Ringing in 2018 at Bastion
Happy New Year! How did you all ring in 2018?
New Year's Eve is most definitely one of those holidays that's take it or leave it. From skiing, rooftop parties in swanky cities to sitting at a friend's house drinking some amazing champs, I've celebrated every way imaginable. One thing that I have learned, it's not where you are and what you are doing, but who you're with that really matters. Am I right?
This year one of my dear friends snagged a reservation at Bastion and invited me along for the ride. Yes, please!
Below you will find the amazing menu prepared by Chef Josh Habiger and Chef Brian Baxter. I cannot recommend this restaurant to enough people as it is one of my absolute favorites in Nashville. However, many people are challenged by the reservation process because not everyone is a planner like myself. My advice, check the website early and often. They are currently taking reservations through January 27, 2018. You can click here for more information.
New Year's Eve dinner was a bit different than the typical menu at Bastion. While we were each presented with the famous "Bastion Bingo Card" last seen here, the meal worked a little differently. Each person was presented with a different set of courses allowing us to try fifteen different bites and flavor profiles.
To kick off this celebration, three snacks were presented to us. Each bite was better than the last. Featured below (from left to right), Sake Lees + Soft Cheese, Oysters + Bacon and Raw Beef + Shiso.
Choosing a favorite among these three would be like choosing your favorite child. However, two of these grabbed my attention. The Sake Lees + Soft Cheese left me wanting more cheesy goodness while the Oyster + Bacon epitomized elegant comfort food.
Anytime I have the pleasure of dining at Bastion, I always order the oysters. Not only is the preparation and presentation unique, but the flavors are always so intriguing. How gorgeous are these little guys?
I got so excited about the Kohlrabi + Apple and the Rutabaga + Mussels, that I didn't get a picture! #foodbloggerfail Rest assured, they were as beautiful as the rest.
Our next pairing was Pumpkin + Truffle and Celery Root + Caviar. You may have seen these on my Instastories because it's rare that two of my favorites, truffles and caviar, are served simultaneously! As I watched Chef Baxter prepare these dishes for the other guests, I was astounded at the amount of caviar he was serving. I mean, have you ever? As we were chatting with a few of the guys in the kitchen, the following question was posed: " If you could only have truffles or caviar the rest of your life, which would you choose?" For a second I thought to myself, seriously? First world problems. However, I quickly decided that I would choose truffles, white truffles, to be specific, as they have a much stronger flavor than black truffles. What would you choose?
Our next pairing took us on an adventure to the sea. Below you will find Lobster + 'Nduja and Snapper + Pickled Peppers. Without a doubt, I knew that I would love the lobster, because well, it's lobster. However, I was a bit apprehensive about the snapper because I am not always the biggest fish fan. Imagine my surprise when I took my first bite and fell head over heels. The pickled peppers added an entirely different layer of spice and flavor to the dish. Swoon!
Transitioning from the sea back to land, our next pairing illustrated duck in two very different ways. Below you will find Duck + Parsnip and Duck + Lentils. While both dishes had an excellent combination of ingredients, I found myself to be more partial to the Duck + Lentils course as I enjoyed the texture of the dish.
As we finished our savory courses for the evening, the chefs brought over two courses beef courses which looked out of this world! Below you will find Beef + Kalettes and Beef + XO Carrots. The Beef + Kalettes reminded me of the type of beef you would find on a french dip. Not only was the beef thinly sliced, but tender and full of flavor. The kale added another dimension to the dish which I found quite enjoyable.
The Beef + XO Carrots reminded me of decadent pot roast as it literally melted in my mouth. That glaze alone...wow! This presentation...total 10!
As the clock moved closer to midnight, the chefs finished our meal with two very distinct desserts: Chocolate + Porcini and Pear + Almond. I am quite the chocolate enthusiast and by now you know I'm obsessed with all things mushrooms, so imagine my delight and intrigue when I saw the Chocolate + Porcini on the menu. When the dish was presented, I felt like my mind was playing a trick on me. I expected mushrooms in their truest form, rather the chef created something similar to a compressed shortbread mixture and chilled it for several hours. Once it was at the right consistency, chef shaved it on top of the dish. Delicate and distinctive. One of the standouts of the evening.
The Pear + Almond was a different rendition of a dish that is often found on the menu. The tart/pie slice has the texture of a chess pie (if you're from the South, I'm sure you've had a bite of one of these!) while the ice cream/sorbet is always an unusual dreamy flavor. I appreciated the flavor combination of this dish, but the other dessert won my vote.
As the clock struck midnight, we toasted with some fabulous champs and wished one another a happy new year. Of course, I think we all had a little fun with the NYE props at the table! Check out Chef Baxter rocking the 2018 shades!
As we welcome 2018, I'd like to say thank you for an amazing year. We had lots of laughs, entertaining adventures and some seriously killer meals. I wish you all the best in 2018 and look forward to what the year has in store!
Until Next Time!