Fine Cuisine and Crafts in Lenoir City
Here are two good reasons to go to Lenoir City:
The first is the new Le Noir A Belgian Southern Bistro, which opened a few weeks ago, offering Belgian Southern fusion cuisine. Think wholesome Southern food with a European flavor: homemade meatballs with Provencale sauce and tender beef chunks in Flemish beer-flavored brown sauce.
Popular entrees include Wednesday’s Vol au Vent (creamy chicken stew in puffed pastry and white cream sauce), Friday’s Mosselen (steamed mussels in white wine sauce) and Saturday’s Pensen Met Rode Kool (European-style sausages with red cabbage and potatoes). Fine wines and 24 Belgian beers can be selected to pair with meals.
Owners Chantal Kieckens Love (pictured left) and Jan Van Geyt, both from Belgium, have strong familial ties to bakeries, cafes and traditional foods. Both have a natural gift for hospitality and knowledge of foods people want. Love, who descends from a line of bakers, restaurant owners and great cooks, has worked for Bush Brothers for 12 years. She operated a side business making Belgian waffles at festivals and baking delectable Belgian brownies. Van Geyt is a professionally-trained chef who has owned a restaurant in Belgium and worked as a chef at The Buccaneer resort in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Le Noir — a play on the city’s name and French for “black” — offers a relaxed elegant setting with black upholstered accent pieces, red leather chairs, and vintage collectibles that give the interior an old, European ambience. Landscape photography by Ryan Justice and brilliantly colored paintings by Karen Reeves grace the walls.
Located at the corner of Broadway and Kingston Street, Le Noir pulls a clientele from nearby Farragut, Tellico Village, Loudon and other communities. The atmosphere is welcoming for families as server Jaydin Hurst participated in friendly conversation with us throughout the evening. Dinners are in the $12 to $16 range; lunch specials are $9, with sandwiches and burgers running $7 to $11. The bistro is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
You’ll also want to travel to Lenoir City for the Lenoir City Arts and Crafts Festival June 7-8. It is one of the best crafts fairs in East Tennessee. More than 240 crafters will take over the peninsula at Lenoir City Park. The setting on the shores of Fort Loudoun Lake couldn’t be more beautiful as the busy marina is just steps away.
Many exhibitors will demonstrate their crafts and talk about their art. Local and regional artisans will include woodworkers, ceramic artists, jewelry makers, basket weavers, metal workers, and fabric artists. Storytellers, musical performers and food vendors will add to the festival atmosphere.
This fun festival had humble beginnings as a clothesline art show in 1962. Now it draws huge crowds. Shuttle buses will carry people from nearby parking lots to the park. Admission is $3. The festival is sponsored by the GFWC Suburbia Women’s Club. Proceeds support scholarships and community organizations.