I decided for this post, I would do a little something different…I’m live blogging it. I’ve taken my computer into restaurants with me before, and then end up using the opportunity to catch up on e-mails and past due blog posts (which I have a bunch of). But I thought it would be fun, and more relevant, to provide real-time feedback on this one.
For dinner tonight, I pulled up my UrbanSpoon wishlist and was shocked and pleased to see that one of the three places I had on the list, Patterson House, was right behind my hotel, less than a five minute walk away. I packed up the computer (obviously), and headed out. I walked down the street and couldn’t find anything that looked like a restaurant. So, I pulled out the trusty iPhone, and looked up on the map. Supposedly I was standing within 50 feet of it. I looked around a little bit more and saw what looked like a house on the corner with the lights off. On closer look, there was a sign on the door that said the Patterson House.
Walking up to the door, it feels like you are about to walk into someone’s house. It’s not until you open the door and see the hostess stand on the right that you realize you are in fact in the right place. She led me through a dark curtain into just a great old room. There are bookshelves on the wall with old looking tomes. The walls have a metallic wallpaper and the roof is the metallic looking tiles. Along the wall are dark booths set into a variety of alcoves, and in the middle of the room is a dark wooden bar with seating all the way around.
Upon taking my seat, the bartender asked if I knew what I wanted. I figured it was a little nicer place, so I’d start with wine. He causally mentioned it’s a cocktail place, but they have wine as well. But at that point, I decided, when in Rome… and ended up ordering a Dark and Stormy. I’ve had a dark and stormy before but it was a ginger beer and dark rum. Not so in this classic cocktail house…one that proclaims “We use only the finest ingredients and time-tested recipes”. It started with a Collins glass with a bar of ice in it. That was topped by some soda water, then a ginger syrup and lime combination, and topped with some of the Cruzan Black Rum. It’s definitely an excellent drink.
Ok, the smell of food wafting through the air has gotten me to stop typing long enough to place an order. Most of the food is simple bites, and I’m going for a panini…the Elvis Panini to be exact. It’s actually what got Patterson House on my list. I saw Claire Robinson talking about it on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. The combination seems odd (bananas, peanut butter, bacon) and likely to require an angiography after eating, but she’s 1-1 in recommendations (granted it was a burger at Bobby’s Burger Palalce, so that’s cheating, but still…).
This shouldn’t be good, but it is! Warm creamy peanut butter as the base that not overly sweet. The bacon adds a little bit of saltiness and a little bit of texture. And there is not a lot of banana, just enough to catch the sweetness on the tail end, but it definitely doesn’t overpower the sandwich like I thought it would. All of this between very good, crispy bread. Surprisingly, there isn’t anything really sweet about this…it really is a savory sandwich.
Second half of the sandwich, got a mouthful of banana. Not terrible, but prefer less banana for sure. Overall though…excellent. Oooooh…more fierce shaking for cocktails…I really need the iPhone4 or soon to be announced iPhone5 right now. I’ve come to the point where I need to make a decision…do I consider the panini my entree in which it is now time to order dessert, or do I make the panini my appetizer, and order an entree. In looking at the menu, as much as I want to have the S’mores, I think I will instead go with the Flatbread (pear, proscuitto and bleu cheese); mentally justifying it by saying that it is healthier.
The bartender just explained that the reason they use giant chunks of ice is because they want to control the amount of water that gets infused into your drink while keeping it cold. Also the reason they shake so much is to infuse air, leave lightness, and affect texture of the drink. You have to appreciate someone that puts that much time and consideration into what you are eating/drinking.
Flatbread arrived, and it is really not that flat. I was expecting a little more “pizza-esque” kind of like the flatbread at Mercat in Chicago that was amazing. The flatbread is good, but not great. The bread itself is a little doughy actually, and it is a little challenging to eat. When you get everything in your mouth, it’s good…saltiness from prosciutto, sweetness from the pair, and bitterness from arugula. The hard part is getting a bit of everything in one bite. The bread is too big, but the small amount of bleu cheese and prosciutto mean you are only going to get it in one bite. You inevitably get one bit that is bread, arugula and pear only, and it’s just not as good. But I can definitively say, this is healthier than the S’mores would have been.
This really ended up being a fun night. The vibe in this place is awesome. My pictures don’t hardly do it justice. There is a lot of energy, and a lot of just old school coolness. It is without a doubt a cocktail place first, a food place second. And the cocktails are ridiculous. I’m watching the people next to me just working their way through the drink menu, and if it wasn’t for an 8 a.m. flight tomorrow, and the desire to be nice to my liver, I’d be doing the same thing. If I lived in Nashville, I would work my way through, get to know the bartenders, and go off menu. And the food was good…the Elvis Panini great and the flatbread ok. It was enough to have me wanting to try more and work my way through the menu, especially trying the S’mores. Absolutely worth the trip!