Opening Night Eats at Tupelo Honey Cafe, Knoxville
Tupelo Honey Cafe opened a new restaurant in Knoxville on Market Square, and my friend and I lucked out with getting a table (right away!) on opening night. Trying to get into any restaurant on its opening night in Tennessee is like standing in line for a Black Friday doorbuster. Typically, I'd wait to try a place until after its settled down, but we were having cocktails next door at The Oliver and thought it would be fun to check in on the new restaurant.
Tupelo Honey is an Asheville restaurant that serves imaginative and flavorful Southern cuisine, supports local farms and the community it serves -- and it's one restaurant I've never eaten at before but have wanted to for quite some time. The last time I was in Asheville we tried to get dinner there but the wait was more than an hour long. So we went to Mayfel's instead. Still an excellent choice. (Get the B.L.F.G.T. with sweet potato fries. You'll love it. I swear.)
The menu had me drooling, and we had to start off with Tupelo's Encore Cheesy Grit Cakes:
...deep-fried cheesy grit cakes, drizzled with hot sauce and served with our Sunshot Salsa and sour cream...
And for my main dish (pictured above), I ordered Sunburst Mountain Trout with Capers, Roasted Red Peppers and Spinach Beurre Blanc.
Our sautéed trout is topped with a spinach beurre blanc with capers and roasted red peppers then sprinkled with toasted almonds. Served over our signature Goat Cheese Grits and garnished with asparagus spears.
I'm not a big fan of grits, but I fell in love with the goat cheese grits in this dish. And of course anything fried, like the cheesy grit cakes, is good with me.
But the best part of the meal was the dessert. Yes, the grit cakes were perfectly crispy, and the trout was buttery and flaky, but the Blueberry Hill Thrill Cream Cheese Pie was out-of-this-world amazing. It was the right amount of sweet and tart, cold and creamy, and I would absolutely swim in the blueberry sauce and drink it out of a pool. If only.
I'm looking forward to going back to order the rest of the menu, but the lines and wait are still crazy ridiculous. Maybe I'll try again in 2013. Or I'll cross my fingers next time I'm in Market Square and hungry and hope I get lucky again.