Lenoir City is a nice town but it’s not the ‘big city’ and its 20 minutes from the western reaches of Knoxville. Downtown Lenoir City is struggling to survive and/or re-create itself, with many empty storefronts. To the detriment of downtown, most of the recent commercial ‘action’ in town has been along US 321. That highway intersects I-75 and, if followed east, will take visitors to the Smoky Mountain National Park.
So imagine our surprise and delight when we learned that someone was opening a Belgian Bistro right in the middle of old downtown Lenoir City. Cleverly…they decided to name the restaurant ‘Le Noir’. By way of contrast, this bistro was opened in a space that had been occupied by another restaurant…which was named ‘Good Eats’. That Particular country style restaurant had since relocated to US 321.
Our photos of the inside of the restaurant just didn’t come out well…most were too blurry to publish. The interior has been changed to fit the Belgian Bistro theme and it was very pleasant.
When we visited Le Noir, the restaurant had just been open for a relatively short time. Although a wide variety of beers were advertised and listed, only ‘high gravity’ beers and a variety of wines were available. The restaurant was about 2 weeks away from being able to carry their full complement of beers.
After learning the limitations of the beer ‘menu’, I ordered a glass of the House Chardonnay ($5.00) and Laurie had a glass of Malbec. ($6.00) We both ordered a side salad with our entrée. ($3.00) The salad was very nice and fresh and the presentation was appealing…
Our waitress was very nice and accommodating although she was new and was still trying to learn the menu and the operation itself. We were fairly confident that she will succeed in both efforts.
Laurie ordered the Pork Chop with Hunter Sauce. ($14.00) This 2” thick 10 oz. pork chop was topped with sauteed onions and mushrooms. It was accompanied with some very nice fresh mashed potatoes. I was surprised that she ordered a pork chop out in a restaurant. Most restaurant pork chops tend to be overcooked and dry, but not this one! It was nice and moist…with a little pink in the center…and the Hunter Sauce was right on the mark.
I’d looked at the on-line menu and I’d decided that since it was Tuesday, I’d go for the special…’Carbonade’ or Flemish Beer Stew. No such luck! The good news was that they’d had 150 people stop by for lunch…and they’d sold out of the Beer Stew. So…I had to pick another entrée…disappointed though I was!
I settled on the Chicken filet with Tarragon. ($13.00) The marinated chicken filet was topped with a very nice buttery tarragon sauce. For a side, I chose the mac ‘n cheese made with ham and Belgian cheeses. The chicken with the tarragon sauce was spot on and the mac ‘n cheese was a couple of notches above the usual version.
I will be back for that Flemish Beer Stew special! Alternatively, if we visited on a Sunday I could order the Witloof met ham…Belgian Endive rolled in ham with a creamy cheese sauce au gratin. Decision, decisions…!
OK… Our waitress was a little ‘off’ and still learning, they didn’t have their full beer license and I couldn’t have the special I’d wanted. What to do?! How about assuaging our feelings with something sweet? This was our dessert. It was a Brussels Waffle with strawberry sauce, a drizzle of Belgian chocolate and whipped cream. ($6.00) Laurie really liked it and I thought that it was pretty good… I would have preferred a few fresh strawberries on top.
Le Noir is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. They are open from 11 AM until 9 PM. One lunch item I really want to try is the Brussels Burger. ($11.00) This is a ½ pound burger topped with sautéed slivered Brussels sprouts, plus raclette and Boursin cheeses.
FYI… Le Noir’s official grand opening took place on June 18th, one day before I wrote this posting. We had dined at Le Noir about 2 weeks earlier… Le Noir Belgian Bistro is located at 123 East Broadway in Lenoir City Tennessee. Phone: 865-816-3516. Website: http://www.abelgianbistro.com/.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave