Oh, Josephine!

A few weeks ago, BG and I travelled over to the 12th South neighborhood of Nashville to eat at Josephine. Our wonderful neighbor, Sam, gave us a gift certificate to Josephine for Christmas! Seriously, he is the best neighbor ever. If either one of us ever moves, I’m going to cry. But anyway. Back to the food.

According Nashville Lifestyles magazine, Josephine is Miranda Whitcomb Pontes’ latest project. She is also known for Burger Up and will be opening Prima later this year. The atmosphere at Josephine was really nice. The stainless steel bar greets you as you walk in, and I specifically noticed the bar stools, which looked like rustic old lab chairs.  The dining room is a decent size, with banquette seating around the perimeter, which is where we sat. Our table was also stainless steel, like the bar, and not full of “junk”, which I really appreciate. As I sat down, my eyes went right to the back of the room where there was a huge leather-upholstered, tufted booth. It was divine. Very nice vibe. Cozy and sophisticated without being stuffy or fussy.

The service was great. Our server, Richard, was delightfully attentive without being pushy, and he explained that the menu is laid out in four courses, with the first three courses being smaller plates, while the last course is entrée size.

Now, as a “foodie”, I should know more about the chefs in Nashville, but regretfully, I do not. The chef at Josephine is Andrew Little from Pennsylvania and is fairly new to Nashville. Let’s chat a bit about what he has goin’ on at Josephine, shall we? 
(The "him" notes below are Billy's words/thoughts.)

Cocktails: I don’t recall exactly what was in these as the cocktail menu is not online, but I’ll give you the gist!
Me: The Lea Louisiana – Tequila, St. Germain, grapefruit. Lime wedge and sprig of rosemary for a garnish. Very light and refreshing. Delicious.
Him: The Lee52 – Knob Creek Rye whiskey, orange. A nice play on the Old Fashioned. Citrus notes with a spice, most likely from the bitters.

Bites: Lobster toast, lobster salad, grilled pretzel, Meyer lemon vinaigrette
YUM. The toast was perfectly toasted, which I think can make or break your toast or crostini. I have a big problem with toasts that are so hard you can’t bite into them without the topping going all over the place. NOT the case here. The lobster salad had the perfect amount of citrus zing but you could still taste the freshness of the lobster.

Vegetable: Brussels sprouts, charred orange, dried cherry, peanut vinaigrette, rye onion rings.
Y’all. So I’ve only recently started eating and enjoying Brussels sprouts. Like, within the last couple of years. Billy loves them so we’ll make them during the holidays and I’ve grown to like them. But THESE sprouts I could easily eat every day. Perfectly roasted and the peanut sauce…ohhhhh the peanut sauce. It was ridiculous how delicious these were.

We did not get a noodle or dumpling dish. Might be something to try next time, though! Off hand, I’d probably go for the papperdelle.

Last course:
Me: Beef cheeks, horseradish risotto, rosemary crumble – I was seriously torn between this and the scallop dish but I’m so very glad I chose the beef cheeks. I have not tried that before, so I think it’s fun to try new things – especially if you’re paying with a gift card! Richard helped me to choose this dish and he did not steer me wrong. The cheeks were so tender they could be cut, or pulled apart really, with a fork. The risotto was creamy and had the perfect bite to it, with that extra little kick from the horseradish. Yum. Yum. Yum.
Him: Loch Duart salmon, celery root, cauliflower, kale, agrodolce –The Loch Duart – I had to do some research as I always have to with my first time visit so I can get to know the menu (act like I know what I am talking about/ordering). Loch Duart is a form of Scottish salmon farming that is more environmentally conscious, taking into context the over-fishing of many wild-caught fish that are demanded on a global level. Anyway, back to dish – an awesome filet of salmon that was cooked perfectly that was served on top of a celery root, cauliflower (nicely roasted), a nice portion of sautéed kale with enough acid to help balance the fish with the other veggies in a nice agrodolce sauce (Italian sweet/sour sauce – had to look that up).    

Me: Chocolate ganache tart, peanut mousse, sweet and salty peanuts – Rich, creamy, smooth, decadent. The peanut mousse was very subtle, and I thankfully I didn’t feel like I was eating a giant Reese’s peanut butter cup. Just peanutty enough and it blended well with the chocolate.
Him: Port wine – Port for me always rounds out the dining experience by supplementing the sweet cravings after a protein course.

Overall – I highly recommend Josephine. It was packed when we went on a Monday, so I definitely recommend making a reservation - we made ours through OpenTable. I was pleased with every aspect of our visit and meal, and it was one of the better meals I’ve had in quite a while. Bonus – I noticed they had some branded diner-style coffee mugs at the front and around the restaurant, so I asked our server if they sold them and how much they were and he just GAVE ME ONE!

2316 12th Ave South
Nashville, TN 37204

Side note: I hope to continue telling you about our dining adventures, whether they’re in Nashville or wherever we/I happen to be travelling. I’m not really one of those diners that takes pictures of each course, so you might not see that much here. It’s just a personal preference and I don’t want to hold up the meal by sticking my phone or camera in someone’s plate. I’ll do my best to link to the restaurant’s website, menu, and any pictures I happen to find online, with proper credit, of course!


Hello again!

Hi friends! It is hard to believe that we are already a week into March, and that 2014 is nearly 3 months old! For me, 2013 was a fantastic year. I started the year by leaving a not-so-great job, I turned 30 in March, and finished my MBA in November. Needless to say, the year FLEW by, but it was great.

Yesterday, I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my 21st birthday…or, I turned 31. I took the day off from work, slept in, and generally just enjoyed the day. It was a gorgeous day outside, as Mother Nature thankfully loosened her wintery vice grip on us. I tell you what, I am OVER winter and I’ll take 60-degree temps and sunny skies any day of the week! Since it was so nice out, Billy and I walked down to a local East Nashville bakery called YEAST Nashville to try out their kolaches.

Now, y’all know I’m a Texas girl, right? And kolaches are a Texas staple that I have sorely missed living in Tennessee. Kolaches are a breakfast item that are very popular in Texas, developed by Czechoslovakian folks (there’s a big Czech/German population in Texas), and usually consist of sausage and cheese, wrapped up in a fluffy pastry dough. The kolaches we got from YEAST did not disappoint! They get their sausage from Elgin, so you know it’s legit! I got to meet the owner, Bill, and talk to him for a few minutes. Turns out, we grew up about 10 minutes from each other in Spring, TX! Funny how small the world is. We both agreed that our lives would be complete if there were a Whataburger and Pappasitos here in TN.

Anyhoo, we really enjoyed our goodies and will certainly be back. It’s nice to have small piece of home in Nashville. Later in the evening we met up with some friends for dinner at Mafiaoza’s in the 12th South neighborhood for some delicious Italian food. Then we went back to our house to enjoy cake and ice cream that Billy made for me…from scratch! I don’t know too many ladies out there with husbands that make their birthday cakes and ice cream, so I’ll consider myself a lucky duck! He made Barefoot Contessa’s chocolate buttercream cake and Brown Butter Almond Brittle ice cream out of the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams cookbook. The best thing about all that? I got to eat it again for breakfast! 

So, I think it’s safe to say I had a fab birthday. I have some truly amazing friends and I woke up this morning feeling incredibly blessed. Here’s what a 31-year-old looks like, in case you’re wondering...photobomb courtesy of my friend Niki.

I’m really glad to be back on the blog – several people have asked if I was going to start blogging again now that I’m done with school, and I am excited to get back into it. Stay tuned!