Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gourmet Dining At RouXbarb’s

Bev makes good use of Groupon and the other similar deal-offering services and recently purchased one for “RouXbarb” restaurant in Knoxville.  The deal offered a $130 value tasting for $65 and we recently cashed it in for an early dinner.

The building is small and has contained several restaurants that we can remember, but upon entering, it was obvious this was a pretty upscale place – at 5:30pm we had the place nearly to ourselves, but it was pretty full when we left.  This is part of the inside and chef/ owner, Bruce Bogartz, is at the computer - he had on tomato pants similar to the ones I wear. 

Our server, who was as elegant as the dining room, came by to advise about the tasting, take our drink order, and give us a menu to look over to see if there was anything we didn’t want – Bev advised the duck.  We ordered water and a bottle of Poggio Anima "Belial" Sangiovese and the evening was off.

The menu is comprised of small plates, salads, entrees, and desserts from which we were to be given a selection of the chef’s choices – we got one dish of them to share. 

Even though I had the camera sitting there, I got so caught up in the food I forgot to take shots before we started eating, except for two of them.  Rather than do their beautiful presentations an injustice, I’ll only show those two but provide the menu description for those available.

Our meal began with these two, neither of which were described on the menu:
 
SOUP OF THE MOMENT, which was a curried chicken and rice soup containing and assortment of vegetables
 
A plank containing two CHEESE BISCUITS, RHUBARB CHUTNEY, and MARINATED MUSHROOMS 

Next came a plate containing both of these:
 
BROWN BUTTER BBQ SHRIMP
Lemon aioli 

PIMENTO CHEESE HUSH PUPPIES
Pepper jelly  

The next serving was a plate of lightly battered and deep fried flounder and shrimp served with a light sauce – it was also not on the menu, but here is a shot after only a couple of bites:

About this time we realized we needed to pace ourselves, especially when the server advised there was lots more to come, so we began boxing about half of each dish – but we were already pretty full.  Our last small plate was:

SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI  
Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and leeks with truffle oil and parmesan cheese 

At this point, Chef Borgartz came by to see how it was going and asked what we wanted for our entrée, advising that in addition to the menu choices he had a nice ribeye steak, and a Waygu beef flank steak.  Since I’d been wanting to try Waygu, we agreed on the flank steak before he even got to the seafood dishes.
 
While it was being prepared we were served the salad course of:
 
ROASTED PINAPPLE SALAD
Macona almond praline, goat cheese, and truffled lemon vinaigrette

The FLANK STEAK was cooked medium rare and served with horseradish mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Since there had been easily enough food for four people, we were way past full at the end of the savory dishes and just took the CINNAMON APPLE COBBLER home – we got a taste then Madison ate it.
 
We loved the flavors of every dish and it was great to try so many at one sitting.  I especially thought the flounder was outstanding with the light batter and it was perfectly cooked.  It was nice to try the Waygu and I can see why people rave about it.  And after this soup I may have to rethink my so-so reception of curried dishes.

I really like restaurants that have daily dishes prepared at the whim of the chef or what's in season.  I hope we can get another tasting deal, but we will be going back either way, as it was a excellent dining experience, with atmosphere, service, and food all being top notch.  I hate I blew it on the photos, but if in this area, we recommend you consider a meal at RouXbarb.

I'm now responding to your comments and hoping you will stop back by - photos best if enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

Larry

10/25/12 event date

24 comments:

  1. Wow, that is a fantastic deal! Everything looks amazing!!

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    1. Thanks Jenn - I just wish I'd remembered shots of all dishes.

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  2. It sounds like you found a terrific restaurant. The pimento cheese hushpuppies sounds very interesting.

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    1. Karen - They were very good and probably my next favorite after the fish and steak - crispy outside with gooey pimento cheese inside.

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  3. Ohhh tablecloths :)I would like that restaurant and all of it sounds great. What a nice evening out!

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    1. The white tablecloths caught my attention when I walked in.

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  4. All of these pictures are absolutely amazing !

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  5. Larry, Looks like a great little place! I would be challenging for the chef with all of my dislikes/won't eat hang ups. I would definitely want to have a Groupon to eat there...unless it was an anniversary or somesuch event. The fish and the steak looked great! Thanks for sharing...I've been wondering about this place. The Dining Out Group is headed there soon. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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    1. Dave - I think you would have done well with the BBQ shrimp, flounder, and flank steak.

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  6. I love a good Groupon deal! Looks like you hit the jackpot here. We have a few small places like that here - fresh, seasonal items - chef's whim.

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    1. We've learned to be careful as we have some for home service where the folks won't show up

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  7. Well, it looks like you got your monies worth. It all looks wonderful. The brown butter shrimp sounds good and the flounder would be one I'd try to recreate at home. What kind of sauce was served with the flounder? You don't know how happy I am to hear you say (or rather, see you type) that you might be reconsidering the curry thing. It can be quite wonderful. Some of it can be quite spicy also.

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    1. Thay said it was remoulade, but it was unlike any I've had as it was white and very lightly flavored - I guess so as to not overpower the delicate flavor of fish.

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  8. That steak looks cooked to perfection! I love it!!

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    1. Most restaurants tend to over-cook my steak so it's always a nice surprise when it's not.

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  9. Sounds like a fabulous meal plus a great deal! I am happy to see Alex is back with you. The ferrets and Coco look so cute together. Sound like Almost Heaven south is hopping these days!

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    1. It's definitely hopping more than normal.

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  10. Larry, this sounds like a great restaurant. I love the small plate approach to dining and your description of the dishes has made me hungry. I hope you and Bev are well. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  11. Next time you go, get him to show you his smoker out back, if he isn't too busy. It's in a standalone building and is definitely a custom, old time creation.

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  12. It's even better if you sit at the counter. You can make all kinds of new friends that way and look over to see what Bruce is doing back in the kitchen as well.

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  13. What a feast!~ I signed up for groupon years ago never used it don't even know how to find it.. I guess it's time I go look for these great deals! thanks for this marvelous review!
    Great value the food looks fantastic!

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