Friday, February 11, 2011

Restaurant Review: The Foothills Milling Company

Dave and I always go out for our Valentine's dinner the week before the actual day. So last night we dropped Dylan off and Meredith and Chad's and drove to Maryville to The Foothills Milling Company. We have heard from lots of different people that this restaurant is excellent and one of the best in the area. Their menu is constantly changing since they use local, seasonal and fresh ingredients.

Our reservation was for 7:15pm and we arrived a few minutes early. We were seated right away and our water glasses were filled. After a short wait our server arrived and took our drink order (wine for both of us). We had some time to look over the menu (even though we had both looked at it online before we left!) and decided to start with the charcuterie sampler that featured the sausages of Germany, brockworst, currywurst and pate maison served with mustard, bread & house made pickles. This was AMAZING, the sausages were flavorful and moist and paired perfectly with the mustard and pickles.

Next up was the salad, a baby spinach with warm bacon and Dijon dressing masterpiece complete with locally made Benton's bacon, goat cheese, oven roasted tomatoes and crispy black eyed peas. This could be the best salad I've ever eaten. The warm vinaigrette on the cool spinach leaves combined with the tangy goat cheese and crunchy black eyes peas was out of this world! Such a great combination of flavors and textures! The salad course was also served with home made bread and butter. We had a rosemary focaccia and sourdough in our basket. Normally I am the one devouring the bread, but last night it was Dave's turn. I don't think I've ever seen him eat that much bread in one sitting, you know it was excellent if Dave was eating all the bread!

Before we got our entrees we were served a refreshing palette cleanser of apple cider sorbet. Cool and refreshing!

Now for our entrees! Dave ordered the Braised Beef Cheeks, here is the description from the menu, it's guaranteed to have your mouth watering! All natural Piedmontese braised beef cheeks braised in red wine until tender, served with sourwood honey mustard vinaigrette, truffle macaroni and cheese and asparagus. I know you may be thinking beef cheeks? Ewww, but seriously these were so tender and flavorful, they really reminded me of braised beef short ribs in the texture, flavor and richness. The truffle mac and cheese also had Benton's bacon in it. The truffle oil was definitely present in the mac and cheese, but not overpowering. We both thought the asparagus was grilled, a perfect way to cook it, at home I always roast it in the oven so it gets a little crispy and you don't find it cooked that way when you order it in a restaurant.  My choice was the Horseradish Crusted Grouper, it had a panko horseradish crust and was served with mashed new potatoes and asparagus. The fish was cooked perfectly and had that great crunchy crust that panko breadcrumbs are famous for. The mashed new potatoes were rich and creamy and as I said above the asparagus was grilled perfectly.

The Foothills Milling Company also has a wonderful dessert menu and we were seriously considering dessert, but we were too stuffed. They had an apple tart, creme brulee, chocolate cake and a few other options that looked really good. We decided when we come back we are ordering dessert no matter what! We don't want to miss out again! We did bring a piece of their famous chocolate cake to Chad and Meredith as a thank-you for watching Dylan for us.

This is hands down one of the best (if not the best) restaurant in the Knoxville area (it's located in Maryville). Prices range from $5-$10 for appetizers, salads, and desserts and $21-$32 for entrees. While not cheap, the prices are well worth it, there are large portion sizes and the food is cooked perfectly. If you live in the Knoxville area do yourself a favor and check out The Foothills Milling Company, you won't be disappointed!

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