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City House in Nashville

c
cracker32 Dec 29, 2007 05:19 AM

ate at the new Nashville restaurant City House in Germantown. I highly recommend it! Sat at the chefs bar with chef Tandy Wilson, it was a great experience!

  1. b
    bsparks Jun 15, 2008 11:52 PM

    This is the best new place in Nashville, no question, they are doing everything right. Our food was amazing, but what really made the experience over the top was our server. She seemed to know everything about the food, the wine, even the history of the building, and the neighborhood. Her personality was so delightful and quirky that even if the food was mediocre we would be back to see her. But, the food was fabulous, every single one of her recommendations were perfect. We had the house cured salami which was delectable with the wine she suggested. Then on to the mackerel spiedini and house cured proscuitto pizza, which was arguably the best pizza we have ever eaten. Then, upon the server's recommendation we had the Trout entree and the house made sausage with the night's choice of slaw and broccoli side items. I could have licked the bowls clean in front of a whole room full of strangers and not been embarrassed. We had dessert of homemade coconut rice pudding and caramel ice cream, it was great, not too sweet, just the right finish to a meal. We will certainly be back over and over again to experience the food and the service. A taste of Italy in Nashville seems improbable, but City House delivers.

    1. jamiecarroll Jan 29, 2008 08:52 AM

      Count me among the impressed. From the ham-peanuts-celery-parsley appetizer to the bread gnocci w/ cauliflower ragu & pecorino romano to the chocolate & caramel mousse w/ candied kumquats for dessert, everything was outstanding.

      6 Replies
      1. re: jamiecarroll
        r
        renney Feb 16, 2008 07:22 AM

        We attempted to eat dinner at City House last night but left most of our food on our plates because it was simply too salty. According to our server, their dishes are typically very "seasoned." We didn't care for it and won't recommend this restaurant to our friends and colleagues.

        1. re: renney
          bubblet4me Feb 17, 2008 12:13 PM

          I would be curious to know who was in the kitchen on the nights that folks (renney, bella2, mariel) mention the food being over salted. My expereince was that the food was not so, I am very aware of salt in my food so I am sort of suprised that if this was a consistent issue that I didn't have the same experience.

          1. re: bubblet4me
            jcr05 Apr 30, 2008 07:29 AM

            Anyone been lately and are there any new must have's on the menu? We are FINALLY getting there tonight. Thanks in advance if anyone has time to respond.

            1. re: jcr05
              n
              nashvegas Apr 30, 2008 08:21 AM

              We went on Monday, April 28, for the first time. It was my birthday - I was terribly excited and City House did not disappoint. It was FABULOUS. But yes, everything was too salty. I am partial to salty foods, so I enjoyed it. But even for me, it was a little too much. I'm sad to see in this blog that the over-salting is an ongoing problem, but it doesn't change my mind about the place - it's amazing. My husband had the tagliatelle with pulled pork, which was good, but not outstanding. I had the incredible Springer Mtn chicken with a side of broccoli, peanuts and currents. The broccoli dish was stellar - I could have eaten a gallon of it. (It was too salty by far, but I loved it.) We also enjoyed the lemon cake - a truly unique dish, not what I was expecting. Our four glasses of wine, two apps, two entrees, one dessert and one coffee cost about $100. You cannot find better food for the price in Nashville, in my opinion. We are hooked.

              1. re: nashvegas
                jcr05 Apr 30, 2008 09:27 AM

                Thanks for the info! My husband loves salt too so I think we'll be fine and the prices sound great for the quality. I'll report back on our group.

              2. re: jcr05
                j
                Jennie Apr 30, 2008 12:18 PM

                I was there on Friday April 25th in a party of four. First of all, the main room is so loud. We could barely hear each other, and the room wasn't close to full. When I go back, I will either sit at the chef's bar (if I'm only with one other person) or ask to sit in the upstairs room.

                We had a hard time deciding what to get because so many courses interested us. After discussing the menu with the server and him encouraging us to eat family style, we finally decided to get the salad (with local organic lettuces and radishes), the fresh mozarella pizza, and 2 different pastas (the bread gnocchi and the bucatelli ) to share between the 4 of us. I ordered a glass of rose and it was superb, one of the best wines I've had in a while. The timing of the courses was perfect. We enjoyed the salad and the pizza very much. Our first pasta, the gnocchi, arrived and again it was excellent. We were eagerly awaiting the 2nd pasta, when the server brought us dessert menus. We asked him about the 2nd pasta, and he thought we had wanted a double order of gnocchi which was not what we ordered. The volume in the main room is so loud, even the servers can't hear the correct orders. We were a little annoyed by then and our ears were ringing, so we quickly ordered dessert (which was good, but not as good as the desserts at places like Margot). Our bill was around $120 with 3 glasses of wine, 4 salads, a pizza, a double order of pasta, and 2 desserts.

                So yes, I'll probably be back because the food was excellent but I will not sit downstairs. I also think the servers are a little green, but I'm sure they will improve with time. Also, I didn't notice any over salting of the food, and I'm really sensitive to too much salt. However we ended up with a vegetarian meal, and it seems like the salt issue is more in the meat dishes.

        2. h
          Hoyt Hill Jan 26, 2008 12:19 PM

          I have been to City House for dinner 5 times. Because I am a veteran of 30 years as a restaurant owner and manager, I am extremely hard to impress. I would say that City House is already one of the best restaurants in Nashville and certainly the best restaurant at its price point. I cannot imagine calling it a fusion restaurant - it could not be less of one. What it really is is an authentic interpretation of what you are served in small restaurants in Italy. And, to give you an idea of how dedicated they are to their craft, I am having a lunch for ten there in March and the chef told me last night that he has started working on baking a whole fish in a slat crust becase he heard it was one of my favorite dishes and he wanted to serve it at my lunch. Very, very impressive

          2 Replies
          1. re: Hoyt Hill
            cookeatFRET Jan 28, 2008 12:35 PM

            i could not agree with hoyt hill more. i have been 4 or 5 times now and i am smitten with city house. perfect? no... the lighting is terrible. but the food is earnest and i believe will continue to find its way... i have had some of the best dishes there that i have had in nashville. by far. some didn't quite hit the mark but i understood what they were striving for. mariel - your take on this place is way off and imho not reality based. magiano's may be more your style.

            1. re: cookeatFRET
              b
              bella2 Jan 29, 2008 07:03 PM

              I ate at City House the other night and I was wholly unimpressed. I agree that the food was too salty. I found the wait staff to be unprepared to discuss the menu. The menu itself was practically unreadable. This is not a Maggiano's style problem. I have eaten at modern Italian restaurants in Italy, New York, and San Francisco. Maybe my expectations are too high or maybe Nashville is just trying too hard. Personally I think they should stick with the first two sections of the menu and drop the meat and 3 style entrees. Why must we in Nashville be cheerleaders for mediocrity?

          2. m
            mariel Jan 24, 2008 05:59 AM

            This was one of the worst dining experiences we've had in Nashville. We went there on a Wednesday night, and the restaurant was full. The server could not really explain the menu (particularly some of the Italian terms). I had the catfish entree, and it was too salty. We talked to someone about it. She took it back, and returned to say that I should try one of their pizzas because all of their other entrees were prepared like the catfish. Was she implying that my palette was not sophisticated enough for salty food? My partner's pizza was fine, but again the sausage meat on it was too salty.
            The concept is an interesting one: Italian-style cured meats, wood-oven pizza, with southern entrees. The main part of the meal is merely a meat-and-one, and the presentation is not inspiring. Ultimately, this fusion concept doesn't work. We will never go back.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mariel
              l
              lisamarie77 Jan 27, 2008 09:53 AM

              I came to give a short review of CityHouse and decided that I would do so in the context of Marial's review - just because I think it's shortsighted and hate to see such things written about a place that obviously has so much going for them.

              I have eaten at CityHouse several times since their opening and have been both excited and impressed. I think that this place has vision and a very distinct idea of how they want their food prepared and presented. My impression is that nothing is done on a whim and that each item on the menu (and its preparation) is a very well thought out, calculated decision. Agreed that some of the servers, perhaps, have some growing to do in their knowledge of rustic Italian food - but in my experiences there, I have been willing to ask the right questions (and also willing to have patience, since this is a newborn of a restaurant).

              That being said, Mariel, it distresses me to find someone so willing to let their inability to meet a restaurant half way in their own dining experience try to undermine their efforts. That is always the saddest thing for me on these blogs. I'm all for constructive criticisms and, sure, every place has room to grow and change. But, perhaps, if you had a more revered attitude toward food and those who strive to present it to you in their own style, you might then have an opportunity to see that these people seem very sincere in their efforts to bring good food to Nashville.

              I don't understand the reference to "fusion" concept - I don't feel that this place is playing on any sort of fusion ideas - I think that this statement alone gives us an idea of where you are used to dining and that perhaps, you're right, this isn't the place for you. I sincerely doubt that anyone was challenging your "sophistication" and, perhaps, if you stopped thinking that people were, you might have better dining experiences in the future. It sounds to me like whoever was trying to help you was simply trying to steer you toward something that might better suit you - after all, you wanted someone knowledgable and it sounds like the person you were complaining to was offering her knowledge - not challenging the quality of your palatte (really. how silly). Dining is a joint effort, in my opinion.

              If you're just a grump who can't help Nashville's culinary world grow and think that dining is about coddling and ego-stroking, then keep it to yourself. If, however, you want to share with us how you think your experience might have been better, than anti up and be a productive part of the process. Otherwise, please feel free to "never go back" so that upon my future dining experiences there, I won't have to share the space with someone who's possibly not sophisticated enough, not to understand what good food is supposed to look (and taste) like, but to behave in a way that shows an appreciation for the food and the vision itself.

              1. re: mariel
                t
                todd a Mar 28, 2009 11:40 AM

                I must concur, to a point, with mariel. While not the worst meal in Nashville our last two visits were disappointments considering we had such lovely times the three times before. The salt issue is really odd; the broccoli side dish was so overwhelmingly salted that the four of us complained to our waitress, which did about as much good as speaking to the wall. This, after she stumbled her way through the evening's menu-which is a management problem if they do not prepare the staff for the evening. Over-salted catfish accompanied the salt broccoli so I really don't know what the City House is trying to accomplish here. The last two visits were just short of embarrassing as with both visits we were accompanied by out of towners whom we wanted to share the nearby City House with.
                With all of the above, we are going again tonight and hope for much improved City House.

              2. bubblet4me Jan 7, 2008 08:04 PM

                We made it over to City House on Monday night. Our meal was filling but not heavy, toasted bread soup, the catfish and trout with roasted apple/fennel and the canelli bean sides. Topped off with a chocolate hazelnut mousse.

                For a Monday night they had a good crowd but it wasn't full.

                The service was good over all, our server never brought the coffee that was ordered with dessert but the wine rec was excellent. It all balanced out to a good meal experience.

                The dinning room is very noisy. And I would gander that if they have a private party the dining room will be closed to the public.

                There is an outside patio area that was not open the night we were there, but come spring and summer it will be a lovely place for a meal. There is a small bar area and also a great view on the kitchen counter.

                We will be back and we will bring friends.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bubblet4me
                  f
                  fluffernutter Jan 17, 2008 11:15 AM

                  Went to City House last night and had an equally good experience. Was there with another restaurant person and we sat at the bar. Great drinks -- I had the Petey (Jamison, ginger syrup, orange bitters) and she had a old fashioned made with homemade syrup. House-cured sausage is righteous, the handmade, cracker-thin pizza crust and homemade sauce were what a pizza should be. Bread gnocchi were a real surprise, and the wagyu tri-tip with fennel salad was great! We sat at the bar, and Austin made a couple of terrific wine recs. I can't drink red wine, so he found a pink sparkler that was a great pairing with the beef. That's service! Total bill for four courses, two cocktails, four glasses of wine was $139. Not bad compared to other places.

                2. g
                  gbailey75 Jan 2, 2008 02:36 PM

                  A star is born: cool room, great service, outstanding food. bread gnocci is superb, so is their take on catfish (yes, at an Italian restaurant) and the sausage/potato pizza was the best I've had in a long, long time in Nashville.

                  1. bubblet4me Jan 1, 2008 12:22 PM

                    Their website is still under construction but for the future: http://www.cityhousenashville.com/

                    1. g
                      gbailey75 Dec 30, 2007 01:42 PM

                      Good to hear the quick recommendation. heading there tonight; apparently Sundays are 'off the menu' night and the chefs cook whatever suits them ...

                      1. f
                        fluffernutter Dec 29, 2007 05:44 PM

                        What'd you have cracker? We need detail!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: fluffernutter
                          jcr05 Dec 30, 2007 10:35 AM

                          I second that request...details please! I've heard lots about the opening but have yet to see a menu or hear any details. Thanks in advance.

                          1. re: fluffernutter
                            c
                            cracker32 Jan 1, 2008 05:38 AM

                            had the bread gnocchi, rapini pizza. the set up is really nice. its nice to have a chef owned place open on a Sunday night around here!

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