Friday Our weekend actually started last night! Anthony and I had the opportunity to attend Saffire Restaurant & Bar in Franklin. The occasion: A special sushi and sake tasting!Saffire is located in the historic Factory at Franklin — where some of my wedding events were held, and also where I went to prom! Special place.
When I arrived, chef Luke (the main sushi chef at Acme Feed & Seed, a sister restaurant) was already at work preparing the first roll of the evening. Part chef, part artist.And the first round of sake was already waiting! A delicious cocktail made with coconut sake and blood orange Pelligrino. The event was held in the Blue Room, an intimate space sectioned off from Saffire’s main dining room. Tables set!Once everyone settled in, the tasting began. Angie, a local liquor distributor, gave us an intro to sake and explained what we were about to taste. Since I know hardly anything about sake, I found the mini-lesson quite interesting. Tip: The higher the “rice polish” level of sake, the better quality it is. Most of the sake we drank was in the 30-40% polish range.My favorite sake of the night was the Hakushika Sawa Sawa sparkling junmai nigori sake. Slightly sweet, with a few bubbles!The sushi was fantastic. I thought the Tom’s Roll (tempura shrimp, jalepeno, cucumber, yellowfin tuna, avocado, chives, sriracha, eel sauce) was the best looking AND best tasting It was followed by the Luck Dragon Roll, which had a really interesting flavor combination going on. Salmon, pear, and orange marmalade — with a slice of serrano pepper on top! I don’t know how this worked, but it did. Everyone seemed to think this was the most unique roll of the bunch — though they were all quite creative, as you’ll see!The sake pairings were fun. Some were crystal clear with a strong bite; others were cloudy with an almost dough-like flavor.The Gauntlet roll featured a mountain of crab-salmon-tempura “slaw” on top! This one definitely put my chopstick abilities to the test 😉Up next: soft shell crab layered with avocado, daikon, smoked salmon, and eel. What a treat! All of the rolls we tasted were really unique; definitely not combinations you’d find on the average sushi menu. Chef Luke took things to a whole new level when he rolled out this Surf and Turf creation. (See what I did there?)That’s flame-torched filet on the outside! Loved the peppery, rich taste of this roll. I don’t know if I could eat a whole order of Surf and Turf, but a single taste was perfect. That’s what I loved about this event — we got to try a few tastes of everything, without having to “commit” to a single roll.As the tasting went on, we got to know the other couples around us and had a fun time comparing impressions of each roll and pour. Some people loved this Hakushika junmai yamadanshiki (yeah, try pronouncing that in one breath) sake; a few of us thought it burned a bit too much After a couple hours, the evening ended on a sweet note. Dessert came rolled up, too! Sticky rice, shaved coconut, mango, cucumber, and mascarpone — as well as papaya, lime, mint, and raspberry-ginger puree. How that all fits into one roll, I don’t know. But it was tasty. Paired with a sweet plum wine!Fun night. It was a new adventure in sushi, for sure — and I now have a deeper appreciation for sake, too. Thanks for hosting us, Saffire! You can bet we’ll be back soon.
Time to roll out! I’ll see you after race day
- Sake: Yay or nay?
- Locals: Have you been to Saffire?
- Anyone else racing this weekend?!