Bastion's Bingo Game: A Fresh Take on Tasting Menus
I have been a fan of the Goldberg Brothers for years. They single handedly changed my twenties opening up one of the very first trendsetting bars in Nashville, Bar Twenty3. As their Nashville footprint grew, they launched Strategic Hospitality, responsible for 75% of my favorite bars and restaurants in Nashville. Anytime I hear about one of their concepts brewing, I can't wait to check it out.
Welcome Bastion to the dining scene. Bastion, an avant-garde concept from Strategic Hospitality, is located in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood tucked inside Houston Station. Bastion is a two-fold concept. For those looking for a more casual evening filled with delicious craft cocktails, Ms. Pacman and classic vinyl on the turntable, grab a seat at the bar and order the nachos, you can't go wrong. Looking for a little more refined evening sharing incredible food and catching up with friends? Reserve a seat in the kitchen with Chef Josh Habiger. This twenty-four seat restaurant fills up almost immediately when reservations open. Having been named one of the 21 Best Restaurants in 2016 by Eater's Bill Addison, it's on EVERYONE'S radar. It's no surprise that Bastion receives nod after nod from various food critics.
I was anxiously awaiting dinner at Bastion. Having dined at the Catbird Seat, Josh Habiger's previous restaurant concept, I knew I would be in for a culinary adventure. We checked in for our reservations a bit early so we could enjoy a cocktail at the Kitchen Bar. Seating very few people, we were fortunate they squeezed us in. Chatting and sipping our "Before" cocktails, we lost complete track of time. Clearly, they understood the need for four girlfriends to catch up. :)
Kindly escorted through the brick corridor, which is gorgeous, btw, we arrived at our table. As we settled in for the evening, I noticed something that looked like a Bingo card in front of me. After taking a closer look, I realized it was our menu for the evening. How clever! The dishes are of varying size and are meant to be mixed and matched and shared among the table. Feeling hungry and adventurous? Play "blackout bingo" and order one of everything on the menu. After being greeted by Chef and getting some guidance from our server, we started building our tastings for the evening.
The first course that I opted for was the Oysters+Ham. Served on a beautiful bed of pebbles, two oysters were presented. While these oysters were a bit on the large side, they were quite flavorful. On top were crunchy bits of ham that not only added to the depth of the dish but provided that bit of texture that made it all the more interesting.
Enjoying some champagne, my next course was served: Raw Beef+Lobster. Anytime I am in a restaurant and they have tartare on the menu, I always check it out. But to have not one but two of my favorite things in one dish, I couldn't resist. Each bite was as decadent and delicious as the last. Even though it was a small portion, it certainly hit the spot.
Relishing every last bite of the Raw Beef and Lobster, my next dish was quite the contrast, Scallop+Arugula. Placed atop arugula puree were bite sized scallop crudo topped with a small bite of artichoke. Each bite was refreshing and bright, simply the perfect transition into the next course.
Sipping the last of our bubbles, we decided to up our wine game and opted for a lovely red wine from the Canary Island. It paired perfectly with my next course, Veal + Hazelnut.
Even though I enjoyed all of the dishes that evening, this was by far my favorite. The veal was cooked and flavored perfectly and the hazelnut compote offered the ideal texture with each bite. This is one that I highly recommend you check on the menu, that is if you are lucky enough to snag it before the menu changes.
Concluding our evening was one of the most interesting desserts I've had in Nashville, Sunchoke+Foie Caramel. TO DIE FOR. The sweet, nuttiness of the sunchoke ice cream was the perfect pairing for the decadent foie caramel. And the chocolate? Well, that was the cherry on top! To balance out these sumptuous ingredients was shaved and small bits of green apple. I highly recommend this selection as it is one of the longest running dishes on the ever-evolving menu.
Bastion is anything but ordinary. Josh Habiger continues to be a luminary in the Nashville dining scene. From the carefully curated vinyl selection to the refreshing take on a classic tasting menu, Bastion's nightly food performance is one for which you want front row seats.
Bastion is located at 434 Houston Street and open Wednesday-Saturday from 5:30-9:30 pm. Reservations are currently available through March 4, 2017.
Want a sneak peek into some of the other courses? Check out the gallery below!