So you did see my previous post about Nashville’s own Arnold Myint making his television debut on Top Chef very soon, right? As prep for the season premiere, I think you all need to acquaint yourself with his cuisine– or reacquaint yourself if you’re already familiar.

You have your choice of three restaurants- PM, Cha Chah, and Suzy Wong’s, all of which I can wholeheartedly recommend. But with some exciting new things happening, I think now would be the perfect time to Cha Chah!

Last night a friend and I took advantage of their awesome happy hour deal:

$5.00 Well Drinks
$10.00 Pitchers of Sangria (normally $18!)
3 Tapas for the price of 2
Daily from 5-7 pm

Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Vinegar and Almonds

In addition to cocktails and sangria, we also ordered tapas: the brussels sprouts shown above, the chickpea cakes shown below, and calamari. Let me just say that these brussels sprouts are INCREDIBLE. I eat them every time I go to Cha Chah. So if you go, you really must get them. The chickpea cakes were also very tasty and I would totally order them again. Oh, and I almost forgot! We ended the night with some Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates for dessert. Mmmm. It was not my first time to have them and they never cease to make my taste buds smile.

 

Chickpea Bacalao Cakes with Preserved Lemon Crema
They also have something called a Sunset Special that we didn’t try, but looks very promising:
2 Glasses of wine
and
unlimited passed Chef choice tapas for
$20.00 per guest!

If you aren’t busy this Thursday night, May 27th, then I’ve got just the thing for you. Arnold will be in the kitchen cooking up this very special tasting menu for only $40! Do you see this amazing spread? Grab some friends and GO!

May 27th Tasting Menu
Earl Gray Cured Salmon with Roasted Favas
Red Pepper Gazpacho with Fried Capers & Cucumber
Coriander Dusted Scallop with Barley Oat Tabouli & Papas Bravas
S & P Stripe Bass with Lemon Truffled Peas & Mushroom Flan
Fennel Braised Bison with Cornbread, Marrow BBQ Emulsion & Pickled Okra Tempura
Hibiscus-Guava Sorbet with Rosemary Syrup
Tres Leches with Goat’s Milk Ice Cream & Local Honey Caramel
Another exciting introduction to the restaurant is “Cha Chah’s Tasting Room”: a seasonal, creative, inspired, personal, and most of all, tasty expression of food and spirits.
Can Accommodate 2-18 people
Five Course Tasting $35.00
Seven Course Tasting $55.00
Nine Course Tasting $75.00
Wine Parings Available
24 hour notice appreciated

Sounds interesting and I can’t wait to try it myself!

Cha Chah
2013 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212-4405
(615) 298-1430

 


This Saturday some Nashville food bloggers (including yours truly) and fellow foodies will be whipping up some yummy treats to raise money for flood relief. Drop by The Green Wagon in East Nashville on Saturday afternoon and grab some sweet confections knowing those calories are going for a good cause!

If you’re a baker yourself and would like to contribute to the sale, jump over to Love and Olive Oil and let Lindsay know. Also, visit the Facebook page for more info or to let us know you’re coming!

Hope to see you Saturday!

You might remember me talking about Martin’s Bar-B-Que a few months back. Hopefully you heeded my advice and have eaten there by now. If not, go today. Go tomorrow. Heck, I don’t care what day you go, JUST GO.

And if I haven’t done enough to convince you, then let me suggest that you tune in to “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” this Monday night, May 24th at 9 pm Central. That’s right, Guy Fieri came to Nashville a few weeks back searching for our hole-in-the-wall hidden gems, and he discovered Martin’s. If you watch this show and don’t immediately make a trip out to the joint in Nolensville, then there is something wrong with you. Seriously.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
7238 Nolensville Rd
Nolensville, TN 37135

Open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
615.776.1856

It’s strawberry season, and time to celebrate their sweet juiciness!
As luck would have it, you have not only one, but two upcoming opportunities to celebrate. First up this weekend:

1st Annual Produce Place
Strawberry Festival
When: Saturday, May 22nd
9 am – 2 pm
Where: 4000 Murphy Road
Nashville, TN
In addition to local strawberries, you can sample food from Cafe Rakka, Olive and Sinclair Chocolate, Fat Jack’s bread, Chilly Pops Paletas, and Primm Springs Lemonade.
And then next weekend you can make your way over to the:
Strawberry Jubilee
When: Saturday, May 29th
10 am – ?
Where: 900 Rosa Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208
There will be strawberry specials, music, and The Green Bag Lady will even be on hand to help kick off the festivities! Haven’t heard of the Green Bag Lady? Well, she’s awesome. It’s as simple as that. She makes handmade fabric shopping bags that she gives away for FREE (worldwide!) if you promise to use it instead of paper or plastic. She records your name, city, country and bag number and displays all of these on her site. So far she’s given away over 10,000 bags. Pretty amazing.
I picked up my cute bag last fall at the farmers’ market, but in all of the chaos, I didn’t actually get to meet her that day. Instead, it was a couple of months later when SHE approached ME at Davis Kidd while I was waiting in line for the Pioneer Woman cookbook signing. She spotted my bag from across the room and wanted to take a picture of me! Click here for that story and photo.
Mark your calendar now so you remember to get out of the house the next two Saturdays and enjoy these strawberry celebrations, full of free goodies!
Photo Credit: Strawberries by clairity

In case you didn’t know, May is my favorite month of the entire year. Always full of fun events and happenings like Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby, Steeplechase, Memorial Day, and of course, the best one of all –My Birthday! Yep, in less than a week I’ll be blowing out the candles on my cake (we won’t talk about how many). But anyone that knows me well knows that I don’t just celebrate the day I was born. It all begins well before that day and pretty much goes until the calendar reads “June”. Kicking off my weekend of birthday festivities this year will be my favorite Nashville food event: Generous Helpings!

If you weren’t reading this blog a year ago, then you missed out on the great time I had at the last event, so you MUST click over and read about it right now. Really, I insist.
Once you read that, it shouldn’t be hard to convince you to come join me this Thursday night at the Nashville Farmers’ Market to devour all the scrumptious food from some of the areas best independent restaurants. 55 South, City House, Eastland Cafe, F. Scott’s, Miel, Park Cafe, Red Pony, Tayst, and Watermark are just a few that will be participating. Of course there are MANY, MANY more, including the new Holland House, which I haven’t had the chance to try yet. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what they’re cooking up.
Since we’re on the topic of participating restaurants, I guess now would be a good time to mention that this year I’ll be serving up food instead of just gobbling it up! You can find me at the Tayst table where I’ll be lending a hand to chef/owner Jeremy Barlow. I don’t know what he has up his sleeve for Thursday, but I know that last year he made this to-die-for bread pudding:


Root Beer Braised Pork Bread Pudding with Sarsparilla Creme and Sea Salt
So be sure to drop by our table to see what unique dish he’s concocted this time and, of course, say hello to me!

What: Generous Helpings
When: Thursday, May 20, 2010
5:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Nashville Farmers’ Market
900 Rosa L Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $40 by clicking here by 8 a.m. Thursday morning, or after that, you can purchase at the door for $50. Ticket price includes all food samples, beer and wine. Proceeds go to the Second Harvest Food Bank and Middle Tennessee’s Table.


This weekend I picked up some lovely asparagus at the farmers’ market to make this lasagna recipe I cut out of a magazine a long, long time ago. The lady who wrote it said that her “meat and potatoes” husband was hooked on it, so I was hoping mine would feel the same way.

When Ravi asked what I was making for dinner, my answer wasn’t exactly met with unbridled enthusiasm. Thankfully though he’s a good sport and keeps an open mind with my Meatless Monday experiments. 

Success! Rich and creamy, we both couldn’t help reaching for second helpings and look forward to having leftovers this week~
Print

Roasted Asparagus Lasagna

Serves 12. Adapted from Taste of Home.

Ingredients:

2 lbs of fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup shredded carrots
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
Dash of ground cloves
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1 -1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 -1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place asparagus, mushrooms and carrots in a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil, toss to coat. (I actually use my oil mister instead of measuring and tossing). Bake at 45o degrees for 10 minutes or until vegetables are browned; set aside. Reduce heat to 35o degrees.
In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and ground cloves until smooth. Gradually stir in the milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened. Set aside. In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic in remaining oil until tender. Remove from heat; add roasted asparagus, mushrooms and carrots. Salt and pepper to taste.
In a greased 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish, layer four noodles, a third of the asparagus mixture, a third of the white sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers twice.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

 

Photo Credit: Asparagus by Esteban Cavrico 

Season 7 contestants of Bravo’s Top Chef were just announced, and guess what? Nashville’s very own Arnold Myint is on the show!!

I love Arnold.

I love his restaurants, Suzy Wong’s House of Yum , Cha Chah, and PM.

I love Top Chef.

As you can imagine, I’m a little bit excited.

Click here to see all of the competing chefs, and be sure to tune in for the season premiere on Wednesday, June 16th!

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the new Burger Up on 12 South for months. As my trip to China drew near, they were getting closer and closer to opening the doors. My hope was that they would open before I left so I wouldn’t miss out on the grand opening…I hate when I miss out on these things you know!

But the day came for me to board my flight and sadly, no Burger Up yet. Fast forward 2 weeks when I arrive back in Nashville after eating loads and loads of Chinese food. With an intense burger craving, I plotted where to go to get my fix. Lo and behold, what do you know? I hadn’t, in fact, missed out on the opening of our new burger joint. Instead I was just in time, as the doors were opening that very weekend!

I’d previously gotten a sneak peek at the menu from Chef Chris Hyler, and was so excited to try so many things, but that night it was all about the burger. And it did not disappoint.

My burger served South Carolina style with Pimento cheese

Big, juicy, and way more than this girl could eat in one sitting, it completely satisfied my hankering for a good ol’ American burger.

We also ordered the Spicy Crab fontina habenero fondue with grilled ciabatta, and it was delicious. Sinful, rich, and delicious.

Some of the other tempting items on the preview* menu and on my list of things to try very, very soon:

Baby spinach salad with warm Benton bacon aged balsamic vinaigrette, grape tomatoes and fried local goat cheese croquette

Roasted beet, local goat cheese, and red onion over mixed field greens with white truffle aged sherry vinaigrette

Sliders 3 ways – Benton bacon and cabot white cheddar, Portobello with blue cheese mornay, Turkey with cherry sage aioli

Po Boy- choice of fried shrimp, crab cake, trout, or oyster, blue cheese house slaw, fresh local tomaotes, spicy lemon lime remoulade

Truffle fries with honey dijon aioli

Fried house pickles with buttermilk ranch

Quinoa and black bean burger with cilantro lime creme fraiche

In fact, I might just make my way over there next Monday night to sample a couple of these since they are participating in Eat Out for Nashville!

Burger Up
2901 12th Ave S
(12th and Paris)
Nashville, TN 37204

*these were on the menu on opening night, but as the weeks go by, they could be making tweaks