It's such pressure — every good suggestion seems to fly out of my head. And there's also the whole "fit" factor — does the place fit the person? Are they familiar with the area? Will they be able to park nearby? Are the servings too small/too big? Will it be too loud for their taste, or too quite to discuss a sensitive topic?
Really, it'd be nice to see the person's resume before suggesting a place for them to eat.
There were several "Where should we go" requests last week — Meharry dental school graduation, a birthday, a sushi inquiry. Sushi is easy: Samurai. For the Meharry grad party, I recommended BrickTops or Amerigo, which are conveniently located and the out-of-towners wouldn't get lost.
For the birthday, a mixed group of singles and couples, I would normally have recommended Flyte, but there were some big eaters in the bunch, and a couple of broke grad students. Wrestling with one idea after another, I discarded Whiskey Kitchen, Mama Mia (you see how far-ranging my choices went), Margot, Watermark. I suggested Yellow Porch, Tin Angel, mAmbu, or Yolos.
How do you handle "Where should we go?" topic. And by the way, where did you go this week, and where are you going this weekend?
If you're willing to put some miles on yourself, there's a Wine & Food Pairing event coming up on June 4 at 7 p.m. hosted by the DelMonaco Winery in Baxter, Tenn. That's a little less than an hour and a half east of Nashville on I-40 if you want to make the haul. You'll be rewarded with a gourmet four-course tasting meal expertly paired with DelMonaco Wine and some great live music.
Tickets are $40, and there is limited seating. Since this is a winery sponsored-event, if you join their Cellar Club or Barrel Club, you'll get half off the ticket price. Visit the winery's website for more information.
The annual extravaganza brings together a bunch of Nashville's best restaurants and chefs to share samples of their favorite dishes and talk about what they do, all to benefit the hunger-fighting program Middle Tennessee's Table, which rescues perishable food and delivers it to the needy. It's part of the larger organization we know and love as Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
Sure, we have plenty of other restaurant and chef showcases these days, but Generous Helpings has been going strong since 2004, first at the convention center, then starting in 2009, in the great outdoors at the Nashville Farmers' Market.
In addition to the food, the evening features fine wine and beer samples from local distributors.
The party is 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Nashville Farmers' Market downtown. Admission is $50, and all proceeds go to Middle Tennessee's Table. In the past year alone, Middle Tennessee’s Table has rescued more than 4 million pounds of food from its grocery partners.
Participants include: F. Scotts, Holland House, Mad Platter, Nashville State Community College Culinary Arts, Second Harvest Food Bank Culinary Arts Center, Sweet 16th Bakery, Table 3, tayst, Watermark, Pied Piper Creamery, Pied Piper Eatery, Provence Breads & Café, Chappy’s On Church, Fido, mAmbu, Perl Catering, Miel, Eastland Cafe, Fish & Co., Midtown Cafe, Sunset Grille, Cabana, Caffé Nonna, The Local Taco, Amerigo Italian Restaurant, SOL, Red Pony, 55 South, Noshville, Porta Via, MacK and Kate's Cafe, Kroger Chef Shoppes, and Park Cafe.
Want to watch someone prepare cicadas in a stir-fry and chow down? See the video above. Want to learn more about the seasonal visitors without picking wings and legs out of your teeth? Visit the free Science Cafe 7 p.m. tonight at Fido in Hillsboro Village, sponsored by Adventure Science Center. Let Belmont biologist/entomologist Dr. Steve Murphree initiate you into the ways of the omnipresent arthropods, from their 13-year journey above ground to their six- to eight-week stay.
The Science Cafe is not a lecture: it's designed more as an informal gathering that allows for give and take between scientists and laymen. For more information, see the Adventure Science Center site. And if you shriek and run at the sight of the whirring dervishes, don't go here. Or — ulp! — here.
Now you can add another date to your appointment calendar with this weekend's fEASTival, celebrating the independent spirit of East Nashville through music, art and food. The event will take over the Five Points neighborhood from noon until late on Saturday May 21. In addition to the Lightning 100 main stage and three other stages featuring local musical acts, there will be a Kid Zone with games and activities, a Street Festival and an Art Village.
For the rest of us, the event is a fantastic opportunity for a road trip to gorgeous East Tennessee and a good way to connect to the staple food of seven generations of Tennesseans. And also eat some biscuits and buy stuff.Michelle Bernstein of Miami, the Latina-Jewish James Beard Award winner. (Read a knoxnews.com story about Bernstein's visit here.) Proceeds go to Share Our Strength and Second Harvest.
Saturday opens with—what else?— a biscuit breakfast from Hardee's and Knoxville-area restaurants and caterers.
Foodies may wish to save their calories for the Blackberry Farm Biscuit Brunch. If a stay at the much-praised Walland, Tennessee, Relais & Chateuax property is not on your calendar or in the budget, this $125 brunch could be your best chance to sample to award-winning Foothills Cuisine.
Or get your fill on Biscuit Boulevard, where visitors sample food from participating restaurants and biscuit bakers. Biscuit Bazaar assembles biscuit-friendly wares such as bakeware, jams and artwork into one marketplace.
Dependably civic-minded and legendary Tennessee skillet maker Lodge Cast Iron is sponsoring that day's premiere event: The Biscuit Bake-off.
The board of l’Eté du Vin took advantage of the opportunity to examine every aspect of their operations. They recognized the need to satisfy the desires of their longtime supporters who have the deep cellars that assure both donations to and purchases from the Grand Auction. They also saw the need to cultivate new volunteers and attendees among the younger generation of wine drinkers who might have steered clear from a black-tie event.
To that end, this year's l’Eté du Vin main event has been split into three separate smaller events happening over the course of one evening, July 16, which they are calling Nashville Crush. Interestingly, the format means the price range for the evening now ranges from $75 per person ($125 per couple) for only the Late Nite Crush — a party designed to "ignite the passion for those just forming their crush on wine" — to $350 per person for access to the whole grand evening.
In fact, there are four separate ticket price packages. Here's the rundown of the schedule:
The 10 people who move quickly enough to get spots at the table will be treated to chickpea fritters with spring peas and lemon-tahini vinaigrette; a salad of tomatoes, olives, potatoes and anchovy vinaigrette; lamb rib chops, lamb meatball, pickled dates.
To find out what dessert will be, you'll have to go look at the menu. While you're there, sign up for email and see if you can get a spot.
Booked Saturday? You could opt for the traveling Clandestino Supper Club, coming to town this Friday, May 20, at a secret location downtown. Based in Chicago, Clandestino is one of the better-known names in the "underground dining" scene, so it's fun that they've decided to do a night in Nashville.
Eighty bucks per person gets you an everything-locally-sourced dinner cooked by Chicago chefs Efrain Cuevas and Lauren Parton.
Whole Foods' Franklin/Brentwood outpost is relocating from the Cool Springs store to a spiffy new 40,000-square-foot place on West McEwen Drive, an exit or two south of the former location.
The grand opening is tomorrow morning, Wednesday, May 18, with free breakfast for customers at 7:30, bread-breaking and sharing at 8:30, and doors opening at 9.
Prior to the big day the store has been offering tours — a great opportunity for them to tout their commitment to nutrition and the neighborhood.
There's a strong showing of local and regional products, such as these pretty offerings from Nashville's Loveli jewelry. (If you know a local craftsperson or food company who hasn't been in contact with WF, tell them to get busy.)
The bulk bins are back, complete with ANDI (Aggregate Nutrition Density Index) score listings, and all the varieties you can't find elsewhere — eight varieties of quinoa, for example, and gorgeous Verdina beans. WF and Food52 will be partnering to develop recipes and spread awareness of the ANDI initiative.
There will be over 200 events taking place over the course of the three-day festival from Friday, May 20, to Sunday, May 22. These events include seminars by some of the region's most talented chefs and food purveyors, tastings of food and beverage products from all across the nation and cooking demonstrations. The seminars are organized into three overarching thematic tracks: Old Traditions, New Traditions, and Imports and Inspiration.
The official festival website describes the themes this way:
I totally disagree with this writers assessment of El Pollo. I find the food is…
Cafe Fundamental (brunch)
Bonus to the person who said…
My two cents:
Not a fan of the decor at all. I ate in…
I guess you can look forward to that cicada special in 12-15 years...
The old man told me to take any rug in the house.