As we've gloated on Bites before, one of the great things about working at the Scene is that people send us free food. Even better, sometimes we get free beer. A few days before Halloween, the Magic Hat Brewing Co., one of our favorite out-of-state suds crafters (South Burlington, Vt.) sent a mysterious package.
One bottle was marked clearly (Howl: Black-as-Night Winter Lager), the other was tightly cloaked in black paper. While the Howl had a spooky label that seemed like a hokey Halloween tie-in, the witchy, black-shrouded bottle piqued our curiosity in a more mysterious way. So of course, it was time for a tasting.
The Wandering Wino knows that all of you will be well behaved on Halloween, especially seeing how it falls on a Saturday night this year. So when you're over your hangover, jump off the wagon and back on the horse and check out some of these events.
The Downtown Franklin Merchants are presenting the Ninth Wine Down Main Street event along with the event's major sponsor, Hallmark Volkswagen, on Friday, Nov. 6, 7-10 p.m. They expect approximately 40 shops and businesses to participate this year along with 25 restaurants.
New to the event this year will be a "High Gravity Beer Section" that will be
located at Landmark Booksellers and Cadence Bank. There will be approximately 15-20 high gravity beers to taste, including brands such as: Stone, Dogfish Head, Rogue, Ommegang, Duval and more.
Advance tickets are available online at www.WineDownMainStreet.com.
Tickets are also available now at the following merchant locations: Hallmark Volkswagen, Character Eyes, What's in Store, The Faye Snodgrass Gallery and Boys & Girls Club of Franklin/Williamson County.
General admission tickets are $85 per person and include all wine, beer
and food tastings. All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Franklin/Williamson County.
September's Restaurant in Hendersonville has an event coming up that sounds like fun while remaining reverential to the history of the cocktail.
I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but over the past few years Halloween has "evolved" into one of America's biggest drinking holidays on a par with New Year's Eve, St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo and Tuesday. Luckily, the good people at Miller/Coors have noticed this trend as well and are offering costumed Nashvillagers a safe alternative to driving home with one hand on the wheel and one hand on the road.
The "Miller Lite Free Rides Program" will partner with MTA to offer free extended bus service on fifteen popular transit routes from 7 p.m. until 1:15 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31. The buses will run from the Music City Central station at Charlotte and Fifth Avenue North along the following corridors:
3 West End
12 Nolensville Road
14 Whites Creek
15 Murfreesboro Road
17 12th Avenue South
23 Dickerson Road
26 Gallatin Road
34X Opry Mills
For more info, drive your bus over to the official website.
Have fun and be careful!
The bartender (James?) at Suzy Wong's House of Yum wore a great look: heather gray fitted T-shirt, cut a little low in front. "Love that shirt," I said between slugs of lychee martini (pictured, with the T-shirt in question in the background; I swear it's a coincidence).
"It's our uniform," he said. "Better than the one at the last place I worked, khakis and a shirt."
If you could trace the work server uniform from, say, the pink tunics over brown polyester trousers we Baskin-Robbins workers wore, past the Hooters costume, you'd eventually arrive at the steakhouse casual khakis-and-collared-shirt outfit that is sometimes so close to what the patrons are wearing that you might accidentally ask a likely-looking young diner where the ladies room is.
Has Suzy Wong's shaken off the old idea of "uniform" to hit a new level of stylishness and hawtness? Or has it found a new level of casualness? More important, does this mean the servers will be in hawt enough condition to wear The Shirt?
You look great in that outfit -- going somewhere nice? Did you stumble across a great find you can tell about?
In a move that is the precise opposite of "the dog ate my homework," a Manhattan steakhouse has created an "expense report generator" to help, shall we say, redistribute travel expenses to avoid awkward explanations of indulgent meals.
Say you build a lunch around a visit to Maloney & Porcelli, a steakhouse at 50th and Park dubbed "best business lunch in New York" by the terminal Gourmet magazine. You love it so much you go back for the wine dinner. Uh oh. You're over the per diem. Maloney & Porcelli's Expense-a-Steak calculator takes the tab for that wine dinner, or that $29 crackling pork shank with firecracker applesauce and the $46 Roquefort-crusted fillet and re-allots it among authentic-looking receipts.
If you develop a similar tool for Nashville business trips, report back to Bites.
I'll admit I get confused sometimes. I bought a gift certificate online for Miro District and thought I was going to finally get to try out Miel. Luckily, when I called to make reservations the hostess recommended I park near South Street. I quickly feigned competence and claimed I knew where I was going. Oops.
But that got me to thinking about what a profusion of really good restaurants we have in town that begin with the letter "M."
Miro, Miel, Merchants, Mirror, Monell's, Marché, Mad Platter, Margot, Midtown, Macke's, Mad Donna's, Morton's.
That's without even scratching the surface of the "Mc" restaurants, the "Mi" Mexican joints or the fast Italian Mama Mia's/Maggiano's/Michaelangelo's/MaFiozA's lists.
Pretty M-pressive if you ask me. What's your favorite M in town and why? Who have I left off the list?
This week's dining review takes us to
the Land of Chocolate East Nashville, where Scott Witherow is roasting and grinding cocoa beans from around the globe to make Olive & Sinclair chocolate bars, flavored with varying levels of cocoa, and accented with salt & pepper, cocoa nibs and other spices.
By far, my favorite of the artisanal delicacies was the limited edition made with cinnamon and chili, which tempered a stealthy kick with deep chocolate and warm earthy spices. At six bucks a pop, O&S bars aren't priced for normal noshing, so here's the best way I've found to savor and stretch the indulgence:
Heat one cup of milk in microwave for about 2 minutes, until hot but not boiling. Break off two rectangles of Olive & Sinclair cinnamon-chili chocolate and stir into hot milk. Add a dash of vanilla. Wrap remainder of chocolate tightly and send to Carrington Fox, c/o Nashville Scene, Grassmere Park, Nashville, TN, 37211.
Lime, the chic spot for tasty cocktails and Latin-inspired cuisine, is celebrating its second birthday and announcing something that many of us have wanted for a while: It will soon start serving lunch.
Part of the empire of Chris Hyndman (Virago, Whiskey Kitchen), Lime has so far focused on dinner and nightlife. But now, "We are very excited to introduce the Lime experience to the business lunch demographic that may otherwise not come back downtown very often for dinner," Hyndman says in a release.
Starting Nov. 11, Lime will start opening at 11 a.m. Monday-Friday and stay open through dinner and the bar scene. On Saturdays, the restaurant will open at 5:30 p.m. Lime will remain closed on Sundays, but promises to introduce a fab brunch in the future.
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