Friday, August 24, 2012

A Memorable Birthday Dinner…

If one is lucky, once a year each of us is able to celebrate his or her birthday.  Well, July was my month.  Some good friends of ours took us out to mark the passage of time…another year of my very satisfying trip on this earth.  Time does fly as the birthdays continue to add up! 

This is the entrance to the Lakeside Tavern in Knoxville Tennessee.  This restaurant is adjacent to Knoxville’s 500 acre Concord Park and it offers views  of the TVA’s Fort Loudoun Lake and the Concord Marina.  It’s a very nice setting…

Lakeside Tavern is one of 9 restaurants operated by Diverse Concepts Ltd.  The other restaurants operated by this company are located in Pigeon Forge, Oak Ridge, Clinton and Knoxville.

This is Holly and Joel...two of our very good friends. A couple of years ago they moved down to East Tennessee from Virginia.  They are both just young whipper-snappers as compared to yours truly!

This is Charlie and Karen...Two of our other very good friends.  They are happy recent immigrants, (escapees), to Tennessee from south Florida.  I’m a little reluctant to admit that both of them are also youngsters as compared to myself…It was very kind of all four of our good friends to take me/us out for my birthday dinner.  Thank you Joel, Holly, Charlie and Karen!! 

I love asparagus!  For an appetizer, I ordered this Parmesan Fried Asparagus. ($8.99) Start with fresh asparagus spears, then lightly coat them with a seasoned batter and fry them until they are golden brown.  Serve them with a terrific zesty wasabi-ranch dipping sauce!  I really liked this appetizer as did everyone else who sampled it…

Other appetizers on the menu included: Southwestern Egg Rolls ($7.99); Smoked Salmon ($10.99); Ahi Tuna Wonton Stack (Market Price); Edamame ($4.99) and; Smoked Trout Guacamole ($10.99).

I’m not an ‘onion person’, but the others at the table shared an order of the Tavern Onion Rings. ($8.49) These thick cut onion rings are hand-breaded, fried golden brown and then they’re served with jalapeno ranch dressing.  These were rated as very good or excellent by our group. There was a complaint that after eating a few of these gems, one of our diners was already full before the entrée was served. (Note: An order for just 2 diners is only $4.49)

In addition to the appetizers, Lakeside Tavern offers a cup ($2.99) or a bowl ($4.49) of New England Clam Chowder.  Pizzas and Calzones are also available.  They range in price from $11.49 to $12.49.  You can also build your own pizza…with up to 4 toppings…for only $12.99.

One entrée was this Horseradish Salmon. ($17.99 plus $2.99 if accompanied by a dinner or caesar salad) This pan seared Atlantic salmon is topped with a horseradish and roasted fennel cream sauce, with caramelized onions over a bed of bok choy.  It was paired with a shiitake mushroom rice pilaf.

Another member of our little group opted for the Pan-Seared Crabcakes. ($19.99) These jumbo lump Blue Crab cakes were pan-seared golden brown and then topped with a sweet and spicy remoulade sauce.

Continuing with our seafood theme, this entrée is the Flounder Seafood Medley. ($18.99) It consists of a pan-seared flounder filet topped with the horseradish roasted fennel cream sauce over a bed of bok choy. (This diner opted to omit the usual stack of caramelized onions over the top of the seafood) This entrée was accompanied by the shiitake mushroom rice pilaf and a side of asparagus. 

Laurie ordered the Wood-Grilled Salmon. ($16.99) This fresh cold-water salmon is grilled and then it’s topped with a special mustard dill sauce.  It was served with white cheddar mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Our little group managed to order 5 of the 7 available seafood/fish entrees on the menu.  The only possibilities that we missed were the Lakeside Fish and Chips, ($13.99), and the Scallops Pomodori. ($17.99)

This Black and Bleu Salad, ($12.99), was the one exception to our run on the seafood portion of the menu.  This ‘construction’ consists of grilled filet mignon bites that have been lightly dusted with Cajun seasoning.  They are served on a bed of fresh mixed greens, with vine-ripened tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, bleu cheese crumbles and Cajun fried-onions.  The whole assembly is then drizzled with a balsamic reduction and it’s accompanied by some homemade bleu cheese dressing.

Other non-seafood items on the menu range from 4 sandwich choices, at $9.99 each, to steaks and prime rib, (salad included for $14.99 to $24.99), Rosemary Pork Tenderloin, ($15.49), as well as a number of chicken based offerings at $13.99 each.

Just in case you were counting, here’s the fifth seafood entrée for our group.  I ordered a healthy birthday dinner…the Grilled Ahi Tuna. (Market Price) My medium rare sashimi grade Ahi tuna was served with wasabi cilantro ginger vinaigrette and soy ginger dipping sauces.  As you can see, it was accompanied by some perfectly steamed brocolli and some bok choi.  It was very, very nice!

Dinner was capped off when our waitress brought me an order of  Crème Brulee with a candle in it.  I was trying to hide under the table as Laurie and our friends sang Happy Birthday to me…in public!!
The food was quite good…about a 7.5 on a 10 point scale…in a nice warm and friendly setting.  It’s a pleasant place to dine and we will return!  Lakeside Tavern is located at 10911 Concord Drive in Knoxville Tennessee.  Phone: 865-671-2980.  The website for Lakeside Tavern and the other Diverse Concept Ltd. restaurants is: 
One more birthday photo…

Thanks to family and friends for the cards and well wishes!

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Happy belated birthday! It looks and sounds like to me that you had a great fun celebration! What could be better than dinner with friends to celebrate another year...

  2. Sorry we missed wishing you well then so happy belated. Looks like you were well taken care of and had some fine grub. Fried is my new favorite way to eat asparagus.

  3. Dear Dave, Happy Birthday my friend!! What a nice celebration. Good food, good friends and good memories made. I am happy for you the food sounds real good and it looks like your dinner was perfect. I like the cilantro, ginger wasabi dipping sauces to go with the tuna. Good choice.
    By the way, did you think you would escape without being sung to?
    The years do go by quickly and I wish you all the best for many more healthy and fun years filled with family, friends and many good memories.
    Blessings my friends. Catherine.

  4. happy belated birthday dear David:)
    nice pictures anf yummy food!!