Seasonal Fare with a Southern Focus
Located in historic downtown Knoxville, Knox Mason is sure to tempt your taste buds into trying every single menu item. Serving seasonal fare with a Southern focus, you’ll be well fed and cared for at chef Matthew Gallaher’s Knoxville restaurant. Thirsty? A full-service bar is sure to please, with locally produced craft beers and Tennessee wines among the offerings.
The shotgun style space offers a close dining experience. With the tables arranged in a straight line, your neighbors are close but not intrusive. Although small in size, every inch of space is efficiently utilized. With front and back patios perfect for enjoying Knoxville evenings, a quaint window seat, 14 tables and a 12-person bar overlooking the kitchen, a unique and varying experience is guaranteed. With a comfortable design scheme of candles, Mason jars and woodwork juxtaposed with exposed brick and high ceilings, you’re at once comfortable and understanding of the high-quality caliber of the setting and the fare on your table. The personable staff complete the friendly surroundings.
“The smallness provides us the opportunity to have one-on-one experiences with our guests,” general manager Marlee Harris says.
Knox Mason proudly uses the freshest ingredients, with a variety of local farms as suppliers. Whether you’re enjoying favorites from Benton’s Bacon, Circle V Farm Eggs, Cruze Farm Buttermilk or partaking of the variety of flavors from around the country, including Kentucky’s Bourbon Barrel Smoked Paprika, Nashville’s Olive and Sinclair Chocolate, or Texas’s Arbequena Olive Oil, these carefully selected and prepared items meld perfectly together under Gallaher’s team to melt in your mouth and satisfy your Southern cravings.
The hyperlocal focus is a menu mainstay, with contributing ingredients clearly stated. From Sweetwater Pimento Cheese ($6) to Crayfish and Huff Farm corn fritters ($9) to creamy Shelton Farm grits ($5), you know where your food comes from and that it’s from nearby, family-owned farms.
Chef de Cuisine Josiah Montgomery leads a highly skilled team through a complicated ballet of meal preparation, with tenderness and care clearly bestowed upon each dish. The bustling atmosphere is jovial.
Beloved by locals, Knox Mason is appreciated for its varying, delicious menu and lively atmosphere.
“It’s our go-to for date night,” Erika Biddix, a frequent visitor, says. “[It has] a great atmosphere for date night: it’s cool but doesn’t get too loud so you can carry on a conversation.”
Another fan of the restaurant, Ashley Baker, appreciates the layout and menu.
“I love how you can see in the kitchen, and how they have the menu arranged so you can try a variety of little dishes,” she says. “The food is too good not to share your entrees—you get more that way!”
As a true farm-to-table restaurant, the menu changes seasonally.
“It’s totally different every season, and sometimes week to week—as often as the vegetables change,” Harris says.
Dietary concerns are no issue here; with vegetarian, vegan, and celiac friendly options, everyone in your party is guaranteed to find something to please their palate and meet their health criteria. Flavors and seasonings vary, and you’ll always know you’re supporting multiple local businesses every time you dine here.
Locally acquired ingredients are key to the freshness of the food and the restaurant’s varying menu.
“[Our use of local farms] indicates loyalty to our community and our local economy,” Harris says. “We couldn’t do what we do without them.”
Local favorites include the fresh pork rinds with bourbon barrel smoked paprika and Tennessee Sunshine hot sauce ($5) and the kilt greens salad with kale, frisee and Benton’s Bacon Vinaigrette ($10). The local focus continues on the bar menu, with the dirty south martini made with Knox Whiskey Works vodka, dry vermouth and a housemade pickled green tomato ($11). The Knox Co. Bee’s Knees includes Jackson Ave. gin, Carnathian Apiary honey and lemon ($9). Five varieties of Tennessee whiskey grace the spirits menu.
An extensive brunch menu is perfect for weekend mornings spent perusing downtown, with special cocktails and a mixture of dishes ranging from Shelton Farms cornmeal griddle cakes ($9) to eggs monroe ($10) to Ashley Farms fried chicken ($10) to Mississippi catfish ($14). Each dish comes with an assortment of sides, with additional sides available a la carte.
Whether you’re enjoying brunch or dinner, Knox Mason is sure to be a memorable experience.
Knox Mason, 131 S. Gay St., is open 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Visit KnoxMason.com for more information.