Here are 3 great foodie picks for Nashville Tennessee, all with very different ambiance, flavor and food.
Husk Restaurant: Located in Rutledge Hill—just a few blocks south of Historic Broadway, in the heart of Downtown Nashville—is the newest outpost of the Neighborhood Dining Group and James Beard award-winning Chef Sean Brock renowned restaurant, Husk. The kitchen led by Brock and Chef de Cuisine Morgan McGlone and they try to use local suppliers, such as the Bells Bend Neighborhood Farms, which have four farms in the community of Scottsboro/Bells Bend in Northwest Davidson County, Tennessee. The farms are only 15 minutes from Nashville, but the area has remained rural and agricultural due to the absence of a bridge to cross the Cumberland River and enter the area.
At Husk, there are some rules about what can go on the plate. “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door,” says Brock. The resulting cuisine is not about rediscovering Southern cooking, but rather exploring the reality of Southern food. Seed-saving, heirloom husbandry, in-house pickling and charcuterie programs by the culinary team are the basis of Husk’s cuisine.
Husk Nashville, located at 37 Rutledge Street, was constructed into the side of a hill between 1879 and 1882 by Dr. John Bunyan Stephens. Its storied history includes serving as Mayor Richard Houston Dudley’s home, where he lived when elected in 1897. The area was settled by the Rutledge and Middleton families of Charleston who were descendants of two of the original South Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence. Mayor Dudley added the Carriage House located on property in 1890—which will serve as a space to satisfy the restaurant’s culinary whims and host private/special events. The design of the Husk’s interior spaces enhances the building’s roots while demonstrating a sense of Southern style, modernity, energy, and cosmopolitan flair. They also have a location in Charleston.
Cat Bird Seat: 32 seats surround a U-shaped kitchen and chef Erik Anderson will prepare your meal as you watch him in action. It is located on 1711 Division Street in Nashville and rather than be a romantic place you want to have privacy, you should come here when you want a real interactive experience, not to mention pure “fun.”
It is a fun way to spend an evening if you like creative food and drink/wine flights. While you’re watching the chef prepare your food, you can talk to him and ask questions as the nine course meal is in progress. There can be up to 13 different tastings and 6 or 7 drink pairings. Outside of wine, think gin, cucumber, wine and lime with a spritz of lavender mist which can be paired with an abalone and romaine salad. Note from online cons about the place: reservations and parking is tough so valet is recommended as is booking well in advance.
City House: Tandy Wilson is the chef at this creative eatery on 1222 4th Avenue North in Nashville. Imagine appetizers that are as varied as salami, olives and montasio cheese with potato to black-eyed peas, kale, tomato and grana padano. Southern cuisine is at the heart here. For example, how about Kohlrabi, arugula, radish with alici dressing, pecorino and bread crumbs or kale with delicata squash, GMRS, Red Onion, Sorghum Dressing and Corn Bread Crumbs. And, I have to admit, I had never seen octopus prepared this way — with cracked wheat, orange, red onion and some mint.
They offer more traditional pizzas and pastas as well if you don’t want to get too creative. Their bread gnocchi with sweet potato, turnip greens and pecorino is to die-for. For meat lovers, they have a house made sausage with apples, red onion, lemon and parsley and for fish lovers, a carolina trout with bread crumbs, peanuts, raisins, lemon and parsley and a NC catfish with peppers, garlic, anchovy, lemon and parsley. Yup, they seem to put lemon and parsley on most of their dishes.
And, how’s this for creative cocktails? Sazerac, a Bulleit Rye, Peychaud’s Bitters, Herbsaint or a Solomon, which is made with Jim Beam Rye, Orchard Apricot, Honey, Salt and Orange or the Leroy, which is a Prichard’s Chocolate Bourbon, Fernet Branca, Caffe Moka, Orange Bitters and a Peel.
Catbird Photo credit: tmagazine.blogs.nytimes. com.