Starting tonight at 6:30 they are having their Fall Whiskey and Cigar Review. For $25 per person, you can enjoy a sampling of rare whiskeys including Troy and Sons, Bulleit, MacCallan and High West while you enjoy some fine cigars on the veranda of Jimmy Kelly's quaint old building at 217 Louise Ave.
No RSVP is required so just drop by, sit back, fire up a stogie, sip on some scotch and watch the leaves begin to change.
For men, however, it's considerably less. One can make a lot guesses as to why, but my best guess is that even if a man bothers to read the label, they're not as fazed by the calorie count as women. Generally speaking, men don't start counting calories in their pre-teen years like many women do. Many of us never stop.
I know that personally, the Nutrition Facts label had quite an effect on my diet, appearing on products at a time when I was just starting to buy food for myself. I recall being very shocked by the number of calories I was consuming with my Mountain Dew and package of Pop-Tarts kick-start-my-day breakfast. And subsequently cutting it back to a single Mountain Dew and just one Pop-Tart a day. I had 8 a.m. classes every day that necessitated that level of caffeine and sugar.
Though I'm off Mountain Dew and Pop-Tarts for good now, I still read the Nutrition Facts label on everything that I purchase. I very closely look at the amount of protein in relation to total carbohydrates and often put items back if it appears they are just full of empty calories. I also enjoy reading what food producers think a serving is. Always good for a laugh. Because I have yet to get more than three servings from a jar of Nutella. Though I did — one time — get five (instead of four!) servings from a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. More often than not, a pint is just two servings for me. Though there was that one time I finished off an entire pint of Cherry Garcia ... I really don't want to think about how many calories I consumed that night.
Anyone else read those labels as religiously as I do? If so, how does it affect your purchases? And what about in restaurants? I'm not sure I'd ever eat out again if I knew how many calories I consumed during my typical restaurant meal.
The expansive 16th Avenue space houses three pizza ovens, imported from Italy, along with rows of community tables for family-style seating. You can watch the bakers place your pizza in the oven, where it’s briefly kissed by the intense fire, then served to you just slightly charred.
The pizza menu includes the obvious varieties — margherita and bianca — and some less familiar ones like the verdura, a veggie pizza with broccoli rabe and mushrooms. DeSano also serves calzones and Italian desserts (cannoli and biscotti) made daily in house. There’s a small selection of beer and wine, but they also allow BYOB if you want to bring in a bottle of your favorite pizza-friendly red or white.
DeSano Pizza Bakery is at 155 16th Ave. S. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (or, as they caution, until the dough runs out). The phone number is 953-1168. The website's still under construction, but you can follow @DeSano_Pizza on Twitter.
A version of this story appeared in my Food Biz column in today's print edition of The City Paper and online in the Nashville Post.
Now when the few bar stools at Sloco are full of diners, you no longer have to eat on the sidewalk or across the street in Sevier Park. With cooler weather coming, it will be nice to have an extra 20 seats to handle the crowds on busy days. Plus the vibe of the creative space fits in nicely with Sloco's free-wheeling philosophy toward menu creation.
But that's not the only menu that Barlow has been working on. Recently, he was invited to Blackberry Farm to participate in a summit of chefs interested in changing the traditional food service system to better encourage sustainable practices. The Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change was presented by the James Beard Foundation and sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trust. Thirteen chefs were invited to attend based on their commitment to sustainable cooking and their willingness to take action in their communities to advance a better food system.
As a result of the connections Barlow made at the Boot Camp, he was invited to come to New York and cook for this year's JBF Leadership Awards dinner on Oct. 17, where honorees will include author Wendell Berry and Kathleen Merrigan, deputy agriculture secretary. Barlow will team up with Chef Jeremy Bearman, the executive chef at Michelin-rated Rouge Tomate in New York City to prepare dinner for the winners and other dignitaries attending the awards.
To gear up for this big dinner, Barlow will be hosting two preparatory dinners, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, and Thursday, Oct. 11 at Tayst. The six-course dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and you can get a taste of what the bigwigs will be eating for just $65 per person without wine pairings, $85 per person with wine.
Here's the menu he'll be presenting:
If you can't stand the heat, steer clear of Richland Park tomorrow, as the West Nashville Farmers Market accommodates its seasonal Pepper Village, where hotheads of all stripe gather to sell their wares. We're especially excited to see Ben Smythe back with his Banjamin's Ghost Pepper Elixer, and he promises upgrades in his products as well as a bumper locally grown crop of beautiful but deadly bhut jolokias, a rival for the world's hottest pepper.
Also on hand will be Ric Ousley with his popular Ousley Ouch salsas. Smythe says the event is going to start out small, so don't expect but a few vendors this time. But there are plans to grow the village if response is strong. Besides, the West Nashville market on Charlotte is one of the city's best — as much an outdoor food court as a place to buy produce (love those fresh mushrooms!). Any excuse to go is welcome.
Poppen runs a very popular eponymous CSA that is known for producing some of the best vegetables available in any bushel basket in the area. Poppen is also serving as the host of the 17th Annual Biodynamic Celebration & Harvest Festival at his Long Hungry Creek Farm, about 90 minutes away in Red Boiling Springs, Tenn.
The event will be held Sept. 28-30, and this year's theme is "Cooperation," emphasizing ways which farmers, families, businesses, neighbors and friends can work together for the betterment of society.
Here's the skinny on the conference from the organizers:
I've had three experiences at each of the two new EastNashville haunts, Lockeland Table and Café Fundamental, and as new Loews Vanderbilt spokesman Shaun White might put it, I am totally stoked!
My first experience at Lockeland was decent, but the next two visits were sublime. Great pizzas (I enjoyed the clams Casino pizza and margherita the most), a terrific and lovely roasted heirloom carrot and beet salad, and a Carolina Mountain trout with maple-bourbon glaze that was to die for. I am so excited to have Lockeland Table close to me, and best of all, it's open Monday, when a lot of other East Nashville restaurants are closed.
Even closer to me is Café Fundamental, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I've had nothing but outstanding experiences. A great steak frites, heavenly quiche lorraine and (for Saturday brunch) a duck confit hash with two poached eggs that was ridiculously good. And perhaps the best French-style pastries in town. The pain au chocolate is decadently fabulous. Warning: Though Café Fundamental's brand-new website says it's open Sunday, it is NOT open Sunday. It's open Tuesday through Friday for breakfast and lunch, Saturday for brunch, and as of this week, it's open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday. They plan to eventually serve Sunday brunch, possibly beginning in November.
Also of note: I had a really good steak & cheddar hoagie (with butternut squash puree, gruyere, fried leeks and horseradish) at Coffee, Lunch. — across from Cummins Station, where Fiddlecakes used to be. I will definitely be back. They also have specials, sometimes featuring meats from Porter Road Butcher.
So which new places have you tried, or are you itching to try? How were your meals? Please, do tell.
UPDATE: We have our winner. Thanks for playing, everyone!
Last week, Chris Chamberlain told us that Southern rocker/country star Zac Brown is bringing his Southern Ground Music and Food Festival to Nashville. It's this Friday and Saturday on the Lawn at Riverfront Park.
It's a festival that celebrates both music and food, masterminded by Brown and his resident chef, Rusty Hamlin.
The festival also recruits local chefs and food trucks in every city it plays. Here in Nashville, the local chefs are Matthew Lackey of Flyte and Bob Waggoner of Watermark. Trucks include Biscuit Love, Riffs, Bistro Truck and Delta Bound.
And how's this for a treat: Bites is giving away a pair of tickets to the fest. Drop a line to dfranklin [at] nashvillescene [dot] com before midnight tonight. We'll randomly pick a winner and email you no later than 10 a.m. tomorrow.
Check out more details about the local food angle from the festival's press release:
What’s that? Fermented food doesn’t sound good to you? Oh, but it does: breads, cheeses, yogurt, pickles, soy sauce, vinegar, beer and even chocolate are all among the products of fermentation. And (let’s say) “artisanal fermentation” is currently all the rage among leading chefs all over the world. Sandorkraut is the leading authority, holding court from his home base in Cannon County.
Luckily for us, he conducts some of his events locally. On Saturday, Oct. 6, from 1 to 4 p.m., he’s leading a fermentation workshop at Beaman Park Nature Center at 5911 Old Hickory Boulevard in Ashland City. In this intensive, hands-on workshop, students will learn to make foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and yogurt. And for just $25 per person. It’s a great deal considering some of his longer workshops cost several hundred dollars.
And if you haven’t checked out Beaman Park Nature Center before, be sure to see their list of upcoming events (PDF), some of which are of special interest to food-lovers. Along with the Sandor Katz "Fermentation Workshop" on Oct. 6, there’s also a free "Wild Edibles" class on Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to noon. Alan Powell will lead a group on a hike and point out the many edible and medicinal plants growing wild in the area. Register for either or both events by calling 862-8580.
If you’re not able to catch Katz at Beaman, he’ll also be hosting an abbreviated free "Introduction to Fermentation" workshop at The Turnip Truck Urban Fare at 321 12th Ave. South on Tuesday, Oct. 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Register by contacting kathryn [at] theturniptruck.com.
Registration will likely fill up quickly for all these classes, so you better hurry.
First off, Luna has pulled up stakes from their location on Eighth Avenue next to Captain D's in the Melrose area. According to their Facebook page, they've decided to move to a new space in Green Hills. Word on the street is that they might be moving into the Abbott Martin location where Swett's used to be. (I told you to get out a pen and paper to keep track of these moves. A map might be helpful, too ...)
Rumored to be moving into Luna's old space is the latest outpost of Bolton's Spicy Fish and Chicken. This would replace their short-lived experiment on Murfreesboro Road in the old O'Charley's building. While the Melrose dining room won't be nearly as large and comfortable as the place Bolton's left, it would sure be nice to have another hot chicken option close to downtown.
In yet another instance of what was once lost being found, Roast Inc. has opened a bricks-and-mortar location again after closing down their Trousdale location. They'll be serving their delicious coffee out of a storefront at 2108-A Eighth Ave. S. near Douglas Corner. Hmm ... Eighth Avenue seems to be the new hot spot.
Two other ventures have recently announced that they will be or have already laid down permanent roots. The first is Perl Catering, who undertook a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to open a restaurant next to Stonehouse Q. You know, that house that was supposed to be a fondue/sandwich joint called the Blue Umbrella. The Kickstarter campaign was a success, but that location fell through.
The good news is that chef/owners Robert and Elizabeth Spinelli have secured another location at 7114 Highway 70S, Suite 109 in Bellevue in the former site of Tee's Fireside Cafe. They plan to be open soon offering breakfast and lunch cafe five days per week with a retail marketplace featuring local vendors. They also plan to have a full Saturday brunch available weekly and offer the space for rental for private events. The Spinellis are aiming to open by the end of October, so best of luck to them.
The last business to move into bricks-and-mortar is Randy's Famous Cheesecake. If you've ever sampled these amazing cheesecakes at a catered event or when they sell at the Nashville Farmers' Market, you'll be as pleased as I am that Randy's now has a permanent home at 115 Stadium Drive in Hendersonville. They are open from Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. so you can pick up whole cakes, half cakes or slices of their outrageous flavors like Cookies and Cream, caramel with a chocolate swirl and Apple Cinnamon Moonshine.
Now you know what it's like to try to keep up with the fluid food scene in Nashville. The good news is that all these moves seem like very positive developments for the restaurants involved, so fire up Google Maps and go eat someplace new!
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