Husk Nashville - I like it. I like it a lot.
"Wait till the craze dies down," I said, "I bet it's not as good as people keep saying it is," I said. PFFT! I know nothing, Jon Snow.
But now I do. Now I know why people were excited that Husk Nashville was finally open, and I know that it wasn't all hype and my first meal there lived up to the standards set for me by, well, a lot of people.
The restaurant is in this beautiful house on top of a hill downtown. It just screams Southern. In the daytime, the huge windows let in tons of light and the atmosphere's open and airy whether you're dining upstairs in the little rooms or downstairs by the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the vegetable garden. At night, it takes on a cozier feel, almost like you're at a friend's house for dinner. Be sure to take in the view of downtown when you leave, it's pretty spectacular.
Anyway, I went for lunch first and I really really loved it. I loved my lunch so much that I brought The Husband back the next evening to celebrate his birthday and HE loved it! We both agreed that it was one of the best meals we'd had in Nashville in a long time. What The Husband and I love most of all is that everything we ate was real, good, delicious food.(Click on thumbnail, hover cursor for captions)
It probably sounds weird when I say "we had real, good food" and what I mean is that there's nothing pretentious about the dishes - it's all textures and flavors we recognize and love but BETTER and all they do to enhance a dish is use the other ingredients they have. I never knew shrimp & grits could taste so good and before eating there I really disliked country ham, but I will eat Husk Nashville's country ham appetizer with gusto. Everyday if I could! Everything I ate was delicious, cooked just right (our steak was a perfect medium) and it all tasted so fresh and so good. Believe me, when you take your first bite you'll know what I mean.
All ingredients used at Husk Nashville are sourced locally and regionally and the menu changes everyday because they use what they have on hand. If you're curious where it all comes from, everything's written on a chalkboard wall you'll see as you enter the restaurant so you can check out where it's all from. Or if you're curious but lazy, you can look at their list of suppliers here before you go.
Oh hey, remember when I had chicken skin sushi and was all, "someone in Nashville needs to get on this"? Well, THANK YOU Sean Brock and Morgan McGlone! It's as if you heard my plea and you've made me a very, very happy girl. Order the fried chicken skin appetizer, thank me later.
Another thing you shouldn't skip is dessert. Buttermilk Road's Lisa Donovan is at the pastry helm and, man, even the simplest dessert like soft serve ice cream (pictured) is on a whole new level. So indulge, just do it, you will not regret it and you know you want to.
It's a nice restaurant that doesn't cost an arm, leg and my car payment. But don't get me wrong I'm not saying it's cheap either but compared to other restaurants, I think it's good value for what you spend.
The service is pretty solid, the servers are knowledgeable of the menu and what each dish is like, and they're attentive without hovering or being annoying so that's great. Each time I've been back it's been consistently good.
However, these are my opinions and you may disagree or scoff and think I'm just drinking the trend punch so I encourage you to make your reservation and go try it for yourself and form your own opinions. And, if you still disagree, then that's fine - more Husk Nashville for me.
You can also check out what Beth of Eat, Drink, Smile thought of her lunch here. Want a vegetarian's take on things? Here's Lesley Eats' experience. Local public television station, NPT and local blogger Heidi Jewell of Under The Guise also did a "You Ought To Know Nashville" segment at Husk Nashville that you can watch here.
Husk Nashville | 37 Rutledge Street, Nashville | HuskNashville.com
PS: I'd like to thank my friend Katie P for convincing me that I didn't know better and for making our lunch reservations.