We were invited up to “Music City” also known as Nashville, USA. What a great town! The weather was perfect as we arrived to do a dinner at The Watermark Grill. The dinner was kind of a “prelude” to a big city-wide celebration Nashville is having called “Savor Nashville”. The event is going to morph into something much bigger come Spring of 2011 but for starters it was very cool.
My old restaurant friends Louis and Marlene Osteen, (long time champions of Charleston dining) had moved up to Nashville about six months ago and they were already joining others to make Nashville famous for their dining scene too. There is a small but dedicated, energetic committee to get this rolling and we met and fed a key core of them. I admire their vision and it is something that others around the country have done in smaller and grander forums. Lee Shrager for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival is one of the country’s greatest examples of that!
We were on a tight schedule but that didn’t stop us from having dinner the night we arrived at Louis’ “Fish & Co.”. I highly recommend it! We had met with our host Chef James Lohse at The Watermark Grill before dinner and he and his team had matters well in hand. We knew that the following day we would be in for a long day and night but we also could not be in his kitchen in the middle of service so off to dinner we went. Our travel weariness evaporated in the company of Mr and Mrs. Jerry Powers, Louis and Marlene. They have an excellent cocktail specialist behind the bar. Just tell him what kind of booze you like and let him shake and stir. I had pristine oysters and a fantastic trout dinner.
We learned that Bob Dylan has an apartment in the same building that The Watermark Grill is in. I didn’t see him but the Nashville Skyline was a thing to behold the night of our dinner. About 100 guest came and had a menu that included 4 passed hors d’s and then:
- Tuna Tiradito with Soy Spice Paint and Hearts of Palm Slaw
- Seared Sea Scallops with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Braised Lobster Mushrooms and Sauce “Mer Noir”
- Eye of Rib Steak with Cuban Vaca Frita and “A-1, My Way”
- Pecan Caramel “Bites” with Dark Chocolate Sorbet and Espresso Anglaise
We chilled out after for a bit but had to hit the road the next day for more cooking in more places. It gives me a great pleasure to join the young chefs in America like James and his hard working crew at The Watermark Grill.