Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Coffee Cabin Opens Today: Java, Gluten-Free Snacks and Water Sports

Posted by on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 11:03 AM

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The Coffee Cabin opens today in Hermitage to fill three niches there: drive-thru coffee, gluten-free menu and paddling.

Didn't see that last one coming, did you? Me neither, but I hope to get there soon, because Proprietor Tim Inskeep is combining three of his interests into one business.

From the cabin at Lebanon Road near Old Hickory Boulevard, Inskeep is offering espresso, smoothies and Italian sodas beginning today. There's a short menu of salads, wraps, eggs and baked goods, plus lunch specials, all gluten-free. Hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The site is also the check-in for Inskeep's stand-up paddling business.

I'm curious to try stand-up paddling — a friend really likes it. And I also hope Coffee Cabin becomes that kind of friendly hangout you find near trailheads and rivers that become unofficial headquarters for hikers, cyclists, paddlers and assorted slackers.

The Coffee Cabin is 4130 Lebanon Road (391-2469). You can follow them on Twitter at Thecoffeecabin. (That's how we found out they got a Nuova Simonelli espresso machine.) If you get over there, let Bites know.

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$49 Italian Dinner Deal at the Palm

Posted by on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 7:48 AM

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The Palm Restaurant downtown has long been a dependable destination for diners seeking a great steak, a monster lobster or a white-tablecloth business lunch. But have you thought about them for Italian food?

The heritage of the chain is molto Italiano, having been founded in 1926 by Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi in New York City. To celebrate their roots, your paisanos at the Palm are offering a $49 Italian dinner deal for the rest of this month and all of May. You can trade one portrait of U.S. Grant for your choice of Nova Scotia lobster ravioli, Wild Alaskan halibut puttanseca or a bone-in rib veal chop Parmigiana. You'll also get a salad, choice of side and a dessert as part of the deal. All the details are below:

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This Bathroom Puts the "Fun" in Bodily Function

Posted by on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 5:43 AM

I see a lot of restaurant bathrooms, and they all have their own personalities. Here was a bathroom where someone thought of everything, except for one important element.

It was really big, plenty big enough for a big wheelchair or several people.

There was a diaper deck, a thoughtful addition:

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Kayne Prime Part II: The Menu

Posted by on Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 4:04 PM

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When I wrote the post about Kayne Prime Steakhouse opening, I was working from a partial menu. Now the official spring menu is on the website, and I notice some interesting things I'd missed earlier.

For example, there's a huge price range here. As Kay West pointed out in the comments, some very pricey elements are present: steaks as high as $58 for the 16-ounce bone-in tenderloin. It is an entire pound of high-end meat, but it sounds like a rare splurge for most of us.

On the other hand, there are smaller plates that seem like a relatively affordable point of entry. I could definitely see splitting the $11 duck nachos with friends.

(Of course I'd need a lovely cocktail or glass of wine, as well. Kayne Prime's libations menu is also now online.)

And I am not above paying $10 for a sustaining bowl of onion soup gratinee, especially if, as I presume, it's the real deal made with good stock from the bones of all that fancy meat.

Or how about the Surf and Turf Poppers, with jalapeno, spicy lobster and braised short rib, for $12? Sounds good to share.

On the third hand, speaking of lobster, my eye zeroes in on the wood-fired whole lobster, a 2-pounder accompanied by three butters.

Market price. I can't even imagine what that would be. And my birthday isn't till February.

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Kayne Prime Beefs Up the Gulch-Area Dining Scene

Posted by on Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 2:12 PM

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  • Photo: Jude Ferrera
In this week's Food Biz column in today's print edition of The City Paper, I note the opening of Kayne Prime Steakhouse, the latest of Chris Hyndman's ambitious projects on McGavock Street, which he has branded the M Street entertainment corridor.

(His other two projects on the block are Whiskey Kitchen and the new Virago, and he has a chef-driven-cuisine-meets-neighborhod-pub concept called Tavern a little ways away on Broadway in Midtown.)

Kayne Prime (named for the historic Kayne Street trainyard from whence the trendy Gulch has sprung) sounds like a high altar of beef, with plates bearing USDA Prime and "beyond-prime" wagyu beef from both the U.S. and Australia.

(In fact, you can get all three in a the "Progression of New York Strip Sirloin" — 3.5-ounce portions to compare and contrast.)

Executive chef Robbie Wilson has a solid resume that includes Nobu Matsuhisa’s haute cuisine sushi outpost in Aspen, Colo., and N9ne Steakhouse, also in Aspen. Wilson uses his raw fish expertise on clever crudo plates, and promises extra-special vegetarian specials.

Also in Food Biz: I talk to Arnold Myint for more of the scoop on his upcoming gourmet grab-and-go spot at the Nashville Farmers' Market.

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Porta Via Proclaims Its New Certification From Naples Pizza Panel

Posted by on Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 10:14 AM

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Porta Via Italian Kitchen has racked up some great reviews since it opened on White Bridge Road in late 2009. One of the credentials it has touted is that it makes pizza to strict Neapolitan pizza standards. Now it's official: Porta Via announced it has achieved Vera Pizza Napoletana ("True Neapolitan Pizza") certification, and it will celebrate with a couple fun specials this week.

Porta Via's specials coincide with both the certification and Italy’s Liberation Day (La Festa della Liberazione), which falls on Tuesday, April 25. From today through Saturday, April 30, customers will receive a free scoop of gelato with purchase of a pizza when they offer their best pronunciation of "Vera Pizza Napoletana." The restaurant also will offer half-price pizzas from 2 to 5 p.m. each day. The deals can't be combined, and are good for dine-in meals only.

Want to ponder what that half-price deal will buy you? Porta Via's pizzas normally range from $8-13 each, with the build-your-own option varying by the number of toppings you choose. So this is a pretty hot ticket.

If you want to practice your pronunciation, click here to hear Porta Via’s executive chef Giovanni Giosa pronouncing the phrase, "Just say Vera Pizza Napoletana." I have a feeling they'll give you the free gelato scoop even if your effort is far less than perfect.

Porta Via is at 21 White Bridge Road (356-0001).

For details on the VPN certification, read Porta Via's announcement after the jump.

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A Whole Different Enchilada at Local Taco Brentwood

Posted by on Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 8:03 AM

Smoked chicken enchilada, The Local Taco in Brentwood
  • Smoked chicken enchilada, The Local Taco in Brentwood
A late shopping trip in vieux Brentwood (the part near Nashville) ran well into dinner time, and DD and I drove and quarreled over Five Guys, Chile Burrito, Peter's Sushi, McAllister;s Deli, Royal Thai.

We cruised past Perch (I had wanted it to be open so badly) and had to turn down Judge Beans because the 15-minute wait for a table was too much for a homicidally hungry teen.

Back to the car, I spotted the back of ... The Local Taco Brentwood! Victory!

We found out that Carrington wasn't kidding when she reported last summer that The Local in Brentwood is a whole other taco stand than the one in Nashville.

The Sylvan Park location is a Baja beach shack, while the one in Brentwood has, like, architecture and design. It's bigger and has more and better parking.

And Deb Paquette was a consultant on the menu. With more entrees and more sides, LT South's offerings veer toward family restaurant, with lots of inventive touches. For instance, the Nashville menu has a chicken enchilada with lemon creme, but on the Brentwood menu, it's smoked chicken.

There's a pumpkin-seed crusted salmon entree on the Brentwood menu, and beet and goat cheese salad, a grilled lamb meatball taco, and Mexican tater tots and ham hock-flavored pintos.

Honestly, I wanted the whole enchilada.

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The Foodathlon: Top Chef/Iron Fork Ironman Report

Posted by on Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 5:35 AM

Chef Matt Bolus Iron Fork Truffle Porn
  • Chef Matt Bolus Iron Fork Truffle Porn
Wednesday was quite the epic day for Nashville foodies. I had circled it on my calendar for weeks, even before I found out that 4/20 would also be the date of the Predators' second home playoff game. (Thanks, Lady Gaga.) Although I was disappointed to have to miss what turned out to be pretty crappy game, I was excited at the prospect of visiting the Top Chef Tour at the Nashville Farmers' Market and judging the Scene's Iron Fork competition that same evening. I even planned to wear my stretchy eatin' pants that day.

Since Wednesday, April 20, was also "Metro Transit to Work Day," I decided to be green and take the Music City Connection to the Farmers Market. Actually, I had to take two buses since I work up by Howard School, but they were both free and on time. The Blue Line to the Market left from Riverfront Park, and I was the only rider. Despite the fact that I was flying solo and had told the driver I was going all the way to Bicentennial Mall, he cheerfully and helpfully called out landmarks along the way.

"Brooooadway and First-Riverfront Park!" — I know. I got on here.
"Brooooadway and Third Avenue — Hatch Show Print!" — Thanks. Headed to the Market, please.
"Brooooadway and Fifth Avenue — Bridgestone Arena!" — Where I won't be at the hockey game tonight.
"Fiiiifth Avenue and Commerce — Dude selling the Contributor."-Check.
"Fiiiifth Avenue and Church Street — Another dude selling the Contributor."-Double check.

This went on every block until we stopped a half block short of the Farmers Market to wait for a time check since he had only picked up a few other riders and was running ahead of schedule. We commuters stared at each other while we wondered whether to get up and walk the extra 50 feet or wait like the good little lambs we were. Just as I made a break for the front of the bus, it lurched forward under the railroad trestle and deposited us at the roundabout.

After receiving my free eco-friendly shopping bag for participating in Transit Week, I walked through the market to where the Top Chef crew had taken over the parking lot. After checking in with the media representatives, I wandered around the Bravo tents which had been set up to promote various products and shows.

Noticing the familiar A La Souvarov of Scene photographer extraordinaire Eric England, I walked over to the aroma testing booth where he and the Scene's resident baking genius/graphic designer Elizabeth Jones were taking the challenge.

They immediately threw the gauntlet down to me, Mr. Food Writer, to see how I would do at the blindfolded sniff test that has proved to be the downfall of many a Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen contestant.

I had unfortunately heard the answer to the final item, but I'm convinced I could have identified truffles. I'm part porcine that way. Of the other two tests, I batted .500. After initially describing the sample as "unappealing?" I recognized it as actually being mustard. I think I deserve at least partial credit for guessing cumin instead of curry, though.

Then it was into the tent to start the show. The Top Chef staffers seated the folks who had preregistered on the Bravo website with quick precision and then filled up the remaining chairs with lucky procrastinators like me. The person who apparently was supposed to be the emcee spoke about three words and handed over the microphone to Nashville's own Top Chef, Arnold Myint.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

East Nashville Farmers' Market Opening Soon With a Big Party

Posted by on Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 2:38 PM

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We just got some news heralding the seasonal reopening of the popular East Nashville Farmers' Market. And new this year, they will be able to accept SNAP/food stamps, a move they hope will enrich the food choices for folks in the community.

Here's the release:

The East Nashville Farmers' Market Celebrates its Fourth Season with a Grand Opening May 11.

210 S. 10th St.
East Nashville
3:30-6:30 p.m.

The East Nashville Farmers' Market, located at 210 S. 10th St., is having its fourth-season grand opening on May 11. This year we are excited to announce that we will be the first Nashville market to accept SNAP/food stamps, working with Community Food Advocates to bring healthy food to the community surrounding the market.

Join us on May 11 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony with councilman Mike Jameson and top chefs who shop our market: Tandy Wilson from City House, Jeremy Barlow from Tayst, Jen Franzen from Flyte and Laura Wilson from The Turnip Truck. Live music by Summertown and the Loving Touch petting zoo will entertain adults and children!

The market runs every Wednesday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., beginning on May 11 and going until to the end of October.

We are a community market supporting local businesses and producers. We have organic farmers, local cheese, milk, bread, honey, fruit and vegetables as well as local artisan businesses with a total of over 30 vendors! Join us every Wednesday beginning May 11 for a true community farmers market!

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Check Out the Pictures From Iron Fork

Posted by on Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Scene photographer Eric England got some great pictures at this year's fabulous Iron Fork on Wednesday night. Some of the pics are posted as a slide show.

Green almonds, this year's secret ingredient, seem like a tough nut to crack. It's amazing to look at the plates and see how creative the chef competitors got with it.

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