We've officially found our way to Tennessee--and for the last five or six weeks, have been taking every possible opportunity to eat our way through Nashville. But, between the time change, adjusting to our temporary home with family friends Jim and Carol, and the culture shock of adjusting from the surly northeast to the oh-so-friendly south, we are just barely starting to feel settled, let alone find our new watering hole. The good news is, we have found oysters! Right after we arrived, I started a new job with Nashville Lifestyles, a luxury magazine that covers all there is to know about living the good life down here. Being back in an office after all these years working from home (or on the farm) was by far the biggest challenge I've faced since the book release. But, I'm taking advantage of my exploratory phase and quickly found a way to do some research on oysters (there's a handy reference guide for Nashville oyster lovers in the November issue). A trip to The Southern with my coworkers netted several dozen (Wellfleets, Kumos, Beau Soleils...) as well as an appreciation for their oyster program and shucking skills, both of which are solid.
Meanwhile, Dave and Charlie settled into a day-to-day routine at the house, which is about to be turned on its head: Dave has landed a job (yay!) and Charlie is headed to daycare for the first time ever. He's more than ready for the transition -- he tells us every day, in his very own language, how excited he is to meet new friends.
And although the book launch is already a year behind us, I was able to get a few signings in this fall with a swing through the Midwest. Dave and I hit up Milwaukee for a signing at the stunning Harbor House restaurant, where I got to spend the evening with about 50 oyster lovers and the restaurant's incredibly friendly staff. They went out of their way to take us out, show us the town, and left me with the best parting gift ever: an authentic Harley Davidson jacket - huge thanks, Chris!
The next day, we made our way to Chicago for a signing at Shaw's Crabhouse and to attend yet another unforgettable Hall of Fame Dinner. This one was in honor of John Hall, founder of Goose Island Beer Company whose very first wholesale account was Shaw's. The two businesses have clearly grown up together so it was a great celebration to mark John's milestones--and naturally, there were a number of exceptional beers.
Back here in town, Dave and I are back to the task of exploring Nashville's top restaurants (Catbird Seat is high on the list). I'm slowly working my way through the endless number of hip little coffeehouses (which are seriously impressive--they've perfected the vibe down here) but for dining, The Southern will surely be on the regular rotation, as will Merchant's, City House, Holland House, The Pharmacy, Local Taco, and Judge Bean's Barbecue. Our ICOB/Eastern Standard equivalent is still out there, waiting to be found... but we've got plenty of time to make our way down the list. One meal at a time.