We had made reservations for Friday night at Lockeland fairly early, and it's a good thing because they were turning a few people away at the door who weren't willing to wait out their lack of reservations. Our party of four was seated quickly, and service was efficient all evening as we tasted our way through Chef Hal Holden-Bache's fabulous menu. I was struck by how many great details had been added to the interior space even though I had visited just a few days before their opening. The large photos of the various incarnations of the previous businesses that had operated out of the location at the corner of Woodland and 16th Street were a lovely nod to the history of the building. The tall shelves that had been added to divide the dining room from the bar area were filled with jarred preserves and pickled vegetables that were both interesting to look at and nodded to the farm-fresh locavore menu that Holden-Bache has committed to.
We started out our dining experience with some inventive cocktails from the bar and a plate of Crab and Corn Fritters served with a smoked vinegar slaw. A Margherita pizza from the blazing wood-fired oven soon followed and was even more quickly consumed. After less than a month of practice, the staff at Lockeland has certainly got their pizza technique down.
As good as those two starters were, they paled next to the North Carolina Chicken Liver Pâté that was served in a small mason jar. Made with Benton's Bacon fat and served with crispy rustic Tuscan bread and some unbelievable smoked peach preserves, it was well worth the inevitable gout flare-up that I knew would result. There was quite a lot of fighting around our table to get an extra dollop of the pâté and the preserves.
Admission to both events is free, and a portion of profits earned by the food trucks will be donated to Musicians Corner and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. Trucks will sell regular menu items as well as small “tastes” so you can try food from multiple trucks without overdoing it. An expert panel of judges will be sampling blind entries throughout the day for Best Burger, Best BBQ, Best Dessert, Best Hot Nashville, Best Vegetarian, Best Taco, Best Deep Fried, Best Drink, Best Sandwich and Best of the Best. But you can be the judge, too by voting for your favorite in the category of People’s Choice Award with a donation to Second Harvest. Winners will be announced at the end of the day.
Contestants include: Beach Bums Juice Bar, Biscuit Love, Bistro Truck, Blue Monkey Shaved Ice, The Coffee Truck, Deg Thai, Delta Bound, Dixie Belles Cupcakes, Grilled Cheeserie, Hit Or Miss Ice Cream, Hoss’ Loaded Burgers, Just Like Nannie Fixed It, Jonbalaya Catering, Ken’s Hot Spot, The Latin Wagon, The Love Shack, Mere Bulles, Moovers & Shakers, Peanut Butter Paradise, Retro Sno, Riffs Fine Street Food, Smoke Et Al, Sum Yum Yum, Terra Delicious, The Waffle Boss, Wrapper’s Delight, Yayo’s OMG. Quite an impressive group!
Now for the fun part. Come up with the winning caption for the photo above and you’ll earn a seat on the official judges’ panel, sampling and judging entries with me. Only a few things to note:
1. Our judging time slot is from 10:45 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., so please make sure you’ll be available during that time Saturday (and come hungry). That is, the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.
2. Enter as many times as you like between now and midnight Wednesday, Aug. 29, when the contest will close. The winner will be chosen by a group of expert caption judges and announced Thursday, Aug. 30. Check to see if you won and let us know how to contact you. If we haven’t heard from you within 24 hours, another winner will be chosen.
At that time, the Strawns gave few details, not even the project's name. Today it was revealed: M. Restaurant & Bar. They also released a description of the food: "a menu of contemporary inspired Southern cuisine and a few international influenced surprises thrown in the mix."
The new place is going in right in the center of the Cummins Station storefronts facing 10th Avenue South. (I believe a brick and stone retailer formerly held the space.) Construction is under way, and the announcement said the new space will have an open, contemporary feel and a chef's bar, and will seat around 100.
The project belongs to an accelerating trend of new restaurants in the SoBro neighborhood hoping to serve the expected boom of customers once the Music City Center opens. (The new convention center is just a couple blocks from Cummins Station.)
Many of the existing restaurants in the area have limited hours, but that's not the case with M: We're told it will be open every day, serving lunch, dinner, extended Sunday brunch and a late-night menu.
M Restaurant and Bar is expected to open Nov. 1 at 209 10th Ave. S., Suite 223 in Cummins Station.
There will be a sneak peek in mid-October, when M will host an open house to meet the SoBro neighbors and offer a food and drink tasting to benefit Linda's Hope, a foundation that offers support for those affected by pancreatic cancer.
Wild Turkey Whiskey Sour 101 (or The Sergeant Whiskey Sowers)
1 1/2 ounces Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce honey
1 fresh cherry
1 ounce Wild Turkey American Honey
Dollop of egg white
Slice cherry from top to bottom five times around pit, and soak in a cup of Wild Turkey American Honey. Combine Wild Turkey Bourbon, grapefruit juice, lime juice and honey in a cocktail shaker. Froth egg white and add a dollop to the mixture. Shake and serve over ice. Garnish with Wild Turkey American Honey-soaked cherry.
Recipe and photo provided by Campari America.
Go forth and pucker to celebrate this weekend. Now the rest of the Wandering Wino news:
The Wine Shoppe at Green Hills has two tastings coming up in the next week or so, one from a notable French producer and the second from one of my favorite tequilas. Check them out!
Jean Thomas Doublet of Doublet Family Vineyards
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 5:30-7 p.m.
Trés Agaves Margarita and Tequila Tasting
Saturday, Sept. 1, 3-5 p.m.
Midtown Wine and Spirits is also hosting two tastings, but they are doing them at the same time tomorrow.
What does this have to do with food, you ask? Well, by the time we cleaned the spoiled food out of our refrigerator, it was clear much of it had gone bad long before the storm, and that we waste a shit-ton (which is slightly less than a metric ton) of food.
Next week over Labor Day weekend, the party bus is stopping in Memphis for a special edition of the competition: Cochon Heritage BBQ. In concert with a celebration of the beginning of National Bourbon Month, on Friday, Aug. 31, they'll also be hosting a high-end Distillers’ Reception at The Peabody Memphis Hotel from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Guests will mix and mingle with the luminaries of the bourbon world while sampling some of their highest-end hooch.
Other ancillary events over the weekend include a 5.55K run, a Bloody Mary tailgate party and various parties and receptions all weekend, sponsored by food purveyors and media outlets. The main event comes on Sunday, though, as 10 teams of chefs will work to convert more than 3,000 pounds of heritage hogs into some amazing barbecue to feed 800 hungry guests. The teams will prepare six-course menus featuring a snout-to-tail presentation of four main dishes and two side items.
Here's the list of competing chefs:
Each restaurant will serve items featuring locally sourced ingredients along with a variety of cocktails, wines and beers. There will be live music and both a live and silent auction to help raise funds for Second Harvest's efforts to end hunger in our neighborhoods.
Tickets for A Tasteful Journey are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Valet parking is included at the Delta Portico, so you won't have to worry about that. To purchase tickets and for more information, click here.
Pure Food and Wine is the kind of place that astounds you with its food. It is beautiful to see and delicious to taste. And it’s raw, vegan, gluten-free, and non-processed. That seems rather limiting, but they make it work in amazing ways. My husband, a dedicated omnivore who will eat just about anything that hasn’t eaten him first, still asserts his meal was the best he’s ever had. And said he would eat raw and vegan all the time if I could cook like that. But I can’t. I don’t have the energy or drive to make that food, though I’d really like to. So I call it “aspirational food.”
Aspirational food is what largely comprises Herbivoracious, the cookbook by Michael Natkin that includes recipes collected from the eponymous (and award-winning) blog. Natkin’s food is not all raw and vegan, but is all vegetarian. And beautiful. To me, the book could easily be stocked in the “Fantasy” section of the bookstore as it is almost less a book of recipes than a catalog of beautiful plates of food I will only think about making. That’s not to say the book is full of impractical recipes; on the contrary, there are several dishes that are already part of my repertoire, such as Persian Rice Pilaf with a Crispy Crust, Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette, and a Dutch baby. But also included are recipes like Tea-Smoked Lychees, Kimchi Stew with Shiitake and Daikon, and Congee with Crispy Yuba. I will never make these dishes. But I certainly want to (and I certainly want to eat them).
And I certainly enjoy looking at them and reading about them, which is why I’m quite happy to have this book. The recipes are inspired by dishes from all over the planet and are guaranteed to impress at your next dinner party. If you serve a meal entirely from this book, the food will delight even the most devoted meat-lover. My guess is that if you never mentioned the meatlessness, no one would ever give it a thought. I’m thinking about making the Vietnamese-inspired Caramel-Cooked Tofu. And the Basi Gnudi with Summer Squash. And the Zabaglione with Roasted Plums. Thinking.
The book is now in its second printing and available on Amazon in hardback and on Kindle, but check your local bookstores first. You’ve really got to see this beautiful food. And Natkin makes excellent notes about the ingredients, equipment, and origins of the dishes. It’s a great book for herbivores and omnivores alike.
The Food 52 online recipe community, along with Serious Eats' Sweets blog, have come up with a recipe contest that will allow one lucky person to create their own personal flavor of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream.
We're big fans of Jeni Britton Bauer's artisan ice cream out of Ohio, and we gobble it up wherever we can get it, whether at Jeni's scoop shop in East Nashville; next to the paletas and pour-over coffees at Hot & Cold in Hillsboro Village; in the cooler at The Produce Place; from Jeni's mobile ice cream cart — wherever Jeni is, we will follow.
So we want you creative Bites folks to enter. And come up with something even our wildest ice cream fantasies haven't countenanced. And win. You have until Tuesday, Aug. 28. Hurry now. You can thank us later.
Here are the details from Serious Eats:
The restaurant in the ground floor of the Icon building had operated as a link in the Florida-based Urban Flats chain since 2009, but the Nashville outpost's owner, Henry Hillenmeyer — a local restaurant veteran who once served as chairman and CEO of the Cooker Restaurant Corp. — announced today he is taking it independent.
The new concept will be called Music City Flats StoneOven & Bar, and Dan Latham, an Atlanta chef who has worked for Mario Batali, is helping create a new menu. (He said some of the more popular Urban Flats dishes will be updated and kept on the new menu.)
The restaurant will close this Monday, Aug. 27, with plans to reopen Sept. 7.
Check out the full press release after the jump.
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