Chefs Backstage: A Unrehearsed Dinner Series At Sinema
Given Nashville's evolving culinary landscape, it can be difficult for even the most discerning diner to keep up with Nashville's noteworthy openings. That's what food bloggers and Instagram are for, right?
If you are planning your next girls night out or just looking for a unique date night to charm your significant other, I've got just the thing for you, Chefs Backstage at Sinema.
Sinema Restaurant and Bar, which is located in the historic Melrose Theater, is known for showing some of the best major motion pictures as well as some mouthwatering cuisine.
This summer, Sinema chef Kyle Patterson has collaborated with some of Music City's finest to create Chefs Backstage, An Unrehearsed Dinner Series. Each event seeks inspiration from their own restaurant's family meal as well as a featured flick that plays throughout the dinner.
I had the pleasure of attending opening night, where chef Kyle Patterson and chef Bryan Lee Weaver, of Butcher & Bee, prepared an elevated Italian Feast inspired by the movie Big Night. Admittedly, I am far from a movie buff, ( I'd never heard of the Big Night) but when I saw Italian feast, I was sold.
As I stepped one foot into the private dining room, I said goodbye to the Music City and hello to one of the most charming Italian restaurants in the Jersey Shore. From the red and white tablecloths and the decorative Chianti bottles to the melodious music filling the room, every detail was accounted for.
As guests took their seats and finished sipping on their punch, we were greeted by renown Nashville food enthusiast, Chris Chamberlain, who set the stage and told us a little bit about the movie Big Night and what the chefs had created that evening.
To start off the evening, guests enjoyed Caramelized Fennel Focaccia Crostini which was served with Whipped Chevre, Fennel, Watermelon Radish, Fresh Cherry Tomatoes and finished off with Basil Oil and Chervil. This course was out of this world, but given the fact that I had a sneak peek of what's to come, I had to exercise self-restraint and only have a few bites.
This dish was paired with a Chianti Punch that was comprised of Chianti, Luxardo Amaretto, Orange and Raspberry Puree. The sweet, almost decadent, flavors of the punch provided a nice compliment to the savory dish.
Keeping with the Italian Feast theme, the bartenders for the evening crafted Chianti cocktails that paired perfectly with each dish. Trust me, I'm a lover of all wines but I had no idea you could do so much with Chianti!
Seeing as Chef Bryan Lee Weaver was the featured collaborator for the evening, I was hoping that we would see some of that amazing whipped feta, some how some way.
Wishes do come true! Our second course of the evening was Whipped Feta, Eggplant, and Pickled Cherries served with a Southern Sour. This was certainly a standout dish of the evening as everyone was swooning of the flavor combination. Typically, you don't see the whipped feta with eggplant, but you never know, it might appear on a menu at B&B sometime soon!
Our next dish was a table favorite, although I think it sent everyone straight into a carb-coma. Risotto With A Side Of Spaghetti ( No Meatballs). The risotto was served with shallots, garlic, chiffonade baby spinach, chive and Parmesan and while it looks like it was one of the family-style dishes, it was most certainly for one. I don't think I've had risotto this good since my last trip to Italy!
If that wasn't enough, I present the Spaghetti served with San Marzano and Smoked Black Pepper Ragout. Have you ever seen a pile of noodles this big? It was delicious and everyone was busy getting their swirl on.
After seeing all of these food photos, one would think that dessert was well on its way. Wrong! We still had a few more savory items that were brought out to the table. The first was the Branzino served with sliced lemon, shaved fennel, garlic, and capers. The fish was cooked to perfection and almost falling off the fork while the lemon added a certain brightness to the dish.
Accompanying the Branzino were two dishes that surprised me. The first, Timpano Bolognese, which was like my own personal lasagna filled with a copious amount of cheese and tiny meatballs. At this point in the meal, I was maxed out but I made just enough room for a few bites. Each dish was hand-rolled by a staff member at Butcher & Bee and given the amount of prep time, I feel confident they are happy this is a one-off dish.
The dish that caused the most conversation of the evening was the Lemon & Garlic Bourbon Smoked Green and White Asparagus. I can't recall a time when asparagus tasted so damn good. I'm not sure if it was the lemon oil or the way it complimented the Branzino, but I was blown away.
Concluding our evening was a Tiramisu Filled GooGoo Cluster and Cannoli served with a Frozen Strawberry Hot Chocolate. Given that I recently made my own GooGoo Cluster ( last seen here) I couldn't wait to get my fork into one filled with tiramisu! While I didn't even put a dent in the dessert, I put forth a valiant effort before waving my white flag.
Even though I only had a few bites, it was killer. Bravo chef, bravo!
What a feast! I don't think I've seen that much food on a table in quite some time. Chefs Kyle Patterson and Bryan Lee Weaver certainly outdid themselves.
Even though you missed this Italian feast, there are two more opportunities to get backstage. For more information click the link below.
Until Next Time!
Upcoming Chef Backstage Dinners
August 30, 2018: Featuring Chef Kyle Patterson of Sinema and Chef Trey Cioccia of Black Rabbit and The Farm House are joining forces to create a a John Wayne inspired feast straight out of the ol’ West.
Click Here For Tickets and Menu information.
October 25, 2018: Featuring Kyle Patterson of Sinema and Chef and Bethany Halliger of Goo Goo Cluster are collaborating to create a campy Halloween movie inspired dining extravaganza. It's sure to be a ghoulishly good time!
Click Here For Tickets
Cocktails begin at 6:30 p.m. with a seated dinner starting promptly at 7:00 p.m.