Rhonda On The Prowl: In Love With Alleia

Friday, January 8, 2016 - by Rhonda Tuggle

When the waitress at Alleia brought Flash’s quail out, his eyes widened. I think I saw a dribble of saliva slip from his mouth.  

It was Thursday night and Flash had taken me out for my birthday.  

He and I were sipping our glasses of Chianti after finishing our antipasti of fried Rhode Island calamari ($12) a few minutes before dinner was served. The calamari, lightly seasoned with salt and spritzed with lemon, was fresh and flavorful, just the right amount to hold us over until the main course.  

Located on East Main Street, Alleia is Chef Daniel Lindley’s creation of rustic Italian cuisine with local ingredients mixed in. Among other things, the menu includes several types of house made pasta, and pizzas made in a custom brick oven.   

Gas lanterns hung over the tables and lit up the dark atmosphere of the industrial restaurant with beautiful medieval accents. It was relaxing and calm inside: a place to have an exceptionally good meal on a special occasion.  

Flash’s meal ($24) came with five quail breasts topped with sprigs of collard greens and drizzled with a fig sauce. Steamed cabbage and sautéed potatoes were served as his sides. Flash reluctantly gave me a bite of the quail. It was tender and rich with seasoning and the sweet fig sauce.  

I ordered the Carolina Mountain trout ($23), grilled to perfection and served on top of fresh farm greens and polenta with a pumpkin sauce.  

This is the kind of food you want to take your time eating, because it is the kind of food that takes a lot of time and precision to prepare.  

That being the case, it was very hard not to gobble everything down it was so delicious. But Flash and I exercised self-control and savored our finely crafted meals.     

Had we not been too full, we would have splurged on a dessert of tiramisu or panna cotta ($8). The next time I dine at Alleia I want to try the seasonal ravioli with butternut squash and brown butter ($16).  

Flash and I left that night with a bill of $72 before tip.  

We cannot eat at Alleia all the time because it falls in the pricier category of restaurants. But if we have something to celebrate, or if we simply feel like indulging in an exceptional dining experience, Alleia is without a doubt a restaurant we will choose.  

The atmosphere is soothing, the service is on point, and the food is excellent. Do not deny yourself too long before falling in love with Alleia, too.    

The Cheesecake Factory Now Hiring For New Chattanooga Location

The Cheesecake Factory, named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for five consecutive years, is opening a new location in Chattanooga this December, and is looking to hire 270 staff members to join the team. Hospitality-minded individuals who take pride in their work and thrive in an energetic, fun environment are encouraged to apply online now for positions ... (click for more)

3 Restaurants Get Beer Permits From City Beer Board

Three restaurants were given permits to sell beer by the City Beer Board on Thursday.   Pizza Brothers, 501 Cherokee Blvd., will serve beer to go along with New York style pizza. Davis Wayne’s, 9454 Bradmore Lane, Suite #100, is a new “meat and three,” said owner Antonia Poland. She said food will be good, healthy and made from scratch. There also will be a full ... (click for more)

Charles Pipkens Arrested In Series Of Violent Home Invasions

Chattanooga Police have arrested Charles Dijon Pipkens as one of the suspects in a series of violent home invasions. Pipkens, 27, of 434 N. Hickory St., is charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, unlawfully carrying a weapon, use of a weapon during the commission of a felony, and criminal impersonation. Police ... (click for more)

County Schools To Push Forward With Equity Effort; Magnet Schools To Get More Diversity With Lottery Change

The county schools will push forward with an equity effort that appeared to have been paused after board members Rhonda Thurman and Joe Smith in May said  they rejected the idea that county schools need to “racially and economically integrate.” An equity task force did not meet for several months and the schools did not move forward on hiring an outside consultant to help ... (click for more)

Drink Up, Chattanooga

I attended the meeting to discuss the placement of the sewage treatment plant at the Cambridge Center in Ooltewah today. My problem with the meeting (aka) dog and pony show, is that the meeting started out with the agenda of the Ooltewah Community Council.  After living in this area for 45+ years I have never heard of this group.  I would like for someone to answer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Lee In A Landslide

The first time I met Bill Lee, the guy who is triggering a huge turnout of Tennessee voters across the state, I instantly liked him, admired him, and must have told a dozen friends that day we have the most exciting guy going to the Governor’s Mansion we’ve ever had. The best reason is because Bill Lee is real. His opponent, Karl Dean, is a Democrat and a longtime politician. Go ... (click for more)