Friday, September 30, 2011

Winner, Winner — Loveless Dinner!

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 10:53 AM

The Lombardi Trophy in cake form
  • cakecentral.com
  • The Lombardi Trophy in cake form
Well I numbered all of your comments for our Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe cookbook giveaway and ran them through an online random number generator, and the number came up 16. What does that mean to you, dear readers?

Well it means that Jeanette Warner Goldstein will soon be the proud possessor of that fine tome signed by the chief chef herself, Alisa Huntsman! I'm glad that Jeanette won for sharing her story of how her labrador retriever ruined a Super Bowl party for a bunch of Packer backers by literally taking the cake. I kidded Jeanette for not knowing that the Packers actually won the game, but her focus was obviously on the over, not the game. Or, apparently on the dog.

Congrats to Jeanette! Email me at cchamberlain (at) nashvillescene (dot) com and I'll arrange to get your prize to you.

Go Pack!

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Wandering Wino: Imagine There's No Heaven Edition

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Imagine.jpg
  • www.johnlennon-online.blogspot.com
This week's Wandering Wino update is full of a variety of tastings for your sipping pleasure. We've got beer, wine and whiskey events coming up in the next week, so pack a lunch.

First is a note from the Beerknurds at the Flying Saucer. Their weekly "Buy the beer, keep the glass" night coming up this Wednesday, Oct. 5, features a free limited-edition John Lennon pint glass. Unlike their usual brewer's nights, this deal is good for any pint you select. Great beer and a rockin' glass? You can't miss with that one.

If you're around Green Hills tonight, or just stuck in Nordstrom's traffic trying to get home, stop in for an Italian wine tasting at Whole Foods from 6:30-7:30. Fifteen bucks gets you some snackie snacks and a vintner's tour of some great Italian juice with wines from the Veneto, Fruili-Guilia, Piedmont, Trentino-Alto Adige and Tuscany regions.

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Scoping Out Future SoBro at Weekly Open Thread

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 5:50 AM

The Music City Center construction cam at Oxblue.com
  • The Music City Center construction cam at Oxblue.com
Bites' own Chris Chamberlain had a great scoop this week reporting that beloved chef Deb Paquette is teaming with restaurateurs Doug Hogrefe and Paul Schramkowski of Amerigo to open Echo in the Encore condominium building at Third Avenue and Demonbreun in the SoBro neighborhood downtown. The launch is scheduled for sometime in March.

This is great news for folks who came to love Deb's food over the years — at Cakewalk Cafe, Bound'ry and then at Zola, which Deb and her husband Ernie Paquette operated for 13 years. Echo at the Encore is in a prime spot next to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and just a block or so from the Country Music Hall of Fame and the upcoming Music City Center.

And it's catty-corner from another ambitious restaurant project, the southern steak and oyster, at the Pinnacle at Symphony Place. As I reported in my Food Biz column in The City Paper, restaurant and movie catering pros TomKats plan to open the southern (lack of capitalization is intentional) in the ground floor of the 29-story Pinnacle sometime in January.

We've known since both of those developments opened that the ground-floor space was reserved for future restaurants. Now it looks like some folks in the biz think the time is right to get restaurants open in advance of the Music City Center. If all goes as planned, SoBro could be transformed in the near future.

Bites world, what kinds of transformations have you witnessed lately? Like Alexis, did you transform sugar and cream into Salty Caramel goodness? Did you discover any local treats like Walker Creek Toffee? Tell Open Thread what's on your mind.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Steve's Restaurant and Bar: This Week's Dining Review

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 3:17 PM

My name is Steve and I live in East Nashville, yet I've never been to Steve's Restaurant and Bar in East Nashville, which is the object of Carrington Fox's dining review this week. In fact, even though I drive past it almost every day, I'm not sure I've ever actually seen the place. As Carrington notes, it's a little tricky to find, but also worth checking out:

On two visits, we found a lot to like about Steve's. In terms of sheer value for money, it would be hard to beat the $14.75 appetizer sampler, which overflowed with chicken wings, ribs, potato skins (with bacon, scallions and cheddar) and a monumental block of deep-fried onion rings, which, we imagine, would be what resulted if a hay baler could harvest a field of bloomin' onions.

Even among such predictable bar snacks as wings, skins and chips and salsa, there were unexpected touches of creativity. A standout among the appetizers, for example, was deep-fried deviled eggs. Dredged in panko breadcrumbs and sizzled to a golden brown, the over-the-top appetizer added welcome counterpoints of crispness and heat to the classic cold picnic staple.

The review doesn't glow all over, though, suggesting that maybe the Gallatin Road eatery is trying to be too many things to too many people (or at least too many things): "While Steve's abounds in selection, it lacks consistency, leading us to wonder if perhaps a tighter focus could benefit the dining experience," Fox writes. Well, this review is leading me to wonder why I haven't tried such a tastefully named establishment so very close to my home. Maybe I'll head down the street to Dino's and No. 308 afterward.

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Battle of the Food Trucks Coming Up on SUNDAY!

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 11:59 AM

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We here on Bites have been looking forward to this weekend's Battle of the Food Trucks since we first heard about it back in July. I wrote about it again when tickets went on sale, and I included it in the Scene's Fall Guide. I had a little mention of it along with three other events this weekend — the Music City Southern Hot Wing Festival, the Southern Artisan Cheese Festival, and the Nashville Beer Festival — in today's print edition of the Scene.

Well, somewhere along the way I suffered a brain glitch and accidentally misstated the day of the week for the Battle of the Food Trucks. It's this SUNDAY, Oct. 2, 3 to 6 p.m. in the Greer Stadium parking lot.

Participating food trucks include: Deg Thai, Hoss' Loaded Burgers, JonBalaya, Love Shack, Maggie's Mobile Slab, Moovers & Shakers, Riff's Fine Street Food, Taste of Belgium, Terradelicious, The Cupcake Collection, Izzie's Ice, Fleur de Lis Flavors, Tin Can Treats, Mere Bulles, The Latin Wagon, Smoke et al, Mean Green Ice Cream Machine and Sugar Wagon.

The master of ceremonies is the always-entertaining Chef Arnold Myint.

Proceeds benefit The Tomorrow Fund (a fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee) and its mission to help children. Tickets are available here.

Here's how the full item should have read:

Continue reading »

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Food Trucks Are Absolutely Killing It at Live on the Green

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 8:49 AM

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Live on the Green is a free six-week concert series at the Public Square in front of the Metro Courthouse. For those of us who grew up with Dancing in the District and Uptown Mix, it has been nice to see the reinvigoration of the downtown free concert scene over the three years of the event. A notable addition last year was the presence of some local food trucks just as the burgeoning mobile food trend was starting to take off.

This year they have added more trucks, and the public has really taken to the development. At last week's Robert Randolph show, three trucks and a cart enjoyed healthy business from the minute the proceedings started until the last note screamed off of Randolph's lap steel. I never saw the lines get shorter than 20 people deep all night until Riff's Truck sold out every item they had brought, leaving Chef BJ and Chef Carlos sitting contentedly exhausted on the sidewalk across from their restaurantette.

That just meant more folks in line for The Grilled Cheeserie and Hoss' Loaded Burgers. I talked to the proprietors of Nashville Weiner Co., cart who were old hands at this event. Between three years of Live on the Green and selling at concert events at Fontanel, they have worked out exactly how many dogs they can cook and sell per hour. They knew precisely how much food to bring, and left the event with their coolers empty and their coffers full.

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Testing the Recipe for Jeni's Salty Caramel Ice Cream

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 5:47 AM

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After raving about the Jeni’s Ice Cream shop that opened a few blocks from my house, I was happy to receive plenty of Jeni’s gift cards for my birthday, as well as Jeni’s cookbook, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, which was released this summer.

I sat down one Sunday afternoon and read the whole damn thing, front to back. If there was anything gleaned from the gorgeous pages of the book, other than the generous amount of (what should probably be secret) recipes, it was that this ice cream isn’t typical for a lot of reasons.

For one thing, Jeni waxes poetically on the importance of local, sustainable ingredients (some of which she is now sourcing from Tennessee as well). But I was surprised at the obvious chemistry that was calculated in these recipes — which is similar to what I expect from a complicated baking recipe, as opposed to the many ice cream recipes I have made in the past.

The upside to the work of making any of her recipes — besides the payoff of delicious ice cream — is that you can save up to $10 a pint, as you are likely to already have a lot of these ingredients on hand. The only thing I had to buy for her famous Salty Caramel ice cream was whole milk and heavy cream. And while the process is pretty daunting — it took about 1 1/2 hours to make, including chilling time and ice cream maker time, plus four recommended hours of freezer time (and whether you can wait that long says more about your personality than I would like to admit) — the product is much closer to the original than I expected.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wandering Wino: Eighteen Liters of French Wine Under One Cork? It's a Melchior!

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 8:28 AM

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My buddy Hoyt Hill at Village Wines sells a lot of wine, but usually not in just one bottle. As I've mentioned in the past, his daily emails listing the selection of wines he has coming in that are available for pre-order take up quite a few megabytes in my Gmail folder, not that I mind. But a recent offering really caught my eye when I noticed the size of the bottles.

In among a list of several Bordeaux wines and sauternes were these two bottles:

2008 Chateau Montrose, St.-Estephe, 95-97RP, $3,650 per 18 liter
2008 Chateau Pontet-Canet, Pauillac, 96-98+RP, $4,265 per 18 liter

Eighteen liters? That's 24 bottles. Two cases. I figured it was probably a typo until I confirmed it with the master himself. The largest bottle I have ever purchased was a 3-liter Jeroboam and the biggest I've seen in person was a 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar. Apparently these 18-liter bottles are extremely rare and are known as Melchiors.

Since wine matures more slowly in larger bottles, whoever bought the bottle of Chateau Montrose can probably will it to his grandchildren. That's right, somebody has already ponied up almost four grand for the first bottle but hadn't picked it up yet by the time I visited to see the beast in person. Maybe he's waiting to rent a uHaul to get it home.

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Dino's and No. 308: Same Sidewalk, Different Worlds

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 5:32 AM

Dinos & No. 308

On any given night, especially Thursday through Saturday, you will probably find big crowds at both Dino’s and No. 308, bars directly next door to each other on Gallatin Road in East Nashville. Anyone who has gone drinking on the East Side lately has probably been to the hot-shit, widely discussed No. 308 — and possibly also to the older, established dive bar Dino’s.

I have to admit that I never planned on going to Dino’s until the past year, when No. 308 became a regular stop with friends. But once I stumbled into Dino’s one night after a few of No. 308’s Brother Jons (their best cocktail with celery juice, vodka, and Chartreuse), I totally fell in love with Dino’s too.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Caption Contest: Win Tickets to the Nashville Beer Festival [Updated]

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Winning caption goes here.
  • First one to get to the Scene office wins.Gone.

Update: We tried notifying two different winners, and neither replied. So the first one to the Scene office at 210 12th Ave. South gets the tickets. Good luck and godspeed.

Update II: Gone. Thanks for playing, everyone. Hopefully it won't go down like this next time.

As reported here on Bites, the Nashville Beer Festival, featuring over 150 brews, takes over Riverfront Park this Saturday from 1-6 p.m. We happen to have two tickets (total value: $60) that we'd like to give you, loyal Bites reader.

All you have to do is come up with a caption that makes us laugh for the photo above.

We'll pick a winner at noon this Thursday (Sept. 29). The only rules are that you must give us some way to contact you if you win (registered commenters are all set), and that you must be able to pick up your tickets at our office in The Gulch. First caption to make Ridley do a spit-take (probably) wins — so go!

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