The Food Biz: Pig and 90 proof

Peg Leg Porker to launch own Tennessee bourbon

Carey Bringle, the veteran pitmaster who opened the Peg Leg Porker barbecue restaurant in the Gulch earlier this summer, is getting ready to introduce a very interesting product under the Peg Leg Porker brand — Tennessee bourbon.

That’s right, bourbon — not whiskey — from Tennessee. The City Paper’s Steve Cavendish got all the details from the Porker’s mouth. Bringle said he’s been wanting to add bourbon to the Peg Leg portfolio for some time, and friends at liquor distributor Best Brands helped him find the right supply of bourbon to purchase and bottle under the Peg Leg name.

Bringle said it’s 90-proof, straight bourbon whiskey made in Tennessee, checking off various points that qualify it as a bourbon. The product is 51 percent corn, aged six to eight years in new oak barrels that have been charred.

Not being a fan of Tennessee whiskey, Bringle touts the smoothness of this bourbon, which he said fits in with the “men’s lifestyle brand” he’s cultivating under the Peg Leg Porker name.

It’s a limited run that will amount to about 6,000 bottles; Speakeasy Spirits is doing the bottling. The bourbon will be introduced next month at Best Brands’ holiday trade show, with statewide distribution planned.

• Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante, the Italian place that opened in February just off West End near Centennial Park, has expanded its menu to include pizzas baked in its wood-burning oven.

The restaurant is a sister establishment to the original Sardinia in Miami Beach. It’s known for its mozzarella and burrata (a buttery fresh cheese) made in house, along with an expansive wine program.

The fresh mozzarella is the star of a classic Margherita pizza; other options include a pizza with sausage and broccoli rabe inspired by one of the restaurant’s most popular pasta dishes.

Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante is at 210 25th Ave. N. The phone number is 320- 9147. It serves lunch and dinner daily, along with brunch on weekends.

• Nashville’s famously incendiary dish, hot chicken, continues to blaze a spicy trail in this town. The Atomic Yardbirds, one of two teams proclaimed co-winners at the Hot Chicken Festival in July, made their debut appearance this week on the porch at The 5 Spot in East Nashville, serving up a select menu of hot chicken and sides.

I didn’t get a chance to try their peppery wares, but it looks like the Yard- birds offered a hot chicken “taco” (two hot chicken tenders on white bread with fennel slaw and pickles) for $6, and a plate called “The Original” (a choice of white or dark meat on white bread with two sides) for $9. Side dishes included potato salad, french fries, fennel slaw and a cooling salad of cucumbers and red onion.

Follow @AtomicYardbirds on Twitter to get a heads-up on their next appearance.

• Here are some updates on places I’ve mentioned recently in this column. Juice Nashville opened its storefront in the Gulch last week, at 1106 Division St. in the Icon building, with a colorful lineup of cold-pressed juices; the phone number is 369-2154. ... Grays on Main, promising a modern take on Southern culinary traditions, plus creative cocktails, opened Monday in downtown Franklin, beneath the vintage neon pharmacy sign. ... Remember Yeast Nashville, the new bakery at 805 Woodland St.? Apparently the signature kolaches have proven way more popular than expected, with both sweet and savory versions selling out before 9 a.m. Owners Sara and Bill LaViolette have added staff and ramped up their supply of kolaches and other pastries; follow them at Yeast Nashville on Facebook.

Finally, a note to let you know that I will be continuing to report on Nashville restaurant news. I edit the Bites blog at the Nashville Scene, and you’ll be seeing my byline there. It’s been a privilege to work with the fine crew at The City Paper, and I feel incredibly lucky to cover the restaurant beat in Nashville.