Rosepepper features fresh cooked and grilled entrées, as well as traditional Mexican dishes prepared with a light hand. Owner Ernest Chaires calls it Sonoran-style, which incorporates classic ingredients of old Mexico with more international influences that seeped into the northwestern region of the country. While the food lacks some of the heat typically associated with Mexican cuisine, it doesn’t skimp on flavor. Three types of homemade salsa, guacamole made daily, one of the best margaritas in town, 30-plus brands of tequila, moderate prices, an outdoor dining deck and a casual, fun room add up to a successful concept.
This Chicago-originated super-luxe steakhouse chain delivers an extensive wine list, plush furnishings, fancy accoutrements and deferential service, but no printed menu. Instead, waiters tote a hand-printed board and wheel around a cart filled with saran-wrapped visual aids for up-close gawking. Offerings include steaks the size of a steer’s head, shrub-like broccoli, 5-pound baked potatoes and asparagus spears as big around as a child’s forearm. The small, dark bar packs a powerful punch with a regular crowd of political and business movers and shakers. Reservations recommended.
Situated in a refurbished Victorian home, Monell’s is not your typical meat-and-three, but more like Sunday dinner at Grandma’s house. It’s served the same way, around communal tables with big bowls of fried chicken, pot roast, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, green beans, yeast rolls and corn bread, all passed family-style. Wash it down with pitchers of sweet tea and finish up with a slice of fudge pie.
“Dip into something different” is the concept of this fondue restaurant and four-course, traditional Swiss dining experience that earns it Most Romantic Restaurant honors year after year. Entrées include duck, lobster, shrimp or chicken, all served with a special dipping sauce. The menu also includes cheese and dessert fondues, a full-service bar and an extensive wine list. On January 1, 2007 the restaurant became a smoke-free establishment. Reservations required.
The Gold Rush is not only legendary, it is notoriously so. A landmark on Elliston Place, a.k.a. Rock Block, this bar-restaurant is where generations have come to drink, play pool, hang-out then sober up with the equally legendary Gold Rush Bean Roll, a ten-inch tortilla filled with refried beans, cheese, tomato and onion, topped with a bucket of red sauce, cheese, sour cream and a big, fat jalapeño. There are variations, but the original remains the most popular. An extensive menu of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, burgers and entrées is popular at lunch, dinner and late-night.
Gina Butler's brother stood in line for an hour-and-a-half at New York's Magnolia Bakery and was disappointed not to get a cupcake any better than his family could make. So sister Gina pulled out the family recipes and launched Gigi's, serving coffee and a roster of specialty cupcakes such as Coconut Snowballs, Lemon Dream Supremes and Tiger Tails for $3 a frosted pop.
There are good chain restaurants and bad chain restaurants; put Fleming’s in the top tier of the good food chain. Addressing the first part of its full name, we can confirm truth in advertising. Their steaks are indeed prime, hand-cut daily on site, so if one of the five sizes on the menu—from an 8-oz. filet to the 40-oz. porterhouse for two—doesn’t fit you, the kitchen will cut one that does. While entrées are fairly standard, some of the appetizers pique more interest, such as the Bloody Mary shrimp cocktail and sweet chili calamari; the spuds are tater studs, but the creamy mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Everything is à la carte. When Fleming’s says Wine Bar, it’s serious: nationally recognized for its wine program, every year the restaurant introduces a new list of 100 wines by the glass, with a good number from hard-to-find boutique wineries. Special 2-ounce wine tasting samples will help you make up your mind before committing to a full glass. Over 80 bottles are on the Reserve List.
Serving “global cuisine,” Bound’ry takes diners on a culinary trip around the world with a variety of influences in its tapas-style and dinner-portioned dishes. The regularly evolving menu offers daily extensions, handmade artisan bread and signature desserts. The two-tiered, multiroomed restaurant vibrates with color, texture and original art; outdoor seating and open-air bar in warm weather.
This high-end casual chain restaurant is best described as the fish version of a steakhouse.
This restaurant and brewery started on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga; the Cumberland River outpost has outlasted many of its neighboring eateries downtown by offering a product -- good, reasonably priced pub food and tasty brews -- that does not rely on the fleeting attention span of trend-seekers. California-style pizzas are offered with a selection of unique toppings.
As the name of the restaurant implies, steak and spaghetti form the backbone of the menu. Rounding out the nine spaghetti and 10 steak offerings are a quartet of Mexican specialties, salads, chicken dishes, seafood dishes, stuffed potatoes and three sandwiches—in other words, a menu that aims to please every palate. The room itself is in the fern bar mold of the mid-’80s: dark woods, burgundy leather-covered seats in the booths, oilcloth-covered tables, mirrors, green plants. Service is attentive and friendly. So how’s the food? It’s fine.
The tabloid-designed menu for lunch and dinner at this SoBro spot reveals not only a selection of freshly prepared soups, salads, sandwiches, catch of the day and a few entrees but also a sense of humor, written in the style of popular newspaper parody The Onion.
The little sister of the original Rumours on 12South unveils a dining environment that feeds the eyes as well as the appetite. Chef Hernán Borda delivers artistic variations on a theme: a meat gently cooked, drizzled with a delicate sauce and plated with a medley of vegetables, an inventive starch and an abundant tussle of lightly dressed greens. For example: sautéed corvina drizzled with honey-saffron beurre blanc, served with a gratin of sweet and regular potatoes and topped with a fluffy mound of shredded cabbage and arugula. With all its brooding colors and original fireplaces, Rumours East offers a cozy refuge on a cold evening, but in spring, it is just as easy to describe the restaurant as the place to while away the lengthening days while sipping from any of the 100 wines on the very accessible list.
Named for the foamy, golden-brown extraction that develops in the filter and encrusts the top of an espresso serving, Crema brings a welcome jolt of caffeine—along with pastries and sandwiches—to the emerging district of Rutledge Hill.