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Cantina Laredo treated me to a lovely dinner, and gave me a gift card to give away, but all opinions are CLEARLY my own.
Being a member of the Nashville Food Bloggers has its perks, and recently, we were guests at a dinner hosted by Nashville’s local branch of the Mexican food chain, Cantina Laredo. Cantina Laredo serves modern Mexican cuisine, in a sophisticated atmosphere. We were invited to meet and taste the cuisine of their new executive chef, Roy Batista. This young executive chef, who hails originally from New York City (his mom is from the Dominican Republic, and his father is Italian) is passionate about his work. It was a delight to talk with him about his food, and his career. He has worked his way up through the kitchen at there at Cantina Laredo, and has earned his place at the top. I was super impressed by his commitment to take advantage of the wonderful produce we have here in Middle Tennessee, and by his desire to keep his ingredients as fresh as possible. Chef Roy prepared for us a four course dinner, and each course was paired with a fall cocktail.
And lest you think, “She’s just talking about herself”: hang on, and there might be a little something in this review for you.
There were two starters, a Pumpkin Soup, and a Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño. The Pumpkin Soup, my favorite dish of the evening, was paired with a Blood Orange Sangria. I liked that soup so much that I talked pretty extensively with Chef Roy on how he made it, and I’ll be giving you my version of it in a post that I’ll be sharing very soon.
The Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño was paired with a Tengo Calor Margarita. The Tengo Calor Margarita was my favorite cocktail of the evening. I just now googled “Tengo Calor” to find out what it means, and Google told me it means “I’m hot”. After thanking Google very much for the lovely compliment, I realized that the name of the cocktail might be implying that my drink had a small kick of cayenne, and was garnished with a jalapeño, rather than it being a statement about my physical appearance that night. Whatever. It was delicious, and, of course…if you’re hot, you’re hot, and really, why not have a drink that tells you so?
For an entrée, I very much enjoyed my Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass, which was topped with creamy jalapeño sauce, and served with grilled asparagus, and cilantro lime rice. Chef Batista prepared the sea bass perfectly! It was lusciously moist and tender. Given that I was eating a fish served in a landlocked state, at a chain restaurant, the dish was nothing short of amazing. He paired the sea bass with a gorgeous cocktail, called a Sunset Tini. Not sure what was in the cocktail, but wasn’t it lovely?
Dessert was a Dulce de Leches Cheesecake, paired with Mexican Coffee. I am a bit of a cheesecake snob, so for me, it was too sweet and heavy, but I brought it home to my daughter, who gobbled it down without complaint.
And now, the reason why you scrolled to the bottom of the page, the GIVEAWAY.
If you live in the Nashville area, I have a treat for one of you!
I have one and only one gift card to give away to one lucky local person, good for $25.00 at Cantina Laredo at their 12th & Division location, in the Gulch, in Nashville. Leave me a comment, local peeps, and I’ll draw a name, and send the winner an email, whereby said winner can reply to me with your snail mail address. I’m keeping this as a local giveaway, so that someone in town can enjoy the cuisine of Chef Roy, and his manager, the very warm and hospitable Matt Langston.
I’ll do the drawing on Sunday night, November 23rd. Good luck!