourishing noise of Sapphire’s Southern eats and decadent drinks.
Although its website has not yet been updated, Sapphire no longer offers sushi.
- Downtown is more of a haven for beer-drinkers, but at Sapphire on Gay Street, a martini feels like the appropriate thing to order. For the purists out there, a martini consists of gin, vermouth, and an olive, and Sapphire plays this standard well. But in a Sex and the City 2 world, glassware defines the drink, and so whatever cocktail poured into a martini glass becomes a martini, too. Sapphire has plenty of those to try—notables are the creamy Strawberry Chocolate Martini, the refreshing and crisp Blu Martini, and the coconut-infused Almond Joy—with a list continually changing to keep pace with cities like New York, London, and Tokyo – Frank N. Carlson, Metro Pulse
- The food is unique and delicious and the drinks are creative. – ucfgurly, Urbanspoon
For more than 70 years, jewels used to fill the African mahogany cases lining Sapphire's walls. The dark wooden cabinets remain, although they now brim with more than 40 kinds of vodka, Tennessee and Kentucky whiskeys, and rums from Central and South America. Sapphire may no longer drape its customers in precious gemstones, but it does aim to preserve the sense of elegant refinement that characterized the historic building for decades.
This commitment is readily apparent in the menu of upscale cuisine that includes meats, cheeses, and seasonal produce from local vendors such as Sweetwater Valley Cheese, Painted Hills Beef, and John Mixon Farms. These ingredients appear throughout the selection of regionally inspired dishes, including boursin mac 'n' cheese, pimento pork bites, and almond-dusted chicken served with roasted brussels sprouts and sweet-potato gratin.
On Thursday through Saturday evenings, the elegant environment in the long, narrow room becomes livelier as the night progresses and DJs begin their sets. Upbeat rhythms echo off the high ceilings and the vintage mahogany woodwork while patrons enjoy one of the martinis that earned Sapphire a spot on Metro Pulse's Best of Knoxville every year from 2011 through 2014.
428 S Gay St.
Knoxville, Tennessee 37902Get Directions