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Weekend in Nashville


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Weekend in Nashville

estone888 | Jun 23, 2014 07:43 AM

It was my birthday and my girlfriend had booked us Etch, Husk not being available. Blech! If I was inclined to give the chef the benefit of the doubt I would imagine that someone had switched the labels on the salt and sugar containers and he was in too big a hurry to notice. Everything was sweet, way way way too sweet. The "light champagne vinaigrette" on the salad was cloyingly sweet. The butters in the butter tasting were too sweet. We were, luckily, steered clear of the venison special as the sommelier told us it was incredibly rich - AND SWEET. We had the lamb. It was, at least, an interesting and delicious cut of lamb that was perfectly cooked. It was sort of like a very thick pork chop version of a lamb chop. But the vegetables it came with were caramelized and the olive tapenade it sat on top of seemed to have sugar in it, too. Even the lemon-lime (or something like that) ice cream we had for dessert - that we were hoping might be a little tart as a palate cleanser - was too sweet. Well, the wine was great - an Amarone - and the service was excellent, but no.

Saturday we tried to go to Prince's for lunch but got there at 1pm. They open at 2pm. So instead we went to Husk to see if we could get lunch at the bar. We could and did and it was fantastic. Superb deviled eggs and a pork belly Monte Cristo sandwich that was practically revelatory it was so good. Even the bread and butter were perfect. My bloody Mary was great and the girlfriend had a hard cider that she said was possibly the best she's ever had - the Serious Cider.

Later, driving around we passed Hattie B's and though I really wanted to try Prince's we decided to stop in to sample the famous Nashville spicy fried chicken. (I have read here that Hattie B's rivals Prince's in flavor, if not atmospherically.) I was underwhelmed. Perhaps it is that I have spent too much time in Thailand, Indonesia and other such places, but while the "Damn Hot" - their spiciest - was spicy, it was hardly remarkably so. (I have had many a hot wing that was spicier.) Much more important than that, however, was that the spiciness really didn't enhance the flavor all that much and the grittiness of the rub gave the chicken a somewhat unpleasant texture. My girlfriend had the medium and I thought it had better flavor, though I was hoping for really spicy flavor. I was disappointed. In the world of fried chicken in all its varieties, Hattie B's doesn't make my top ten, maybe not even my top 20.

So, well, we couldn't resist and went back to Husk for dinner. It was fully booked, but we arrived around 8:30 and easily found seats at the bar. We like eating at bars anyhow, so that was perfect. We wanted something somewhat light so we shared the seasonal salad. It was excellent, fresh, crispy in the right ways with a light dressing that perfectly complemented the vegetables. We also shared the charcuterie plate and it was quite probably the very best pork-centric of such that we have ever had. It was a great mix of flavors and textures, served with perfectly pickled carrots and green beans and a good Dijon mustard, again with great bread.

That was it. We shall return to Nashville and shall definitely be returning to Husk.

Prince's Hot Chicken Shack,
Hattie B's Hot Chicken
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