The Bitter Wife cocktail at Pinewood Social
Perhaps the most highly anticipated opening on the Nashville scene this year (at least for me!), Pinewood Social will open their doors tomorrow morning at 7 a.m.
Yesterday I got a little sneak peek, so I thought I’d share with you.
I know from conversations I’ve had recently that many of you are bewildered by this concept. It is perplexing. Definitely hard to completely understand until you’ve seen it with your own eyes. Not just restaurant, not just a bar– it’s a gathering place. A place to have meetings. Grab a bite to eat. Caffeinate. Karaoke. Bowl with friends. (And in a few months, take a dip in the pool!)
The bowling lanes at Pinewood Social
It seems like every concept that brothers Ben and Max Goldberg come up with turns to gold, and I don’t think this one will be any different. Actually, I’m sure of it. Chef Josh Habiger, who opened Patterson House with them, and then Catbird Seat, has come along for this new project too.
I’m fairly certain Josh’s food has some sort of magic dust sprinkled on it. That’s the only explanation I have for his ability to make me eat things I don’t think that I like, yet I end up loving.
Yesterday, it was a Reuben. Not just any old Reuben, but a Reuben with beef tongue. Beef tongue, Thousand Island and sauerkraut sounds like my worst nightmare, but it was truly delicious. Magic dust, I tell ya.
Fried Broccoli at Pinewood Social
While all the food we tried was great, there are two items that I definitely must insist that you order. Oddly enough, they are actually both cruciferous vegetables, of all things! More magic dust?
The fried broccoli appetizer with lemon zest, sea salt and almond/garlic dipping sauce and the cauliflower salad with peanuts and raisins will certainly be ordered by me many, many times in the future.
Pinewood Social’s pork belly salad, winter soup, and turkey/cranberry sandwich with cauliflower salad
Even though I was checking out the new space in the middle of the day, you know me- I couldn’t pass up ordering a cocktail.
No doubt I had high expectations for the bar program here. I mean, these guys opened Patterson House, still my #1 favorite place to get drinks in town. Add to that, Matt Tocco, who was at Patterson House before moving over to Rolf & Daughters to develop their bar program, is now at Pinewood Social. Verdict: high expectations met. So thrilled to add a new bar to my short list of places I enjoy going for a drink with friends.
Matt, Josh, Ben, Max. They are quite a team.
Speaking of Max, he’s the one that mentioned to my friend Kristin and I that Pinewood Social not only has amazing Crema coffee, but they also have coffee cocktails! He had no idea how much I love a good coffee cocktail. Of course we had to try them. I mean, duh.
The ‘Southern Limerick’ had coffee, bourbon, sorghum and heavy cream. The ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning’, a cortado with fernet and demerara sugar. So in L.O.V.E.
Of course, the coffee bar and surrounding area is good for other things besides just boozing it up. Drink a few cups of java while working at the big communal table or lounging in one of the comfy couches or chairs.
So think about it. This place could, in fact, house you for an entire day. You could take a breakfast meeting and then work over coffee. Meet business associates for a power lunch. Have a friend join you for after work drinks at the bar. Then your honey meets you for a dinner date, followed by bowling.
Get a few drinks in her, and she might even sing “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” in one of the karaoke rooms. Maybe. If you’re lucky.
33 Peabody Street
(Trolley Barns on Rolling Mill Hill)
Nashville, TN 37210
M – F 7 am – 1 am
Sat & Sun 9 am – 1 am
Readers often ask if I have a list of Nashville made products that could be put into gift baskets for the holidays or out of town guest bags for weddings. Up until now, I didn’t have an actual list. Usually I would just rattle off a few ideas that quickly came to mind, but the four emails I’ve gotten in the past four days prompted me to create this post so I can reference it from now on.
As I learn of new locally made products, I’ll keep this updated. 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
Goo Goo Clusters
Grab the Gold Bars
Mountain Jim’s Tennessee Tea Cakes
Nashville Chocolate and Nut Co.
Nashville Toffee Co
Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co.
Pralines by Leon
Tennessee White Trash
Walker Creek Confections
The Nashville Jam Company
Breads and Grains
Sunday Morning Pancake Mix
Just Love Coffee Roasters
Fat Bottom Brewery
Tennessee Brew Works
Belle Meade Bourbon
Collier and McKeel
Corsair Artisan Spirits
Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream
Note: a few of these products are made just outside of Nashville. All are made in Middle Tennessee.
Riffs Cafe grilled cheese, creamy tomato basil and chicken & dumpling soups, latte, peanut butter pudding & concord grape hand pie
I’ve been a pretty vocal fan of the guys of Riffs since Day 1 of them coming on the food truck scene. Actually, before Day 1. I know they’re great at the mobile food thing, I know their catering is fabulous, and they’ve thrown some awesome pop-up dinners. So it comes as no surprise to me that their new brick and mortar cafe is cranking out some delightful fare too.
The no frills diner is not exactly located in an area I typically spend much time dining in. Actually it’s an area I’ve pretty much avoided dining in up until now. Riffs Cafe at Highland Ridge is in an office park, just off of Briley Parkway and Elm Hill Pike, over near the airport.
While I don’t work there on a daily basis, the main office of my company is actually located not too far away, also just off of Elm Hill Pike. Occasionally I’m there for meetings or drop by to pick up samples, and I discovered early on that there was nothing good to eat nearby. Last year when The Chew and CBS Sunday Morning were in town to film stories on Goo Goo, I got the same question from the crews- “Where can we grab a bite nearby?”. My response: “Uhhhh, there’s a Hardee’s down the street.”
Riffs cafe lattes, samoa, chocolate dulce cookies, ‘moon pies’
Seriously, this area desperately needed a place like Riffs Cafe. While I’d love for them to have a brick and mortar location on my side of town (maybe one day??), the spot they landed in is the next best thing for me personally. At least when I am over at the home office I can swing by for breakfast or lunch.
For those of you that work around there, if you haven’t been, you’re missing out. There is no reason not to be dropping by once, twice, 5 times a week! And truly, it’s pretty easy to get to from downtown also – maybe a 10 minute drive? Definitely doable for a lunch break for you downtowners. Anyone heading to Shopry Mills to do some Christmas shopping on a weekday? Avoid the mall food court. Fuel up at Riffs beforehand!
Okay, so I guess I should probably describe some of the food, right? Well, if you’ve eaten from Riffs food truck before, you’ll recognize a few things, though they may have made a few changes or slight twists. They offer some more adventurous options but have plenty for those that like to stick to the basics as well.
Riffs Top Hat Burger and Fries
I’ve had everything from grilled cheese & soup to a burger, to Korean tacos and a Banh Mi. Served with cheddar cheese, a bacon onion hash, lettuce, tomato, and top secret Riffs sauce, their Top Hat Burger is insanely delicious. Oh, and their fries? Ridiculous.
Last week I got to sample a jerk chicken sandwich that was being tested out, and it was fantastic. Really looking forward to seeing it on the menu, as I think I should probably lay off the burgers and fries a bit, or I’m going to gain 5 pounds before the holidays even hit.
Plus, I’ve always got to leave room for the dessert calories when dining at Riffs. That case full of treats doesn’t tempt me, it owns me. There is no way I would even think of walking out that door without first getting something sweet to eat. No way.
Chocolate Caramel Coffee Shortbread Bar at Riffs Cafe
I first met and learned of pastry chef Audra Dykes’ brilliance when she worked at the then newly opened Coffee, Lunch last year. She participated in the Goo Goo Cluster 100 year anniversary dessert promotion and created one of my top 3 favorites, the Goo Goo Turtle Bars.
A few months ago she left Coffee, Lunch. and began working with Riffs Fine Street Food, opening up the new cafe. Her take on some of our childhood favorites like Swiss cake rolls, Twix bars, oatmeal cream pies, and Moon Pies blow the originals out of the water. Trust me on this – get one of the Moon Pies. I was floored.
You really can’t go wrong with any choice you make from the ever-changing array of sweet offerings. While I’ve only had it a couple of times, there is one item that I can’t get out of my head and wish I was eating right now. The ‘Riffs Bar’, a peanut butter-chocolate-pretzel creation can only be described as pure joy in bar form.
While Audra does fill the dessert case with amazingness every day, I also need to mention that she makes all the biscuits, buns and breads used on their savory dishes as well. And let me tell you– I don’t think there is any bread finer in this city.
Okay, now I’m hungry. Off to Riffs Cafe for breakfast! (I’m completely serious.)
In addition to liking the cafe’s Facebook page, you can also follow the truck’s Twitter and Instagram accounts to follow all of their adventures in food.
555 Marriott Drive
(Building Two) #105
Nashville, TN 37204
Hours: Mon – Fri 6:30 am – 3 pm
Photography credit: some images my own, others courtesy of Audra’s Instagram.
Every year about this time people start asking me where they can go to purchase several local items to create gift baskets. I don’t always have a good answer for a “one stop shop”. However, this year I’ve got one! This Saturday at Sunflower Cafe in Berry Hill, Local Table is hosting a Holiday Market. Several awesome vendors will be on hand to make for a super easy, very local shopping experience. Check out this list:
Amas Veritas Body Care
Angelight Candles w/Massoud Sacred Mandala Art
Goo Goo Clusters
Gypsy Design Jewelry
Laurie George handmade cards
Short Mountain Distillery
Tennessee Valley Pecan Co
Walker Creek Toffee
During the shopping event, Sunflower Cafe will be serving a $10 Veggie Burger Special that includes a glass of wine or beer. Eat, drink, shop!
A few months ago, I posted a list of several Nashville spots that were supposed to be coming before years’ end. Since writing that, a couple have been delayed and won’t open until 2014. But in the meantime, even more new businesses that weren’t mentioned in that list have launched, or have announced they’re opening soon.
The following are a few that I, personally, am particularly excited by. This is by no means an all-encompassing list of what is opening in the next few months or what has already opened– nowhere close to it! Really this is a way for me to create a “to do” list for myself in hopes that it’ll keep me on task to try each of these before the end of the year.
If you’ve experienced any of these already, I’d love to get your feedback, so leave a comment!
Porter Road Butcher West
4816 Charlotte Ave.
Breakfast served Mon – Fri 7 – 10 am
Lunch served Mon – Fri 11 am – 2 pm
Porter Road Butcher opened their new West location in August, and not long after, I dropped in to buy a couple of things and welcome them to the neighborhood. A few weeks after my visit, they announced they would start serving breakfast out of their drive-thru window (Note: can ONLY get it through the drive-thru!!) , and then in early October, they put the word out that they were serving lunch.
And boy oh boy, some of the offerings look incredible! Think big, Southern biscuits with sausage, egg, and Kenny’s Farmhouse cheese for breakfast (WAY better than a drive-thru Egg McMuffin, right??), Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls, and house made pear butter Pop-Tarts (I think I even saw a savory butternut squash and goat cheese Pop-Tart on the menu one day!!). Plus I just caught wind that they are now carrying Glazed donuts, which have also been on my radar for a while but haven’t yet tried.
And that’s just breakfast. Lunch specials that have tempted me: roasted cauliflower soup topped with crispy chorizo, spicy beef empanadas, meatball sub with marinara and Kenny’s Farmhouse swiss, Mexican style Torta with fresh avocado and a jalapeño lime crema, and a PRB Philly cheesesteak sandwich made with pasture raised beef, sliced thin and topped with caramelized onion and housemade cheese sauce. Uh hello. Gotta make my way over to Charlotte soon!
Like their Facebook page to see the daily menu.
Churro Queen Churros
When I lived in San Diego, I ate many a churro as I crossed the border to and from Mexico. Fresh, warm, sugary churros – ah, how I loved those things.
Since moving to Nashville I can’t say that I’ve had a really great churro. So when I heard about the newly launched Churro Queens food truck, my interest was definitely piqued. Then pastry chef extraordinaire Audra Dykes sang their praises, and I knew these ladies must be doing something really awesome.
Started by two cousins from El Salvador, Churro Queens make their churros fresh, one at a time, using traditional recipes but are also adding in new, creative ideas. A churro banana split? The Milky Way churro? Check out their website or Facebook page to see what they’re cooking up and where they’ll be next!
Bourbon, lavender infused local honey, blood orange shrub, egg white
507 Main Street
(5th and Main, East Nashville)
Nashville, TN 37206
I’ve moaned and groaned about this city’s lack of tapas restaurants before. So word of Antica, described as a “Tapas and craft cocktail bar” pretty much had me doing cartwheels. Is this the small plates place I’ve been dying for ever since Rumba closed???
Very possible since at least one of the members of the restaurant group’s team came from Rumba. One of the other owners has a background that includes Holland House, so the potential for incredible cocktails is also there.
It looks like they’ve been in a soft open phase for a couple of weeks now, with the Grand Opening happening this Tuesday, the 19th!
You can view the full menu on their website and keep up to date on their Facebook page.
Two Ten Jack
1900 Eastland Ave
Nashville, TN 37206
Last week Eater broke the news that Chef Jessica Benefield is in as the chef of East Nashville’s soon to be opened izakaya and ramen house, Two Ten Jack. While this restaurant was on my radar, I’ll be honest, it wasn’t one that I was super duper excited about. Sure, I like ramen fine, but we’ve got Otaku South already doing a great job with it around town.
However, now that I know that Jessica is a part of it, my interest level has definitely gone up several notches. You see, Jessica won the Iron Fork competition that I judged back in the Spring and her food was out of this world. I can’t wait to see what she does at this new spot!
Check out their Facebook page to learn more and keep up to date on their opening.
Chef Kevin Ramquist
There are a handful of chefs here in town that I simply adore. I love their food, but I also love their personalities. Kevin Ramquist is one of them. Over the past 3 years, while Kevin was the Executive Chef of F Scott’s, the restaurant was named Best Restaurant in the Nashville Scene Readers’ Poll twice and landed on Nashville Lifestyles’ Top 10 Best Restaurants list. In 2012, Kevin even took home the top prize at Nashville Lifestyles’ Savor Chefs Challenge.
Heck, there could have been even more awards that I missed, but I just tell you all of that to say – he’s good, people.
In October he created a Facebook page called “The Unicorn” and posted: “soon, very soon I will be starting a pop up dinner experience here in Nashville.” Of course, I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to hear more about what he had up his sleeve.
Then, just a few weeks later, he made an even bigger announcement to his Facebook friends – he was leaving F Scott’s to pursue his dream of owning a restaurant! Between now and whenever that opening happens, he’ll be throwing those promised Unicorn pop up dinners plus offering his services for catering.
So, I suggest you all “Like” The Unicorn’s Facebook page to stay in the know on what is to come and reach out to him if you have catering needs. I promise you will not be disappointed!
Note: All photos courtesy of respective businesses’ Facebook pages and Instagram feeds.
Black & White cocktail: Partida Blanco, Mandarine, Egg White, Fernet-Vallet
You guys, I love Chicago. I know that’s probably not a news flash since I’ve said it a million times before, but I just wanted to say it again.
Through the years I’ve had some amazing meals there (just see this, this, this, this, and this), and last weekend I added another spot to my ever-growing list of Windy City favorites: Trenchermen.
Located in Wicker Park, the restaurant lies below street level in what used to be a Turkish bathhouse. My friend tells me the tiles on the walls are the original that were there in the 1920′s…unearthed when tearing off drywall during the build out of the restaurant. Pretty cool, huh? I don’t usually focus too much on the design of spaces when I dine, but there was something about this one that drew me in. So much so that I wanted to learn more about it. If you’re into that kind of thing, check out this article that I found explaining the “Steampunk” look.
Of course, as much as I was fascinated by the space itself, that’s not what has me writing about Trenchermen today. You know it’s all about the food around here!
Pickle Tots, Chicken Breast Bresaola, Red Onion Yogurt, Scallions
I’m all about trying new things. I like to be tickled and surprised when I dine out. Maybe even a little perplexed by what I’m eating. Perhaps that’s what I loved so much about this place.
It all started with the pickle tots. I can’t even really explain exactly what they are, but I can tell you they were amazing. There are these thin slices of chicken piled on top of these dill tots with a red onion-beet-yogurt sauce. I know, it sounds weird. But I swear, they were awesome.
Potato Gnocchi, Huitlacoche, Mushrooms, Brown Butter Soy
Actually, pretty much every single thing we ate was awesome- gnocchi, beets with burrata, tuna tartare on brioche with brown butter crème fraîche…even the simple side dish of eggplant! In fact, that eggplant was probably the best eggplant I’ve ever eaten.
I made sure I took note of the ingredients: Eggplant, Bacon, Sweet Chili, Garlic, and Sesame. Yep. I will be trying my damnedest to recreate that dish at home.
And those things I just listed were only the small plates – the main dishes were still to come!
Aged Duck Breast, Duck Mole, Fried Tamal, Hakuri Turnips, Sweet Potato
Berkshire Pork Shoulder, Bulgher, Onions, Broccoli, Umeboshi, Black Bean
Scallops, Cauliflower Cous Cous, Orange, Vaudovan Spice, Bee Pollen
And since we were on a roll and so freakin’ happy with every single morsel we put in our mouths, you know we couldn’t stop. Dessert. Must. Be. Had.
Chicory Apple Fritters, Candied Apricot, Cider Glaze, Chai Ice Cream
Peanut Butter Banana Bread Napoleon, Maple Bacon, Frozen Custard
Trenchermen ‘Smores, Dark Chocolate, Popcorn Ice Cream, House Graham, Smoked Mallow
Seriously. Heading to Chicago? Put this on your list.
2039 W N Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
Neighborhood: Wicker Park
In yesterday’s November calendar of food events round up, I shared some details for Nashville Lifestyles’ upcoming Food, Wine and Design dinners. Well, I’m back today to give you a few more specifics on menus + a chance to win spots at the event!
November 12th & 13th, 2013
6 – 7 pm Cocktail Hour
7 pm Dinner
Omni Nashville Hotel
250 5th Ave South
Cost: $100/person (or $900 for table of 10).
Tickets can be purchased here.
“Feast of the Fish”
Tuesday, November 12th
Chefs: Matt Lackey of Flyte World Dining & Wine and Karl Worley of Biscuit Love
We don’t have the menu yet for this one, but what we do know is that Karl and Matt will be pulling items out of a giant fish tank. Say what???
I’m not exactly sure how that will work and what it means, but definitely could get interesting!
“A Trip to Spain”
Wednesday, November 13th
Chefs: Deb Paquette of Etch and Steven Robillo of Amerigo
smoked goats milk bacalao, almond fried octopus, mediterranean mussels, pea alioli, olives, radish
little Gem and escarole salad, prawn, romesco, garlic crisps, chili
Red chili duck and plum tart, Jerez fig sauce, chorizo frites, guava sweet potato, safron hazelnuts
paprika pork tenderloin, beluga lentils, Benton bacon, green bean, iberico ham, Marcona almond relish
a special surprise dessert
Now for the really fun part~ I’ve got two (2) tickets to each night’s dinner to give away to lucky readers!
To enter, all you have to do is this:
Congratulations to the winners!
#59 Niki – for Feast of the Fish on the 12th
#30 Sherri – for A Trip to Spain on the 13th
1. Leave a comment telling me which dinner you want to go to and why. I know it will be difficult, but you must choose only one!
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 “Food, Wine and Design is next week and @betheats is giving away spots at the table! http://bit.ly/16CTAuU”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
3. Like Eat.Drink.Smile. 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 Friday, November 8th at NOON CST. Once the winners are chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the names here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 24 hours, I’ll be forced to choose others, so be sure to check your email!
NFM Farmhand Dinner
Thursday, November 7th, 2013
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Nashville Farmers Market
900 Rosa Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208
I love the concept of this inaugural fundraiser event being held at (and benefiting) the Nashville Farmers’ Market later this week. Mayor Karl Dean and Troy Smiley of Smiley’s Farm will open up the dinner, and a dynamic team of culinarians and chefs will put their creative and innovative twist on the traditional farmhand dinner.
My friend Vivek of VEA Supper Club will kick off the evening by serving a “Water Break” with a twist – moonshine cocktails and hors d’oeuvres! After that, there will be dishes by Margot McCormack of Margot & Marche, Tyler Brown of Capitol Grille, Laura Wilson of NFM’s Grow Local Kitchen, Megan Williams of Etch, and Mindy Merrell & R.B. Quinn, The “Cheater Chefs”.
For more information, visit the NFM website and to purchase tickets, visit this Hands on Nashville page.
Mason’s James Beard Preview Dinner
Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Mason’s at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
2100 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203
Cost: $75/person + tax & gratuity (Wine pairings optional for an additional $25)
In case you haven’t heard the news, Chef Brandon Frohne of Mason’s has been invited to cook Thanksgiving dinner at New York’s renowned James Beard House. While we’re proud and excited for him, it’s not likely that many of us could make the trip to NYC for this dinner. BUT- guess what?
Before leaving on his trip, Brandon will be giving us the opportunity to a preview his entire New South Thanksgiving Dinner right here in Nashville! So what’s on the menu? A pretty incredible spread:
Deviled Farm Eggs with Heritage Pork Belly Marmalade and Mustard Seed Caviar
Spiced Sweet Potato–Walnut Biscuits, Blackberry Mostarda, and Speck
Carolina Rice Arancini with Pickled Shrimp, Peanut Romesco, and Bottarga
Butternut Squash Soup with Foie Gras–Gingerbread Marshmallow, Pickled Apples, Crispy Sage, and Peanut Butter Espuma
Smoked Squab with Heirloom Carrots, German Einkorn, Maitake Mushrooms, Root Beer Leaf, Burnt Onions, Salt-Roasted Beets, and Figs
Grassfed Beef Cheeks with BLiS Maple Syrup–Kumquat Gastrique, Hominy, and Brussels Sprout Kimchi
Heritage Turkey Dinde Roulé with Buttermilk Bread, Sweet Potato Bubespitzle, Wilted Kale, Grana Padano, Tennessee Truffles, and Pickled Cabbage
Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co. White Chocolate–Pumpkin Crémeux with Vanilla–Chestnut Beignet, Cranberry Conserva, and Espresso Salt
Seating is limited, so hurry and make your reservation now by calling (615) 321-1990.
Food, Wine and Design
November 12th & 13th, 2013
6 – 7 pm Cocktail Hour
7 pm Dinner
Omni Nashville Hotel
250 5th Ave South
Cost: $100/person (or $900 for table of 10)
Nashville Lifestyles magazine recently announced a new series they’re calling “Food, Wine and Design”. This month there will be 2 opportunities to participate and when you see the chefs for each, it’s definitely going to be hard to choose which one to go to! (at least that’s the case for me)
Tuesday, November 12th
Matt Lackey of Flyte World Dining & Wine and Karl Worley of Biscuit Love
“Feast of the Fish”
Wednesday, November 13th
Deb Paquette of Etch and Steven Robillo of Amerigo
“A Trip to Spain”
Tickets can be purchased here.
Sycamore: Barrel Aged Bash
Sunday, November 24th, 2013
5 – 8 pm
112 19th Ave. S
Tony and Caroline Galzin, the Sycamore dynamic duo, are working hard on their permanent location (opening in Nashville in 2014!), but in the meantime, they’re still hosting fun pop-ups from time to time.
While most of their pop ups have been more formal, seated affairs, this one coming up later this month is super casual, and definitely easy on the wallet. “Barrel Aged Bash” teams up Sycamore with Jackalope Brewing at Hattie B’s – sounds like a great combo to me! Jackalope is making specials brews aged in Corsair whiskey barrels just for this event and the oh-so-awesome Chef Tony will be whipping up house made sausages and fresh baked pretzels with Jackalope beer cheese.
Food and drink tickets, which guests can redeem for any beer or food item of their choosing, are included in the $20 price of entry. If you just want to eat, you can use all of your tickets for food. If you just want to drink, you can use all of your tickets for beer. My suggestion is that you do a little of both, because why would you want to miss out on either??
Entry purchased in advance includes 5 tickets, and while paying at the door is the same price, it only includes 4 tickets, so plan ahead. You know how the saying goes – “the early bird gets the extra sausage!” — Go ahead: buy your tickets in advance here.