Nashville’s Very Own Food and Wine Festival

The past weeks has been a rough “Mom” week, not rough in the sense that anyone was sick or hurt in anyways, more like rough in the sense that I haven’t slept more than 3 straight hours, washed my hair in 4 days, ate a decent meal, my phone broke and so on… (More on the desperate need for a breather later) Today (Today = Sunday…I’ve tried writing this review for 3 days now and have fallen asleep at the keyboard every time), I got to drink alcohol, and it was the first time I’ve gotten to drink in a very VERY long time. Allow me to introduce you to the Music City Food and Wine Festival.

oodandwine

During a 6-mile walk with Luna and my good friend, Bella, today (i.e. Sunday) I got notified of an invite to review the 2nd day of the 2nd annual wine and food festival. My first thought was “Hell yeah! Mommy needs a glass of wine!”, but we were in the middle of a walking trail and currently lost, so fast forward a couple of hours, an outfit change and a baby feeding lady, and Husband and I are running through downtown with a stroller and getting “hangrier” by the second. At the box office, we were told “You know you have to be 21 and up to get in right?” To this, I literally shouted “Yes!” as I fist pumped toward the sky. Literally. It’s been a long time since I’ve been ID’d. The young woman then looked at Luna and explained that EVERYONE has to be 21 and up.

Woops.

We very quickly decided to take turns watching Luna and enjoying the festival. I took the first drinking/eating shift and let him sit with the sleeping baby. It worked out fine, but rushing from booth to booth, scarfing bites and downing booze while worrying if Luna was freaking out (did I mention she broke my phone?) wasn’t exactly the relaxing evening of wine tasting that I envisioned. Eh, c’est la vie.

grand taste

 

hot chicken

The actual festival was pretty cool. It is a festival full of demo’s and panels from many famous chefs (Hello, Michael Symon and Trisha Yearwood). Then there’s food from over 25 of Nashville’s top restaurants and drinks from over 40 wine, beer and spirits exhibitors. I’d love to tell you I tried it all, loved it and partied the evening away, but that would be a big fat lie. I tried the veggies/fish stuff (which was REALLY delicious) and 5 drinks. I’m pretty certain I was drunk after the first. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to drink. Husband tried literally everything. He was a lot fuller and uhhh…sillier, than I was. We both agree that it was a cool experience, but would have been much cooler together.

michael food

 

My favorite bites of the day were the roasted beet tartare with pickled apples, french toast with pears and crab mac and cheese. The number one drink was the definitely the pineapple moonshine with cayenne pepper and some other stuff that I can no longer remember. The festival was a beautiful combination of southern food and fancy flair. There was braised pork, pickled onion and hot sauce, cornbread with pickled cherries and Hungarian honey and sunburst trout with orange fennel. It was Memphis meets Manhattan, and Jack Daniels meets Pinot Noir. It was lovely.

beets braised pork mac and cheese trout

There were lots of cool reasons to go to this festival. Lots of delicious and unique food, dozens of alcoholic beverages, various famous chefs and lessons on how to cook, prepare and serve these amazing dishes. You could spend all day eating, drinking, and hanging out in the park while simultaneously hobnobbing with Tennessee’s top culinary talent. Oh and Uber offered free rides to anyone who needed a safe and sober ride home, very cool.

ice coffee

Yes, it was pretty cool, BUT not exactly worth the $15o/day tickets. Even Husband, who ate and drank everything, doesn’t think he digested $150 worth. If you LOVE food, wine tasting, and the art of cooking, like really LOVE these things and spend ALL day soaking in the festival than you will get your money’s worth. If it’s not your dream day than you make walk away feeling cheated. Either way, you’ll walk away tipsy.

plate

Cheers!

City that Never Disappoints

The best part about waking up in a city that never sleeps is that I am guaranteed to always have something to do, somewhere to go, or someone to see. There is no excuse for a New Yorker to ever feel bored, ever. Recently, we went to see “Nice Work if You Can Get It” because I have been begging to see it ever since I heard Matthew Broderick is the star. I’ve always wanted to meet Mr. Bueller.

nice work

The show was great, not my favorite, but had its great moments. The show also starred Kelli O’Hara and Blythe Danner, who turned out to be better than Matthew. It also had some of my favorite broadway tunes: “Let’s call the whole thing off,” “S Wonderful,” and “I’ve go a crush on you”. Husband thought it was a little too old fashioned for him. I thought it would have been better had we not seen it on my no good terrible very bad day.

More recently, Grandma took us to see Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at the Joyce Theatre. Trockadero is an all male ballet troop who performs en pointe. Their shows are not only performed expertly and beautifully, but are also hysterical. It is an entertaining ballet for sure. They started here in NY, but are famous worldwide and always traveling.

trockadero 2 trockadero 1 trockadero

Our most recent date night was at Cafe Blossom. My very generous sister (thanks sis!) sent us a gift card for Christmas because she knows how much we love to try new places. Cafe Blossom is an all vegan restaurant, and was right up my alley.

nachos? Um...no
nachos? Um…no
Husband's healthy juice, and my butterfinger milkshake, which was phenomenal BTW.
Husband’s healthy juice, and my butterfinger milkshake, which was phenomenal BTW.
Seitan marsala
Seitan marsala
A fried chicken and bacon sandwich
A fried chicken and bacon sandwich

The food was so good that I literally made myself sick. You know that point when if you take one more bite you will just explode…I was about 5 bites past that point. So worth it though.

I wonder what adventures next week will bring? I love this city.

Cheers!

A Bad Guy and Some Porn Stars

This is being posted much later than I originally planned, but the Hurricane and Blizzard seemed to be higher priority posts. Anyways, it’s still worth posting.

I have two really great reviews to share!

Review #1 Wreck It Ralph.

O.M.G. Please go see this movie!!! This is the best Disney (not Pixar) movie since Mulan. Everything about this movie is perfect. It’s funny (for adults and kids), heart-warming, and adventure-some. If somehow you haven’t heard what this movie is about, I’ll give you a synopsis.

A bad guy (Wreck-It Ralph) from a video game (Fix-It Felix, Jr.) is sick and tired of being a bad guy and decides he wants to be a good guy and have everyone love him. This leads Ralph on a wild adventure through a candy world, a first-person shooter, and to meet some new friends. I’m not a gamer, but even I could appreciate all the gaming references and cameos throughout the film; it has something for everyone. Now I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll just say that I left smiling and, in regards to your night, “You’re gonna wreck it!” if you don’t see this movie! (Eh? See what I did?!)

Apparently, we weren’t the only people excitedly anticipating this movie. by so many people other than us. This movie was highly anticipated by so many people other than us. Just look at the line at our little neighborhood theater, and there are 3 other theaters within 10 blocks!

On to the next one…

Review #2 The Performers

Sandy has been a hindrance and a big pain in the ass to basically everyone on the East Coast, but apparently every Hurricane has it’s silver lining. This weekend many Broadway shows were offering $30 tickets as a “Sandy Special.” Obviously a deal to hard to pass, we headed to midtown and bought tickets to see the brand new show The Performers!

We chose this based on the fact that a) Henry Winkler stars in it. b) Alicia Silverstone stars in it. And c) The tickets were $30 bucks. We had no clue what the plot was or what to expect.

As we found our seats, we observed the stage décor to get an idea of what we may see.

The sign for the “Adult Film Awards” is the only thing on stage.

The show turned out to be about a journalist and his fiancé traveling to Vegas for the Adult Film Awards. The journalist went to high school with one of the porn stars and is doing an interview for the New York Post, which ends up getting him and his fiance mixed up in a hilarious affair involving event more Adult Performers. It’s a scandalous romantic comedy, AND the 2nd funniest thing I’ve ever seen on Broadway! (Book of Mormon being the funniest.) Everyone was rolling with laughter through the entire performance.

The cherry on top was getting to meet the stars after the show.

Mr. Wrinkler was super nice to everyone.
Alicia Silverstone was pretty nice also.

This show may be slightly harder to see, considering it’s only on Broadway, but if you are in town, it’s certainly worth the price, which is now more than $30.

Anyone else see something great last weekend?

Cheers!

Star Struck for the First Time

Husband’s Grandparents have been in town visiting with us all week. Unfortunately, I had to work everyday so I did not get to spend near as much time with them as I would like, but I did enjoy the little time I got to visit. Most days I just had time to join them for dinner. By the end of the week we started playing a new out-to-dinner game.

We realized we were spending more time checking our phones than we were speaking to each other so we played a little game that has been trending online. The rules are simple: You stack all the phones on each other, and placed them in the middle of the table. The person who picks up their phone first pays for dinner.

We added a rule: “If no one picks up their phone Dad-in-law pays for dinner”.

Yesterday, I had enough time to meet them for a show on Broadway. We saw the new show Grace starring Paul Rudd and Ed Asner! I LOVE both of these actors and could not wait to see them in person. The show was great! There were only four actors, all very talented.

I went in knowing nothing about the play, and was very surprised when it started with every single character dying in literally the first five seconds. Needless to say, it was a very depressing story. I still enjoyed it, but I can’t shake some of the saddest scenes from my mind.

On the bright side, I got to meet the actors after the show! Woo! AND, for the very first time I felt star struck! I have been in love with Paul Rudd since he played Mike Hannigan (AKA Crap Bag) on FRIENDS.

Paul Rudd!!!!!
Ed Asner!!!

It’s always a little exciting to meet a celebrity, but I couldn’t even form sentences when meeting Paul Rudd. I got all flustered and shy and said something like “uh…Paul…um…picture…oh…thanks…um….you’re so great!” He was very nice and seemed happy to take pictures with absolutely anyone before speeding off in his getaway car.

Then, because I am the luckiest girl, I got to go see Once today! Once is the new #1 show on Broadway. It won the most Tony’s last year and I have been dying to see it since I saw the commercial over a year ago. The music is incredible. Watching the show was more like watching a really cool concert in your favorite dive-bar. The set is a bar and before the show, and during intermission, everyone is allowed on stage to order drinks.

It turned out to be sad too, but was like watching Full House compared to watching Grace. You can watch a few of the highlights below.

Now, the Grandparents have returned home safely, and we are left to fend for ourselves as Hurricane Sandy approaches. Looking forward to a stormy day inside with lots of junk food, movies, books, and wine!

Cheers!

“I love you…[insert celebrity name here]!”

There are obviously tons of famous people who live in NY, or who are currently working in NY. It seems like every movie and TV show is set here, and I am always reading about how so-and-so was posted shopping in SOHO, drinking coffee in the East Village, or eating at a one-of-a-kind diner in Greenwich Village.

I find these headlines incredibly irritating. Not because they are trivial and there are so many more important things happening to report about, but because I am ALWAYS shopping in SOHO, drinking coffee, and eating at diners, and I NEVER see anyone famous!

It’s not like I am some sort of crazed fan dying to meet my favorite celebrity, and make a fool of myself in front of them, telling them how much I love them, and how talented I think they are. I just want to meet someone interesting, befriend them, become apart of their social circles, get myself in a few magazines, and end up on Dancing With The Stars. That’s all.

I did have a dream once that I met Mary-Louise Parker at Starbucks, and she was very friendly. A couple days later (in the real world), I found out that Weeds was renewed for another season. I’m pretty sure that means I’m a psychic.

Anyways, earlier this week we went with our Seattle cousin to see a play called Seminar on Broadway. The first time I ever heard of this play was a few hours before I saw it, when I received a text message at work telling me to meet them at the theatre the second I got off.

When I arrived, out of breath from running the last 3 blocks, I asked Fiance what the play was about…

Fiance: I don’t know, but Jeff Goldbloom is in it.

Me: Who?? (I am terrible with actor’s names)

Faince: The guy from Jurassic Park.

Me: ……… ?

Fiance: The guy from FRIENDS who did a commercial with Joey.

Me: Oh of course, I love that guy!

When we walked into the small theatre we discovered that Justin Long and Jerry O’Connell were also in the play. What a nice surprise!

The play was 90 minutes full of laughs, intellectual jokes, clever twists, and an amazing cast of five talented actors. When the play was over we all agreed (minus Fiance) that it would be fun to wait at the stage door and meet the actors…assuming they’d be willing to stand in the cold and meet us.

Turns out that every single one of them was more than willing to meet every single person who stayed after the show and waited. They gave autographs, took pictures, joked around, and were just so nice and friendly.

Justin Long
Christina Pumariega (She's not famous yet, but she will be)
Jerry O'Conell
Jeff Goldblum

I didn’t get invited out to drinks or anything, but it was still fun. We were on such a celebrity high that we decided to top the night off with frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity’s.

Have I mentioned that I’m lactose-intolerant? Well, I am, and it stinks. I decided to eat half of an entire Frozen Mint Hot Chocolate with Faince anyways, take that lactose!

Frozen mint hot chocolate
Two seconds before the worst brain freeze ever

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…..I’ve been sick for 3 days… lactose-1, Hilarie-0

Who cares! I met the guy who was on one episode of FRIENDS that I love! I love you Jeff Goldbloom!

Cheers!