In one of my earlier incarnations, I found gainful employment in the bustling city of Kingsport. At the time, my dining partner’s favorite place for all foods Italian could be found tucked away between the car dealerships and big box stores on East Stone Drive.
Giuseppe’s is still right where we left it way back when; it was and continues to be a special part of both our lives.
Recently, we invited the dine-around bunch to come enjoy our personal “menu venue.” The nearly out of fashion practice of reserving a table works just fine here, especially if you and your guests arrive well into the dinner hour as we did.
Our server, David, remembered us and seated our group just off the bar within arm’s length of our old and cozy corner table. He ably assisted those with questions about the menu, making helpful suggestions and describing the daily specials.
I chose the halibut piccata ($24.99), while my dining partner ordered Giuseppe’s incomparable veal parmigiana ($16.99). The Carnivore, continuing his Piscean quest, picked the seafood linguine ($16.99), and the Dieter ordered the special chicken Giuseppe’s ($17.99). The Retiree pondered a bit longer than the rest of us, finally settling on the broiled salmon ($17.99). My partner and the Retiree each chose the Giuseppe’s soup — wild mushroom and brie bisque — as the first course. The rest of us had salads. I ordered the house Caesar salad while Carnivore and Dieter had dinner salads with Giuseppe’s homemade creamy Italian dressing.
Salads and soups arrived in about 20 minutes. David assured us the delay was atypical; Giuseppe’s was hosting several large dinner parties that evening.
The soup was quite good. The blended brie cheese neatly matched the earthy savor of the fresh herbs and mushrooms.
As usual, my Caesar salad was excellent. David even remembered I like some sliced purple onion and a few kalamata olives as a garnish. The dinner salads were good, though the creamy Italian dressing could have used a bit more garlic for kick.
Our entrees made their appearance shortly, along with a refill of Giuseppe’s garlic bread sticks
My dining partner’s veal was delectable as ever; Giuseppe’s specially prepared veal cutlet, marinara sauce, spaghetti pasta and some fresh grated Parmesan cheese make a dish both simple and delectable.
The Carnivore had asked David to make his seafood linguine extra spicy. I could see red pepper flakes in the clam sauce, which the Carnivore reinforced with a healthy dose from the table shaker. I had a swirled forkful of his linguine before the augmentation; to me it was fine as is.
The Dieter’s chicken entrée was served with sautéed fresh spinach, nicely complimenting the chicken and the fresh lemon and olive oil of the piccata sauce. It is definitely a pick for my next trip.
The Retiree was quite pleased with her broiled salmon, especially when paired with rice Florentine and fresh steamed vegetables as her side orders. The sautéed asparagus spears as garnish were a nice touch of spring.
My halibut was delicious. It was an 8-ounce filet skillet-braised with piccata sauce and served with spinach. I chose a baked potato in place of the pasta side dish and was rewarded with a freshly prepared spud with butter and sour cream.
As we were finishing, David brought Giuseppe’s dessert tray around, getting several gasping declines and one taker. My dining partner ordered the day’s dessert special, lemon cake with fresh berries.
I managed to get a forkful (or two) and found the cake to be fresh, the berries making an appropriately astringent closer for an outstanding meal.
The Carnivore noted that Giuseppe’s also does lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring some sizable sub sandwiches, soups and salads along with an all-inclusive plate lunch menu. The latter features lunch portions of Giuseppe’s favorites such as eggplant parmigiana ($10.99) and chicken marsala ($11.99). The meal includes their excellent garlic bread, soup or salad and drink, all for under $12.
“I’ve got to be in Kingsport later this week to meet some clients,” the Carnivore said as he perused Giuseppe’s plate lunch choices once more. “I think I’ll bring them to Giuseppe’s for lunch.”
Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant
2539 East Stone Drive
Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sat. 4 p.m.-11 p.m.
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