Tracey Trumbull

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In our house, comfort food is Italian. I grew up blessed with a Scandinavian mom who learned to cook Italian early on, and my first cooking efforts were Italian.

Perched along Taft Highway on Signal Mountain, there's a little place -- not quite a shack, more of a cabin.

The black bear watched silently as we ate. While a bear sighting is not an uncommon occurrence in these parts, it doesn’t often happen in a restaurant.

Chattanooga has no shortage of casual dining, but finding one that breaks out of the “traditional” Mexican, burgers or chain-based fare can be a challenge. N’awlins Big Easy Bistro attempts to deliver, and does so, with some caveats.

Walking into Boccaccia, we felt thousands of miles removed from Chattanooga. Bare bulbs hang from rafters, rough-hewn columns support the ceiling, and exposed brick walls add a level of authenticity that could easily transport a diner to Italy. Twin clocks help, with one noting the time in Chattanooga, the other in Milano.

Nearly anyone who’s driven through Chattanooga has seen Sugar’s Ribs at the foot of Missionary Ridge as I-24 winds eastward. Signs along the way make it hard to miss.

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May 22, 2013

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