The ever creative chef-owner of tayst, Jeremy Barlow, is doing another multicourse "Tayst of Opera" dinner, with members of Nashville Opera's Mary Ragland Young Artists Program singing operatic pieces between courses.
The event is at 6:30 p.m. tonight at tayst, 2100 Ave. S. The theme is Italian opera, so Barlow says he's "putting the tayst twist on some classic Italian dishes."
The four-course meal is $60, including some delicious wines that the wine steward has picked out to complement the food. If you're interested, call the restaurant soon at 383-1953 and book a spot for tonight's melding of music and food.
Check out the menu (Barlow uses his quirky signature word "tayst" to describe courses):
The Tennessee Organic Growers Association is bringing noted author and farmer Joel Salatin to be their keynote speaker at their sixth annual conference in Franklin. Salatin, who refers to himself as a "Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist farmer," is featured in Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and the documentary Food, Inc.
Salatin's holistic approach to farming and animal husbandry has positioned him as a leader in the locavore movement. The rest of the conference looks like it should be quite interesting, so check out the details in their release after the jump:
Chowhound.com, friend of the traveling food lover, always had a slightly weak spot: the overly general "South" board.
As a catchall for non-Atlanta, non-New Orleans restaurants, it worked pretty well in the early days. As the boards got busier, the topics piled up fast. Because the South, from Virginia to Louisiana, is a pretty big chunk of real estate.
Recently, Chowhound divided the South into thinner slices of territory. (See the new zones listed below:)
The divisions make it a little easier to find the answer to your question, or answer questions, without wading through dozens of posts on the Carolinas.
With Chowhound, my involvement waxes and wanes. When I use the boards to get advice, I try to spend time answering others' questions to "pay back" to the community. It's been a long time since my last reply, but today there was a question on Monteagle eateries -- a pretty unusual query, as it's not exactly a stop on everyone's itinerary.
Do Bites readers use chowhound.com, and if so, do you reply as well as ask? Has Yelp superceded Chowhound as the go-to site for advice, or does it strike anyone else as more thickly populated by inexperienced diners than chowhound? Where else do you turn for food recommendations on the road?
Much to the delight of the many East Nashvillians who have become fans, Zavós, the Greek eatery and bar at the corner of Porter and Greenwood (across from the Family Wash), has gotten its liquor license and significantly expanded its hours.
In recent months, Zavós had been open Thursday through Saturday, while brothers and co-owners David and Niko Gehrke bided time while waiting for the liquor license that would allow them to fully manifest their vision -- a neighborhood bar and Greek bistro. Now that the license has arrived and the bar is fully stocked, Zavós will be open Monday through Saturday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, midnight Friday and Saturday. (Late night weekend food on the East Side! Finally!) If all goes well, David and Niko may further expand the bar hours till 3 a.m.
One of my fondest memories of an event that turned me from a casual wine drinker into a real aficionado (read "wino") was an opportunity to meet Miljenko "Mike" Grgich and taste his wines while enjoying a seafood lunch in one of his vineyards.
Grgich first gained international recognition at the celebrated Paris tasting of 1976 where French judges chose Mike's 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay as the finest white wine in the world. For a native Croatian to win a medal with a Californian wine in Paris literally changed the wine world forever. Even in his 80s, Grgich's passion for winemaking exposed me to a new enthusiasm that I still enjoy almost daily.
Now you can share some of his wines with Grgich Southeast regional sales manager, Frank Markovich, thanks to Grace's Plaza Wine & Spirits and Watermark Restaurant. They invite you to a tasting of Mike's historic wines 5-7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22. I'll be there with bells on.
507 12th Ave. S. in the Gulch
$25 per person (plus gratuity and tax)
RSVP to Watermark: 254-2000
If local wines are more of your thing, Arrington Vineyards is having a Progressive Wine Tasting at 1808 Grille.
Just in time for National Margarita Day on Feb. 22 comes the announcement that Margaritaville Cafe will open in the 18,000-square-foot space once occupied by Planet Hollywood.
Bet on cheeseburgers, crabcakes, coconut shrimp, Cuban sandwich, jambalaya -- the website calls it Floribbean Fare. Basically, stuff that goes with frozen drinks.
Construction is expected to begin in April and the cafe is expected to open before the end of the year. (Maybe even by the time Buffett plays the Sommet Center in May?) Next year on Margarita Day, you can get discounted margaritas, and a free bottle of margarita mix if your name is Marguerite, Margarita or Rita.
Read the full story at NashvillePost.com
If you're lucky enough to get a seat at the Chinese Arts Alliance Chinese New Year banquet at Wild Ginger, please report back to Bites on dessert.
As innovative as Chinese cuisine can be with technique and ingredients -- and Wild Ginger is sure to show plenty of ingenuity and finesse -- the sweets just never reach the heights they could with just a little cream, butter, brown sugar and chocolate.
Really, only the French, Russians and Americans should be allowed to make dessert.
The sesame sweets in the picture were golden-fried, nutty, with a dot of sweetened bean paste in the center -- just enough. They were crisp, gooey, sweet and fragrant. In a word, good.
It's your turn to try something and tell the world -- the Weekly Open Thread is your soapbox.
If you've ever spent a Sunday night in Dan McGuiness Pub, well ... you might not remember it. But if you did have a hazy recollection, the soundtrack to your dream was probably the dulcet tones of singer-songwriter Sean McNamara.
Now Sean has gone and spun off his own Irish pub with an eponymous location in the former site of the Plantation House Restaurant on Old Lebanon Road near Donelson Pike. A few coats of paint have actually made the place look appropriately older, and the various Irish appointments throughout the building offer an immediate warmth to the space. With rooms named "The Snug Bar," "The History Room" and "The Writer's Room," McNamara's looks to be a great place to tip back a pint or two.
Future plans include converting the upstairs into an Irish sports bar, although I don't know if that means you can drink a Smithwick's while watching the Vols play or if instead, it will be all-hurling, all the time on the televisions. (That's one messed up sport, BTW.)
Expect live music in the Cabaret Room Thursday through Sunday nights and a full menu of Irish specialties. The Sligo Salmon Patties I had on my visit were an excellent way to start out my Lenten pescatarianism.
McNamara's will also serve lunch every day except for Mondays. Sean promises a big opening party weekend March 5 and 6, but don't wait until then if you want to check it out. They're ready for you now. Sláinte!
McNamara's Irish Pub and Restaurant
2740 Old Lebanon Rd
My colleague Chrisbig doings at the Hermitage Hotel. More big doings were announced today.
Tyler Brown, the executive chef at the hotel's restaurant Capitol Grille, joins Tandy Wilson of City House as the two Nashville chefs selected in the semifinals of the prestigious James Beard Awards. They're named under the category of Best Chef in the Southeast.
Another familiar name in the category is Sean Brock of McCrady's in Charleston, S.C., who preceded Brown at Capitol Grille -- in fact, Brown was his chef de cuisine for three years. Also well-known in Nashville is Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Ala. Stitt got even more glory than our chefs. He was named in the nationwide category of Outstanding Chef, and Highlands was tapped as a contender for Best Restaurant.
One of the favorite high class/low brow things we love to do around our house is to finish the last glass of red wine from dinner with a few dark chocolate M&M's for dessert. Hey, it's cheap and that's two fewer plates to clean up.
It turns out that science is on our side and Pastry Chef Andy Manchester from the Capitol Grille at the Hermitage Hotel has ratcheted up our ritual a few notches. Scientists have proved that chocolate provides the body natural health-promoting substances called flavonoids, which are known to help prevent heart disease and cancer. Red wine contains anti-oxidants, which keep your arteries clear of plaque therefore reducing the risk of heart disease.
Here's a sample menu:
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