RWA Nashville Retreat Notes: City House

I wanted to have one nice meal while I was in town, especially since this entire trip is my 50th birthday present to myself, so I poked around, and various Germantown restaurants were recommended highly — I ended up making a reservation at City House, and it was a great decision.

I had the first reservation, I think, at 5 p.m. on a Thursday, which was pretty perfect for me — for one, it meant that the restaurant was quite empty still (there is very little masking happening in Nashville, and I admit, it made me fret — if that’s a concern for you, they seem to also have an outside screened patio area).

Arriving early also meant that the head chef, James Beard-winner Tandy Wilson, had time to come out and say hi; I don’t think I’ve ever asked if a chef could answer questions for me before, but it was so quiet, and I could see him chatting with one of the other chefs, so I figured he probably wasn’t *too* busy.

We had a few nice minutes of conversation about his food, which was billed as Southern-inflected Italian. Which it is, but the savory dishes I picked — all of which were DELICIOUS — seemed to have a Vietnamese element to them as well, and when I asked him about it, he confirmed that Vietnamese cuisine was a huge influence in his cooking, so that was satisfying. 🙂 It all worked together beautifully.

The menu changes frequently, so I can’t guarantee that what I had would be there if you went, but at this point, I think I’d trust this chef to put out only yummy dishes. I had:

• Roasted Summer Squash, Baked Ricotta, Garlic, Mint, Chilies, Lemon, Parm Frico (the squash was maybe the best squash I’ve had — it’s marinated in red wine and other things he told me and I’ve forgotten, and oven-baked; apparently, it’s a Roman-influenced technique….)

• Pork Sausage, Peaches, Pickled Onion + Jalapeño, Mint (those ripe peaches, YUM YUM, and they paired perfectly with the rest)

• Vanilla Mascarpone Panna Cotta, Bourbon Black Cherry Soda Jelly, Chocolate Sea Salt Cookies (very generous portion — I could have split this happily with three other people)

It was really too much food for me — I ended up taking half the sausage and 3/4 of the dessert home with me, which was just fine, as they made a splendid breakfast the next day. Messy but who cares? 🙂

All in all, a pretty perfect hour. Me and a good book and a glass of wine and excellent food. If I come back to Nashville, I’m going to make a reservation here in advance!

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