Lee Brothers @ Knox Public House MENU

fish_LBI haven’t been doing much cooking lately, as much as I think about food you would think I’d do more than heat up bourgeois ramen noodles and adding in chicken. It’s a sad state of affairs, really just sad for Mr. Mockingbird and I, not anyone else. Nonetheless, in these days of little to no cooking, flipping through and reading cookbooks is a vicarious experience. I look at the pictures and dream of making beautiful food.

This I do in my free time, but as it is often with Mockingbird, this week I got to do what I do for fun for work for the upcoming Lee Bros event at Knox Public House. It was a lovely experience, I was on the beach and at the pier watching the shrimp and oysters come in; I was in the kitchen peeling garlic and shredding cheese; I was at the market picking out summer fresh tomatoes; I was driving down some country roads searching for the address of the guy selling green peanuts; finally I was on the porch sipping a cocktail.

From that mental trip, here is our menu for the eve. We will be serving up a tasting plate with small bites of Henry’s Cheese Spread, Shrimp + Grits, Boiled Peanuts, and Grapefruit Chess Pie. Our cocktails will be the Rock and Rye and the Hugo. All from Matt Lee and Ted Lee’s new book, The Lee Bros Charleston Kitchen.

Please be sure to join us April 3 from 6:30 – 8:30 to meet Matt and Ted, buy their book, taste our execution of their recipes, and chat about the wonders of mental food trips. We’ll all pretend we’re on the porch sipping a Hugo, cracking boiled peanuts. If you can’t make the Public House event they will also be signing at Union Ave books from 5 – 6 the same day.



Lee Brothers at Knox Public House!

I am beyond excited that the James Beard Award Winning Authors Matt Lee and Ted Lee will be at the Public House on April 3 from 6:30 to 8:30. They will be signing books and guest bartending, serving up a signature cocktail from their latest The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen.

For me, the Lee Brothers are the torch bearers for modern Southern food. Each of their books has a distinct voice that respects tradition but is not afraid to adapt, interpret, and re-imagine recipes for our modern kitchens. If you’ve had the pimento cheese at the Public House you are already a fan of their recipes. Ours is based on a recipe from their second book, Simple Fresh Southern.

I grew up around food writing. My dad was a food writer and penned a few cookbooks in his day. He was writing about Appalachian food well before it was anywhere close to cool in the national eye. As a result we met Matt and Ted, among others, over the years at different food writing events. They started early, stuck with it, and have always stayed true to true Southern. And by true Southern I mean the modern kind that skateboards, calls their grandmas for recipes, and might spend half the year in New York City.

I recently reconnected with Matt and Ted at the Cookbook Boot Camp that they led. They reminded me of so many people that were integral to my growing up and formation of my identity through food. While I was working at Appalshop in Whitesburg, KY they came to interview my dad for an article they were writing. I had forgotten, but I took them to Ramey’s Diner. They photographed the cook there, her aged hard working hands and biscuits, I think.

Please don’t miss this very special event. No reservations or tickets are required. We will be serving up a plate featuring small portions of a few of their inspired recipes from the new book. Union Ave Books will be at the bar selling the book so you can get a signed copy! If you can’t make the bar event they will also be at Union Ave Books from 5:00 to 6:00. If you have a signed book there you’ll get a discount at the bar, details to come!

Public House – NEW FOOD MENU

A couple weeks ago I went to Charleston, SC to participate in a Cookbook Boot Camp lead by Matt Lee and Ted Lee. The Lee Brothers are acclaimed southern food writers. They have published two amazing books, with a third to come at the end of February. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more about them.

Halfway through the Boot Camp, thanks to Matt and Ted and the inspiring participants, a light bulb went off: the Public House menus need some serious work. They need some life breathed back into them. Our first life breathing exercise is the food menu. We start serving today.

This menu reflects where we live, how I grew up, and comments we’ve heard from our customers and begins TODAY. Think of this as your elementary school menu grown up; all the fermented/pickled goodness you can imagine served in various forms; and pork expansion into uncharted territory.

First, ELEMENTARY SCHOOL grows up. It grows up by refining hot dogs, pimento cheese, and ranch dressing. We will be taking one of the most special and original ingredients that Knoxville has to offer, Cruze Farm Buttermilk, and mix it up with fresh herbs and Greek yogurt for some ranch dressing. Ranch yes, but not Hidden Valley’s.

Next, there’s FERMENTATION. We’ll be serving 3 hot dogs, each topped with a housemade fermented/pickled product: Collard Green Kimchi, Dilly Beans, and Cucumber sweet relish. Veggie and meat dogs will be available.

A less obvious, but nonetheless happy marriage of FERMENTATION and local ingredient, is the Preserved Hummus. We take the southern staple, Black Eyed Peas and blend it with a Chinese staple, fermented black beans, which are actually soy beans. It’s a bright combination that is both familiar and new.

Finally, PORK EXPANSION. This expansion is going in one direction and the direction is Pork Rind Popcorn. We take the best pork rinds the area has to offer and grind them into light and fluffy flakes with  salt and secret ingredients. This is sprinkled on popcorn to create a match made in heaven.

Full menu:


New Public House Cocktails!

With every season comes some change. At the Public House that means, NEW COCKTAILS. Come try them all, maybe not in one sitting, but they are definitely all worth a try!

We are perfecting our Manhattan offerings by making the regular Manhattan Perfect. This means that instead of one ounce of Sweet Vermouth it will be made with 1/2 an ounce of Sweet Vermouth and 1/2 an ounce of Dry Vermouth. We’ve also added a house creation, the Manhattan Jam. It’s a Manhattan made with a little bit of grapefruit juice and raspberry jam. The jam and juice cut the power of all that brown liquor making it a lighter cocktail. So this brings us to 3 variations of Manhattans on the menu…Don’t judge us, it’s winter time.

We have a few other house creations. One that I’m very excited about is our unaged Negroni will now be made with Corsair Genever instead of Gin. This will add to the herbal depth of flavor. Creating a bright, shrubby cocktail. We’re also putting a Whiskey Sour on the list but putting a splash of the Root Liquor in the cocktail. Root is an amazing new American spirit that has an essence of Sarsaparilla. Our final invention is the Red Cell. This is pure Public House. The ingredients are a strange mix, Coca Cola, Gin, Campari, and lime juice. Together however, they taste like a grown up unsweetened Cheerwine. You’ll have to trust us on this one. It is delicious.

The final addition is a classic Tom Collins. It’s one of the most popular drinks requested that isn’t on the menu already and is a breath of summer. Having a summer style cocktail every so often on these days that it’s dreary and dark by 5:00 is recommended to help battle the winter blahs! The Tom Collins fits the bill with Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water.


NEW Public House Food Menu

We are super excited for the new food menu at the Public House. The ever amazing shepherd at Border Springs Farm suggested we check out The Spotted Trotter in Atlanta when I asked about a good regional source for cured meats. He suggested many, but The Spotted Trotter won out. Their charcuterie selection is about the best I’ve ever tasted. The Coppa is beautifully marbled with fat, the Bresaola is cured in red wine and has the a depth of flavor I’ve rarely experienced and the Tasso Ham is leaps and bounds better than any Tasso ham I’ve tasted.These new meats are regional, delicious, and will make you happy.


We’re also adding beer cheese served with hentails. I found both recipes in The Southern Cookbook. First published in 1950, the paperback edition is from 1961. This book is amazing. It has about 8 recipes for Mint Juleps and there are some incredible punch recipes (stay tuned for a classic punch night at the bar). When looking through the book for new-to-us recipes, I found the beer cheese and hentails recipe. The Hentails is the most simple cracker recipe ever. Three ingredients that come together for an amazing result of part biscuit, part cracker. Plus they are called hentails for a reason not explained in the book!

Other new items include spicy mustard served with soft pretzels, olive tapenade, artichoke pesto, and new cheeses. Come make a lovely small plate dinner out of it all!

Full menu below.



White Truffle Popcorn / $3
Truffle salted popcorn

Parmesan Cheese Popcorn / $3
Popcorn with Parmesan cheese

Curried Garbanzo Bean Salad / $5
Garbanzo beans, curry, and roasted tomatoes

Cajun Spiced Peanuts / $3
Whole roasted peanuts in their shells with Cajun spices

Murphy’s Stout Beer Cheese with Hentails / $4.25
Our interpretation of fluffy beer cheese served cold with hentails, a housemade cheddar cracker

Pretzels with Spicy Mustard / $4.25
Soft pretzels served with SPICY housemade mustard

Peanut Noodles/ $6
Soba noodles tossed with house made peanut sauce

NUTS/$3.25 per
Roasted Savory Pecans
Pecans get a kick with cumin, cayenne pepper and sea salt

Candied Pecans
Sweet roasted pecans, a great balance to the salty

Marcona Almonds
Traditional Spanish Almonds with light flavors of olive oil and salt

DIPS / $4.25 per
served with Tellico Grains bread

Smoky Hummus
Garbanzo beans, Tahini, and Smoked Paprika

Benton’s Bacon Cheese Relish
Sharp cheddar cheese, Benton’s bacon, and banana peppers

Artichoke Pesto
Artichokes, basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic and fresh herbs

Olive Tapenade
Oil cured black olives, capers, lemon juice and fresh herbs

your choice of meat or cheese
boards served with tellico grains bread
tasso ham, coppa, + bresaola all from the spotted trotter in atlanta, ga

Benton’s Prosciutto / $4
Allan Benton’s country ham. This smoky and salty domestic prosciutto is cured in Allan’s smoke house in Madisonville, TN.

Tasso Ham / $4
A Cajun/Creole spicing ham, but actually comes from the shoulder. Garlic brined, spice rubbed and smoked on Pecan wood for 8-10 hours.

Coppa / $5
A traditional cured whole muscle derived from Italy, dry cured and air dried for 40 days in a Beef Bung. Finished with Smokey Pimenton, Garlic and Clove.

Bresaola / $5
A wet cured beef eye round that is wet cured in Italian Aromatics and then slowly air dried for more than 60 days.

Sequatchie Farm Coppinger / $4.50
Produced at Sequatchie Farm in Tennessee washed rind cheese, inspired by French Morbier and Raclette.

P’tit Basque / $4.50
This semi-soft sheep’s milk cheese is handmade in the French Pyrenees Mountains. P’tit Basque, made from pure sheep’s milk, has a slightly oily texture and an earthy flavor.

Singing Brook / $4.50
Produced in Walland, TN at Blackberry farm each wheel is made from raw milk and aged for a minimum of nine months. This cheese is rich, nutty and buttery, with a sharpness reminiscent of a Pecorino Tuscano.

Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans / $3
Enjoy a little sweetness. Goes well with any red wine and perfect for a little kick at the end of the eve.






Join us for a night of, SOUTH x SOUTH: Southern French Wines paired with Southern American Classic

SOUTH x SOUTH: Southern French Wines paired with Southern American Classics

Tasting + Food Pairing
April 25
5 – 8
No tickets needed

We at the Public House are super excited to be partnering with Route des Vins Imports to bring you three amazing wines paired with a beautiful board of our special Cheese Relish, Pickled Shrimp, and an Alexander’s Ham country ham biscuit.

Route des Vins is a new import business located in Charleston, SC. They are committed to both bringing high-quality, authentic wine to your table and to conducting business in a fair, gentlemanly fashion.  A family-owned company that imports wine made by honest, hard-working people and made to be enjoyed at the table with friends and family.

Route des Vins Imports owner, Frederick Corriher, considers demystifying French wine and making it more accessible to more people a top goal of his.  While he very carefully selects the wines in his portfolio to ensure high quality, he feels strongly that his wines should be enjoyed by everyone and not confined to collectors’ cellars or fancy restaurants.

Trois Amis Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays D’Oc 2010-This 100% Sauvignon Blanc made in the south of France is a collaboration between Route des Vins owner, Frederick Corriher, and Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe winemakers Bertrand & Guillaume Gonnet.  The ‘three friends’ work together to produce a blend that is both packed with concentrated, exotic fruit flavors and backed up with refreshing acidity and structure.  This is a perfect Public House wine in that it works super-well with a variety of foods but is also fruity and refreshing enough to serve as an aperitif.

Domaine du Grand Planal Corbiéres 2010-Corbières is located in the Languedoc region in the south of France, and this small domaine is producing wines with a terrific quality/price ratio.  It is a blend of 50% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, and 25% Carignan (the signature grape of the region). The richness of the fruit flavors combine with terrific texture on the palate yielding a wine that is a real crowd-pleaser.  Ironically, the Roger Family that owns this estate also operates a small bar situated in the indoor market in Narbonne and this wine flows freely there.

Domaine Durieu Ventoux 2009-Young Vincent Durieu is producing some of the best value Rhône wines from his winery in Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe.  His estate has been called “one of the up-and-coming superstar estates in the region.” This elegant Ventoux displays intense flavors of kirsch and dried red currants, and it proves Vincent can make accessible, value-oriented wines just as well as he does his collectable Châteauneufs.  It’s a 70% Grenache/30% Syrah blend and less than 3000 cases are produced.

Public House Benton’s Cheese Relish
Pickled Shrimp
A small ham biscuit featuring Alexander’s Ham



Happy Spring – New White Wines at Public House

New wines start Friday March 23 at the Public House. I am SO excited for this new list. It’s a strong showing for interesting and enjoyable white wines as we welcome this lovely warm weather. The Rosé is a great example of French Rosés. It is fruity and light and a steal at the price. I personally bought 5 cases of the Trois Amis Sauvignon Blanc for my wedding. It is interesting and bright and so good. Forget what you think about Chardonnay with the Joseph Drouhin Laforet Chardonnay. Give it a try in a wine flight. You will not be sad. It’s so good and worth every penny. More than any other list I encourage you to pick a few of these for a flight. They all have amazing qualities that really shine when tasted together. Enjoy!


Glass Mountain Chardonnay / California / $5 / $20
Fragrant orange blossom, pear and citrus flavors combine in a ripe, juicy mouthful and provide a surprisingly creamy finish.

Seigneurs De Bergerac Rosé / France / $6.50 / $25
Rosés are perfect for hot sunny days. Simple, clean, fresh, with light acidity, it’s a fruit-forward wine that’s not simply fruity. There are herbal notes lending freshness to the finish.

Casal Vinho Verde / France / $6.50 / $25
Portuguese green wine that is the perfect summer drinking wine. Light and effervescent, it’s hard to drink just one glass. There’s a slight acidity that balances the citrus flavors.

Ruffino Orvieto / Italy / $7.50 / $29
An Italian blend from Umbria. This medium bodied wine has slight mineral qualities that are fresh and harmonious with good body and a finish of citrus fruits. It’s not a wine we were familiar with before tasting it, but we love it are sure that you will too.

Trois Amis Sauvignon Blanc / France / $7.50 / $29
This Sauvignon Blanc is a non-traditional wine fill of exotic fruit flavors with a crisp finish. While there are citrus notes they are well balanced to make it the perfect patio wine.

Joseph Drouhin Laforet Chardonnay / France / $9 / $35
A classical unoaked Chardonnay that is fruity and full of life. If you’ve never tried French white wines this is a great start. If you’re familiar with French whites you’ll love it too. With crushed grapes and almond flavors. There is no residual sugar.

Tilia Torrontes / Argentina / $29
Torrontes is one of our favorite grapes. It has the mineral flavors of the cold soil the grapes are cultivated in. It’s great for wine drinkers that don’t want any hint of sugar but still like the crispness of white wines.

Primal Roots Blend / Calafornia / $25
We’re in love with the Primal Roots label. Their wines are great for the price and offer a refreshing blend. This white has Viogner, Riesling, Colombard and more. There’s a weight to this wine with fruit forward balance.

Mouton Cadet Bordeaux / France / $28
Another great French white. Very light on the palette with a simple and refreshing finish. This is another great introductory French white wine.