Music City Food + Wine top bites

September 26, 2019

The Super Bowl of food in Nashville is now over and I’m left wondering why I ate so much and also wanting to eat more at the same time. You've gotta love Music City Food + Wine Festival!

Shot of Music City Food + Wine from the 2nd story at Angry Orchard

For the past few years, I’ve attended just the main part of Saturday and the first year I only went  to the Gospel Brunch. This was my first time attending Harvest Night and it was quite a memorable experience. Honestly, that first year for brunch might have been the best time I’ve ever had at the festival. The format has changed since then though.

Friday evening had a nice crowd and it wasn’t too busy. The food offerings were a bit underwhelming overall, but there were some standout bites from Makeready, Parson's Chicken & Fish, HoneyFire BBQ and 5th & Taylor.  The huge treehouse from Angry Orchard was cool, and offered some great two story views to help you plan your attack.

beef cheeks with heirloom tomato gravy
beef cheeks with heirloom tomato gravy form 5th & Taylor
honey hot block bites with cream cheese, candied bacon with habanero honey on golden butter crackers
Honey Hot Block Bites with cream cheese, candied bacon with habanero honey on a golden butter cracker from HoneyFired BBQ

Saturday cranked it up a couple notches.  There were more people than on Friday, but fewer than the weekend crowd in previous years.  The weather was hotter, and the food overall was much better.  My favorites bites were from Etch, Henley, Hathorne, and Whitebird.

yuzu compress watermelon with togarashi dried squid, tofu sesame honey whip, pickled melon rind, micro shies, finger lime pearls
Yuzu Compress Watermelon with togarashi dried squid, tofu sesame honey whip, pickled melon rind, micro shies, finger lime pearls from Etch
spicy lamb, beef, & pork meatballs
Spicy lamb, beef, & pork meatballs from Hathorne
Chef’s Cavatelli: smoked goat, seasonal vegetables & tomato broth
Chef’s Cavatelli: smoked goat, seasonal vegetables & tomato broth from Whitebird

The bathroom is a great place to get away and get a nice A/C break. The times I used the bathroom almost everyone was using the port-a-potties as opposed to the luxury bathrooms. Why would you punish yourself like that with a $100+ price point? Get your money’s worth people!

Scott Conant at Music City Food and Wine
Scott Conant loved my shirt!

As part of my annual tradition I attended a book signing.  This year I chose The Scarpetta Cookbook by the wonderful Scott Conant.  He even mentioned that he liked my food pun shirt!

This year was my first time at Harvest Night and it brought out all the weekends big names like Rick Bayless, Carla Hall, and Aaron Sanchez. For the first 45 minutes or so the lines were relatively short and I ate through mostly all of the booths.  After that, you had to really want to try the food with those long lines.

downtown Nashville at dusk
perfect setting for some great food!

Harvest night was a truly spectacular setting.  It was a great way to finish off an amazing weekend of food. The stand out bites of the night for me were from Margot McCormack, Deb Paquette, Matthew Hyland, and Sarah Grueneberg.

smoked fish hush puppy
Margot McCormack - Smoked Fish Hush Puppy from Margot McCormack
ginger chili pork
Ginger Chili Pork from Deb Paquette
squash and burrata crostini
Squash & Burrata Crostini from Sarah Grueneberg
Chopped Cheese from Matthew Hyland

Music City Wine + Food felt more corporate this year and seemed to have lost a bit of the local Nashville flavor.  Some great local vendors were missing and of course, it wasn’t the same without Pat Martin’s BBQ. As the evolution of the festival goes, it seems to continue trending towards more booths with alcohol and fewer vendors serving up food options. Regardless, you can’t miss an opportunity to attend any event where you can find all these amazing Chefs and restaurants all in one place.  See you there next year!

The Moody Foody

From Nashville. I like food, traveling for new food, and taking pictures of food.

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