For my first night in Nashville, I went to The Catbird Seat for a multi-course tasting menu. The interactive chef-run restaurant centers around an open kitchen where you can watch each dish being prepared.
Reservations are released 30 days in advance and you purchase tickets through Tock. I was dropped off near the entrance where I waited with the other guests. We were brought up to the dining room one party at a time. I was the first person to be seated at the u-shaped counter with twenty-two seats.
Opened in 2011, The Catbird Seat has served as a culinary show where chefs have the opportunity to explore and express their culinary creativity.
Executive Chef Ryan Poli and his team worked swiftly yet graciously to prepare each dish as we watched.
It’s a prepaid reservation and you can choose to add the beverage paring with your dinner which you pay for separately. I usually decide to do the pairings whenever I indulge in a tasting menu. It started off with Rustenberg Rosé from Stellenbosch, South Africa.
The first course was the KY Farm Cured Hen Yolk surrounded with Bloomsbury Farm wilted greens, sweet onion puree, and Catbird cured bresaola. It was okay, but it needed something. It lacked flavor and some sweetness or citrus flavors would have been appreciated.
It wasn’t the strongest start to a meal, but it did get better.
For the next course, the Blackberry Farm “Fenceline” Saison from Walland, Tennessee was served.
I love a good farmhouse ale.
I watched as one of the chefs sliced some mushrooms and good-sized truffles for the next dish.
Next up was the Sunflower Seed Risotto with porcini mushrooms and Italian summer truffles. I enjoyed this one.
Every dish was explained to you once it was served.
Another wine was served, a Cederberg Bukettraube white wine from Cederberg, South Africa.
The next course was the Black Pepper Pasta with bacon sofrito and cured egg yolk.
A Roland Champion “Cuvee d’ Aramis” Non-Vintage Brut Champagne from Chouilly, France was poured next. The blend was dry, fresh, and slightly fruity.
The next dish was probably my favorite one of the night.
The crispy North Carolina Soft Shell Crab “Bonchon” was served with housemade kimchi and tobiko aioli. You can make a lettuce wrap with the various ingredients. This was the tastiest and most substantial dish.
It was really cool to watch everything going on in the open kitchen.
On to the next pairing! The Iuli “Malidea” 2011 from Italy was a great wine for the next course.
The Bear Creek Farm Beef in umami crust with smoked tofu puree and morel mushrooms was nice and tender. It would have been nice to have a bigger piece since this was the only dish with true protein. Where’s the beef?
Watching everything closely, it looked like we were transitioning to the sweeter courses.
A Hatcher Dairy Buttermilk Panna Cotta with olive oil served as a palate cleanser.
For dessert, a Foggy Ridge “Pippin Gold” hard cider from Virginia was served.
I noticed that a couple courses actually had two different dishes, so I wasn’t sure which dessert I was going to receive. It was the Butterscotch Custard and Burnt Caramel Ice Cream with vanilla, Luxardo cherries, and chocolate soil.
To conclude the meal, the chefs brought out large cookie jars and placed it in front of each party. They were all different. I got Ernie from Sesame Street.
Inside were a couple tasty bite-sized cookies. It was a fun way to end the meal.
The dining experience was wonderful. I loved how guests surround the open kitchen. The team was outstanding and service was fantastic. The dishes came up a bit short though. The risotto, soft shell crab, and beef were all good, but nothing really blew me away. There were a couple courses that I didn’t care for. The beverage pairing and beverage director were great. Overall, I still enjoyed my dinner and had a nice time.
After experiencing The Catbird Seat’s tasting menu, I walked right next door for a couple drinks at The Patterson House. Me and my nightcaps.
The cozy dimly-lit bar is known for their craft cocktails, so I had to try a couple.
The cocktails were excellent.
After Catbird’s beverage paring and these fairly strong drinks, it was time to head back to the hotel.
The Catbird Seat
1711 Division Street
Nashville, TN 37203
The Patterson House
1711 Division Street
Nashville, TN 37203