Birthday at The Catbird Seat
What does a food blogger like me choose to do for her birthday? The same thing she chose to do for her wedding anniversary – The Catbird Seat, of course.
Yes, I’ve written about my experience there before, and as a general rule, I don’t do repeat posts on here, but there are certainly exceptions. Some meals are just too wonderful not to share.
Plus, I have new information that perhaps not all of you are aware of yet:
Each year Food & Wine magazine chooses 10 chefs as “Best New Chefs”. This year, Nashville’s own Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson, the amazing guys behind The Catbird Seat counter, made the list!
See, that’s them on the cover.
They, along with one other co-chef team, pushed the number of chefs in the 2012 issue to 12 instead of 10. Do you think Food & Wine did that on purpose? You know, 12 in 2012?
Anyway- a huge congratulations to these guys on this honor…very well-deserved!
Dry Riesling + Sake + Maple Syrup, carbonated with lime
Now on to my meal.
Unlike my last visit when I was 4 months pregnant, this one was booze filled. And I loved it.
The woman responsible, Jane Lopes, the beverage director of The Catbird Seat, deserves a mention as well. She creates some unique cocktails as well as chooses interesting wines and beers that truly add another dimension to the dishes.
Chatham Oyster, cucumber, yuzu vinaigrette
I’m not going to bore you with a lot of writing today. These gorgeous plates are like works of art, so I’m mostly going to let them do the talking.
(Except that I forgot to take a photo of the obscene fried cornbread ball filled with bacon mousse. Yep, you read that correctly. We’ll call it a Picasso)
Beef tartar with juniper, horseradish, burned bread, smoked roe, and rosemary salt
This was the most complex tartar I’ve ever eaten – floral, salty, herby (is that a word?) – it was definitely also the best.
Ramp Vichyssoise, watercress, pork belly, carrots, violet
If only I’d recorded the noises coming from the 4 of us girls as we ate this pork belly….
Halibut, favas, black garlic, lemon pudding, sorrel
Each of us ranked our top 3 dishes of the meal when we finished, and this was my #1. Halibut is my favorite fish, and I am infatuated with favas thanks to my China experience. I could eat this every. single. day.
Pigeon with white asparagus, shaved porcini, pigeon liver mousse, lovage, and charred green asparagus jus
The #2 dish for me was this pigeon. Because who doesn’t want a pigeon claw for their birthday?
Lamb with onion milk, toasted curry oil, charred peaches, and morel mushrooms
The lamb ranked #1 for a couple of my girlfriends, and I certainly didn’t leave even a tiny nibble behind on my plate either.
Hay-infused caramelized yogurt, strawberries, chamomile, and toasted wild rice paired with Tripel Karmeliet beer
Hay-infused yogurt? Where do they come up with this stuff? Honestly, for those of you out there that are doubters and don’t understand how a meal could be $100, this alone should explain it. The time and effort that goes into concepting and executing each and every element of all the dishes is astounding.
If you ask me, $100 is a bargain.
A ginger gin cordial
It’s my birthday and a magical ginger cocktail appears in front of my face. Ginger. How did Jane know that this would make my night?
Maybe it wasn’t created specifically for me, but it might as well have been. With gin, ginger, cardamom and lime zest, I can’t imagine a more perfect birthday cocktail.
Next, it was on to desserts. Three of them to be exact. The one above and below was so gorgeous that it deserves two photos.
Cucumber semi-feddo, lime sherbert, toasted rice crisp, cucumber balls, Thai basil
Gorgeous and delicious. It’s kind of like when you meet a guy that’s really good-looking AND super sweet. Then, as conversation goes on, you realize he’s also smart. And funny. That’s this dessert. Surprising you with every bite.
(Guys reading- I don’t mean to leave you out. Just imagine it’s a beautiful girl. With all that other stuff too)
“Bacon and Eggs”
Maple infused egg custard with bacon crisp served in a real egg shell.
First – Yes, this was as decadent as it sounds.
Second – Can you imagine what a pain in the a** it is to make these delicate little bowls out of real egg shells?
Pineapple gelee’, vanilla cake, cherry crisp, bourbon balls
After all that, I’m quite sure you want to visit The Catbird Seat yourself, right?
Reservations open up exactly 30 days out, so it’s a good idea to mark your calendar for the date you need to get online to make them. For even more detailed tips on securing a spot, check out this piece written by my buddy Chris.
The Catbird Seat
1711 Division Street
Nashville, TN 37203