Restaurant review

Point b food boards are good for groups

Spouse Grub noticed a new restaurant in this mall near the intersection of Westland Drive and Ebenezer Drive. It’s called Point b, and the spouse and I left The Grub House (Point a) one night last week to check it out.

Upon entering the place felt a little more upscale than I expected. We were dressed on the lazy side for sure, but I don’t think we stood out from the majority of the laid back summer crowd. A waiter led us to a table for two overlooking the terrace. While it was too hot to comfortably dine outside, it was uncomfortably cold inside. Aesthetically, however, the spacious dining room is pleasing to the eye in a semi-upscale way.

The menu is essentially a one-sheeter, with offerings on both sides. It features over a dozen cocktails and mocktails for those looking to unwind with an adult drink. Lighter dishes include appetizers like oysters (cooked or raw), shrimp ceviche, and crab rangoon. You can also try a Caesar or grain salad or greens topped with salmon or roast chicken. We were drawn to the baked brie appetizer ($13).

Brie cooked to point b is topped with jam and accompanied by slices of crostini and honey.

Stepping into more substantial fare, you’ll find handhelds like a po’ boy, roast beef sandwich, club, and plate of tacos. I’ve been craving a burger lately, so I ordered the Point(b) urger ($18), which is made with local beef, organic greens, vine tomatoes, onion jam with caramelized bourbon and smoked cheddar on a multigrain bread. It is served with fries. Our server gave me a choice of fries styles and I chose few.

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Spouse ordered some of the main courses, which include salmon, roast chicken, chimichurri steak and braised cabbage steaks. Spouse got the pasta primavera ($15) and added roast chicken to it for $7. You can add other meats and proteins at different prices.

Among Point b’s most intriguing choices are their many different food boards. Le Traditionnel, for example, offers an assortment of meats, cheeses and marinated vegetables. Another consists only of fries; another, only vegetables. We spotted one that was a massive taco feast, while The Sea serves everything from raw, fried oysters to homemade tostadas and fried wontons. They all sounded tempting, but planks are more suited to large dinner parties looking to share a variety of foods. Any of them would have been overkill for me and the spouse.

I thought all of our selections were respectable. I may have liked baked brie more. The small one-serving wheel was topped with jam and accompanied by slices of crostini and honey. The warm, gooey cheese was delicious on its own, but the jam, honey, and slices of toast were fun additions.

The burger was also good, but I didn’t think it was remarkable enough to stand out from other burgers I’ve tasted at comparable restaurants. It was certainly an enjoyable meal – the beef flavor was the real deal and the multigrain bread was fresh. The fries were quite good and there were more than I could eat in one sitting.

The Point (b)urger, up front, is made with locally sourced beef, organic greens, vine tomatoes, caramelized bourbon onion jam and smoked cheddar cheese on a multigrain bun.  It is served with fries.  Diners can add meats and proteins to pasta primavera, dos.

A weird problem happened when I asked for mayonnaise and mustard for my burger, and it took forever for our server to deliver the condiments to our table. Perhaps the kitchen staff were insulted by my desire to zhoosh their masterpiece.

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Spouse’s pasta primavera struck me as the burger. Pleasant enough but not necessarily standout. I would never turn anyone away from this dish, but I can’t say it appealed to me on any other level than noting that Point b makes its own pasta and uses seasonal vegetables.

We saw basically two dessert options: a S’mores (b)oard with all the traditional ingredients for this treat; and the (b)ourbon(b)pineapple pudding ($9). Obviously we ordered the latter and found it to be about a shareable portion for two people which was already quite full. I liked the pudding itself and the ratio of banana to vanilla wafers. The bourbon flavor was predominant – not too much for me, but those who don’t mind alcohol flavors in their food might want to avoid this version.

I believe point b will be a popular gathering place. The location and atmosphere are conducive to groups of all sizes gathering for drinks and bites to share and enjoying each other’s company in pleasant surroundings. Based on our food selections, I find it hard to elevate the kitchen alone too much, and felt our server’s performance was rather lackluster. But this new West Knoxville dining spot still has a lot to offer.

Item b

Food: 4

Service: 3.75

Atmosphere: 4.5

Globally: 4

Address: 1020 Ebenezer Road

Call: 865-312-9590

Full bar service

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Sunday to Monday and from Wednesday to Thursday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Try this new West Knoxville restaurant when you’re in the mood to enjoy well-prepared drinks and food with friends and family.