Archer Santa

I’m taking a few days off to be with family, unwind, and hopefully recharge, so before doing so, I wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas! May it be as magical for you as it is for my *almost* three-year-old munchkin!

rivulet-bottle

Rivulet Artisan Pecan Liqueur retails for about $35 for a 750ml bottle

Okay, so you know I’ve recently been sharing a lot of local gift items for you, and this one isn’t exactly local, but it’s from not-too-far-away!

The world’s first pecan liqueur was introduced in Kentucky (my home state!) this past summer. Rivulet Artisan Pecan Liqueur combines slow-distilled, barrel-aged brandy “with a proprietary recipe that extracts delicate pecan flavor.”  You guys. I love pecan flavored things, so when I heard about this liqueur I knew I simply had to sample it. And you know that if I’m here talking about it, that can only mean one thing– I love it!

I poured a little over ice and my tastebuds did a happy dance. You can drink it neat too (trust me, I sipped it that way as well), and I am absolutely certain that it will be great in dessert cocktails. Baking? I think it also has promise for that usage, but sorry, I won’t be the one testing that out. I’ll stick with drinking it, not eating it.

If you want further proof that this stuff is amazing,  check out this listing of awards they’ve received recently. Gold, Double Gold, Platinum and more Gold….impressive.

The most awesome news of all: Rivulet has arrived in Tennessee just in time for the holidays! The bottles are being placed on shelves as I type this, so if you purchase a bottle to give as a gift, it’s quite likely that the receiver will have never seen nor heard of it before. Up until now, it has only been available in Kentucky, and even then, only for a few months. Would make for a really cool gift, don’t you think?

Lipman Brothers will be distributing Rivulet to establishments in Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga. Below is a list of places confirmed to have it in stock as of today. I’ll continue to add to this list as I find out new locations.

Wine & Spirit Stores

Frugal MacDoogal’s, 701 Division Street, Nashville, TN 37203

Midtown Wine & Spirits, 1610 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37203

Craft Brewed Bottle Shop, 2502 Franklin Pike, Nashville, TN 37204

Red Spirits & Wine, 7066 Highway 70 South, Nashville, TN 37221

River Road Liquors, 7078 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209

The Wine Chap, 4322 Harding Pike #101, Nashville, TN 37205

Red Dog Wine & Spirits, 1031 Riverside Drive, Franklin, TN 37064

Plantation Fine Wines & Spirits, 940 Memory Lane, Gallatin, TN 37066

Providence Wine & Spirits, 1986 Providence Parkway, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122

Bars & Restaurants

The Yellow Porch (restaurant), 734 Thompson Lane, Nashville, TN 37204

Disclaimer: I was given a bottle of Rivulet to sample, but I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own!

sinema-nashville-brunch
Brunch dishes at Sinema Nashville

It’s no secret that I’ve been a big fan of Sinema since it opened back in the summer, but just because I love their dinner didn’t necessarily mean that I would love their brunch. For the most part, I find brunch menus in Nashville a bit boring, and to be honest, full of items that I can make for myself at home, so I don’t go out for brunch that often.

Well, I’ll tell you, Sinema’s brunch definitely does not fall into that category. Everything on this menu is a far cry from anything I have the ability to make for myself at home. When I sat down at the table and started to look over the menu, I was completely overwhelmed (in a good way) by all of my choices. It all sounded so amazing there was no way I could choose! Luckily, I have a husband and great friends that were willing to share, so we feasted. Just a few things we tried:

I Dreamed of French Toast ~Cardamom Sugar Crusted Amish Sourdough, Swedish Mulled Wine Poached Pear, Toasted Almonds & Whipped Lil Moo

Beef Hodepodge ~ Braised Short Rib, New York Strip, Vol Au Vent Mushrooms, Romaine, Cauliflower Potato Puree, Red Wine Gastrique, Poached Egg

Hush Puppy Fried Steak ~ Filet, Creamy Potato Salad, Sesame Soy Vinaigrette, Thai Pickles, Herb Salad, Sunny Egg

sinema-brunch-turkey-crepedilla

 Sinema’s Turkey Crepedilla (photo credit MA2LA)

And the one that completely took me by surprise and turned out to be my favorite:

Turkey Crepedilla ~ Buckwheat Crepes, Oil Browned Turkey, 3 yr White Cheddar, Broccoli, Red Onion, Sunny Egg, Green Goddess, Potato Chip Salad. Yes, potato chip salad.

 

sinema-brunch-bubble-service

 Bubble Service at Sinema (photo credit MA2LA)

Oh, and the bubble service! Can’t forget about the bubble service. Love this touch….a bottle of bubbly served with various juices and mixers to share with the table. I believe we had orange juice, passionfruit and elderflower, but they rotate the syrups and purées frequently, so you never know what you’ll end up with (though they’re sure to be delicious, whatever they may be).

I truly can’t get over how amazing this brunch is– the creativity, the flavors, even the pricing. It’s all incredible! Check out the full menu (and more gorgeous photos!) here. And yes, I titled this post “Best Brunch in Nashville: Sinema”, because as far as I’m concerned, nothing else even comes close!

 

Sinema

2600 Franklin Pike
Suite 102
Nashville, TN 37204
615-942-7746

Serving Brunch every Sunday from 10:30 am – 3 pm

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greed

 

Have you noticed Sinema’s recently launched “Seven Delicious Sins” series? I love the concept and the complete decadence of it, because, you know, I’m all about sinning when it comes to food and drink! Each month they introduce a new sin, and December’s is Greed, with the tagline “‘Tis better to receive than to give.” Perfect month for it, eh?

So, why not embrace it? It’s time to think about yourself, and I’m going to help you do that.  Yep, I’ve got a giveaway for you! One reader will win TWO (2) prizes:

  • Brunch for Two including Sinema’s signature bubble service (prize awarded in form of a $100 gift card)
  • An extra $50 gift card to give to a friend (or you can stick with being greedy and keep it for yourself)

 

~Giveaway~

Contest Closed

The Winner is….

#157 Leah

To enter, all you have to do is this:

Mandatory

1. Leave a comment telling me the flavor you’d like to see in Sinema’s bubble service. What syrup or purée lights your fire?

For up to 2 additional entries, you can do either or both of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.

2. Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “It’s ok to be greedy this holiday season. Enter to win @sinemanashville brunch for 2 from @betheats! http://bit.ly/1Gip4GL”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

3. Like Sinema on Facebook and come back and tell me you did so (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case!)

 

Contest ends on Monday, December 15th at 5 pm CST. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the name here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!

 

nashvilleproducts

About this same time last year, I created a list of Nashville made products to help you guys (and myself) when shopping for the holidays – or really any time during the year!

Since then, I’ve discovered a few new products, so I’m updating the list. If you notice that I’m missing something, please leave a comment and let me know.  You can click on the names of the products/companies to go directly to their websites.

 

Snacks and Sweets

Bang Candy Company

Brittle Brothers

Christie Cookies

Colt’s Chocolates

Goo Goo Clusters

Grab the Gold Bars

Loveless Cafe

Mountain Jim’s Tennessee Tea Cakes

Nashville Chocolate and Nut Co.

Nashville Toffee Co

Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co.

Pralines by Leon

Ridiculous Chocolate

Tennessee Cheesecake

Tennessee White Trash

Walker Creek Confections

 

JMThomason-6blends

New this year: J.M. Thomason Seasonings

 

Cheese, Condiments and Seasonings

Professor Bailey’s Spicy Pimento Cheese

Noble Springs Goat Cheese

Bathtub Gin

East Nashville Spice Company

J.M. Thomason Seasonings

Loveless Cafe

The Nashville Jam Company

Perl Catering 

Puckett’s Sauces and Seasonings

The Southern Sauces and Seasonings

Trubee Honey

 \

Breads & Grains

Bluebird’s Biscuits – Sea Salt and Buttermilk

Haulin’ Oats

Loveless Cafe

Nola Granola

Professor Bailey’s Pimento Cheese Biscuits

SoberDough

Sunday Morning Pancake Mix


Bluebird Biscuits

New this year: Forage South’s first product- Bluebird’s Biscuits, Sea Salt and Buttermilk

 

Beverages and Mixers

Bongo Java

Crema

Drew’s Brews

Eli Mason

Everly

Firepot Chai

High Garden Tea

Just Love Coffee Roasters

Roast, Inc

Walker Feed Co Mixers

 

Jackalope Brewery

Fat Bottom Brewery

Tennessee Brew Works

Yazoo Brew

Belle Meade Bourbon

Collier and McKeel

Corsair Artisan Spirits

Pennington Strawberry Rye Whiskey

Tenn South Distillery

Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream

 

 

WalkEatNashvillelogo

 

New this year: the Walk Eat Nashville food tour. You can buy gift certificates!

 

Experiences

Walk Eat Nashville gift certificate

Nashville Originals gift certificate

 

 

Shopping Destinations

There are a couple of new places that have opened here in town that carry a wide variety of local made products, so I’m including those for ease of one-stop shopping!

ACME Feed & Seed Shop

The Batch Nashville Store in Nashville Farmers’ Market

 

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 Hot Chicken Seasoning Blend from J.M. Thomason
photo credit: Hannah Messinger

For several years I worked for a children’s book publisher down in Cool Springs. Often when I would step outside of our offices, I’d catch a whiff of something fantastic. Cumin. Allspice. Curry. Nutmeg. The list goes on. Different day, different time, different scent. It wasn’t long before I figured out that one of our neighboring buildings was producing spices. Not a bad neighbor to have!

Flash forward to present day. I just recently discovered these fantastic new J.M. Thomason spices with oh-so-cool packaging created by Anderson Design Group. With blends like Hot Chicken and Bourbon BBQ (made with Belle Meade Bourbon!), they make for an oh-so-Nashville gift!

So why did I have to tell you about the smells I encountered in Cool Springs way back when? Well, it’s because I just put two and two together when I learned more about J.M. Thomason.

Apparently the Doug Jeffords Company has been making seasonings for chain and local restaurants since 1961. The Doug Jeffords Company is located in Cool Springs, right next door to my old office.  John Mack McKinley bought the business from Doug Jeffords in 1983. JMM passed away in 2005, and his son, James McKinley Thomason, is now President of the company. JMT wanted to create a high-end gourmet seasoning line in honor of his dad, thus J.M. Thomason was born.

 

JMThomason-6spiceblends

 J.M. Thomason spice blends
photo credit: Louisa Wells

As you can see, the packaging is awesome. I just love the look of the labels, and the fact that the spices are housed in these little metal tins. But what’s even more important is that this stuff tastes great! In addition to the Hot Chicken and Bourbon BBQ previously mentioned, there is also Chili Lime, Porterhouse Steak, Streamside Angler, and Tuscan Dipping Oil. Their website has some great looking recipes if you need inspiration on how to use them.

In addition to their online store, you can also purchase the seasonings locally at Porter Road Butchers, both Turnip Trucks, Batch Nashville and Whole Foods. For an full list of retailers, click here.

~Giveaway~

Contest Closed

The Winner is….

#48 Elena

Because I love you guys so much, I’ve got a set of these incredible spices to give away! You’ll get one of each of the 6 spice blends – a retail value of over $50.

To enter, all you have to do is this:

Mandatory

1. Leave a comment telling me which spice blend you’re most interested in trying, and what you’d do with it.

For up to 2 additional entries, you can do either or both of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.

2. Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “Spice up your holidays! @betheats is giving away a very cool J.M. Thomason spice gift set. Enter here: http://bit.ly/1rY1BSH”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

3. Like JM Thomason on Facebook and come back and tell me you did so (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case!)

 

Contest ends on Sunday, December 7th at noon CST. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the name here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email! Note: winner must provide an address to ship to within the contiguous United States.

Eli-Mason-group

I looked at my calendar this morning and panicked a little when I realized that Christmas is only 4 weeks away- eek! I don’t love to shop, so I am currently full of anxiety. Anyone else with me? I’m determined to make the next few weeks as easy and anxiety-free as possible, so I’ve decided to go with a theme for pretty much everyone on my list. The theme? Buy Local.

Today marks the beginning of a series of posts on some of my favorite Nashville-made products that I’ll be gifting this holiday season. Hopefully I’ll share something new that you’ve never seen before, or at least remind you of some great items that are made right here in our area.

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OrangeCrush2

Orange Crush Cocktail by Leah of So, How’s It Taste?

First up- Eli Mason Cocktail Mixers!

As I think you know, I love a good cocktail. I’m not usually one for pre-made syrups and mixers, but when I tried Eli Mason for the first time, I was thoroughly impressed. Their motto is “Spirit Forward”, which means they believe in creating cocktails that highlight the spirit used instead of trying to cover it up. As their website states: “We use only the finest ingredients like pure cane sugar, fresh mint, and organic gum arabic from the acacia tree to craft our products. It’s like having a bartender in a bottle.”

A couple of my food blogger friends have been just as impressed with Eli Mason syrups as I have been. My friend Leah over at So, How’s It Taste made a tasty Orange Crush Cocktail recently with their grenadine and declared it the best tasting grenadine she’s ever had!

amaretto-southern

 Amaretto Southern by Southern Fatty

Southern Fatty (aka Phillip) created an Amaretto Southern using Eli Mason’s Gomme Syrup. Phillip is one of my favorite food and drink bloggers, so I trust his opinion (probably because we seem to have similar tastes). When he says the gomme syrup was the perfect addition to keep his drink smooth, I believe it.

In addition to the Gomme Syrup and Classic Grenadine that I’ve mentioned, Eli Mason also makes a Mint Julep and Old Fashioned Mixer as well as Demerera and Rich Simple Syrups. For those of you here in Nashville, you can find locations to purchase on their website. For those that are not from around here, they sell online too!

 

Eli-Mason-giveaway

 

Before you go and make your purchase though, why not try to win this fabulous giveaway I’ve got for you?! Eli Mason is going to generously provide one of my lucky readers with the awesome gift box shown above. The box includes 1 bottle of Classic Grenadine, 1 bottle of Mint Julep Mixer, a stainless steel jigger, and a handmade ceramic “Spirit Forward” flask. The flask is one of only seven ever made! The flask alone would retail for $40, so the combined total value of this pack is around $68.

~Giveaway~

~ Contest Closed ~

And the winner is…..

#36 Brandon

To enter, all you have to do is this:

Mandatory

1. Leave a comment telling me what cocktail you’d mix up at home using one of Eli Mason’s fab syrups.

For up to 2 additional entries, you can do either or both of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.

2. Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “Time to start mixing up cocktails for the holidays! Win an @EliMasonSyrups gift set from @betheats — enter here: http://bit.ly/1xUPSeS”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

3. Like Eli Mason on Facebook and come back and tell me you did so (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case!)

 

Contest ends on Sunday, November 30th at noon CST. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the name here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email! Note: winner must provide an address to ship to within the contiguous United States.

 

Photo Credits: Orange Crush Cocktail by Leah Short and Amaretto Southern by Phillip Fryman

 

WalkEatNashvillelogo

For several years now, I’ve been eating and drinking my way through town, checking out the newest hot spots and also stumbling upon hidden gems. As many of you know, a big reason I even began blogging was to share these experiences with others in hopes that some of my discoveries would make you as happy as they’ve made me. Well, today I’m sharing one of those smile-inducing finds with you.

Recently Expedia Viewfinder challenged me to learn more about my city through a new culinary experience, so I’ve partnered with them to highlight a fun, informative, and very delicious journey through East Nashville — the Walk Eat Nashville food tour.

When former Tennessean reporter Karen-Lee Ryan told me that she was launching this new business, I was thrilled. You see, after participating in a few tours of this type in other cities, I’ve often come back home inspired, believing that someone here should really be doing the same thing.

From what I knew of Karen-Lee, she had the enthusiasm and the knowledge to create something great, and even though I thought that, I was still blown away by just how awesome the tour turned out to be!

 

Marche-Walk-Eat-Nashville

Marché’s Butternut Squash and Farro Salad with fennel, currants, arugula, feta & white balsamic vinaigrette; Apple and Brie Tartine drizzled with honey

So exactly what is a walking food tour? Well, you walk, and you eat. It’s that simple, yet so much more.

The Walk Eat Nashville tour currently offers two routes, both based in East Nashville, but with plans to expand into other areas of town in the future. There is a Thursday tour at 1:30 p.m. and a Friday one at 11 a.m. Each route has six stops, and covers about 1.5 miles over 2.5 hours. At those six stops, you do tastings at artisan shops and restaurants, all while listening to stories about the business from the owners or the management. When you’re not busy eating or drinking, you’re walking the lovely tree-lined streets of East Nashville while Karen-Lee relays fascinating historical facts about that part of town, most of which I never even knew.

Please note that when I say “tastings”, you shouldn’t envision tiny nibbles. The portions at each stop are substantial enough that this will serve as your lunch for the day. While Thursday and Friday have a different mix of businesses, rest assured that you will not be disappointed in any of them. Karen-Lee has done an incredible job of partnering with the best of the best.

 

Five-Points-Pizza-Walk-Eat-Nashville

To give you an idea of what to expect, I’ll walk you through what my tour entailed, starting from our first stop to our last.

Stop 1: Marché Artisan Foods

After meeting up with the group in front of Margot, we all walked together down the street to one of my favorite brunch spots, Marché, a European-style cafe and marketplace. They were expecting us, so a table was waiting and Karen-Lee ordered for the group to expedite our visit. We shared  apple and brie tartines and a butternut squash and farro salad, both of which were scrumptious seasonal dishes.

Stop 2: Five Points Pizza

A short two-block walk, and we found ourselves at Five Points Pizza. While enjoying a slice, I was reminded exactly why this place has been voted Best Pizza in Nashville three years in a row in the Nashville Scene “Best of” Reader’s Poll.

Stop 3: Lockeland Table

The longer 5-6 block walk to our next stop was welcome since, at this point, my belly was getting full. It needed a little rest.

At Lockeland Table, owners Cara Graham and Chef Hal Holden-Bache greeted us. Since the restaurant is only open for dinner service, and we were there midday, we had the entire place to ourselves, and were able to leisurely sip a tasty Southern Girl cocktail. The chef brought out a few small bites for us to sample too while he and Cara both shared with us some interesting stories regarding the history of the building and their beginning.

Lockeland-Table-Walk-Eat-Nashville

Cara Graham, owner and GM of Lockeland Table, pours cocktails for the Walk Eat Nashville group

Stop 4: High Garden

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you probably know that I don’t drink tea. I don’t like it. Believe me, I’ve tried. On more occasions than I care to count, I’ve taken sips of various teas when people attempt to change my mind. Nothing has swayed me.

Based on this fact, as you can imagine, I wasn’t super excited about visiting High Garden, an old fashioned apothecary style herb and tea shop. But, I always try to keep an open mind, and this is one of those instances where that paid off.

The word “enjoyed” doesn’t adequately describe how I felt about this stop. I truly fell in love with this little place that specializes in unique hand prepared herbal infusions. I suppose those are the magic words – herbal infusions. I may still not like normal teas, but I have discovered that I adore some of the herbal infusions created here. In fact, as I type this I’m sipping on Autumn Apple, a mixture of hibiscus, chamomile, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.

Stop 5: Chocolate F/X

Tucked back in a corner of the Shoppes on Fatherland was Chocolate F/X,  a unique little chocolate shop where we got to sample truffles, which is never a bad thing. Fun fact: the owner left a career in special effects makeup to become a chocolatier, so you may see some very unique creations here.

Stop 6: Bongo Java Coffee Shop

We concluded the day’s journey at Bongo Java, where we were offered coffee and a Las Paletas. Since it was late in the day, I passed on the caffeine but I certainly wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to cool off with one of those delightful gourmet Mexican popsicles — a perfectly sweet ending to a fabulous tour!

High-Garden-Tea-Walk-Eat-Nashville5

My new love, High Garden Tea

As I hope you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed the Walk Eat Nashville tour and look forward to going back and doing it again, particularly when I have out of town guests visiting.  A fantastic way to try  out several places in one trip, this is great for tourists and locals alike! Cost is $49 per person and advance reservations are required by calling 615-587-6138 or booking online.

For those of you traveling to our fair city, you can learn even more about what to do when visiting Nashville by clicking here.

tonypie

Chef Tony’s Holiday Pie Class

Thursday, November 13th
6 – 8 pm

POP Nashville
604 Gallatin Ave.
Nashville, TN 37206

Cost: $30 (includes class, recipes, pie samples and a complimentary cocktail)

This Thursday, November 13th, Chef Tony Galzin is hosting a holiday pie class at POP Nashville! I don’t know about you, but now that Halloween is behind me, I’ve definitely starting thinking about my Thanksgiving and Christmas menus.

You may remember me talking about Chef Tony previously. When he moved here from Chicago in 2012, he was the Pastry Chef at Flyte, and that same year was named best pastry chef in Nashville by Nashville Lifestyles magazine. There’s no doubt he’s the perfect teacher for pie making! At the class, Tony will demonstrate techniques for making crust, fillings, and baking tips. He’ll even throw in a few tips on what to do with leftover turkey, something we all could use. Hurry and get your tickets now before they’re all gone!

 

Photo credit: pie photo courtesy of Pop Nashville event website

 

local-fest-web

 

Local Fest @ the Mansion

Saturday, November 15th
10 am – 4 pm

Cost: FREE

Dinner @ the Mansion

Saturday, November 15th
5 pm – 9 pm
(cocktail hour begins at 4 pm)

Cost: $99

Riverwood Mansion
1833 Welcome Lane
Nashville, TN 37206

A community event celebrating Nashville’s farmers, artisans, and purveyors, Local Fest @ the Mansion will have live music, food trucks, local craft brews & spirits, lawn games, and artisan vendor tents set up on the Historic Riverwood Mansion grounds. And it’s totally free to get in!

That evening, a 6-course dinner with drink pairings by Local Chefs Trey Cioccia (The Farmhouse), Edgar Pendley (Urban Grub), Carey Bringle (Peg Leg Porker), and Debbie Sutton (8 Lavender Lane) will benefit the On Target 4 Vets non-profit organization.

A VIP cocktail hour with specialty drinks and hors d’oeuvres will begin at 4 pm, and seating for dinner will begin at 5pm. For more information and to purchase tickets for the dinner, visit the Local Fest website.