Aug 1 2008

We're fortunate to have one of the best fine dining restaurants in East Tennessee -- The Foothills Milling Company -- right here in Maryville.

We went for dinner last night. It was our third visit (we really need to get over there more!) and it is as good or better than before.

Since our last visit, they have added a full bar. It is well stocked with premium offerings. They also have an excellent selection of wines.

This time we had the Duck Spring Rolls appetizer: "Crispy spring rolls with duck confit and julienne vegetables with Asian Five spice seasoning. Served with sweet Thai chile sauce." They were scrumptious. It sounds spicy hot, but they're not and in fact the spices are just right.

For salads, the Mrs. had the Watermelon Salad: "Mixed greens and arugula with kalamata olive, French feta cheese shaved red onion dressed with raspberry vinaigrette." I had the Baby Spinach & Warm Bacon Dijon Dressing salad: "Benton’s bacon, goat cheese, red onion, crispy black eyed peas." Both were excellent.

For the main course, we each had the Rack of Lamb: "Cooked to medium rare and served with zinfandel reduction and tomato galette with tapenade, goat cheese and fresh basil." Absolutely delicious. The lamb was perfectly prepared to a juicy and flavorful melt-in-your-mouth texture with a hint of wood-smoke, and the reduction sauce was the perfect complement. The "galette" is a small, round pastry topped with tomato slices (broiled perhaps?) layered with a fresh basil/olive concoction similar to a pesto, and goat cheese. A gourmet delight!

That sounds like a lot, but the portions are just right and leave you satisfied but not stuffed. (We didn't have room for dessert, but we brought home a chocolate/pecan tart with caramel and mint sauce and vanilla ice cream for later. Heavenly!) Some of the other dishes we've had before were a little on the heavy and rich side (not that there's anything wrong with that), but last night's dinner was perfect, lighter summer fare. Or maybe we were just hungrier this time.

The food is excellent and the service is impeccable. Prices are moderately high for the area, but you get what you pay for. It's perfect for special occasion dining, or you could have a satisfying and reasonably priced light dinner of salads and appetizers.

I highly recommended The Foothills Milling Company, located at 315 S. Washington St. in Maryville. Reservations are recommended, and can be made at their website or by calling 865-977-8434. They are open for dinner at 5PM, Tuesday through Saturday. The menu varies daily, and it's available on their website along with the current wine list.

(Reports on our previous visits here and here.)

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