Monday, September 24, 2007

On the Verge of Madness

Posted By on Mon, Sep 24, 2007 at 3:57 PM

If you were thinking it was about time for Mad Donna's to open in the space of the bygone Radio Cafe, you were right. But co-owners Raye Fontenot and Neil Clark have pushed the opening date back toward late November. Renovation is taking longer than expected as they attempt to update the space by enlarging the bathrooms, relocating the bar to the back of the main floor and opening up the second story.

When Mad Donna's opens at 1313 Woodland St., it will unveil a menu of casual American food—burgers, salads and such—and will have some form of entertainment nightly.

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The Table is Set

Posted By on Mon, Sep 24, 2007 at 2:02 PM

Where do local free-range chickens range? Where does tayst chef Jeremy Barlow buy broccoli? Why is it cheaper to eat junk food than fruits and vegetables?

Find the answers to these questions and more in Local Table: A Guide to Food and Farming in Middle Tennessee. The inaugural issue of the magazine celebrating Tennessee's homegrown food hit the streets just in time for Eat Local Month in September.

In Volume 1, Issue 1, editor Marne Duke (you may also know her as marketing director for the Nashville Farmers Market) contributes a profile of The Produce Place founder Barry Burnette, and food writer Kay West chimes in with a roundup of local restaurateurs showcasing local products. There's also a guide to local farmers, a seasonality chart of various local crops and a short tutorial on the Farm Bill.

For now, Local Table is available at The Produce Place, The Turnip Truck, Portland Brew, Wild Oats, farmers markets and coffee shops. In the spirit of sustainability, which infuses the publication, it is also available online.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Carpe Diem: Seize the Femur

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2007 at 4:23 PM

Henry David Thoreau went into the woods because he "wanted to live deliberately...to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life." Had he known chef Laura Wilson, he could have just gone to dinner at Ombi.

This weekend, Wilson will be serving marrowbone—segments of roasted calf's femur. The $7 appetizer comes with a tiny spoon for scooping the rich, roasted marrow and spreading it on toast with a gremolata of parsley, garlic and lemon.

Supplies are limited, so call ahead (320-5350) to make sure you get a thigh. And please report back on Bites after you've tried it.

Waiting to Inhale

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2007 at 2:34 PM

With non-smoking legislation kicking in on Oct. 1, questions about the convoluted law loom like smoke rings over the bar at Brown's Diner. Want to know what the Tennessee Non-Smoker Protection Act means for you? Call the Metro Public Health Department's Smoke Free Workplace Hotline at 340-2240.

The dulcet voice on the other end of the line will tell you that smoking is banned in public places with the notable exceptions of:

—establishments that restrict entry to folks 21 and up
—retail tobacco stores that prohibit minors
—private clubs, homes and cars
—non-enclosed areas such as patios, decks and porches

Who's going to enforce this codified kicking of the habit, you ask? The Metro Health Department Food Safety Division. And by Oct. 1, the state departments of Health and Labor & Workforce will have systems in place to accept complaints.

(I wonder how you phrase that enticing job posting on Monster.com? Must Love Narcs?)

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pssst...They're Open. Pass It On.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2007 at 3:30 PM

After months of anticipation, it sounds like Rumours East is open. Friends and family got a peek last night, and co-owners Whitney Ferre and Christy Shuff hope to have a quiet crowd this evening before launching more formally after the weekend.

They'll open the doors at 6 p.m., but they're not promising anything fancy, just a quiet test run. They're not really bracing for a big crowd, so let's just keep it to ourselves for now.

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Fakester

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2007 at 12:02 PM

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I am endlessly susceptible to the siren song of new products, especially those involving chocolate. So when I passed the display in the grocery store for Oreo Cakesters—the soft, poofy cousin of the eternal Oreo—instinct had my hands reaching for them before the thought even occurred to me. So how are they? After the jump.

Continue reading »

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Molten Season

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2007 at 11:32 AM

In this week's dining review of Whitfield's, the second incarnation of the restaurant located at the corner of Harding Road and Harding Place, I lamented the lack of molten-ness in the molten chocolate cake.

"Molten chocolate" is a great marketing modifier. I, for one, would buy molten chocolate Neosporin, if I could find it. But it is also an overused modifier, as far too many so-called molten things just aren't.

By my reckoning, if a dessert bears the title "molten chocolate," it should deliver a veritable eruption of hot chocolate, like what might flow from a volcano in the mythical Land of Chocolate—or at least from the legendary molten chocolate cake at Park Cafe. Theoretically, the hot liquid chocolate is the result of impatience—it's just too delicious to cook the dessert all the way—as in the case of a batch of premature brownies, the fountainhead of all molten chocolate confections.

But too often, the term gets bastardized to describe simply a chocolate cake with some hot sauce on it. This is precisely the case with Betty Crocker's Molten Chocolate Cake, one of three products in the Warm Delights line of microwavable just-add-water desserts. (Here I can't help but draw an unappetizing parallel to the warming massage oils released a couple of years ago by the makers of KY Jelly, which I profiled in the Scene's Sex Issue. Warming is clearly a big deal in mass marketing. But I digress—within my digression.)

Radius10's pastry chef Ray Luther gets it. He dishes up a molten chocolate cake sort of like a brownie with a hole cut in the center, filled with sumptuous, silky hot chocolate and served with a scoop of homemade ice cream. It's not always available on Radius10's gorgeous, revamped dessert menu, but Luther can make one if you order it when you make a reservation.

Or, for about half the price, the Kroger in Green Hills makes a pretty good molten chocolate cake. Pop it in the microwave for about 10 seconds and voila—a hot and gooey souvenir from the Land of Chocolate.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bread Dough Rising

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2007 at 11:26 AM

Bread & Co., the four-store chain of bakery-cafes, is the 4,472nd fastest-growing private company in the nation, according to Inc. The magazine recently published its first-ever list of 5,000 privately held companies on the move. With 160 employees and 2006 revenues of $9.6 million, Bread & Co. trailed fellow Nashville-based firm Tennessee Bun Company, which makes bread for fast food chains including McDonald's and KFC. With 2006 revenues topping $40 million, Tennessee Bun took the 3,910th spot. Here's the full list of Tennessee companies that cracked Inc.'s top 5,000.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

12 South Veggies

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2007 at 11:09 AM

Next time you're headed in town on 12th Avenue South, hang a right onto Halcyon Ave. and stop off at the temporary tent location of 12th Avenue Produce. Troy Richards is bringing in fruits and veggies from his family farm in Bordeaux, and he's got a selection of tomatoes, squashes, peanuts, peppers, melons, mums and jams, some of which Richards Farm grows and some of which they source from other local growers. The pumpkins will be rolling in soon. Call 319-9333 to speak to Troy.

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Simply Margarita

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2007 at 10:50 AM

When Carrington's post about margaritas appeared, it reignited my attempt to recreate the non-mix margarita I once enjoyed at Rudy's in Somerville, Mass. I gave up after a lackluster try using freshly squeezed limes and my ever-dwindling memory. This weekend, however, I was walking through the produce section of Publix and spied Simply Limeade, a product of the Simply Orange Juice Company.

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At home, I filled a tall drinking glass half-full of ice, added a shot of Patron Anejo and a splash of triple sec, then topped it off with the limeade. A quick stir, and it was "margaritish" enough for me. Simply delicious!

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