Review: St John’s

30 March 2017

After my 2 nights in the Providence area I headed off to Cape Cod, to be greeted by foul weather and mediocre food (tho a pretty good stuffed Quahog). Oh well… Then after a very unpleasant stop in Baltimore I headed to Birmingham, Alabama. Yep, New England to the Deep South. I had a really long day but was rewarded with some fine BBQ from Big Bob Gibson Barb-B-Q in Decatur in the north of the state.

I took off from Decatur early in the morning as I had a few stops to make, and there appears to be extreme weather heading into the area, so wanted to clear out of north-west Alabama and southern Tennessee before it rolls in. A long day rolling through the area closed with a beautiful but annoying drive through the Cumberland Plateau along the scenic Tennessee River to Chattanooga. Beautiful, but always marred by trucks causing massive back-ups thanks to the steep winding hills.

I headed to dinner a bit earlier than expected, even as I crossed back over a timezone. Tonight’s destination was St John’s in downtown. All I’ve read about Chattanooga this is clearly the best restaurant, so I was excited. I got there and chilled out. I ordered a cocktail and a snack and just relaxed…

The cocktail was quite interesting, called The Forager, it was similar to a Manhattan but with the addition of some type of mushroom syrup, which was quite interesting. Then the snack…

01-crawfish fritters

Mmm, some excellent crawfish fritters, really enjoyed these. Full of flavour, as good as anything I have far further south than this. Quite nice. A good start! I ordered my courses and chilled, finishing the cocktail and enjoying a glass of crispy sauvignon blanc. Then the starter came and I smiled.

02-crab salad

This was a special, a crab salad with strawberries and white asparagus. Extremely tasty, nice bunch of Dungeness crab from the Pacific North-West. Really nice, worth bypassing many of the excellent options available as a starter. I then switched back to a cocktail, a more mediocre one called Low Rider, before my main arrived…

03-pork shoulder

This pork combination was good, but not as good as the previous items — nor the amazing pork at The Salted Slate a few days earlier. The shoulder was good though at points a little dry. The belly was excellent, really rich. A good assortment of stuff on the plate, esspecially the beets and radish, though I wish there was more of the excellent risotto.

I was pretty happy and decided to have a liquid dessert, which was a gin cocktail with peas called The Sweet Pea. Oh btw here are the pix of all three interesting cocktails…

cocktails

Nice, and I like the use of so many fresh ingredients with all of the cocktails. Not sweet, not fruity, just perfect. I really like this place! Aside from a table of middle-aged, well-dressed drunks nearby, this was a really good dinner. It more than exceeded my expectations for Chattanooga, and it may be worth a return trip!

St John’s
1278 Market Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee

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