The Copper Cellar family of restaurants in Knoxville has an Italian concept. They’ve had this concept for years but in 2015 it was time for a revamp. Mike Chase and company brought in Chef Frank Aloise to help liven up the place and boy has he. We had the chance to taste Cappuccino’s 2.0 and here’s how it went down. Chef Frank, with 20 years of experience, has been given the opportunity to cook the food he loves and remember from growing up in Boston. He moved to Knoxville in 2009 and worked with Copper Cellar, and after a brief stint in Nashville and Florida opening four restaurants returned to helm the “New” Cappuccino’s offering Modern Rustic Italian.
Chef Frank says, “We love local and do whatever we can to support local anytime we can throughout our family of Cooper Cellar restaurants.” In addition to nightly dining, Chef Frank is bringing another Italian family tradition to life with Sunday family style dinner for $15 and $4 wine. The dinner includes endless salad, pasta and choice of meats such as chicken, meatballs (made fresh in-house!), sausage and peppers. We encourage you to make a reservation (walk-in is welcome too) and enjoy a relaxing dinner or Sunday brunch at Cappuccino’s! So, without delay, here’s what we had!
The space sits inside the Copper Cellar in West Hills and the two restaurants share a host stand. We were greeted promptly and led to the right side of the building where we would enjoy our meal.
The wine list is full of affordable Italian wine but you could also access the Copper Cellar wine list if you are looking for something specific. They also offer a list of Italian derived cocktails. We decided on a Pinot Grigio and a Negroni, both were lovely.
What you might not know is that Cappuccino’s sources as many locally grown ingredients as possible. Chef Frank insists on it. His philosophy is much like all of the other chefs in the world, to make the best food you have to start with freshest ingredients. We really wanted to try the whole menu but don’t have the stomachs for that so we happily let Chef Frank choose for us and we were not disappointed.
Starting off our meal was a duo of starters: Tuna carpaccio and cheesy arancini with marinara. O. M. G. The tuna was light and fresh while the arancini was rich, creamy and balanced by a lightly cooked marinara.
The next course featured house made pastas and gave us a new appreciation for squid ink.
Scallop carbonara with squid ink linguine, fresh peas and bacon was
Some of the sources Chef Frank uses: Gene Thompson Farms, David Lay Farms, Connatser Farms, Lynn Best Farms