With the exception of red onions and russet potatoes for the burger and fries, all of Silo's ingredients hail from Middle Tennessee. (Oh, and there is that imported citrus that goes into mixologist Robert Longhurst's excellent cocktail roster of Chartreuse mojitos, gimlets and whiskey drink. Now that's some elevated grain!)
Despite the limitations of the regional growing season, Silo is off to an impressive start in a gorgeous setting.
We Bites folk have been keeping an eye on the Silo project for almost a year. Who's been there? Anybody want to share a report in the comments?
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the pinnacle of mixed martial arts in the U.S. Love it or hate it, it's a huge enterprise — Fox isn't paying $100 million per year for the current TV rights because nobody is watching. They stage fights all over the country, including Bridgestone Arena back in January.
We've always wondered exactly how they pick cities to host fights. Is it some kind of demographic matrix? A bushel basket of sophisticated market research?
It turns out, sometimes it's just because it's where the money guys like to eat ...
So this is not local, but it is quite funny.
Jay Rayner, who writes about food for The Guardian, picked up a Tesco Express meal for a train ride and found the quality . . . lacking.
Even better for us, he live-Tweeted the whole thing. If you don't already, he's worth a follow. The meal-gone-wrong after the jump . . .
The new menu is compact and affordable and features a few inventive appetizers, including Fried Red Tomatoes and some salads along with two soups. Main courses revolve around roasted chicken and pork with one fish and one vegetarian dish. If you eat a chance to check out dinner at Blue Sky Cafe before we do, report back here in the comments. (We promise not to pile on any firsttime commenters. Come one, come all!)
Sky Blue Cafe
700 Fatherland St.
First Watch is a chain — "there are nearly 100 locations in a sort of belt across the central U.S. plus Florida, Wisconsin and Arizona," Wood writes — and the Brentwood store is the only one in Tennessee.
Wood praises the fresh ingredients First Watch includes in what could have been pretty beige palette of breakfast foods. And instead of sticking to an old-school egg-and-sausage cholesterol fest, the menu accommodates Americans' dietary obsessions for the 21st century: "Whether your regimen requires high-energy, high-protein, low-fat, low-glycemic, vegetarian or gluten-free meals, First Watch provides something interesting," she writes.
How about you, Bites Nation: Anybody tried the multigrain pancakes or the skillet hash? Feel free to chime in the comments.
I reported on Bella Nashville back when it opened in the spring, and I was impressed by the setup that owners Emma Berkey and Dave Cuomo have created. (Chris Chamberlain wrote a First Bite on it here in May.)
Happily, Bella Nashville's tricolored pizza flag is still flying high, and Fox's review is enthusiastic. As she explains:
As the Farmers' Market attempts to invigorate the cavernous shed into a vibrant year-round destination, Bella Nashville's debut is a boon. Not only does the restaurant animate the room with the à la minute excitement of live flames, it showcases the seasonal harvest of the neighboring farm stands.
Highlights include the meat pizza, which on that day featured Benton's smoky country ham, and the unique hummus pie:
To build this Middle Eastern-flavored delight, Cuomo & Co. slather a crust with za'atar (a blend of herbs and sesame seeds), then fire the crust in the oven until it reaches the stretchy consistency of a round of naan. The warm crust is painted with hummus and topped with a medley of toasted pecans and almonds, fresh mint and chili oil.
Also not to be missed: the house-made fresh sodas and teas. Read the full review here.
The redeveloped White Way Cleaners complex has become a destination for food lovers, as Carrington notes: "It has stealthily racked up beloved simple pleasures, from the chicken soup at Taco Mamacita to the hand-tossed pizzas at Bella Napoli; from Juanita Lane's evil deliciousness at Dulce Desserts to any and all of the luscious paint-colored confections at Legato Gelato."
And now there's a new little palace of treats to explore: "The latest enterprise to win my affection at the corner of Edgehill Avenue and Villa Place is Nomzilla Sushi et Cetera, a tiny green-and-orange hole in the wall between Dulce and the seductively appointed Edgehill Cafe."
Like Carrington, I've been impressed by Nomzilla and its savvy and industrious owner, Thet H. Tint. The native of Myanmar appears too young to have already explored the worlds of laboratory research (he has a science degree from Vanderbilt) and nursing (he's also an R.N.) before taking on the food biz.
Urban Grub is the much-anticipated latest project from Pennington and his business partner William Inman. Pennington, of course, is the seasoned pro who also owns The Local Taco and whose resume includes the pioneering days of The Bound'ry and South Street.
He's no longer involved in the latter two restaurants, but Urban Grub's style is reminiscent of the early days of Bound'ry, when its global flavors and creatively designed interior helped propel Nashville's restaurant scene into the soon-to-be-21st century.
With a roster of fresh seafood — including an alluring list of fresh oysters — Urban Grub is also reminiscent of the sipping-snacking-and-relaxing vibe of South Street.
Much-loved chef Deb Paquette, another Bound'ry veteran, helped develop Urban Grub menu (before departing to work on her own new restaurant, Etch). Urban Grub executive chef Edgar Pendley delivers a "pan-Southern coastal-flavored repertoire," Fox writes.
Hints of the Mediterranean, Asia and the tropics weave through Pendley's recipes for grilled Scottish salmon with pistachios, raisins, butternut sauce and pineapple salsa; Sriracha cocktail sauce on oysters on the half-shell; steak frites with chimichurri; and chocolate cheesecake with ancho chili. ...
Two standouts emerged in our visits. The first was an elegantly simple charcuterie platter of house-cured meats, including a thick slab of buttery tuna pastrami, supple kerchiefs of prosciutto, and "duck candy" — tender slices of rich meat laced with sweet hints of anise and other warm spices. In addition to the meats, the cast-iron tray carried cheddar, olives and a ramekin of pimiento goat cheese that traded the ubiquitous thin tags of red pepper skin for plump flesh of sweet orange bells.
Another exceptional entrée was a walnut-and-herb-encrusted fillet of trout cooked in a wood oven, topped with a lush tangle of arugula tossed with roasted butternut squash, orange segments, pecans and bacon vinaigrette.
Read the full story here and check out more of Michael W. Bunch's photos after jump.
Actually, not just the restaurant, but the block itself is pretty new: The redeveloped strip at 2002 Richard Jones Road. Kohana anchors one end, with the upcoming Alegria Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar at the other.
Kohana is a new sister restaurant to existing locations in Hendersonville and Clarksville, all three owned by Doris Cheung. Fox praises the "large, sleek room" and its "dazzling decor," with bright pops of color punctuating a palette of grays and black.
Equally large is the menu of sushi rolls, with more than 70 entries, and the biggest of them all is called the Mother of All Sushi Rolls: "a $19 roll sliced into eight hockey puck-sized cross-sections and plated with a peanut-honey dipping sauce," Fox says. She elaborates:
It takes more than 17 syllables just to list the ingredients in this epic signature maki: 'a gigantic roll with spicy tuna, tempura shrimp, soft-shell crab, seasoned spicy crawfish, snow crab mix, masago and cucumber." If traditional sushi rolls cut into bite-size baubles of pristine fish and rice recall a box of chocolates, the Mother of All Sushi is more like a big honkin' box of doughnuts — warm, soft, slightly sweet, and really big.
Not every roll is a daunting blockbuster of a sushi creation. "If you seek the simple pleasure of fresh fish and vinegared rice, stick with nigiri, sashimi or the more straightforward familiar rolls," Fox says.
She also praises some of the non-sushi Japanese menu items, including a rarely seen treat, hamachi kama. "The collarbone and pectoral fin of a yellowtail were grilled until thin golden skin cracked over buttery hunks of fish — the so-called 'cheeks' — whose texture recalled succulent fried chicken."
Check out the full review, and if you've visited Kohana yourself, feel free to chime in here with comments.
Last year was the year of Jeni's, as the artisan ice cream maker out of Ohio chose Nashville as the place to open its first retail shop outside the Buckeye State. (Local joint Hot & Cold had already started serving Jeni's, along with delectable ice pops from Las Paletas and Bongo Java coffee.) Also from Ohio, the 140-year-old Cincinnati company Graeter's arrived in Nashville-area grocery stores last year.
This summer, we welcome a new mom-and-pop gelato shop, Legato Gelato. We've written about it here on Bites, and in this week's issue of the Scene, restaurant critic Carrington Fox tackles the enviable job of reviewing the impressive new gelato outlet.
Legato Gelato is the brainchild of local ice cream enthusiast Terri-Ann Nicholls. (It's a true family operation, Fox writes. Nicholls' physician husband, Berchaun, helped launched the business, and her mom, Esmin Miller, works behind the counter sometimes.)
And Nicholls' philosophy of simple, made-from-scratch gelato goodness is wildly successful, Fox says:
The beautiful intelligence of her 600-square-foot jewel box of a store has as much to do with what's not in the mix, so to speak, as what's in it. In Legato's mix, for example, there is nothing artificial. There are no dyes or hormones. There's no egg. (Much of Legato's sorbetto repertoire is vegan-friendly.) In fact, there's not even much cream to speak of.
This is after all, gelato, not ice cream. The traditional Italian frozen confection differs from ice cream in that it is made predominantly of milk and served at a comparatively warm temperature, where the dessert achieves the custardy consistency that you can usually only get by putting ice cream into the microwave for just the right amount of time. Meanwhile, without all the butterfat to coat your tongue, the flavors of the add-ins really pop.
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