Chef Bruce Bogartz and Glo Klarich at NouxBarb last week.
(UPDATE: Since this item was posted on July 10, Chef Bogartz has exited this project. Click here for a News Sentinel story regarding that decision.)
Ha. That’s the slogan that Glo Klarich, maitre d’ of chef Bruce Bogartz’ newest eating venture, jokingly put forth. It’s pretty funny considering that you actually can do both there.
While several eateries have opened in the location of former gas stations — think Balter Beerworks and Full Service BBQ — this is different because it is a sit-down restaurant with tablecloths and wait staff in a fully functioning gas station. Located at 401 S. Northshore Drive at Moe’s Market & Deli, Bogartz officially started his sit-down dinner service last week.
“My goal is to be the best restaurant in Knoxville – and be in a gas station,” Bogartz said while table-hopping on Thursday.
Bogartz has been running restaurants in Knoxville for more than 20 years. I loved Primo in the Sunsphere when he was there not too long ago. Prior to that, he had a restaurant called Bogartz in Homberg Place and, for a long time, RouXbarb on Northshore across the street from his current location. He calls his new place NouxBarb (New-barb), a hat-tip to his former restaurant.
The food is vintage Bogartz, with a twist, of course. He says he’s trying to incorporate Middle Eastern flavors into his Southern cuisine as a tribute to his partner, Moe Alsary, who is from Yemen. “We are the culinary version of the Camp David Accords,” quipped Bogartz, who is Jewish.
NouxBarb serves lunch from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. You must bring your own wine. There will be a $10 corkage fee with a $20 maximum per table, Glo said, although that fee was waived for opening night. You can buy beer, of course, just like the regular gas station customers.
Welcome to NouxBarb! Not your average dining room!
Owner Moe Alsary with our dinner companions, Margie Nichols and John Gill.
The menu is supplemented with daily specials. The gumbo changes regularly.
Margie started with mussels, which were cooked with foraged mushrooms, sweet corn, smoked pork and chili broth.
I think she liked them.
Wow. Feta and green onion biscuits with tomato jam. Worth the trip all by themselves.
Foie gras stack cake with sweet tea syrup, if you can believe.
Our centerpiece. Loved the chicken salt and pepper shakers.
To keep my wine cold, I stashed it in the cooler among the sports drinks!
This tomato salad was a big seller on Thursday night. It’s made of Grainger County tomatoes, Yemeni pimento cheese (made with feta, blue cheese and cheddar), crispy fava beans and chanterelle vinaigrette.
Josh Morris was our attentive — and fun — server.
The gumbo — with shrimp and catfish — was fabulous. (I added the hot sauce.)
Nathan Sparks, the editor of Cityview magazine, was there with his son, Trouper.
We knew almost everyone in there. From left, Martha McClellan, Pattie and Francis Cain, and Matthew McClellan.
Interesting juxtaposition of items on the shelves!
Maybe you’d like some cucumbers in brine?
Another fun table: from left, Judy Morman, Janice Mitchell, Jan Bechtel and Sheena McCall.
The shrimp and grits looked good.
Sheena had the crispy mountain trout.
“Duck 2 Ways” — with rice hash and pepper jelly.
Catfish “knuckles” with lemon caper dill sauce.
We were happy to see our buddy Kevin Diffley come in!
He brought Glo some roses.
The ribs got rave reviews.
Alan ordered smoked eggplant piriau. It came with rice stew, turnip greens, tomato relish and tzatziki.
Phyllis and Ely Driver were there.
Dessert was Moon Pie white chocolate banana pudding!
Happy guy! Note to Alan’s doctors: Since his heart surgery he is allowed to have two desserts a month. This was one of them!
Chef Bogartz and Margie. Since gastric sleeve surgery, he has lost 90 pounds!
Holding down one of the outside tables, from left, Bryan Gorman, Kevin Diffley, Kit and Heather Rodgers.
Gas still was being sold, as we left! What a fun night.