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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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