Saturday, December 20, 2014

Date lunch at the Gondolier Restaurant on Cedar Bluff Road

Looking for a quick, quiet lunch in West Knoxville? Gondolier Restaurant in Cedar Bluff may fit the bill. There are several Gondolier Restaurant in the Knoxville area. This one is in the shopping center with Walgreens, at the approximate intersection of Cedar Bluff Road and Middlebrook Pike. Hubby and I dined at Gondolier for a leisurely date lunch on a Saturday afternoon. Service was good, the peppy background music didn't impede conversation, and the food was delicious.

The popular eatery began in Cleveland, Tennessee in the mid-1970's. The delicious mix of Greek and Italian dishes helped move the single restaurant into a chain that now spans several states

Popular entrees items include:

Chicken Caesar
Baked veal Parmesan
Chicken Marsala
Greek Island Shrimp
Souvlaki
Chopped Steak
Tenderloin Pork Souvlaki
Pizzas, subs, and wraps

... and, my favorite, Greek Specialty Salad.

Desserts are huge and out of this world. The wide selection varies somewhat. Italian Creme, the turtle cheesecake that Hubby and I shared (see photo), cannoli and baklava are also available. You walk by a huge display case as you are escorted to your table. Good luck making a quick decision on that one.

Our meal on the date that this review was written included the House Calzone. It's a pizza dough crust pocket that is stuffed with sauteed mushrooms and onions, ricotta and mozzarella, Italian sausage and pepperoni. Gondolier serves it by itself with their homemade marinara sauce. The price was $7.89.

My meal was the Gondolier Specialty Salad. At $7.59, the large bowl held crisp leaf lettuces, several large pieces of feta cheese, olives, bell pepper, banana peppers and a huge pile of gyro meat. The salad also comes with tomatoes and onions, but I asked for those to be held. The salad was served with the Gondolier Geek salad dressing and sauce for the gyro meat. The meat was a little on the cool side when it arrived. An apologetic server whisked it away and returned with a steaming plate of gyro in just a few minutes.

Dessert steals the show at Gondolier in Knoxville. The turtle cheesecake that we had today can rival any served elsewhere. The sharable desert had a chocolate crust on the bottom, gently toasted walnuts on top and a layer of soft cheesecake sandwiched in between. The piece was lightly drizzled in a soft chocolate coating. It was delightful and a good value at $5.99.

Our total meal came to $27.59. This includes tax and two iced teas that were priced at $1.89 each. We were there foot just over an hour fom the time the server first waited on us until we checked out at the cashier. Gondolier provided a nice, relaxing lunch and free Wi-Fi that kept a steady signal. We'll be back to visit this Knoxville restaurant again.