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Dennis Perkins

Title: Columnist

Recent Work

  • Restaurant Report: Backwoods Bistro Published 07/23/2014 at 1:54 p.m.

    Rusty Culbertson is a man driven not only by his passion for quality, but also by what he doesn’t like. When he decided to open Backwoods Bistro, he promised himself that he “would take everything he hated about restaurants, and ...

  • Pimms in the Garden at the Crown and Goose Published 05/14/2014 at 12:22 p.m.

    Fashion considerations aside, it’s a classy, refreshing, and unusual cocktail that might be described as a lemonade with multiple personalities or a Gin-n-Juice with tickets to Wimbledon.

  • Restaurant Report: La Cabana Cuban Flavor Published 05/14/2014 at 12:18 p.m.

    As you turn southward after exiting Interstate 40 at Campbell Station Road, it’s all too easy to drive past the little strip mall on the right that houses, among other things, a Dunkin’ Donuts. But take the time to turn ...

  • Restaurant Report: Woodlands Indian Restaurant Published 04/03/2014 at 3:08 p.m.

    Change happens—in the restaurant world, it happens often. Beautifully unique restaurants fail where more quotidian eateries seem to thrive. But in the case of Taj’s closure and Woodland’s opening in the same location, change is a very good thing.

  • Cooking Up Knoxville’s Own Dish Published 03/12/2014 at 4 p.m. 1 Comment

    It’s a question that gets asked a lot: “What’s the one thing I have to eat in Knoxville?” Sadly, there is no iconic Knoxville dish, no one meal you insist that everyone visiting try, just to say they had one. ...

  • Restaurant Report: Parton’s Smokin Butz BBQ Published 02/19/2014 at 10:18 a.m.

    Committing to an opinion about the quality of any particular barbecue seems fraught with peril—barbecue is a subject that comes with deeply held, nearly religious conviction. And like religion, there are many sects in the faith of ’que, and all ...

  • Weiss Lightning at the Grill at Highlands Row Published 02/19/2014 at 10:12 a.m.

    Admittedly, this cocktail isn’t for everyone; but if you love the dirty martini, have a fetish for dill, appreciate cucumber-infused vodkas, or drink like a Russian, this may be just the ticket.

  • Bloody Bakon Martini at Sunspot Published 01/08/2014 at 11:58 a.m.

    The Bloody Mary is a practical drink by design; and what it lacks in elegance it often makes up for in condiments. It’s also a cocktail that gets an endless stream of updates—some unfortunate and few better than what the ...

  • Restaurant Report: Grinder and Grains Cafe Published 01/08/2014 at 11:03 a.m.

    There’s a healthy list of selections for all sorts of eaters—the staff even presses and marinates tofu for vegetarian and vegan guests.

  • Tender Tennessee Christmas Martini at Chop House Published 12/11/2013 at 11:24 a.m.

    If you find yourself enraptured at the thought of a chocolate truffle with a dark, glossy shell that hides a center of creamy, lickable milk chocolate, then you’ll understand the seduction of this cocktail.

  • Restaurant Report: Holy Land Market and Deli Published 12/11/2013 at 11:12 a.m. 2 Comments

    Before they landed in Knoxville 17 years ago, Walter and Denise Ajlouny owned a deli in Huntington, Long Island. That experience—along with good family connections and the recipes that come with them—makes the combination of subs and shish kabobs work.

  • Ramos Gin Fizz at Shuck Raw Bar (Bearden) Published 11/13/2013 at 12:31 p.m.

    You know you’re in for a good time when the barkeep whips out a rasp.

  • Restaurant Report: Stock and Barrel Published 11/13/2013 at 12:23 p.m.

    A quick consult with Jack Neely reveals that there hasn’t been a dedicated burger joint downtown since Wendy’s vacated the corner of Gay and Summit Hill—and that hardly counts, anyway. So it’s no wonder that Stock and Barrel has made ...

  • Knoxville Pizza Exotica Published 11/13/2013 at 10:53 a.m.

    Pizza purists seem pretty clear—too many toppings spoil the pie. But here in the Scruffy City itself, rebellion foments all around. Here, we uncover some of Knoxville’s pizza rule-breakers and reveal their comestible challenges to the establishment.

  • In Search of True New York Pizza—in Knoxville Published 11/13/2013 at 10:46 a.m.

    Why is it that New York pizza remains the pinnacle, the acme, the very standard of a pie? Outside of New York, only Chicago has truly claimed a name for pizza (please, don’t bring up California), and it’s far outpaced ...

  • Restaurant Report: Knox Mason Published 10/16/2013 at 10:44 a.m. 1 Comment

    It’s been just about nine months since Knox Mason came into being amid a flurry of gourmet hopes and haute cuisine expectations. Now that the birth storm has abated and the skies have cleared, it’s nice to know that chef ...

  • Chai Mar-tea-ni at Nama (Bearden) Published 10/16/2013 at 10:40 a.m.

    This is the ideal local and seasonal cocktail owing to its orange hue and bright, optimistic disposition—it’s so refreshing that you’re almost certain that the sun will always shine.

  • Barley's Brings Behind the Barn Broadcast to Maryville Published 10/09/2013 at 11:19 a.m.

    A stroll through downtown Maryville, especially around the intersection of Broadway and Cusick Street, is marked by a commingling of natural and man-made beauty alongside an equally beautiful commingling of the past and the present. This tree-lined stretch is the ...

  • Restaurant Report: Coffee and Chocolate II Published 09/11/2013 at 10:15 a.m.

    The new location—near the corner of Walnut and Clinch—is much more than a fancy little shop for java and sweets.

  • Skinny Girl Strawberry Basil Splash at Seasons Bearden Published 09/11/2013 at 10:04 a.m.

    While the concept of the lite cocktail may confound some critical minds, this libation, drawn from a menu of equally skinny options, is a colorful and engaging concoction.

  • Restaurant Report: Stir Fry Cafe Published 08/21/2013 at 10:07 a.m.

    It’s been nearly 20 years since the late Kenny Saio opened the doors of Stir Fry Cafe and began to reveal what would become a multi-cultural and transformative vision for Knoxville’s culinary life.

  • Knoxville's Most Dangerous Burgers Published 08/09/2013 at 10:51 a.m.

    These local and intemperate burgers represent that most curious human frailty, adventurous debauchery: the drive to seek out the nth degree, the place where immoderation is shamelessly glorified.

  • Knoxville’s Alternative Burgers Published 08/08/2013 at 10:38 a.m.

    Admittedly, if you say burger, most folks think of a fat and sizzling disk of ground beef, but it ain’t necessarily so. In these parts you can avoid beef on your bun in all sorts of clever ways, tame or ...

  • Knoxville’s Gourmet Burgers Published 08/08/2013 at 10:36 a.m.

    What’s a good thing for if not making it better? The great American sandwich gets dressed to the nines so often that you might think that there’s a red carpet and a burger awards show around every corner. While Knoxville ...

  • Knoxville's Burger Specials Published 08/08/2013 at 8:53 a.m.

    Some of the best burgers in town can be had cheap! Here’s our guide to where and when to find them.

  • Restaurant Report: North Corner Sandwich Shop Published 08/07/2013 at 11:04 a.m. 1 Comment

    A self-described “amazing chef-driven sandwich joint,” North Corner is the brainchild of owner and chief cook and meat slicer David Blevins.

  • The Simmons at Parkside Grill Published 08/07/2013 at 10:59 a.m.

    This nectar is a balm to the tequila lover whose taste buds have been too long abused by cloying lime-flavored goop.

  • Restaurant Report: El Cazador Published 07/10/2013 at 11:12 a.m.

    El Cazador in South Knoxville is an easy place to drive by, though it’s not easy to miss owing to its very bright green paint job.

  • Antebellum at Sapphire Published 07/10/2013 at 10:49 a.m.

    This drink features several components that define modern mixology—a top-quality spirit, a bitter element, and an herbal influence.

  • Knoxville Craft Beer Week 2013: Bigger and Frothier Published 06/19/2013 at 6:07 p.m.

    With a forecast that includes at least a quarter-million ounces of brew, Knoxville Craft Beer Week 2013 promises to be way more fun than a mere 99 barrels of beer on the wall. Running Saturday, June 22 to Saturday, June ...

  • Marina Report: The Bamboo Bar at Fox Road Marina Published 06/12/2013 at 10:42 a.m.

    If you grew up in the country or are lucky enough to have experienced rural living, then you may remember the joys of the little country store and grill that was like an oasis in the desert.

  • Restaurant Report: Bistro By the Tracks Published 06/12/2013 at 10:20 a.m.

    Bistro By the Tracks is almost feline in its ability to land on its feet. After two relocations, an ownership change, and gradual gentrification, the restaurant remains alive and cooking. And now, with the installment of Christopher Stallard as the ...

  • Blueberry Caipirinha at The Orangery Published 06/12/2013 at 10:14 a.m.

    It’s rare that a garnish can so completely capture both the soul of a cocktail and the eye of the beholder as it does in this libation.

  • Restaurant Report: India Cuisine Published 05/08/2013 at 11:12 a.m.

    This family-owned restaurant is full of surprises and delights for the experienced eater of vindaloo, korma, and curry, but it also features dishes that might appeal to a good mountain boy or even to lovers of Chinese food.

  • Napa Refresher at Fleming’s Published 05/08/2013 at 11:02 a.m.

    Wow—this libation summons a happy face as soon as it hits the bar before you; the aroma of pineapple leaps from the glass and practically slaps you in the face with summery joy.

  • Q&A: Designer Paulie Gibson, Appearing at Knoxville Fashion Week Published 04/24/2013 at 11:14 a.m.

    Paulie Gibson is an up-and-coming St. Louis based designer of think-out-of-the-box men’s fashion. His work will be featured during Knoxville Fashion Week.

  • Sea Tow Knoxville’s Water-Rescue Team Handles Everything From Mild to Wild Published 04/24/2013 at 10:59 a.m.

    Capt. Chad Walters is the owner and operator of the local franchise of Sea Tow, a network of U.S Coast Guard–licensed captains that provides on-the-water assistance.

  • Boat Safety Tips From Sea Tow Knoxville Published 04/24/2013 at 10:54 a.m.

    Captain Walters and Sea Tow offer these suggestions to keep your time on the water safe and enjoyable.

  • A Tour of East Tennessee’s MasterCraft Published 04/17/2013 at 10:19 a.m.

    How do these boats come together? Marketing Manager Josh Shave showed us around the facility to share the story of these handcrafted vehicles made by a company that was born 45 years ago in a horse barn in Maryville.

  • Second Annual Outdoor KnoxFest Kicks Off a New Season of Outdoor Recreation Published 04/17/2013 at 10:16 a.m. 1 Comment

    The Legacy Parks Foundation is so determined to get you outdoors to play that they’re willing to take you by the hand and show you all the wild places that are literally less than a hop, skip and a jump ...

  • Roasted Apple Fashioned at Knox Mason Published 04/10/2013 at 11:35 a.m.

    Apples. It’s all about the apples in this drink, which, naturally enough, taste like an apple—and a mighty fine one at that.

  • Restaurant Report: Miss Olivia's Table Published 04/10/2013 at 11:17 a.m.

    It’s easy to forget that good food isn’t always about lauded ingredients of the moment, complex combinations, and architectural presentations gilded by elegant puddles, drops, and drizzles.

  • Restaurant Report: Sapphire: A Modern Bar and Restaurant Published 03/13/2013 at 2:51 p.m.

    After a long food absence during a kitchen remodel, food service is back, and owner Aaron Thompson and head chef Caleb Hawkins are determined that the Modern Bar will also be a modern dining room.

  • Barrel-Aged Negroni at The Public House Published 03/13/2013 at 2:47 p.m.

    On cursory glance, this could be any old-fashioned cocktail, but this Public House specialty is a thoughtful and creative option for both aperitif and digestif consideration.

  • Egg Ingenuity: Some Inventive Knoxville Takes on That Breakfast Standard, Eggs Published 03/07/2013 at 10:38 a.m.

    The egg, as we all know by now, is incredibly edible; it’s also incredibly versatile, and so it’s super nice to see so many plates of delicious creativity around town. Here are a few notable examples to tempt you to ...

  • The Art of the Crêpe at Knoxville's French Market Published 03/06/2013 at 10:55 a.m.

    If, in fact, Eggs Benedict is based on a country French recipe, it’s amusing that one of Knoxville’s most creative variations on this staple is found at the French Market, where Susan and Allen Tate play turnabout and tweak it ...

  • Let’s Brunch: A Guide to Knoxville Brunches Published 03/04/2013 at 3:21 p.m.

    More Knoxville restaurants than ever are offering unique, stand-alone brunch menus on the weekends—not to mention drink specials just for brunch. Here’s a run-down of noteworthy brunch (not just regular ol’ breakfast) destinations around town.

  • World’s Fare: West Knoxville’s Growing District of International Food Markets Published 02/27/2013 at 12:18 p.m.

    Over the last five years, in what may be one of Knoxville’s most unexpected commercial developments, the area along Kingston Pike from West Hills to Walker Springs has nurtured a growing corridor of international food stores. Dennis Perkins takes us ...

  • Snack Food International Published 02/27/2013 at 12:15 p.m. 2 Comments

    Even though exotic fruits and vegetables can be used in interesting and filling meals, one of the best things about prowling through international groceries is finding all the good stuff that’s bad for you.

  • The Media Noche at drink. Published 02/13/2013 at 12:21 p.m.

    Introducing our new monthly column providing a taste of local cocktails.