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Friday, November 7, 2014

Nashville Food Friday: Watermark

Dinner at Watermark in the Gulch in Nashville, Tennessee
This past week I was lucky enough to be one of a small group of bloggers to attend a tasting dinner with wine pairings at Watermark. Although being a Nashville staple, I have never been to this gulch restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and the thoughtfulness that went into the wine selection.
Dinner at Watermark in the Gulch in Nashville, Tennessee
The restaurant, which is located up a flight of stairs, is a clean take on a modern loft. Everything is sparkling and the light table cloths play off of the dark chairs and flooring. The best part (which I could not enjoy because of the cold weather) is their lovely outdoor patio overlooking the gulch. I'm going to have to come back in the spring to test that out.
Shrimp and Spoon Bread at Watermark in the Gulch in Nashville, Tennessee
The first course was a gulf shrimp with spoon bread and apricot persimmon butter. This was the Watermark's take on shrimp and grits. While I was told the shrimp was cooked with butter, I couldn't really taste it. While the shrimp itself didn't knock my socks off I really loved the texture of the spoon bread. I'm not a expert on spoon bread, but I have a feeling I'm going to have educate myself on this delicious subject.
flounder and crab cake  at Watermark in the Gulch in Nashville, Tennessee
I must say that pacing and order of this dinner was outstanding. As was our amazing waitstaff. They were friendly and very knowledgeable about the cuisine and were really invested in the success of the restaurant.


Our second course was pan roasted flounder with lump crab cake, potato and  beet puree. This fish was flown in fresh from the gulf, and you could taste it. It was seasoned and cooked simply, letting the flavor of the flounder shine. The potato was really tasty and had just a little bit of crisp edges. I'm always a sucker for a perfect potato. But he best part of his dish was the crab cake. It had a solid flavor and you could really get at the chunks of crab. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the surprise joy I had when finding a tad bit of kick to the beet puree! I was afraid that it might be a bit bitter much like raw beet juice, but this was thick and had nice spice.
Quail  at Watermark in the Gulch in Nashville, Tennessee
My favorite dish of the night was the Watermark's take on thanksgiving- wood grilled quail with sweet potatoes and a currant sauce. I was in heaven when I found this half quail still on the bone. So much so that I threw down my utensils and went full cave-woman on this small bird. The currant sauce was a nice spin on that cranberry gel thing that I normally abhor. Throw in some smooth sweet potato and you have fully won me over.
venison  at Watermark in the Gulch in Nashville, Tennessee
The fourth and final meat course was venison with escarole and a potato bacon cake dressed with a blackberry Syrah demi-glace. The side dish was amazing and could be served on its own.  The potatoes were cubed and still firm and very woodsy from the bacon. The bitter escarole on the top was a nice fresh compliment. I think escarole is very underrated green and I wish I could see it on more menus.  The venison itself was just ok.  While it was still raw in the center the way it should be, I still found it generally tough. Perhaps it is just the type of meat- but I wasn't crazy obsessed with this as I was with the quail. BUT THAT POTATO BACON CAKE THOUGH.
goat cheese cake  at Watermark in the Gulch in Nashville, Tennessee
The goat cheesecake with plum and date puree was a nice light ending. This was more like a cheese course than your traditional sweet dessert.  The cake was smooth and light and picked up the sweet fruit puree. I was really impressed with the dessert and I think they have got a really talented pastry chef on their hands!

All in all, I was pleased with my dinner at Watermark. I know that this was a special event, but everything was handled with care and you can really tell that the chefs and staff care about what they do. I'm really excited to come back, sit on that lovely patio, and order something off the regular menu!

Watermark on Urbanspoon

** While dinner and drinks were complimentary, the opinions are 100% real and my own***

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