Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Meal Shopping - Nashville Style

Nashville Restaurants and Food
Valentine's Day 2013

We hope folks will be packing Nashville's locally owned restaurants on Thursday for Valentine’s Day. But as you well know, we have enough local food stuff available at shops across the city to make for a wonderful and locally sourced meal at home. We aren't going to tell you about anything you haven't already heard about here. What we thought was cool was the joy of going shop to shop on a Saturday morning, chatting with enthused and knowledgeable people, getting good advice and having wonderful provisions for a great meal. Nashville is getting to the point where if you have enough money you can abandon the supermarket chains and hit all locally-owned specialty places. That wasn't even a remote possibility in Nashville 10 years ago. You can call this a love letter to great shops, local products and the people who take so much pride in bringing them to us.

The Veggie Eater has this report on our Valentine’s Day plans. Don’t worry Yellow Porch…we’ll be back next year. – M.E.

Veggie Eater: So, after a recent maddeningly disappointing and expensive meal at one of the newer high end steak joints in town (for Meat Eater’s birthday), we hatched an idea for our next hallmark meal. Our thought was take the money spent at that sorry meal (upwards of $200 dollars for two), buy really good stuff and make the fancy dinner ourselves. (we know- a lot of you do this all of the time- M.E.). We figured we get better booze, wine, and food, not to mention far better service. Although the meal has yet to be consumed, I am certain we are well on the way to victory. Don’t get us wrong, we love our old Valentine’s Day standby, The Yellow Porch, and have never been disappointed by the food or service there. However, for those of you looking for a plan B to overpriced, overbooked, prix fixe meals, we share our Nashville shopping.

Start your adventure at Lazzaroli Pasta. Scan the dizzying varieties of fresh pasta (including rigatoni, gnocchi and all of those great ravioli choices). Negotiate which particular variety will become part of the meal (artichoke ravioli). Spend some time shooting the breeze with owner, Tommy, about neighborhood restaurants, local food purveyors, and the love of eating good food. Consult Tommy’s wife, Debbie, about what sort of sauce would be best for the ravioli (lemon mascarpone). Decide to try to be a survivalist for a day and buy much more stuff than what is needed for one Valentine’s meal (might need pappardelle for a rainy day or Armageddon), including the obligatory Olive and Sinclair Mexican-style Cinn-Chili chocolate, for the big meal. Also make impulse buy for a breakfast cannoli, filled on the spot. Damage=$50. Next up, head to Porter Road Butcher for an aged, giant ribeye (hand cut, of course) and bonus sausages for bonfire night (Sage, Kielbasa and Spicy Italian on this visit). For the Veggie Eater in a butcher shop, visit Kathleen Cotter of the Bloomy Rind, survey the many options, and finally choose Seven Sisters cheese (sort of a gouda/gruyere cross) (Make sure you ask Kathleen for her new favorites). Other odds and ends, including Provence hot dog buns for the aforementioned bonfire night, also thrown in for good measure. Watch various local chefs stock up for Saturday night. Run into to Dustin from Noble Springs Goat Cheese and talk about the West Nashville Farmer’s Market. Note the bag the Dustin’s hand, as apparently he was not capable of just dropping off his delightful product. Cost-$50. Next up, Weiss liquor store to purchase nice bottle of Italian red and Corsair Triple Smoke Whiskey (glad to see Triple Smoke is finally getting the recognition it deserves - truly a fantastic sipping whiskey- M.E.), resulting in another $60 ding. Final damage-$160 total in what will amount to a spectacular V Day meal and we now have the fixings for many more in the future.

Long gone are the days where I cried at a bad Italian meal on Valentine’s Day. We now have so many options available in Nashville, both restaurants and local products, that there is no more need for tears. So many things to eat, so little time. Enjoy.

Meat Eater: So, what are your favorite spots for local food stuff? Turnip Truck at both locations would be high on our list. What about your list?


ULIKA BBQ said...

lazzarolis is a can't miss spot to pick up some nice things.

restaurant Fort Lauderdale said...

I have been planning on visiting Nashville for quite some time now. I think speaking with the locals about food and sharing with them is just wonderful. You learn so many things! I would love to try your Meal Shopping itinerary in the near future, since it sounds more enticing than another day at a restaurant! Thank you for this share!