Last week chef Arnold Myint quietly launched his new restaurant, called blvd. It’s a cozy bistro, bar and market on Belmont Boulevard.
The restaurant takes over the space formerly held by Myint’s earlier project, Cha Chah, two doors down from his popular restaurant PM (and, of course, across the street from his family’s venerable cafe and store, International Market).
The blvd menu, crafted by Myint and his chef de cuisine Francesco Vito, looks like a pretty inspired take on bistro fare, with an emphasis on local and artisan ingredients. A couple of favorites from the Cha Chah era remain, like the hugely popular warm Brussels sprouts appetizer. And now Myint gives you a fighting chance of re-creating the dish at home, selling his special smoked vinegar in the little market cases just inside blvd’s front door.
Another old favorite on the blvd menu are the lamb meatballs, served on a skewer of lemongrass with a cilantro yogurt dipping sauce — it’s the signature dish Myint cooked up during his appearance on Season 7 of Top Chef.
We’re already hearing buzz about a sandwich on the blvd menu: the Haute Dog Hoagie, which features two locally made franks from Porter Road Butcher on a bun with smoked slaw, Sriracha aioli and mustard seeds.
Myint plans to operate blvd seven days a week, serving dinner, lunch and brunch. The address is easy to remember: 2013 Belmont Blvd.; the phone number is 298-1430. You can check out the menu at blvdnashville.com.
• Pie in the Sky Pizza has shut down its Midtown location, and the pizzeria’s owner, Kelly Black, plans to renovate the space and reopen it soon with a new concept, The Row, whose theme will be the fabled history of Music Row.
Black, a successful songwriter before he turned his hand to restaurants, opened Pie in the Sky at 110 Lyle Ave. in 2008. Before that, the space had a long history as a Music Row hangout, including its days as Longhorn Steakhouse.
“This building is where Music Row came to eat and drink for 30 years,” Black said in an announcement. “Brooks and Dunn were introduced in this building, and legend has it the rights to ‘Friends in Low Places’ was sold for a bar tab.”
The new interior will feature photographs and memorabilia celebrating Music Row singers and songwriters.
As for the menu, executive chef Robert Pittler plans to create a “New Southern food experience” using fresh local ingredients.
The Row will feature “classic mixology, a full bar and Midtown’s only all-local and Southern regional draft beer wall.” The team is aiming to open The Row by early March. You can watch for updates on the new Facebook page or on Twitter: @therownashville.
Meanwhile, Black is scouting space in the Nashville area for moving the Pie in the Sky location. His two other Pie in the Sky outposts, Lenox Village and Cool Springs, are staying put.
• It’s always worth noting when a Nashville food-biz operation racks up a national award, and two local purveyors won some especially impressive kudos in January.
Bathtub Gin, the company owned by two Nashville sisters who craft cocktail-themed artisan jams that unite fruit and spirits, won a gold medal in the preserves category at the Good Food Awards in San Francisco, hosted by famed chef and sustainable food activist Alice Waters.
The sisters, Amy Lorber and Erin Ackley, were honored for their Peaches ’n Cream spread, which features peaches and cinnamon steeped in sweet basil and finished with a generous dollop of cream sherry.
Meanwhile, Corsair Distillery, which sometimes seems to have a steady stream of awards on tap, won Artisan Whiskey of the Year from Whisky Advocate magazine for its Triple Smoke, which uses three batches of malt, each smoked by a different fuel —cherrywood, beechwood and peat — to create an especially complex whiskey.
Congrats to both sets of honorees: It’s nice to see Nashville’s food artisans continue to get national notice.