Good Food And Service At The Vineyard

Saturday, December 20, 2003 - by J. Campbell
Vineyard is at old Brass Register site on Georgia Avenue. Click to enlarge our photos.
Vineyard is at old Brass Register site on Georgia Avenue. Click to enlarge our photos.
- photo by Janet Wilson

I will start this article by saying I am not one of the original reviewers you are used to reading. My wife and I were selected by Chattanooga Dine Out for a few reasons; the main reason being that Dine Out respects all opinions that it receives from its readers. Several readers have expressed their opinion on The Vineyard and they were very negative so Dine Out wanted to have someone they were sure had never been to The Vineyard, someone they knew they could trust to do an honest review and who had a feel for good food, presentation and service - and would not be recognized as someone from Chattanooga Dine Out. This is where we come in.

I am not a food critic, but I know how a restaurant can and should be run. I wasn’t going to read any of the visitor comments, but I decided to do so, in order to know what the complaints were. Of course, your opinion gets swayed before you even get there, just as mine did and I had every intention of picking the place apart.

As we entered The Vineyard we were greeted immediately by a clean-cut, well-dressed gentleman with a nice smile that wasn’t over exaggerated (i.e., “used car salesmen smiles”) which can be annoying. We were seated in the room located to the right just as you enter, given a menu and water was brought to us immediately.

For my appetizer I decided on the Portobello mushroom stuffed with crabmeat. Due to the preparation time, the salad was served first. The Caesar Salad was fresh with plenty of grated Parmesan Cheese and croutons. I was given approximately twelve minutes to consume the salad, and with perfect timing, the appetizer arrived. The appetizer was absolutely delicious – hot and perfectly seasoned. Ample time was also given to enjoy the appetizer before our entrees arrived.

My wife ordered the Prime Rib served with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. The potatoes were served hot and the steamed vegetables were crisp and not overcooked. The only problem she had was that she ordered her Prime Rib medium well, but it was more on the medium rare side. She decided not to send it back because she didn’t want it to be over-cooked. The meat was juicy and tender with a delightful smoky flavor.

I ordered the Gulf Shrimp, which was grilled and served with rice and steamed vegetables. My meal was prepared to perfection – I had absolutely no complaints at all.

While we were there, our server, Josh, did an excellent job keeping our glasses filled. He didn’t let them get empty at any point, constantly giving us refills. Our meal was served with Focaccia Bread. I can only assume that the person who referred to the bread served at The Vineyard as cold pizza crust was referring to the Focaccia, which I suppose could be described in this way – although ours was not cold. Focaccia is a flat Italian bread traditionally flavored with olive oil and salt and often topped with herbs, onions, or other items and we found the Focaccia at The Vineyard to be on a par with other restaurants in the area that also serve this bread.

Usually we do not order dessert, but to make a complete review, we ordered the Ultimate Chocolate Cake. Not being particularly fond of a lot of chocolate I felt it was rather rich for my taste, although it was not a bad cake. My wife enjoyed the taste and felt it was delicious and extremely moist – certainly enough for two.

In my opinion the five stars is debatable. Since we were in a room off to the side where it is private and smoke-free – I would give it five stars. However, due to the fact that in the main dining area where the bar is located, there is smoking at the bar, as well as a big screen TV – in my eyes, this would move the score down to a four. Even though the food and service were wonderful, the atmosphere in the main room takes away from the over-all dining experience.

I understand they are trying to take it back to the hey-day of the former Brass Register, but I feel the two do not mix. The people who would be coming for the bar experience and to hear a live band, are usually not the people who are coming for fine dining, willing to pay the fine dining price while putting up with smoking, big screen TV and loud music.

We would definitely consider returning to The Vineyard because we felt the food and service were well worth the trip.

GET YOUR ADVENTURES COUPON BOOK ORDERS IN. We have our new supply of 2004 books – what a great gift - terrific for anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, or any special occasion. ORDER NOW!! Go to www.ChattanoogaDineOut.com and click to the right of any restaurant where it says you can save money or on the ad on the home page of the site! Same day shipping.

ChattanoogaDineOut.com has submitted this article to www.Chattanoogan.com for publication. It may not be reproduced, all or in part, without the expressed written consent of Chattanooga Dine Out.

(Chattanooga Dine Out, is devoted solely to reviewing restaurants in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. For a complete directory of all area restaurants, visit our website at

CHATTANOOGA DINE OUT
)



Logans Roadhouse In Lookout Valley Sells For $3,189,554

Logans Roadhouse in Lookout Valley has sold for $3,189,554. The sale was  to Store Master Funding Viii Llc from Logans Roadhouse Inc . It is located near Walmart at 3592  Cummings Hwy. (click for more)

Chattanooga Bonefish Grill Debuts New Look

Bonefish Grill is celebrating summer with the unveiling of its newly-remodeled Chattanooga restaurant at 2115 Gunbarrel Road.  The restaurant offers a selection of wood-grilled, market fresh fish daily such as Chilean Sea Bass and Ahi Tuna as well as steak options such as the Rib-Eye and Chops with choice of signature sauce.  Officials said, "The new contemporary ... (click for more)

City Council Members Call For Definition Of Gender Expression; Public Comments

A potential non-discrimination ordinance for same-sex city employees continued as a point of contention in a city council meeting on Tuesday as some called for further definitions about “gender expression and identity,” and posed questions about how the ordinance may limit the freedom of religious residents or affect individual privacy in public restrooms. The ordinance ... (click for more)

Prosecutors Take New Charge Against Doggart To Knoxville Grand Jury

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday obtained an indictment from a federal Grand Jury in Knoxville on a new charge against a Signal Mountain man charged with making threats against a Muslim settlement in New York. The case will remain in Chattanooga, however. RoVanita Gupta, the head of the Civil Rights Division, and Bill Killian, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District ... (click for more)

Why Chattanooga Should Stop Granting Apartment Complex PILOTs - And Response

A new report indicates why Chattanooga and Hamilton County officials do not need to extend PILOTs to apartment complex developers. Demand is high, therefore developers will continue to build to meet the demand without PILOTs. What is truly needed in the Chattanooga metroplex is low-income affordable housing. “Homeownership Drops to Lowest Level in Decades” ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Twenty-One, The Wolf

Carl Safina, who is a modern-day genius when it comes to animals and nature, entered my world earlier this week when I read a story he had written about a wolf. Twenty-one, as the wolf was known by his tag number in Yellowstone National Park, was surely the greatest wolf that ever lived. He was legendary in that he never lost a fight when other wolves would challenge his territory ... (click for more)