Dinner Time Stories
This week we are crushing on Dinner Time Stories in Nashville, the most unique dinner party event you will ever attend!
Created in Europe, as of this writing, Nashville is the only city in North America to host Dinner Time Stories, a global dinner party event, where technology, and culinary deliciousness come together, not to clash, but to entertain all the senses, and redefine dining out in 2018.
Hosted at the The Standard at The Smith House, we were greeted by a maître’d and escorted into a private cocktail area. In some cities there is a cocktail “add on” and in Nashville cocktails are not included. You might want to order a bottle of wine to take with you into the dining room. Take a moment to read the history of the The Smith House. It’s fascinating.
After cocktails, we were seated with about 30 other people at a long table, according to our place card. Looking up, you can see an overhead projector over each place setting, which controls the show. Part of the fun is meeting new people and enjoying the experience together, and social media participation is encouraged.
Overhead Projectors bring the Magic to the Dinner Time Stories
The Dinner Time Stories begin with a Story Book and meeting Le Petit Chef
Expectations are high for the food because this is not an inexpensive event, and Chef Joe Shaw does not disappoint, as he puts his own personal spin on six global courses with the help of Le Petit Chef.
As each course is placed in front of each, a mood is created with music and visual patterns that cover the table.
Le Petit Chef, a 3-D animated hologram, comes to life to face danger, dive into spices, and take you on a journey following the route of Marco Polo, as you travel through France, Arabia, India, and China.
The courses are served on trays placed precisely under each projector.
Dinner Time Stories Encourages Participatory Journal Writing
As the music, visuals, aromas and tastes tickled our creative juices, we were encouraged to write or draw in journals they provided. Sharing entries from previous dinners sparked some juicy conversations, adding to the fun. At our end of the table, there were several entries from a woman stating not only that her husband is hot, but he’s the hottest. Thinking back, I should have written Le Petit Chef is the hottest!
The music starts, and the story telling begins. After we meet Le Petit chef, a tray with a box is placed in front of us.
Course 1. Amuse Bouche. We start in France.
Ratatouille Terrine with Tomato Jam. Roasted Green Slip Mussel with Garlic & Lemon.
Course 2. We traveled Arabia: Lamb Tagine with Tabbouleh Salad of Bulgar, Parsley. We absolutely loved this dish and it was our favorite as far as balance of flavors, although it competes with the dessert.
Course 3. We traveled to India. This is the only dish that includes a cocktail, a curry whiskey a reinspired mule.
Chana Masala with Chickpeas,Tomato & Onion, Tandor White Fish with Cucumber Garnish.
I’m not a fan of chick peas, but I loved these.
Prior to the main course, we were swept away to the Himalayan Mountains for sorbet with one of the coolest (seriously) coolest presentations I have ever experienced. The fragrance of lemongrass permeated the room, and we were all transformed and tickled.
The Palate Cleanser: Lemon Sorbet
The main course landed us in China and two different entrees were served. Doug had the shrimp, and I had the duck. How did they know that’s exactly how we would have ordered it. I could eat that duck every single day. This course was served with chop sticks and a few too many people complained about not having a fork. A little more real travel will help with that.
Sweetness at the Final Act of Dinner Time Stories
The grand finale of the night was the dessert, because by this time I was actually believing Le Petit Chef was real and making that dessert in front of me. He was using such aromatic spices like saffron and cardamom and grand marnier. I knew we were in for something very special.
This crème brülee had a balance of the best flavors ever, and I’m now inspired to gather these ingredients in my own kitchen to extend that joy and create a new memory.
Final Thoughts on the Dinner Time Stories
It’s a wonderful techno-culinary experience that is a visionary dining out experience. Phones are out and encouraged, and there’s something magical about being able to share this with friends.
The service and staff are impeccable. Each time the waiters placed a board in front of a guest, they did so in sync like a well tuned symphony. It takes a lot of staff and coordination to make this run smoothly and they didn’t miss a beat!
During cocktail time, it might be nice to suggest a wine bottle or carafe be purchased to take to the table, as it was difficult to order a glass of wine, once the service begins. I completely understand this, as everything is timed and has to run like a show.
Chef Shaw was very successful in creating a balance of flavors and unique global courses. The spices, aromas, flavors and preparation were on point. The dessert was exquisite and in harmony with all the preceding courses.
The Standard is a beautiful venue and probably the perfect place to create this most unique dining experience.
Cities that Have Hosted Dinner Time Stories
I find it fascinating to have experienced this knowing others in these international cities have experienced the same thing. Food connects us and bonds us to others we may never meet.
Berlin * London * Stockholm * Cairo * (Jeddah) Saudi Arabia * Dubai * (Kodsijde) Belgium
Tickets for Dinner Time Stories
Nashville has extended its dates through April and you can get your tickets here.
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