A Meal Worth Savoring (and saving for)


Weeks have passed, and I’m just now getting around to documenting the incredible Savor Nashville dinner I was fortunate enough to take part in on June 4th. I’d waited so long that I almost decided to forgo posting this at all, but then realized that would be a real shame for a couple of reasons.

First, when this event rolls around again next year, I want even more of you to attend. Hopefully by sharing these mouthwatering photos, I can convince you to start saving your money now so that can happen.

Secondly, I have a really good feeling that something from this meal will show up on my “Top 10 of 2011” list, so I wanted to be able to reference a blog post when the time comes.



Pork Belly Bap and Lobster Popover with Demitasse of Chilled Mint English Pea

by Lydia Shire of Scampo, Boston and Matt Simonds of Hilton Downtown, Nashville


When the first course arrived at our table, I was a bit surprised by how substantial it was. Honestly, the size of this plate alone was almost enough for an entire meal! With a crispy outer skin and lots of juicy fat finished off with a bit of sweet hoison sauce, the pork belly sandwich was simply amazing (but how can pork belly NOT be??).  The popover was equally fantastic. I’m not sure if dipping it into the pea puree was how it was meant to be handled, but it seemed like the right thing to do to me.

I had to force myself not to finish off every morsel on this plate so I’d have room for the remaining four courses….


Brazilian Shrimp Chowder

by Norman Van Aken of Norman’s, Orlando and Jeremy Barlow of Tayst, Nashville

Chef Van Aken informed the crowd that this chowder didn’t exactly go as planned. Seems that he created a base for the soup back home in Florida, which he then overnighted to Nashville. Unfortunately, the package never arrived, so he and Jeremy were forced into Plan B. I was so happy with this creation that I drank up every last drop, so I can’t even imagine how blown away I would’ve been by version A.


Brioche and Mustard Crusted Halibut with Porcini Broth, Favas, and Exotic Mushroom Agnolotti

by Robert Kinkead of Kinkead’s, Washington DC and Matt Bolus of Watermark, Nashville


Hands down, this halibut and agnolotti was the table favorite. Eyes rolling back in the head, a look of pure ecstasy on the face – that’s what I witnessed around me. Truly, there are no words to adequately describe how I felt about this dish, but if this is any indication of the kind of food Watermark’s new chef is putting out at the restaurant, I will be there often.


Roasted Triple NY Steak with Beef Rib Mole and Hominy

by Robert Del Grande of RDG Bar Annie, Houston and Brian Uhl of Cabana, Nashville


At this point in the evening, my dress was feeling tight and I’d had about 5 glasses of wine, so I’ll admit, the rest of the meal is a bit of a blur. I’m sure on a normal night, with this steak as my main dish, I would have thoroughly enjoyed it, but I’d hit a wall. Two bites and I was done.


HI Vintage Chocolate Macadamia Torte, Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake, Candied Citrus Charlotte Russe

by Larry Forgione of Clark’s Group, NY/DC/Las Vegas/Brazil and Megan Williams of Capitol Grille, Nashville


That said, I can never pass up chocolate. Chocolate with macadamia nuts? Yes, I ate every bite of that torte and despite my inability to breathe normally as my dress cut off my circulation, it was worth it.


Our parting gift, truffles from The Cocoa Tree


Alright, so now’s the time to start planning for next year. If you can sock away about $10 a month, by the time Savor Nashville rolls around again, you’ll be able to join me. Just please remind me to choose a more suitable, non form-fitting dress, okay?