Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Marsh House at Thompson Hotel - Nashville Dining Experience Review

Photography by Madi Henderson


Since 2012, the year that we moved to Nashville, I've been on a personal mission to experience some of Nashville's top restaurants.  So much positive change has taken place over the last several years and there are more and more amazing restaurants popping up all over town.  As you can imagine my list of restaurants continues to grow and I haven't even scratched the surface yet.

On my list of top restaurants to try was Marsh House, which is located inside the Thompson Nashville hotel in the ever so popular Gulch area.  The first time I visited Marsh House was for a breakfast meeting so I only got a very tiny taste of their menu (I've got to say their biscuits and jam are HEAVENLY).

My second visit was for lunch and we got to taste test their weekly lunch specials in addition to a few other dishes and it was quite the culinary experience!

Marsh House is located in a prime location of Nashville as I mentioned, called the Gulch.  This is a very popular area for locals and visitors alike.  You can certainly dine and shop your way through the Gulch...this area has so much to offer.  Thompson Nashville is a chic modern hotel situated in the Gulch and Marsh House is situated in the lobby of the hotel.  Not only do I highly recommend that you consider staying at Thompson Nashville when visiting Nashville but I also highly recommend that you eat at Marsh House and that you enjoy the popular rooftop bar, LA Jackson.  The views from LA Jackson are something to see (more on that coming soon)!

Let's dive into our experience at Marsh House...

You first should know a bit about Executive Chef, Nathan Duensing.  We spent some time chatting with Nathan, as he presented each dish to us, and I've got to say we were so impressed with his background and his culinary knowledge/experience.  Nathan grew up on a farm so he knows first hand what it takes to grow and preserve food.  Learning much from his Grandfather & Father, Nathan took that knowledge and has applied it throughout his successful career as a Chef.  He understands the importance of high quality food and he also works with local Nashville farmers as often as possible to bring fresh locally sourced produce/meats to the tables at Marsh House.  Much of what is offered at Marsh House is influenced by traditional southern cuisine with a hint of Louisiana flare.

The atmosphere of Marsh House is chic and modern with a touch of urban charm.  There are different textures, colors, and elements to the restaurant that easily make you feel like you are dining in style.  It is a comfortable, not stuffy at all, atmosphere.  Marsh House is one of those restaurants that you will go to for a business lunch, date night, girls night out, and everything in between and leave there feeling like you had the best experience from start to finish.  It will be a memorable experience and Marsh House will be a place that you will want to recommend to others and return to as well!

We went for lunch during the workweek and were pleasantly surprised to learn that Thompson Nashville offers complimentary valet from 11am-3pm during the week.  Being able to take advantage of this complimentary service made it so easy to drop in for lunch and it also added to our overall positive experience!

Okay...whose ready to talk about food?!  If the pictures didn't make your mouth water, I'm not sure what will.

We started off with their rolls...I mean rolls are rolls but these rolls are not just rolls.  Could I possibly say ROLLS anymore in a sentence.  With every bite we could taste how fresh they were.  So light and so delicious.  It would be easy to eat an entire skillet of these but we had to pace ourselves because we had a lot more to try!

Here comes Monday's lunch special...

Red Beans & Rice - this dish wasn't just your average red beans & was the most flavorful red beans & rice I have ever had!  The pork chop was mouth watering and so tender.  The combination of the dishes flavors served with a side tomato cucumber salad was...sigh, what good southern cooking dreams are made of!  A bite of this and a bite of that...YUM!

Wednesday's lunch special took us down to the deep south of Louisiana...

Shrimp Creole - if you like shrimp and grits, you will LOVE this dish as it is very similar.  It's spicy but not too spicy...the perfect combination of creole flavors.  This dish is served with a grilled squash and beet salad which is truly the perfect compliment to offset the mild spiciness of this dish.

Thursday's special...what a southern girls dreams are made of...

Fried Chicken - It's not often that I eat fried chicken but this is hands down some of the best fried chicken I have EVER had.  I don't say that lightly because I've had some of the best.  The method that Chef Nathan uses to flash fry the chicken creates a moist (yes, I don't like that word either) and super flavorful dish.  This was probably my favorite dish of the 4 that we tried and one that I will order time and time again!  Everything about this dish was perfection, truly!

Friday's special...finishing it off light and healthy...

Blackened Catfish - Opt in for a lighter lunch option with this dish...the fish was tender and cooked perfectly and the wild rice salad, roasted tomatoes, and sautéed spinach were the perfect compliments to this stand out fish.  I LOVED this dish as fought hard for the top spot!  I truly felt that I was eating a very healthy lunch while still feeling very satisfied!  You've got to try this one as well.

The only special that we did not try was Tuesday's lunch special but I am certain that it would be just as divine as the other four.  We also ate a side of their brussel sprouts and let me just tell you...I could have eaten bowl after bowl of just brussel sprouts.  They were so dang good!!!

What I love most about the lunch specials at Marsh House, besides the fact that they are all freaking fantastic, is that they all only cost $15!  You get a delicious hand crafted meal that will leave you feeling satisfied at such a great price!  There aren't many places that you can go for lunch, spend $15 dollars, and receive a high quality meal.

So for all of you who work in or near the Gulch area, you need to make it a point to lunch at Marsh House!

For those coming to Nashville to visit...stay at Thompson Nashville and dine in at Marsh House for breakfast, lunch, or dinner...I assure you that you will have a wonderful experience and be delighted with their culinary prowess!

As always, thank you for stopping by!  Special thanks to the Marsh House team and Chef Nathan for such a wonderful, memorably delicious, culinary experience.  We will be back soon!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Pastaria Nashville - Dining Experience Review

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson

Is your mouth watering yet?!  Mine is and I am honestly sitting here, as I write today's post, reminiscing about my meal at Pastaria Nashville a couple of weeks ago.  To say it was good is an was SOOOO GOOD!  

I'm excited to write today's dining experience review because I honestly would tell anyone who lives here or is planning to visit to try Pastaria!  I'm already planning my second visit and this time, I am taking Peter along to enjoy the experience.  We both LOVE Italian food...pretty certain it's at the top for both of us.

Pastaria is located in an up and coming area.  It was great to see so much being built around just goes to show how quickly our city is growing and how many amazing restaurants and experiences we have to offer!

When we arrived to Pastaria, I could tell that it would be adorable on the inside just by looks of the outside and it was!  The restaurant takes on an chic yet old world feel and definitely showcases many nods to what would be an authentic Italian eatery in Italy.  It is a very charming space.  You can dress casually for lunch or get dressed up a bit more for dinner!

We started with the crispy risotto balls, which were so yummy!  Think cheesy risotto rolled into a ball, lightly deep fried, and served hot with marinara sauce.  A fancy and even more delightful twist to something like a mozzarella stick.

Next up...their Caponata Bruschetta!  WOW...just WOW!  This was one of my absolute favorite dishes that I tried at Pastaria.  Grilled bread, lemon and basil ricotta, eggplant caponata, and mustard greens...need I say more?!  These flavors were perfect together and we just raved and rave about how much we loved it.  I could have eaten that just for my lunch!

Because we dined in for lunch, we then tried items from their lunch menu which included their lunch size Shaved Kale Salad and their Mixed Greens salad.  Both salads were really good and we especially loved the kale salad.  I'd recommend ordering both if you go with another person and sharing so you can experience both salads!  

Finally...PASTA!  After all, isn't that what we came for?!  All of the other dishes leading up to the pasta dishes were great compliments to the entire experience but I was definitely looking forward to trying their pasta and they did not disappoint!  Their pasta is made fresh on site so you know you are getting a very authentic Italian experience.

Funny enough I had been stalking their Instagram feed before dining in and I had my eye on a certain pasta dish.  I showed the picture to our Waiter and he immediately knew which pasta I was talking about...Papardelle with smoked pork, mascarpone, and apples!  I'm guessing this is one of their most popular dishes because it was a homerun The sweet with the savory was such a perfect combination so it was easy for me to clean my plate.  No shame. 

The other pasta dish that we tried was Canestri Cacio e Pepe with pecorino, grana padano, and black pepper.  This was also very good and reminded us much like an elevated macaroni and cheese!  Although we did not try their pizza's I'm certain that they would be just as good as their pasta.

I'm excited to return to Pastaria and try some of their other dishes and maybe even try a pizza!  Everything on their menu sounds amazing and after our personal experience with the dishes that we tried, I am certain every dish would be a winner in my book!  They are also able to switch out regular pasta noodles for gluten free noodles!

Pastaria is a great spot for lunch but also perfect for a night out!  I love that they have a bar area overlooking the wood fire oven/kitchen and they have plenty of space to serve both small and large parties!  Not to mention Pastaria is very family friendly too, which is so important to me and I would totally take my family there!

Have you tried Pastaria yet?!  What did you think?!  If you haven't and are looking for a new place...give it a try and let me know how your experience was!  I think you will be as pleased as we were.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Blush Chocolate Covered Strawberries - Valentine's Day Dessert

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson

Chocolate covered strawberries are one of the easiest and most delicious desserts to make.  I was inspired to create Blush Chocolate Covered Strawberries for Valentine's Day.  Eating chocolate covered fruit always makes me feel less guilty as opposed to eating chocolates out of a box...I mean I'm eating fruit, right?!

This dessert is so fun to make with kiddos too (keeping their fingers out of the melted chocolate is the tricky part ;-))!  After making these, I let Reins and Addison make their own...they dipped their strawberries and piled on the sprinkles!

Here's what you need to make these delicious strawberries!


- 1 bag of white chocolate melts
- 1 bag of light pink chocolate melts
- strawberries (approximately 25-30 similar sized strawberries)
- sprinkles, edible decorations, etc.
- parchment paper
- cookie sheet

Wash the strawberries and let them air dry on paper towels (your berries should be dry before dipping them in the melted chocolate).  Once your berries are dry, place a handful of white chocolate melts and a handful of pink chocolate melts into a glass bowl and microwave in 15-20 increments until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Stir as you go...the result will be a smooth beautiful light pink color.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Dip your berries into the melted chocolate until each berry is covered close to the stem.  Dip one berry at a time, place each berry on the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and decorate with sprinkles, etc before the chocolate hardens.  I typically dip and decorate one strawberry at a time.

After dipping and decorating all of your berries, place them in the refrigerator until the chocolate has hardened.  You can even make these ahead of time.  I have made them the night before serving them and they were perfect.

How will you be celebrating Valentine's Day?!  

I'd love to hear if you decide to make these!  Happy early Valentine's Day and as always, thanks so much for stopping by!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson

Zucchini noodles, also called zoodles, are such a healthy alternative to pasta and they are so easy to make!  All you need is a a spiralizer and you are well on your way to making delicious zoodle recipes!

Today, I'm sharing a garlic parmesan zucchini noodle recipe that is so not only delicious but quick and easy to make!

serves 2 - recipe can be doubled, etc.

- zucchinis - 4 - 6 to serve 2
*zucchinis cook down so you will need more if you plan to serve more than 2
- olive oil - 3 tablespoons
- basil leaves - shredded *use as many as you'd like...I used an entire small pack of basil and saved a few leaves for garnish
- fresh sweet tomatoes - * use as many as you'd like...the more the better
- fresh garlic cloves - 4-5 minced
- red pepper flakes
- salt - to taste
- cornstarch - 1 teaspoon 
- water - 2 teaspoons 

Spiralize your zucchinis and then cut them with kitchen sheers into spaghetti length strands.  Tip - dab your zucchini noodles with paper towels.  Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, your minced garlic, and your red pepper flakes (use as much red pepper flake as you would like) to a deep skillet and heat on medium.

Once your oil begins to bubble and your garlic become slightly fragrant, add your zucchini noodles.  Begin to toss your zoodles with tongs for 5-7 minutes until they achieve a crisp tender result.  *Do not overcook your zoodles as they will become mushy!  The zucchini noodles will release a lot of water naturally so be sure NOT to add salt while cooking the zoodles.  You will add salt to the sauce or after you have plated your zoodles.

Stir in your tomatoes, basil leaves, and parmesan cheese.  Cook for 1 more minute until all flavors have combined and until the cheese has melted a bit.  You can use as much grated parmesan as you'd like...keep in mind you will also sprinkle some cheese on at the end.

Plate your zoodles and leave the liquid in your skillet.  Stir 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of water into a separate bowl.  Whisk together.  Bring liquid in skillet to a boil and whisk in the cornstarch mixture.  Cook until the sauce thickens a bit...this only takes a couple of minutes.  Add salt to taste.

Once your sauce has thickened, pour it over the plated zoodles.  Sprinkle with more grated parmesan cheese and use a couple of basil leaves as garnish.

Now you are ready to enjoy this delicious and healthy recipe!

I'd love to hear from you...please let me know if you decide to make this recipe!  I hope you enjoy it!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Dotted Babydoll Tulle Dress

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson

The dots, the tulle, the bell sleeves, the ribbon tie in the back, the babydoll silhouette...these are all of the details that make this dotted babydoll dress a stand out!

I'd honestly love to stay that I bought this dress with a specific occasion in mind but I truly bought it because of how pretty and unique it is.  Sometimes you just have to go for it and plan for the occasion later.  Although I've got to say that I think this dress would be perfect for a Valentine's Day date night!

You can easily slip on a pair of tights for a bit more warmth this time of year.  Grab a warm coat or a moto jacket before heading out for whatever occasion you may wear this for.  Don't forget your accessories either!  These gold disc earrings are the perfect accessory for this dress as they compliment the dot style so well!

Where would you wear this dress to?!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Raspberry Sorbet Pink Champagne - Valentine's Day Cocktail

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson

Raspberry sorbet brings back so many wonderful childhood memories for me.  I loved all flavors of sorbet growing up but I especially loved raspberry sorbet (well and rainbow sorbet too)!  Addison now shares my love of sorbet and I'm trying to get Reins turned on to it too (he's more of a vanilla ice cream kinda guy).

Considering my love of sorbet, I guess you can imagine how excited I was to try this Raspberry Sorbet Pink Champagne cocktail, which just so happens to be perfect for Valentine's Day.

This has to be one of the easiest to make and most delicious cocktails's right up my alley!


- raspberry sorbet
- pink champagne or any type of pink/blush moscato, etc
- fresh raspberries

Put one large scoop or two smaller scoops of sorbet in your glass and then Pour champagne over the sorbet.  Garnish your cocktail with fresh raspberries!  

p.s turn this adult cocktail into a child's beverage simply by replacing the champagne with sprite!

You've got to try this for Valentine's Day!  It's so yummy and it is easily turned into a family friendly beverage too!

If you'd like to check out my other #kbstyledathome Valentine's Day posts, click HERE & HERE.  As always, thanks so much for stopping by.  Have a great day!