Saturday, August 02, 2008

Northshore Brasserie

We love Northshore Brasserie. If we were thinner and richer, we would eat there 2 or 3 times a week. I think that a lot of people think that this is a frou frou French restaurant and don't go because of that, but it's really a casual neighborhood steakhouse with a French take on down home cooking.

Jim orders the same thing almost every time we go. He starts with oysters on the half shell. Then he has the Frisee Lyonaise salad. It's curly endive dressed with a vinaigrette with lardons (chunks of bacon) and a poached egg on top. Finally, he has the Steak Frite--a NY strip cooked medium rare with a big portion of pommes frites (french fries ya'll). Occasionally, Jim is seduced by the whole fish special on Friday nights. The preparation varies, but it is always outstanding. Jim also thinks the Brasserie has some of the best french bread in town, and I agree.
What do I like? Unlike Jim, I mix it up. My favorite salad is spinach salad with poached pear, bleu cheese, and nuts. Although it's a starter I sometimes have the ravioli with sweetbread filling as my main course. I know, I know--sweetbreads??, but trust me, this is delicious. I also love the veal cheeks starter. I eat that as a main course also. The grilled calamari with tomato jam is also a favorite starter. Among the entrees I love the nightly specials. They are always wonderful. I haven't had it, but I hear fabulous things about the pork shank on Wednesdays. I love the duck, the lamb shank, and all the steak preparations.

The wine list is thoughtful and has some wines that you may not have tried. It's pricey, but which restaurant in Knoxville doesn't have its wine overpriced? The service at the Brasserie is almost always excellent. The restaurant is owned by a brother and sister. He cooks and she takes care of the front of house. The result is service that is warm and attentive, but not overly familiar.

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