Swveral years ago, the winner of the Scene
’s “You Are So Nashville If...” contest was “...you never meant to stay here this long.” The Committee of Insiders judging the entries could relate: all 12 of them had come to Nashville from somewhere else and were surprised to discover that, 10 to 15 years later, Nashville had become home. Add Tampa’s Scott Sears and St. Louis’ Scott Atkinson to the list of immigrants sucked in by our black hole of hospitality, opportunity and quality of life. The two came to town to attend Vanderbilt and met when both were in a band, Room 101. They worked at Rio Bravo together, then went their separate ways for a few years—Sears worked at Telalink while Atkinson moved to Chicago. They kept in touch, and their mutual interest in opening a restaurant grew from an idea to a goal to a plan.
This fall, Sears, Atkinson and a third partner, chef Robert S. (yep, for Scott) MacClure, will be opening Flyte World Dining & Wine in the former Omni Art building at the corner of Division and Eighth Avenue. Flyte will focus on pairing wines and foods, with a small but select multicultural menu and wine list. Thirty wines will be available by the glass and bottle, with the average price of the latter $35. Guests not only can order a flight of wine—typically 2- to 3-ounce pours of three different wines—but can sample a flight of food (such as tasting portions of three appetizers) as well as flights of beer. MacClure moved to town from Chicago, which was also home to head bartender and brew director Doc Downs; kiss Windy City goodbye, boys.
While the area isn’t currently a dining or entertainment hot spot, it is familiar to locals thanks to nearby neighbors Frugal MacDougal’s and Arnold’s Country Kitchen. The partners believe that Flyte’s proximity to The Gulch, easy accessibility and unique concept will trump any reservations about the location. The corner building is currently under renovation. The bar/lounge will seat about 50, the dining room 100 more; diners who like to be ringside can make reservations in the 20-seat kitchen dining room. Flyte World Dining & Wine is at 718 Division St. Hopefully, the restaurant will be open before cold weather closes the patio.
The Tomato Art Fest, the late-summer celebration of the quintessential fruit-vegetable (fruitable?), has apparently been on a steady diet of Miracle-Gro, because the third annual edition, set for Aug. 12, is shaping up to be a whopper. Several new activities have been added to the East Nashville tradition, now officially known as The Greater Five Points Tomato Art Fest. It is also a centerpiece of Camp Nashville, a two-day event produced by Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) that will take participants on a tasting tour of some of Music City’s signature foods, like meat-and-three and hot chicken. (For more information, or to be added to the waiting list for the sold-out camp, go to www.southernfoodways.com
One of the most popular components of the fest is the Tomato Recipe Contest, sponsored this year by SFA and focused on the BLT. The concept was inspired by an SFA event held last year in Napa, Calif., during which chef John Currence of Oxford, Miss., made a delectable catfish BLT. The 3rd Annual Tomato Recipe Contest wants your interpretation of the classic sandwich. Recipes submitted before the festival will be posted online, though it is not required to do so in order to participate in the actual contest, which will be staged at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12. The winner will be chosen from the BLTs brought to the contest site in Five Points.
The Tomato Art Fest will kick off with a preview party at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, at Art & Invention Gallery, owned by Fest founder Meg MacFadyen and husband Bret. Chef Sean Brock, who wowed diners at Capitol Grille until he departed for Charleston in March, is coming back to prepare catfish BLTs for party guests. The Bloody Mary Contest preliminary takes place at the same time at 3 Crow Bar (home of the Scene
’s 2005 winner for Best Bloody Mary.)
On Saturday, East Nashville restaurants will add tomato-based items to their lunch and dinner menus to commemorate the fest, which kicks off bright and early at Bongo Java Roasting Company with the debut of two new roasts that you can buy by the pound or enjoy on site with a piece of tomato cake. There are a slew of activities throughout the day: the Tomato Toss, which benefits animal rescue organizations, will be staged at Wags & Whiskers; special events are planned for children at Kastle Key and Bongo Java; the Most Beautiful Tomato Competition will flaunt itself from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m; an outdoor bazaar with nearly 40 vendors will take place at Art & Invention from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; The Turnip Truck hosts the Heirloom Tomato Tasting from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; the Bloody Mary Finals are set for 3 p.m. at 3 Crow; the Tomato Recipe Contest is at 4; and at 6:30, the Tomato Art Show will be unveiled at Art & Invention. Live bands will be playing outdoors from 1 to 10 p.m., on a stage next door to the Woodland Avenue post office.
BLT recipes can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org; please write “BLT recipe” in the subject bar. On-site contest participants must bring their BLT and recipe to the festival site by 3:45 p.m. on Aug. 12. For a complete listing of Tomato Art Fest events, log on to www.tomatoartfest.com
Open for business
• BrickTop’s, the restaurant constructed on the site of Houston’s—which closed last year after nearly 30 years of business at 3000 West End Ave., officially opens for business at 4 p.m. Monday, July 24. Loaded kosher hotdogs, crab cakes, grilled artichokes, deviled eggs and banana splits will be on the menu; Houston’s founder, co-owner and homeboy Joe Ledbetter will man the door; Vandyland veteran Mack McGee will be cooking in the kitchen.
• John and Starr Chapman aren’t from here, but when Katrina blew away their 20-year-old restaurant on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, they decided to start over in Nashville rather than rebuild in Long Beach. Chappy’s on Church opened a little over a month ago at 1721 Church St. (322-9932) and is serving lunch and dinner seven days a week, and champagne brunch on weekends. Chef Chappy specializes in New Orleans Creole cuisine. Menus are posted at www.chappys.com