Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dinner Lab Nashville - NOLA

Dinner Lab Nashville - New Orleans Style

Dinner Lab Nashville is off to a fabulous start with 3 dinners under it's belt! I have attended all 3 of the first dinners - 2 soft launch events and the 1st Official Dinner Lab event. This night's dinner features New Orleans style cuisine crafted by New Orleans native, Chef Alex Heath

As I'm sure I've said here on the blog before, I am an absolute fan of New Orleans style cuisine and jump at the opportunity for authentic Creole food whenever I can. This dinner lived up to every expectation I had going in. Everything, from the venue to the food to the service and the fun new people I met at the event, was Superb!

Let me start off by saying that the Dinner Lab folks found an absolutely AMAZING venue in East Nashville to hold the event - The East Centric Pavilion

There are some great little boutiques lining the walkway to the Pavilion!

Guest were greeted with cocktails

Could this space be ANY Cooler?!?!?!

Sorry, I just can't get enough of how darn cute this is :-)

Chef Alex Heath explains the New Orleans Style menu for the evening

Per Dinner Lab, "Chef Alex Heath, a New Orleans native, graduated with honors from the culinary program at Delgado Community College in his hometown. He worked at Martin Wine Cellar and with the Salty Swine Supper Club before apprenticing at Ye Olde College Inn. Chef Alex completed his internship under Chef Bradley McGhee and quickly rose through the ranks at Ye Olde College Inn. He is currently sous chef at ye Olde College Inn and the Salty Swine Supper Club."

Chefs Preparing the courses

1st Course - Jambalaya Arancini (basically a really, really good fried jambalaya ball!), butter pickles, creole mustard aioli

2nd course - White Melon Gazpacho, heirloom tomato, blue crab, toasted almonds
I'm not huge on chilled soups so this was not one of my favorites. However, The dish was very flavorful and fresh with the Melon being very prominent. The diners around me seemed to really enjoy it

Drink Pairing for 1st course - Pimm's Cup

I didn't catch the name of this saucy topping, but it was sweet and tangy and was great atop a couple of the dishes!

My table......minus me since I'm the one behind the camera taking all the pics :-)

3rd Course - Deep Fried Duck & Anduille Gumbo, juniper berry pickled onions

This was packed with flavor and was surprisingly not too spicy as Andouille sausage is for me most of the time. The pickled onion offered a tangy addition to the dish!

4th Course - Hot Sausage meat Pie, Creole tomato emulsion - It's cute and tasty!

Did I mention that there is a drink pairing with EVERY Course?!?!? Yeeees!

5th Course - Zapp's "blackened" Redfish, home hash, maque choux puree
I eat Redfish just about every time I visit New Orleans and this was just as good as any I've had in the French Quarter

6th Course - DESSERT! Ladies and Gentlemen - This here is a Shot of Bananas Foster!!!!! It is literally pureed Bananas Foster INFUSED with Lot's of Rum....OMG Good!

New Orleans Old-school Roman Candy

Pecan Praline Croissant Bread Pudding - Truly amazing how authentically New Orleans this is!

I'm so full at this point that I almost need someone to just roll me down the sidewalk LOL!

You can find our more info on Dinner Lab by visiting www.DinnerLab.com

--Dr. April

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