Symphony League’s ShowHouse: a downtown stunner

If you want to see the latest in downtown living, now’s your chance. The Knoxville Symphony League opened its 2019 Designer ShowHouse last week at Regas Square, and you can get a peek into the very latest in home design through the end of June.

The view from the common patio on the second floor of Regas Square.

During the preview party, several of the designers and homeowners were on-site to welcome guests to the four residential units on display on the sixth floor and the common patio and community room on the second floor. The views were stunning from every angle, and each residence was unique to the taste of its owner. Continue reading

Filed under: Downtown, Events, Knoxville | 9 Comments

Exceptional eating at Eugenia’s extraordinary house

Rachel Sparks of the Trust Fall group pours “popcorn soup” for guest Rick Kennedy.

If there are two kinds of events we love to attend, it is these: the wonderful Summer Suppers to support Knox Heritage and the fascinating Trust Fall dinners whereby you put yourself totally at the discretion of a local chef and “trust” that the food will be delicious.

So, imagine how happy we were when we found out that the folks who organize the Trust Fall dinners had agreed to offer one as part of the Summer Supper series! We signed up as soon as they went on sale.

With the Trust Fall dinners, you don’t know where the event will be held until you receive an email containing clues on the morning it is scheduled. The mail came at 9 a.m. this past Saturday and contained such hints as, “Local knowledge and Google, you might need to leverage/to find a home linked with the great national temperance beverage.” The rhyme also contained phrases such as “thirst knows no season,” “like to teach the world to sing,” and “delicious and refreshing.” Continue reading

Filed under: Events, Food, Historic preservation, Knoxville | 11 Comments

Eating NYC! The excellent, the good and the “meh.”

A server at Marea offers a delightful — and aromatic — assortment of breads.

When we go to New York City with the Clarence Brown Theatre’s support group each year, of course the main attractions are the plays that Artistic Director Cal MacLean selects for us to attend. But, not far behind, are the fabulous eateries that we select for ourselves as part of the experience.

This year, we went to eight restaurants. Here I’m going to tell you which ones were excellent, which ones were very good, which ones were good, and which ones were just “meh” (meaning so-so).

Love to hear what you thought if you’ve been to any of them!

Excellent

Fortunately for us, two eateries we visited fall into this category. Continue reading

Filed under: Food, Travel | 11 Comments

Five plays in five days — from the best to the bomb

Alan mimics Glenda Jackson’s expression on a poster outside the Cort Theatre where she was starring in “King Lear.” It’s located at 138 W. 48th St.

Five plays in five days. Picasso, Van Gogh, Magritte, Pollock, Warhol. A Liberty cruise. And enough food and drink to sink a battleship.

That’s what Alan and I experienced last month when we joined other supporters of the Clarence Brown Theatre on the group’s annual pilgrimage to New York City.

Four out of the five plays we saw were terrific and we highly recommend them. The fifth — and the one we were most excited about seeing — was a disappointing bust. Read on for a rundown on what we think is one of the most entertaining and enlightening experiences offered by any of our area cultural attractions.

The best: “To Kill a Mockingbird”

This excellent production starred Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch in the familiar Pulitzer Prize-winning story by Harper Lee of a white lawyer in a small Southern town defending a black man accused of raping a white woman. Unlike in the novel and movie versions of the story, in this iteration, adapted for stage by Aaron Sorkin, Atticus is played with a bit more nuance. He’s not quite as morally pure and clear in his intentions as in the other versions, which makes the story even more interesting this time around. Continue reading

Filed under: Art, Events, Theater, Travel | 11 Comments

Marriott opens two new hotels in downtown Knox

Mary Bogert, general manager of the Knoxville Convention Center, chats with Nick Lakha, one of the owners of the new Courtyard and Residence Inn Knoxville Downtown. They met at a reception at the hotels last Thursday.

A festive ribbon-cutting and reception last week celebrated the opening of the new Courtyard and Residence Inn Knoxville Downtown on the site of the former News-Sentinel building.

The unique property features rooms and amenities to fit every type of visitor from business to leisure in a convenient location close to many attractions in the city’s center.

“Our dual-concept Marriott property fits Knoxville’s rich and diverse offerings,” owner Nick Lakha said. “The city’s thriving economy and concentration of professional offices downtown bring in business travelers, and the booming entertainment, arts and cultural scene attracts everyone from tourists, concert goers and festival attendees to Vol fans and East Tennesseans enjoying a staycation. Our hotels easily accommodate a wide spectrum of travelers, right in the heart of downtown.”

The nine-story hotels located at 210 W. Church Ave., boast 152 Courtyard guestrooms and 80 Residence Inn suites with one common lobby and reception area. The Residence Inn suites have fully equipped kitchens and dining areas. Continue reading

Filed under: Business, Downtown, Events, Food, Knoxville | 5 Comments

No auction, no speeches = best fundraiser ever!

 

Annie and David Colquitt cutting a rug at one of the most relaxed and enjoyable fundraisers of the season!

I know folks at our local and beloved nonprofits work really hard to put together great silent and live auctions for their events. And I know they work really hard on the remarks they want to make. I appreciate all that. I really do.

But, sometimes, it’s nice to go to a fundraiser that is just fun. Know what I mean? The Knoxville Museum of Art has one like that. It’s called “Kickoff to Summer” and here’s the schedule: arrive, enjoy drinks and passed hors d’oeuvres, buffet opens, get dinner, band starts, dance! And that’s it! Oh, and they give you some chocolate truffles to take home!

This event occurred this past Friday. On a Friday, you want something laid-back, right? Tickets were $125, which I considered a bargain, since we weren’t going to be hit up to bid on auction items. It was so relaxed and fun and low-key. I just want to say thank you to our Museum friends for having an event like this. And to Lexus of Knoxville for being the main sponsor. Continue reading

Filed under: Downtown, Events, Food, Knoxville | 8 Comments

Table for 200, please!

The Long Table Dinner happens twice a year in support of local non-profits. It costs $125 per person to attend and is a total blast.

Credit where credit is due: That headline actually is a comment that someone named Amber Crouse posted to Facebook on a picture from the Long Table Dinner, which is what this blog post is about. But it is so appropriate, I just had to borrow it.

The Long Table Dinner happens twice a year, most recently Sunday a week ago in Knoxville’s Old City, when 220 people filled 29 tables lined end to end down South Central Street. Every dinner benefits a different non-profit agency. The latest sent its funds to Community Shares.

The evening consisted of a cocktail hour with a signature drink and passed hors d’oeuvres followed by a seated four-course dinner prepared by some of Knoxville’s finest restaurateurs. In this case, the restaurants were A Dopo Sourdough Pizza, Kefi, Rebel Kitchen and OliBea. PostModern Spirits donated liquor; Pretentious Beer Company donated, well, you know; wine came from Old City Wine Bar and Corks Wine and Spirits; bread from Paysan Bread and Kneaded Bakery; charcuterie and cheese from A&B Distributors; and coffee and desserts from Vienna Coffee Company. Entertainment was provided by Jig & Reel.

Continue reading

Filed under: Downtown, Events, Food, Knoxville | 6 Comments

Oompa Loompas, cats and blue men! What a season!

Clyde Voce will appear in the part of Willy Wonka when “Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” comes to the Tennessee Theatre May 5-10, 2020. He was in Knoxville on Monday to help announce the Tennessee Theatre’s next Broadway season.

The Tennessee Theatre unveiled next year’s season of Broadway musical offerings on Monday with a preview and reception on the stage of the historic venue. More than 200 people attended to nosh on appetizers, enjoy a beverage and hear two short excerpts from upcoming shows.

The season is diverse and exciting with productions that will appeal to audiences of all ages. There are classics like “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Cats” and more recent hits including “A Bronx Tale” and “Waitress.”

Others on tap include “Miss Saigon,” and “Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Season subscribers also may add on productions of “The Color Purple” and “Blue Man Group On Tour.”

Becky Hancock, executive director of the Tennessee Theatre, described the appeal of the upcoming season. “One of the titles, ‘Waitress,’ is still running on Broadway, which is unusual for our seasons. Three of the titles — ‘Waitress,’ ‘A Bronx Tale,’ and ‘Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ — have never played in Knoxville. And a fourth, ‘Miss Saigon,’ has never played at the Tennessee. The remaining titles are returning after many years due to popular demand.” Continue reading

Filed under: Downtown, Events, Historic preservation, Knoxville, Theater | 4 Comments

New Dave & Buster’s means food, fun and games

Knox County Commissioner Evelyn Gill, right, checked out the scene at Dave & Buster’s last Thursday night. She brought her buddy Karen Fieldsa.

The ribbon cutting was today at the newest Dave & Buster’s location, which is in Sevierville at Millers Landing shopping center just across the Parkway from Tanger Outlets. Moxley Carmichael helped with public relations for the opening of the action-packed venue, the chain’s third location in Tennessee and the 127th overall.

Dave & Buster’s is unlike any restaurant or sports bar in East Tennessee. First of all, it’s huge — 40,000 square feet. Secondly, it features more than 145 of the latest and greatest arcade games, as well as dozens of massive HDTV screens for sports viewing.

The food and beverages at the VIP preview last week were excellent. And, event planners will be happy to hear, there are several state-of-the-art event rooms that can be divided in a variety of configurations to accommodate all size parties, presentations and company outings and retreats. (I know we plan to have one there soon!) Continue reading

Filed under: Business, Events, Food, Public Relations | 4 Comments

Cúrate: Because Asheville’s closer than Spain!

Joey Creswell loves rosé wine. By the end of this meal, we all did!

We didn’t have time to go to Spain last weekend, so we went to Asheville. Specifically, to Cúrate, an authentic Spanish restaurant serving tapas and other Spanish dishes — and exclusively Spanish wines — in the heart of downtown. Folks, it’s worth the trip.

There were seven of us. And, as soon as we settled in, we started ordering dishes for the table. We tore through those and ordered more. And more. And then we ordered dessert.

We marveled at what chef Katie Button‘s people could do with an eggplant! It literally melted in your mouth and tasted like no other eggplant we’d ever experienced.

The pork eaters raved about the flavor of the slices of acorn-fed 100 percent Iberico-breed pigs. The beef eaters had to order a second round of the pepito de ternera — a classic Spanish sandwich of braised apple brandy beef, josper roasted green peppers with blue cheese and all i oli, a garlic spread. (Josper roasting is a method of cooking at a very high temperature resulting in grilled and roasted meat that is not baked.) Continue reading

Filed under: Food, Travel | 16 Comments