Lannae's Food and Travel

I hope you like my food and travel blog.

January 16, 2010

City House Last Year

smoked trout and trout cavier over bellinis
exceptional, delicious, beautiful

For 2008/9 New Year's Eve over a year ago, we got a late seating, and shared a City House New Year's Eve meal with some great friends and toasted with champagne at midnight, the first moment of 2009. That was a really nice evening over a year ago, and who knew that heart warming moment with dear friends was going to be one of the only few exceptionally good times of a really hard year for a lot of people including us. To recapture that feeling of good cheer and warmth of 2008/9 New Year's Eve, and say good by to the hard and exhausting year of 2009, I wanted to go back to City House, and then celebrate with some wonderful, upbeat and fun music of Old Crow Medicine Show at the Historic Ryman Theater. I really enjoy Old Crow so much, and going to their New Year's Eve show was perfect to say goodbye to 2009 and a hard decade, and hello to a new start of 2010.

air dried beef

This past 2009/10 New Year's Eve we got a seating at 6:30 pm. We waited way too long to make a reservation, and the only times open were 5:30, 6, and 6:30. I would normally liked to have started dinner later, and go directly to the Ryman to hear Old Crow Medicine Show, but erring on the side of early was still fine with me. How City House offers New Year's Eve dinner is that there Tandy delivers EVERYTHING for the 4 course meal. There were 4 app course, 2 pasta course, 2 meat course and 2 dessert course, as served family style. All of that for only $49, is a deal if you ask me. To end 2009 slightly more "green" than I started, and because I knew the gig about the volume of food, I brought 4 reusable tupperwares with me, one for each course, for left overs. Bringing my own tupperware allowed me to start the year off right with less solid waste/trash, and less non-reusable and non-recyclable takeout containers restaurants offer. When I can remember, I will bring my own reusable tupperware.

my tastes of 4 apps

To start, we had air dried beef, smoked trout with trout caviar on an corn meal bellini, butternut squash with collards, and a citrus fennel salad with almonds. Matt liked the butternut squash and collards the best, and I liked the smoked trout over corn meal bellinis with the citrus salad as a close second. In 2009, we had way too many stressful events happen to get our wood smoker rig out, that we did not smoke food, bbq food, or grill food in 2009. Tasting Tandy's smoked trout, we are again inspired to smoke fish, make our own bacon, make our own pastrami again. We are looking at 2010 as being a better and more balanced year for us, and we can create some delicious Tennessee home smoked foods. We need a good local hickory wood or fruit tree wood source to start smoking up the smoker again. We don't need a lot, we don't need a cord, we just need a cut up fallen limb or two. Any suggestions?

2 pastas, duck sugo with shells and shellfish gnocchi

We both enjoyed the pasta. The duck sugo tasted like it was slow cooked all day long with a hearty and meaty demi-glace. I love the small pasta shells that came with the sugo. Pasta shells and pasta bowties make me really happy at a base level. It takes me back to when I was really little, like around 3 or 4 years old, before I was school age (my sisters are much older than I, so they were off in school), when my mom would make little pasta shells or bowties in homemade soup for lunch. Those are just great feelings and memories of sharing a pasta lunch with my mom during those S. CA days of my childhood. Thinking about it now, I think those lunches, just me and my mom, may have started my love of good food. We would have such a great time finding tasty treats for lunch like her soups, artichokes, sushi, falafels with tahini, avocados, Chinese noodles, duck, snapper soup, boiled peanuts, and a lot of other tasty treats.

meatballs and roasted cauliflower

The meat course came with two dishes as well. The meatballs came with roasted cauliflower and a City House's version of a salsa verde. The fish was a Carolina fish with hoppin' john. The hoppin' john was a black eyed pea salad made with celery and onions. The meatballs, those are 1 of 2 reasons why we go to City House (the other is the wood fired oven belly ham pizza). In General, both of us don't love the various meatballs of our past. For me, meatballs of my childhood were little gray rocks with virtually no seasoning, no salt and all the fat rendered out of them. The frozen packaged meatballs are much worse with a strange spongy texture and fillers in them. Believe it or not, for the majority of my life, I thought I did not like meat and meatballs be I thought meat was a dry, acrid, string, leathery mess. It is not so, and City House meatballs are a meat product I really want to eat. We have had City House meatballs in many preparations. Over a year ago during the 2008/9 New Year's Eve dinner, we had milk braised meatballs. The low and slow milk braise transforms the milk into a deep rich brown gravy for the meatballs, and the milk keeps the meatballs tender during the braising. During the year, we have had meatballs with house made tomato sauce made with local organic heirloom tomatoes. We had these meatballs for 2009/1o New Year's Eve. For many Sunday Suppers at City House, Tandy offers meatballs as one of the family style dishes.

Carolina fish, crispy bread and hoppin' john

I so enjoy Sunday Supper at City House. It seems that Tandy, sous chef, and line chefs let their creativity run, and they make a lot of fun dishes. Sunday Supper dishes are appropriate for a family style dinner, where each dish should be shared with the table, rather than Russian service. Most of the dishes are less than $9, so it is fun to mix and match. There is usually a meatball dish on the Sunday Supper menu, so I know where I can get my City House meatball "fix". I like many things about City House's Sunday Supper, and one aspect I respect is the Pork section of the menu. Tandy treats the whole pigs with incredible old world respect. He breaks it down himself, and uses every part of the pig for various dishes on his menu and Sunday Supper. He offers meatballs, head cheese, cracklin' skin, sausage, and salami among other pork products he makes. Some of the pork dishes on Sunday Supper seem experimental, and are fun to try.

dessert cake, pecans and panna cotta

After eight dishes, there was the dessert course. There was cake and panna cotta served house candied pecans. I like the panna cotta, and wish there were more. I am not a fan of pecans, nor cake, so I cannot judge whether they were tasty or not. I actually did not eat the pecans. I know, I know, I live in the south, and I must be the only person in the south who doesn't care for the pecan, taste, texture, nor look. I am also not a cake fan, never been. Even when I was a kid, it was torture to me to have to eat birthday cake, if it was not angel food cake. If you are a cake fan, and there is cake for dessert, come eat with me; you can have my cake share. I know, another strange thing, most people look at me and think it is weird that I don't like cake. I say, who cares! More cake for them that I am not eating!

Back on blog post task, Happy New Year everyone! I hope it was a pleasure to say goodbye to 2009 and hello to 2010. It was for me. May 2010 be a happy, healthy and prosperous year!



At 1/17/10, 10:22 AM, Blogger ceeelcee said...

Great ode to one of my favorite places!

If you ever make your way up to Sewanee, we have tons of cut hickory at our cabin I'd love to share. Or I could always bring back a log or two in my trunk. Maybe you could pay us back with a smoked trout!

Email cchamberlain at nashvillescene dot com if your interested.

At 1/18/10, 8:12 AM, Blogger Eric and Katie said...

Lannae: okay that cinches's been far too long since we have been to City House. It's breakfast time and all I really want are those meatballs,or the gnocchi....great pics too!

At 1/21/10, 5:41 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hey Ceeelcee, thanks for the offer on hickory wood! Yeah! I will definitely email you when pull our smoker out! Yum! You bet, we make a hot smoked trout and salmon.

Hey E & K, yup, supper is tasty at City House!


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