Top Chef fan since the second season. If I'd had cable during the first season, I'm sure I would have watched that one too. If you've been watching the latest season, you probably noticed Nashville's own Arnold Myint. He owns three critically-acclaimed restaurants here. Four co-workers and I headed to ChaChah after work. It's fun having new friends that are Top Chef fans and foodies! I loved the decor and the wait staff was very attentive and informative. Our waiter didn't hesitate to let us know what the must-have items were on the menu but he also gave honest opinions, which was refreshing. We decided to share a bunch of tapas, a wise decision as the happy hour special was buy 2 tapas, get 1 free. We ordered the White Bean Citrus Hummus, Papas Bravas, Yucca Fries, Valdeon and Bacon Stuffed Dates, Sesame Lamb Meatballs, Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Vinegar and Almonds, and Queso Fundido. What can I say? Every single thing was amazingly delicious. I wanted to marry the dates. (A statement that got quite a laugh at our table.) The Sesame Lamb Meatballs were out of this world! Kristina referred to them as Top Chef Meatballs, as Arnold made a version of these on the show. They definitely deserved the judge's praise! I hate Brussels Sprouts but this version was actually quite nice- I didn't stop at one polite serving. I can't wait until the next time I eat there. So many more things to try!
As if the food wasn't enough, who should walk in to his own restaurant but Arnold! We were reduced to giggling schoolgirls as we poked each other, slack-jawed to see The Man, The Myth, The Legend right in front of our eyes. Our waiter made fun of us but I'm sure they're used to this kind of silly reaction. He had a meeting of sorts by the bar so we didn't get to gush our praise but I'm pretty sure he knew he had some fans in the other room. I thought it would be cool if we got to see him but I didn't expect it and I certainly didn't expect my stomach to do a flip when I saw him! I guess celebrity chefs are here to stay. And as long as they keep serving up excellent food, I'm fine with that. On to the next Arnold-owned restaurant!