Monthly Monday Miam-Miam: Chattanooga Part 1

From the Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center in Chattanooga

Fall is upon us. With fall, I won’t travel as much. But I will work more on several writing projects that need my full dedication. An agent has shown interest for one of my picture book manuscripts. Several readers have been through my Young Adult novel and I know what has to be done to submit this manuscript. I know I am getting closer to my publication goals, but I need time.

We all know that time is precious and unfortunately unstoppable. So I’ve decided to keep my weekly French Friday post where I blend my dual French American identity. But I will move my weekly Monday Miam-Miam to a monthly publication. Starting today, Monday Miam-Miam becomes Monthly Monday Miam-Miam.

From Chattanooga Market

After our trip to Asheville, North Carolina where we discovered a tiny fraction of the Blue Ridge Mountains we were tempted to pay a visit to neighboring Tennessee. We have been several times to Nashville and Memphis but never to the mountain region.

With little time it was impossible to explore the Smoky Mountains. Faithful to our motto “less is often better than too much,” we established camp in Chattanooga, knowing we would straddle the states of Georgia and Tennessee.

There is so much to see and do in and around Chattanooga that I will split our visit in two posts.

For today, these are the two Chattanooga restaurants that make my short-list.


For the freshness and locally sourced food: Public House

Located downtown and yet slightly away from the more rambunctious bars and eateries, Public House is part of the Warehouse Row, the former Old Stone Fort during the Civil War. The fort was transformed first into a warehouse and then into a small elegant retail place that has kept the original architecture and added a modern twist. The row offers a mix of restaurants, offices, and shops. I even noticed a boutique Yves Delorme, the French provider of fine (and expensive) linens.

Local farms from Tennessee or its next-door neighbor Georgia provide the meat, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products to Public House. The chef works also with Foley Fish, a fourth generation fish house in Boston. If you know Boston you know you can trust the city with seafood and seashell.

The food at Public House is really close to what you would eat at home if you took the time to cook. The goal is to offer good food at a reasonable price in a comfortable setting. I found the modern clean décor very inviting.

And I really loved the napkins.

Cheese is having its moment in the US. Most restaurants we’ve visited over the last year offer cheese as an appetizer. What we love best is to explore assortments that offer a mix of foreign and local cheeses. That night Public House had an excellent Camembert from Georgia. Trust the Norman girl with Camembert 🙂 They also had a terrific cheese from the Sequatchie Cove Farm located 35 minutes away from Chattanooga.

With two knives, please.

His Sauteed Carolina Trout with Squash Casserole and Pecan Pesto


My Grilled Faroe Island Salmon with Quinoa Pilaf and Romesco

Our server was a young woman native from Chattanooga. Attentive and friendly she incarnated the legendary southern hospitality.

We didn’t have enough time to visit the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, an hour and half away from Chattanooga. Neither one of us drinks hard liquor, but Jack Daniels has an international reputation. During my college years, I had an occasional whiskey-coca as we call the Jack and Coke drink in France.

Our Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey Chocolate Cheesecake compensated. I’m not a huge cheesecake fan, but I loved the whiskey flavor in that one.

With two spoons, please.


For the view: Back Inn Café

Back Inn Café is located in the historic Bluff View Art District high above the river.

The Art Museum in Chattanooga

The Tennessee River

The restaurant is housed in a renovated Colonial Revival Mansion, but the weather was so nice that night that we decided to eat in the garden that overlooks the Tennessee River.

Dining in the garden

While we ate we enjoyed hearing and watching the triathlon men and women who had come from all over the world for the Iroman 70.3. The women had just competed and the men would race the following day.


Food for the soul: only one independent bookstore in Chattanooga but a really nice one.

Star Line Books is located in a small indoor gallery, in a quiet part of Market Street, close to the University of Tennessee. With two levels it’s still a small yet airy store that offers a selection of new fiction and non fiction titles, numerous locally authored books about nature, environment and cooking, as well as a great children’s literature section with titles that range from picture books to young adult novels.

From the Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center in Chattanooga


See you on Friday for Chattanooga Part 2!




  1. I want you to be my tour guide! Best of luck as you move forward with your writing. Keep us posted!

  2. My niece has a pottery studio in Chattanooga, Evelyne. Are you still there? Jack Daniels has a very interesting tour, and you aren’t expected to drink. It’s in a dry county, which has always amused me given it’s international reputation. –Curt

  3. Where I live, these are places people frequent in the fall, because of the foliage. I’ve been down that way more than I can say for sure, and I’m delighted you enjoyed it.
    I also like the way you’re qualified to say that Camembert was Normandy-Native worthy 🙂

  4. The only thing I know about Chattanooga is the song 🙂 So this was an interesting introduction Evelyne and I’ll look forward to part two.

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