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Tasty Times at Tayst

My sweet husband, per my request, made reservations at a Nashville Originals restaurant for my birthday last Friday. I “put in an order” for either Mambu (love the art, the house environs and the diverse menu), Rumba (caparhinas and tapas = good times) or Tayst (hadn’t eaten there yet, but its Green-certification and the rumored Krispy Kreme bread pudding lured me).

Scott initially wanted to blindfold me on our car ride to the restaurant, but my fear of disorientation plus the jitters of running on fumes to get there (Hello, Nashville Gas Crisis Freak Out of 2008!Happy Damn Birthday!) put that idea to rest.

Imagine my delight when we turned onto 21st Ave/Hillsboro Pike and pulled into Tayst’s parking lot. After perusing the blackboard at the hostess station that tells where the produce comes from, we nestled into our little two-top table in a corner and let the server (also named Scott – the one with glasses, if you want to request his services, b/c apparently Tayst employs two Scotts) pair wines with our prix fixe menu.
To look forward to - shrimp Bolognese, huckleberry salad, and then something that I cannot recall – except that it included sea beans (yeah, I hadn’t heard of them either – apparently a delicacy you can find at Whole Foods if you’re into seaweed-esque briny things).

The shrimp Bolognese was interesting – three shrimp accompanied with a small bowl of what looked like and sort of tasted of – Skyline Chili! We both tasted cinnamon or something related to in the beef sauce. I am sure Skyline is not what the Tayst chefs had in mind, but there you go.

The huckleberry salad was incredible – thinly sliced pear and Honeycrisp apples with bits of blue cheese and a few leaves of greens, drizzled with a huckleberry reduction. Yum yum.

The sea bean deal…yeah, obviously I am drawing a blank, but maybe that’s for a good reason. I just recall a pretty white plate and…sea beans. We had to ask the server what those little spiny green bits were and he filled us in.

To cap off the eve, the Krispy Kreme bread pudding was a must-have Paired with a wee shot-glass of coffee milkshake, the little soaked glazed doughnut of pure heaven with a little smear of whipped cream kinda delighted both Scott and I – and we don’t “delight” often. They even stood a single yellow lit birthday candle on a corner of the plate for me when we mentioned it was my day o’ birth. Nice touch, Tayst!

Overall, it was wonderful – the wines were great, for people like is who don’t know wines – but for $20.08, you’re going to get tastes of Tayst, not exactly a full-on meal, so we should have snacked before our late 8 p.m. reservation. Then again, it made me savor each course b/c I quickly realized after the first course appeared that this was IT, there was no big juicy payoff later.

Though I came in salivating with an empty stomach and the courses were diminutive in size, it was certainly a lesson in moderation. A concept I have yet to master when it comes to eating. Scott and I both could use less shoveling and more savoring, so Tayst can teach that lesson for sure.

Final score for Tayst: 5 birthday candles lit and burning brightly – I would go back for sure.

One note on the Green certification: Can green restaurants serve Splenda and Equal - just wondering how artificial ingredients fit into the mix?

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