Girls on Food

Catherine Courtney

Nashville is not limited to honky tonks, hipsters and hot chicken. My name is Catherine Courtney and I am Nashville native here to highlight the culinary delights that my hometown has to offer. When I was a little girl, dining out options were limited. Chain restaurants like Captain D’s, Shoney’s and Waffle House (although I do love a good grilled cheese from WH) were the only things my hometown had to offer. Growing up, my family had traditional dinners or “suppers” as we sometimes call them in the south. Most of you all know them as the standard meat and three. And yes- mac and cheese counts as a vegetable in the south. Any time my mom would venture outside the box and try something new, I would whine and say “tell me you aren’t experimenting on me again?” Needless to say, my palate and my outlook on food has evolved. In the last 15 years, I’ve discovered that food and travel are the embers that keep my soul on fire. Both have allowed me to become more mindful and adventurous. I am obsessed with finding the best craft beer and the most unique and creative food a place has to offer, regardless of where it is. Time is our greatest commodity. Why spend it eating mediocre food? It is my hope to share Nashville’s culinary evolution as well as my epicurean adventures throughout the world. Feel free to follow me on social media Instagram: @blonde_voyage_nashville blondevoyagenashville.com

All The Booze And Bites You Missed At Music City Food And Wine

The sixth annual Music City Food and Wine Festival came to a close Sunday, September 16th. Those who were lucky enough to score tickets to the sold-out bash had a chance to sample some of the best bites and booze from across the country. The talent roster was an assortment of celebrity chefs, TV personalities, authors and local Nashville culinary masterminds. From book signings, cocktail throwdowns, chef panels, and a concert headlined by Kings of Leon, this weekend was a celebration of all things that make Nashville “Music City.”

Here were some of my favorites from the weekend festivities!

Ruffino (Website and Instagram)

What girl can resist bubbles and a perfect photo op? Ruffino brought their A game to Music City Food and Wine. Not only did they have this darling champagne cart complete with photo booth capabilities, but they greeted guests on Saturday morning with their own miniature bottle of Prosecco or sparkling rosé. You know what I say, “ Rosé all day!”

Wicked Weed ( Website and Instagram)

Wicked Weed is one of my favorite breweries in Asheville, North Carolina. When I saw their tent on Friday night, I couldn’t think of a better way to beat the heat than with their Uncle Rick’s Pilsner. Given the insane temps and number of beer enthusiasts at the festival, this tent was in high demand.

Black Rabbit (Website and Instagram)

Chefs Trey Cioccia and Chad Kelly knocked it out of the park this year. I might even go as far as to say it was one of my top three food bites of the festival. Don’t be fooled by the unassuming, monochromatic appearance of this bite, it was filled with flavor and the toppings packed a punch. Below you will find a Rabbit Terrine Taco topped with cabbage, onion and mustard sauce. Seriously, is your mouth watering?

Nicky’s Coal Fired (Website and Instagram)

I couldn’t let Music City Food and Wine Festival pass without checking out one of my favorite Nashville establishments, Nicky’s Coal Fired. Not only are they making some incredible pizza and pasta, but the owners, Tony and Caroline Galzin, are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. Chef Tony served up his legendary Gnocchi Sardi with Bolognese Blanco and Porcini Breadcrumbs. Thank goodness I know Tony pretty well so there was no judgment when I went back for second and thirds… Yes, I have zero shame when it comes to his pasta.

If you are planning a trip to Nashville, this is one of my most recommended restaurants outside of City House.

Belle Meade Bourbon (Website and Instagram)

You can’t officially call yourself a Southerner if you don’t have an affinity for bourbon. While I had a chance to sample their full portfolio at the kick-off party, these gentlemen were serving guests Cold Fashioned, which was the BEST way to stay cool on Saturday. When there are four massive tents filled with bites and booze and you make the conscious effort to seek out the same cocktail on repeat, you know you have a winner!

Funk Seoul Brother (Website and Instagram)

This isn’t your average KFC, ladies and gentlemen. Chef BJ Lofback served one of his highly sought after dishes, Korean Fried Chicken to festival goers on Saturday. This is one of those legendary dishes that you often hear about but rarely have the chance to sample. I’m not going to lie, this dish was worth the sticky fingers.

Lonesome Dove Western Bistro (Website and Instagram)

There’s nothing I love more than a good stuffed pepper and when I heard that Chef Ian Shorndon from Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Knoxville was serving up brisket stuffed chili peppers, I had to swing by and check them out. I was fortunate enough to snap a photo right after they were replenished because these guys couldn’t keep up with the demand. A crowd favorite for sure!

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint + Friends (Website and Instagram)

Every year Pitmaster Pat Martin hosts an extraordinary bar-b-que inviting friends from across the country to brave the Tennessee temps and cook over the open coals for the weekend. Dishes and chefs rotate on a frequent basis, so it’s worth making multiple stops. I had a chance to sneak back to the prep area and see where all the magic happened and skip the excessively long lines. It’s hard to pick a favorite from this but I have to say I was at a loss for words after taking one bite of Chef Chris Shepard’s concoction. Chef Shepard is the at the helm of UB Preserv, where he was awarded a James Beard award in 2014. Next time I find myself in Texas, you better believe I’ll be at Underbelly!

Chef Tom Bayless, The Public House

If you have followed along on the blog or caught a glimpse of my Instagram, you know I was ecstatic when I walked into Harvest Night and saw that Chef Tom Bayless was making my all time favorite creation, The Tomato Sandwich. Yes, it may sound like a simplistic Southern dish, but I assure you it is far from that. Imagine three layers of freshly sliced tomatoes, topped with sea salt, sandwiched between a sesame seed bun slathered with charcoal mayonnaise. Is your mouth watering? I know mine is. I exercised no self-control at this tent, it was on repeat.

Chef Jeni Britton Bauer, Jeni’s Ice Cream

I have a sweet tooth like no other. Sometimes I exercise complete restraint while other times I say screw it and enjoy all the things. It goes without saying when “Jeni’s Ice Cream” is mentioned, I get a little weak in the knees. Saturday evening, Chef Jeni Britton Bauer partnered with Hi-Fi cookies and created a Sweet Corn and Blackberry Ice Cream Sandwich. You know Jeni’s Ice Cream, I don’t have to tell you how good it was!

Music City Food and Wine, you are by far one of my favorite weekends in Nashville. My clothes may be a little tighter, my feet a little sore and my liver beyond repair, but you throw one heck of a party. One I will never miss!

If you are interested in attending THE festival of the year, stay tuned to the Music City Food and Wine website (click here) as they will be announcing the dates for the 2019 festival soon!

Save The Date! Music City Food and Wine Festival – September 14-16, 2018

Image Courtesy Of Music City Food And Wine Festival

Calling all food connoisseurs, music lovers and imbibing enthusiasts! The sixth annual Music City Food and Wine Festival returns to Bicentennial Park on September 14-16, 2018.  Hands down, this is one of my favorite Nashville events. For the most part, festival programming will remain the same as it was in 2017, but there are a few new additions I want my readers to know about!

Friday Night Throwdown and Official Drink of Nashville

Nashville is known for honky-tonks, hot chicken, and hockey, but isn’t it about time that we have an official drink of Nashville? On Friday evening, partake in the ultimate happy hour where Nashville’s top bartenders and mixologists compete to create the Official Drink of Nashville. “this competition will celebrate the spirit of Nashville and shine a spotlight on Music City’s talented bartending community. The city’s best bar teams will mix, shake and measure to create this year’s essential Nashville cocktail. Enjoy bites from top chefs & restaurants, wine and cocktail tastings and more.”

If imbibing isn’t your thing, head on over to the Friday night throwdown where chefs Anne Burrell and Tim Love go head to head in a spirited cooking demo captaining teams featuring celebrity sous chefs from our very own Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans.

Harvest Night

Where are my Studio 54 fanatics?  Pull out the velvet jumpsuits, plunging necklines, and sassy sequined clothing for this year’s Harvest Night where Kings of Leon along with other special musical guests will be performing iconic disco hits from the 70’s and 80’s. Guests can enjoy bites from 7:00-9:00 pm with Studio 54 tunes beginning at 9:00 pm.

“Chefs scheduled to cook at Harvest Night include: Jeni Britton Bauer (Jeni’s Ice Cream);Tom Bayless (The Public House); Matt Bolus (The 404 Kitchen); Sean Brock (McCrady’s, McCrady’s Tavern, Husk, Minero); Maneet Chauhan (Chauhan Ale & Masala House); Carla Hall (ABC’s The Chew); newly minted James Beard Foundation Award-winning “Outstanding Chef” Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune); Tim Love (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Woodshed Smokehouse, Queenie’s Steakhouse, Love Shack, White Elephant Saloon); Margot McCormack (Margot Café & Bar); Aarón Sánchez (Johnny Sánchez); Chris Shepherd (UB Preserv); Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto, Jams, Adele’s, Brezza Cucina); Tandy Wilson (City House); and Andrew Zimmern (TV personality, Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen).”

In addition to the panel discussions, cooking demos and the grand taste, Pitmaster Pat Martin will be joined by friends, chefs and other well-known pitmasters for Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint and Friends. This event is always entertaining as Pat and his buddies will cook and serve the most fantastic live fire bar-b-que. You never know who may be at the helm of this feast because last year I ran into Andrew Zimmern cooking over the hot coals.

For my bourbon enthusiasts, Pappy Hour will return on Saturday, September 16th. “This exclusive bourbon tasting will be led by Preston Van Winkle of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, great-grandson of iconic bourbon maker Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle.  More information n how to attend Pappy Hour will be announced this summer. “

One event that I haven’t had the opportunity to attend is the Gospel Brunch. To be honest, I am usually so wiped by the time Sunday comes around, I never make it. My friends who have previously attended have raved about both the music and the food. After all, who doesn’t love a good brunch?

Tickets to the Music City Food and Wine Festival are on sale and can be purchased here.  Want my advice? Purchase an all-access pass… you don’t want to miss a minute! But if you can’t splurge on the all-access pass, I’d opt for one of the following: Saturday Day Pass (Fantastic cooking demos, access to the Grand Taste and one hell of a dance party Saturday afternoon when they shut down) or Harvest Night (Stellar chef line up and an intimate KOL concert- and you know they are going to bring some great guests out).

For more information about the Music City Food and Wine Festival click here.

Hope to see you in September!

 

Brunch Is In Session At The Old School in Nashville

The Old School
5022 Old Hydes Ferry Pike, Nashville, TN 37218
Website and Instagram

As much as I love to travel and explore new things, I can sometimes become a creature of habit. I tend to revisit my favorite local restaurants and cocktail bars that I know won’t disappoint. Imagine my reaction when one of my dearest friends wanted to brunch “outside the city” in Scottsboro, Tennessee.

“Scottsboro, Tennessee. Where is that?”

“It’s only twenty minutes or so outside the city, like Bells-Bend area. I’ve heard there’s a great restaurant out there. Come on, let’s check it out! ”

(Shaking my head) “You seriously want to leave the city for brunch? Ok, but this better be worth it and you’re driving!”

To this day, my friend continues to give me a hard time about this. Especially given the fact that I have gone subsequent times and The Old School is now one of my favorite Nashville establishments.

The Old School is located approximately twenty minutes outside Nashville and I promise, it’s absolutely worth the drive (and that’s coming from a girl who detests driving). Led by executive chef, Kristie Bidwell and Pastry Chef, Danielle Veit, all of the items at The Old School are sourced directly from The Old School farm or purveyors within a 25-mile radius.

While farm to table is one of the most popular trends in the restaurant industry, I assure you, this is not your typical farm to table restaurant. The Old School “is a unique, historic, culinary destination experience.”  In addition to the farm and restaurant, The Old School has a lovely event space that is perfect for just about anything. From weddings and flower crown making to goat yoga, they have literally done it all.

The Old School supports local farmers and encourages sustainability through an ever-changing menu that highlights hyper-seasonal fruits and vegetables. Aside from sustainable sourcing, they pride themselves on their environmentally conscious practices as The Old School is a prominent member of the Nashville Food Waste Initiative.

After road-tripping an entire twenty minutes (does that even qualify as a road-trip?), we arrived at our destination. Given the fact that we didn’t have a reservation, we made sure that we were approaching the doors exactly at 10:00 a.m. Escorted to our table, I was in absolute disbelief. Is there such as thing as farmhouse-chic? If so, The Old School would receive top prize.  From the sweet bouquets of field flowers, the quaint tables for two and the melodious music from the bluegrass band, everything was just perfect.

Bloody Mary

Given that The Old School uses such hyper-seasonal ingredients, it’s highly unlikely that brunch dishes will remain the same from week to week.  Heck, if a brunch dish is uber-popular on Saturday, there could quite well be small substitutions made on Sunday. It changes THAT much. Heed my advice, if there’s something that you want to try, order it. While there could be a variation of the dish, it’s possible you won’t see it again.

The Old School has a fully stocked bar with several beers on tap as well as classic brunch cocktails. If you only take one thing away from this post, I hope it’s this. ORDER THE BLOODY MARY. It’s bloody BRILLIANT! The bartender uses the seasonal vegetables which range from tomatoes, peppers, onions, you name and then roasts them with various spices to concoct this mix. Once you’ve had this bloody, you won’t want to drink anything else….I don’t.

Goat Cheese Beignets

Pastry Chef Danielle Veit is an absolute mastermind of all things sweet. Before I learned about the Baker’s Basket, I would order small treats like the Goat Cheese Beignets or Cinnamon Roll to snack on throughout the meal. However, after seeing the Baker’s Basket for the first time, I forever changed my ways. This basket is filled with bites both sweet and savory and rest assured you will have a smile on your face. The best part, if you don’t finish you can get a box and enjoy them later.

Baker’s Basket

Take it from this Southern girl, there’s nothing better than The Peach Truck peaches. I have been fortunate to enjoy two dishes created by Chef Bidwell this summer. First, Grilled Peach Truck Peaches with Endive Frisée and secondly the Peach Truck Panzanella. I thoroughly enjoyed both dishes, but if I had to choose a favorite, I’d lean towards the Panzanella. It had these crispy fried red onions that were out of this world. Which dish would you choose?

Grilled Peach Truck Peaches with Endive Frisée
Peach Truck Panzanella

If you don’t have a penchant for peaches, there are plenty of other items on the menu. The Old School offers several smaller dishes in the event that you went a little too crazy on the Baker’s Basket or perhaps just want a lighter meal.

During my last visit, the server recommended the Marinated Baby Heirloom Carrots. Normally, this is not a dish I would gravitate towards, but with his recommendation, I knew it was worth a try. O.M.G. I was a little surprised that the dish was served cold but I really enjoyed the amazing flavors and freshness of the dish.

Marinated Baby Heirloom Carrots

If you prefer sweet over savory breakfast dishes, I can’t recommend the Pain Perdu enough. Talk about a little bite of heaven. These pillowy pieces of bread are covered in blackberries and bourbon powdered sugar and topped with Asiago cheese. I was a little perplexed when I saw that flavor combination on the menu, but it was love at first bite.

Pain Perdu

From brilliant bloody marys, Peach Truck peaches and a Pain Perdu that will leave you speechless, it’s evident why brunch at The Old School is a must. Word on the street is that dinner is just as incredible but for some reason, I’ve only made it for brunch. I totally blame it on the bloodys.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and check out The Old School. It’s sure to become one your Nashville favorites

**GOF Tip: Swing by Opentable and make your reservation today. Brunch fills up quickly. Click here for reservations.**

Let’s Get Toasted: Toasty San Francisco

Toasty

2760 Octavia St. San Francisco, CA 94123

Website and Instagram

What would you do for good food?

Stand in excessively long lines (ahem, Madrid and Street XO)? Wake up at all hours of the night to secure reservations (how else can I secure some of the most coveted reservations) Fly thousands of miles in search of the prettiest bite?

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I will not let any obstacle get in my way of an epic meal and in fact, I’m guilty of all three.

A couple of weeks ago, I flew to San Francisco to visit my very best friend. This girl has been my ride or die and partner in dine since college. So, it goes without saying that every time I visit, I send her a list of potential eateries that I’d like to check out. Knowing that we won’t knock out a fraction of them, I note which ones are an absolute must. On this last trip, there were only three places that were non-negotiable, Toasty, being one of them.

How does a girl from Nashville come across an avocado toast bar in San Francisco? Well, that’s simple. Instagram. A fellow food blogger highlighted Toasty on their feed and I was awestruck. I had no idea that toast could be so pretty.

After a four hour flight and one heck of an intense parallel parking job, we arrived at Toasty.

Toasty, which opened in October 2017, is the first ever avocado toast bar in San Francisco. Owner Sofia Pinzón, who arrived by way of Medellín, Colombia, decided to turn her love of all things avocado into a business that would attract people from across the globe. Realizing that people eat with their eyes, Pinzón created these masterpieces topped with edible flowers that are almost too pretty to eat. Almost…

Toasty, located in the Cow Hollow neighborhood, is staffed by only eight individuals.  Seating is rather limited with only bar seating available on the inside and three quaint tables located outside the restaurant facade. If you want to grab a place to perch, I’d recommend going early or during an off time, even though I think Toasty has a line out the door on any given day.

Restraint. The first word that comes to mind when I walked through the doors of Toasty. I wanted one of everything on the menu. Remember, I’ve been stalking this eatery for quite some time and that, paired with a voracious appetite can be quite dangerous. After my partner in dine talked some sense into me, we ordered.

Seeing as we just finished caffeinating, we opted for healthier beverage choices: Beet Root and Turmeric lattes. I’m not going to lie, I’ve never had a Beet Root Latte in my life, but it, like all the toasts, was too pretty to pass up.

After five or ten minutes passed, our collection of toasts arrived at our table. Collection is the appropriate word because our selections literally consumed our table and we had nowhere else to go. Thank goodness we planned accordingly and snagged a table.

My partner in dine and I decided that the Eggy and Prosciutto toasts were a must but alas, my inner child wanted the Unicorn toast as well.  Who can say no to colorful cream cheese and sprinkles?

I have to admit, we both paused with hesitation. These toasts were indeed to pretty to eat. But let’s be honest, that only stopped us for a minute. We each started with a slice of a different toast. I started with the Eggy, she started with the Prosciutto. Once we devoured this goodness, we exchanged notes and then wooden cutting boards.

Despite the fact that we ordered the Unicorn toast for photos only, I couldn’t resist nibbling on that colored cream cheese goodness. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as sweet as I anticipated.

For those who aren’t avocado enthusiasts (which I can’t even wrap my head around), Toasty offers açaí bowls and chia pudding.

Toasty’s menu changes every six months or so. Sofia has a few upcoming creations that are sure to be both beautiful and delicious. I may or may not have heard rumblings of beet and hummus toast? Perhaps something with arugula? Without a doubt, you know it will be photo worthy!

If you find yourself in San Francisco and find a place to park, head directly to Toasty for an unforgettable avocado toast experience.

Break Out The Control Top Lederhosen: Von Brunch At Von Elrod’s

One of the biggest complaints I hear about the Nashville food scene is the lack of diversity. Let’s face it, there’s no shortage of fried chicken, biscuits and burgers. However, it wasn’t until recently that you could find some solid German food in Music City.

Before he became one of Nashville’s well-known restaurateurs, Austin Ray (A. Ray Hospitality) packed his lederhosen and made the pilgrimage to Munich to attend Oktoberfest. From the raucous bands, oversized pretzels, plentiful sausages, to the delicious German beer, the experience was one Ray would not forget.

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Tasty Takeaways from Music City Food + Wine Festival

The fifth annual Music City Food + Wine Festival was held this past weekend at Bicentennial Park and it did not disappoint. In an effort to keep up with the ever-evolving culinary scene in the Music City, festival programming was expanded to include a Friday Night Grand Taste highlighting more of our local chefs and restaurateurs. One noticeable change this year was the ratio of booze to food. It was overwhelming and for many quite a challenge to remain sober. In 48 hours, I consumed no less than 10,000 calories. Clearly, I was living my best life. With more than 100 vendors at the festival, I had a hard time culling down my list of favorites. So I chose my top tasty takeaways from the festival.

One of my first stops at the Music City Food+Wine is always Barilla Pasta. Chef Yury Krasilovsky always has a spectacular pasta dish featured. It doesn’t hurt that he lives in Chicago and we have a chance to catch up on our favorite new restaurants in the city. This year Barilla brought their A game and one helluva pasta pan! Below you will see Chef Yury preparing Barilla Penne with Tomato “Passata”, Burrata Cheese and Arugula Pistachio Pesto.

Hot chicken…It’s what Nashville is known for, among other things.  Hattie B’s was serving up their delicious hot chicken (and no, it wasn’t too spicy) on top of a pimento cheese grit cake. Of course, no hot chicken bite is complete without a pickle!  Hattie B’s partnered with a local brewery, Bearded Iris, to pair this bite with their Homestyle or Scatterbrained Beer. I found the Homestyle to be a little less hoppy and more to my liking with this bite.

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Why I Paid $900 to Dine at Saison

Acquiring Michelin stars has been a hobby of mine for quite some time, albeit a costly one for both my wallet and my waistline. In the midst of planning my annual trip to San Francisco, I decided it was a great time to add a few Michelin stars to my list seeing as the Bay Area now has as many three star restaurants as New York City. Poring over the Michelin Star list, note that there are 54 restaurants that received stars in 2017, I knew that I wanted a dining experience that was a departure from the typical pomp and circumstance of a three Michelin star restaurant and one whose menu pushed my gastronomic boundaries. I found both at Saison.

Saison

178 Townsend Street, San Francisco, California 94107
Website

Approaching the door of Saison, I was reeling with excitement to see what was on the menu (would it be? Black bear, antelope or perhaps a different exotic game?) and I couldn’t wait to immerse myself into this dining experience. It’s hard to imagine that seven years ago Saison was a “pop-up” restaurant operating in the back of a cafe and now they are arguably one of the best restaurants in the world.

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D.C. Dining: Rose’s Luxury

Lately, it seems as if I am developing a habit of standing in lengthy lines for dinner. First Street XO and now Rose’s Luxury. The question that is always asked: “was it worth it?”

You’ll have to read and find out!

Rose’s Luxury

717 8th St. SE

Washington D.C 20003

Website

For those of you unfamiliar with Rose’s Luxury, I thought it might be helpful to have a little background on the restaurant. Rose’s was named Best New Restaurant of 2014 by Bon Appétit and two years later Chef Aaron Silverman was recognized by Food & Wine as the Best New Chef in 2016. Quite the impressive resume and it continues to grow as Rose’s was recently awarded one Michelin star in the inaugural Michelin Guide for Washington D.C. Chef Silverman’s focus is not just on the food and kitchen. His primary concern surrounds making his patrons happy and showing them a good time.

How did the restaurant get its name? Great question and one of which I adore the answer. Rose was the name of Chef Silverman’s late grandmother who was quite the epicurean. The luxury represents Silverman’s pursuit and obsession for hospitality. I always find it heartwarming when a chef pays tribute to a family member or friend who has provided inspiration throughout his/her journey.

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Madrid Musings: Street XO

As you all know by now, I am notorious for planning all of my vacations around food. Before I even made flight or hotel reservations for Madrid, I checked to see what Michelin star restaurants were in the area. Imagine my excitement when I discovered that there were 14 different restaurants with Michelin star rankings, and that doesn’t even include the World’s 50 Best list! Seeing how Diver XO and Alinea recently collaborated, it was one of the first places to research. Months in advance of my trip, I reached out to Diver XO inquiring about reservations. Imagine my disappointment when I learned that they don’t accommodate parties with less than two guests. Dammit. Rather than brooding over the fact that I would not be able to experience the culinary creations of the mohawked, Michelin star chef, David Muñoz, I decided I would check out the next best thing, Street XO. And so the journey begins.

Street XO
Calle de Serrano, 52, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Website

Planning my itinerary, I decided that Monday would be the ideal day to visit as I had read numerous articles talking about the wait. I grabbed my things from the hotel and off I went. Starting my day with a quick bite at Arzabal, I then spent a few hours wandering through the Reina Sophia and then decided to make my way to Street XO. I grabbed my phone and input the address. I was a little over a mile away and would arrive as soon as they opened. Perfect timing, right? As I made my way down Calle de Serrano, I kept looking for building 52. 60, 56, 48, where the hell was 52? Trying to avoid being the typical American tourist, I popped into a few stores asking if anyone knew where it was and all I received were blank stares until the last store where the kind gentleman told me it was located in El Corte Ingles. I had only walked past that place at least 6 times during my search.

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Weekend Wrap Up: Music City Spirits and Cocktail Festival

It’s been another crazy weekend in the Music City. Not only did we have the usual cast of characters: bachelor/bachelorette parties, concert-goers, and tourists, but this weekend we had thousands of visitors from around the country participating in the Rock and Roll Marathon. I, on the other hand, kept it local and had the chance to see what the Music City Spirits and Cocktail Festival was all about. Cocktail connoisseurs and imbibing enthusiasts from across the city came together to celebrate craft cocktails, award winning bar programs and some of the city’s top mixologists.

This multi-day festival had something for everyone. Kicking off the party on Thursday was an event sponsored by Cooper’s Craft, Bourbon and Bluegrass, two of Nashville’s favorite things.

Providing a little bit of relief from the heat on Friday afternoon, MCSCF hosted the Polynesian Pop, A Tiki Extravaganza. Not only do I have a love for rum but I have a penchant for coconuts, umbrellas and all things tiki. While all of the cocktails were spectacular, there were two standouts of the evening. The first was a take on a Dark and Stormy which used Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum, Lustau Sherry, and Ginger Beer.

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Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival in Nashville: Get Your Tickets Now!

Calling all cocktail connoisseurs and imbibing enthusiasts! PourTaste’s Jon and Lindsay Yeager are hosting the fourth annual Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival. This year’s festival will be held April 27-30th at Pavilion East, in East Nashville. Guests must be 21 years of age to participate. Enjoy classic cocktails crafted by some of Nashville’s finest mixologists while mingling with your fellow Nashvillians, and all for a great cause! From bourbon and bluegrass to a frozen cocktail comeback, this festival has it covered!

Image Provided by Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival

Event tickets begin at $35.00 and if you are torn on which event to attend, never fear! You can secure an all-access pass, which begins at $120.00. Click here to purchase your tickets.

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Hello, Henrietta Red: Nashville’s Next Level Coastal Cuisine

Henrietta Red
1200 4th Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37208
http://www.henriettared.com/

I stepped off the plane and literally, hightailed it to Nashville’s newest restaurant, Henrietta Red. Nestled between Cochon Butcher and City House on 4th Avenue North, Henrietta Red is a restaurant/barroom serving up a variety of coastal fare. Chef Julia Sullivan, a Nashville native, and business partner Allie Poindexter partnered with Strategic Hospitality (last seen here) to develop this chic-seafood concept in the ever popular Germantown neighborhood.

Chef Julia Sullivan built quite the culinary resume while in New York City.  Spending time at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Franny’s in Brooklyn, her most notable assignment was as a cook in Thomas Keller’s Per Se kitchen. Julia and Allie were introduced to one another while working at Haven’s Kitchen.  A match made in heaven, if I say so myself!  Without further adieu, the pair left New York City and moved to Nashville to work on this labor of love, Henrietta Red.

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