Frico: Buttermilk Cheddar, Sweet Potato, Chilies, Scallion, Cider Vinegar
Belly Ham Pizza: Mozzarella, Grana Padano, Oregano, Chilies, Egg
Cornbread Gnocchi: Chard, Tomato, Tesa, Chilies, GMRS
Conchiglie: Mushrooms, Parmesan Fonduta, Garlic, Lemon, Parsley
Rice Grits: Chicken Sausage, Greens, Red Onion, Garum, Grit Crumbs
Sausage: Rhubarb, Orange, Vidalia, Peanuts, Celery
Yellow Corn Grits, Turnip Greens, Pot Liquor
Strawberry Ice Box Pie: Preserves + Braccheto Jelly, Vanilla Malt Snickerdoodle Crumbs, Mascarpone Crema
Cookies + Cream Panna Cotta: Sipping Cream Caramel, Chocolate Toffee Meringue Crumbs, Mascarpone Crema
Tennessee Waltz Cake: Chocolate Buttermilk Praline, Bourbon Zabaglione, Coffee Butterscotch
Almond Ricotta Pound Cake: Lemon Marmalade, Lemon Ricotta Gelato
Frequently named amongst the best restaurants in Nashville, and yet another in the long list of places proudly promoting a seasonal menu focused on Italian accented Southern fare, it was at City House that the trip’s final dinner with family would be enjoyed and although some aspects of the night were marred by an exceedingly loud group of bachelorettes and service that seemed far more interested in tables to whom he could push expensive bottles of wine the food itself was mostly quite good, a few significant highs and the rest at least well enough prepared to let the quality of well sourced ingredients show.
Situated in an old home with seating spread amidst a large downstairs and two rooms comprising the space above, it was at first that our seating in a small former bedroom seemed a bit unfortunate but once the bridesmaids became well lubricated even the warm, stagnant air was preferable to the shrieks and shouts echoing off high ceilings – our server more than once pulled to assist another young man that appeared to be an overwhelmed trainee as thirty minutes passed between ordering and first courses that never once saw our party checked in on at all.
Eventually mentioning the lack of attention to our server, a confronting attitude offered where an apology would have been far better made, it was thankfully here that appetizers arrived, the crisply fried cheese and vegetables offering a slight bit of heat amidst hefty aromatics while the lightly charred pizza featured a crust robust enough to stand up to several unctuous toppings, the signature cornbread dumplings dotted in pancetta, tomatoes, and greens certainly as hefty a plate as would be expected, a dish best shared to be sure as a half-portion would serve smaller appetites as a meal in itself.
Onward to entrees, at this point visibly seeing patrons in the larger room wince at the behavior exhibited from the party of twelve, it was another large bowl of pasta that proved the best of three plates for as good as each sausage was the accoutrements leaned heavily on the use of onions with the chicken version all the more confounded by what seemed like nothing more than raw lettuce, an odd choice to say the least, though certainly not as unpalatable as the side of corn grits that was so bracingly bitter than it went almost untouched, a ‘your mileage may vary’ plate to say the very least.
Having heard many positives of the City House dessert program, enough so that the meal would culminate in an order most easily stated as “one of each, please,” it was here that I was glad none of the entrees compelled me to overeat for as much as the prices of some savories seemed a tad excessive the $8 sweets were portioned exceedingly generous, the lightly set panna cotta most certainly the lightest of the quartet despite its bold flavors while the strawberry tart melded cream and fruit flawlessly, both cakes far more decadent with the poundcake potentially containing as much as a stick of butter per slice and the layered Tennessee Waltz just boozy enough to tantalize the tastebuds up front before dissipating into notes of coffee and caramel competing for top billing amidst a buttermilk tinge.