Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Dine Out: 212 Market

Last week was our Fall Break Weekend. We had a half day on Thursday and then off until Tuesday - a wonderful, well-needed break for both students and faculty. I celebrated by having my dine out night on Thursday - and my meal was delightful.

I went to 212 Market, which bills itself as "Tennessee's First Green Restaurant." They were certified thru the "Green Restaurant Association," and they were graded based on things like water efficiency, having sustainable food and furnishing, having a full-scale recycling program, and being Styrofoam free. And here I thought they just served a good meal!

As you can see above, it's a pretty restaurant - right across the street from the world famous Tennessee Aquarium. I had scoped out the menu beforehand, and had eaten there numerous times, so I had pretty much decided on my meal when I arrived. There was a pretty good crowd there - several groups of what looked like business associates, and a few "dates." (There was a group of 7 sitting next to me - isn't it funny how there is always one person whose voice carries? So that you hear their every comment, but none of their companions' rejoinders?)

I had a spinach salad. I know, this seems to be my go-to first course, but I really do like it - and theirs had a nice vinaigrette, sliced apples, Gorgonzola and bacon. Mmm. For my main course, I went with something off the appetizer menu: a petite filet mignon, on a "bleu cheese-olive cream & pecorino-white truffle sauce. Wow! The filet was so tender - just the right size, maybe 3 oz. - and the sauce was an incredible accompaniment. Since I'd done so well by having the smaller meal, I of course had to have dessert - a peanut butter mousse pie. I felt like my membership in Weight Watchers should be rescinded! The nicest surprise came at the end: my server asked if I was headed to the Chattanooga Symphony (which I was); they give a 10% discount to Symphony patrons.

The Symphony was really wonderful. They featured Tchaikovsky, performing his Symphony #5. However, the real treat was in the first section: Piano Concerto #1, featuring guest artist Michael Chertock. The Concerto is, of course, a real showpiece. It can show off an artist's talents (and weaknesses), but Chertock was totally up to the challenge. I had chills listening to him run through the piece - and his performance elicited a long, standing ovation. After that, the Symphony was a little bit of a let-down, although still enjoyable. (I must admit that after that big, lovely dinner, I was a little drowsy thru the second act!)

This is the first year I've regularly attended the symphony, and I'm really, really enjoying it. It makes for an elegant night on the town, makes me feel special and "cultured." As a way to treat myself well and to take care of myself, these little excursions have really been beneficial.

Bon appetit!

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