I’ve been waiting for months to tell you about one of my favorite restaurants in Nashville, the Farm House, located right across from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the SoBro district (south of Broadway).
I wrote about the Farmhouse in an article for the Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine (the Restaurant Revolution) which just recently hit the news stands. I didn’t want to write anything until the magazine was released, and I encourage you to pick up a copy if you live here and read more about the Farm House and other Nashville restaurants that have helped to create a food and wine landscape we Nashvillians are proud of.
The Farmhouse is not a farm to table restaurant, but it’s a farmer to table restaurant. This is Chef Trey Cioccia’s first restaurant where he brings years of experience in fine dining, cooking under Tyler Brown at the Capitol Grille and as executive chef at Cantina Laredo.
While he is no stranger to doing some of his own farming, his main passion is transforming the food, and is demonstrated by his infamous collection of mole skins full of recipes that I would love to see in a cookbook. I usually can figure out a recipe, but he stumps me with his whimsy and twist and turns, like his take on pimento beignets.
Pimento Beignets, Harissa, Onion Ash….a comfort food classic with a creative twist.
On first glance, it’s an unassuming restaurant, decorated exactly the way a farm house would be, in shades of brown and lots of reclaimed barn wood. On a deeper observation, you begin to get what Chef Trey is doing. He is living his vision in every detail, by securing not just local ingredients with his many close relationships with farmers in the area, but in all aspects of decor, all sourced in America and in Tennessee when possible. He is very committed to where the food comes from and how it’s raised or harvested, and the Farm House is very transparent about the food sources.
While the Farm House is a story of food and honest farming, everything centers around giving the customer a good experience. The wait staff knows and appreciates the food as much as those in the back of the house, and the restaurant is as friendly as a diner and as unpretentious.
The Farm House has a section on the menu called “Snacks.” These are heavy appetizers, that could double as entrees, and are better than any snack I’ve ever had.
When I ate the porkbelly pop tart, my brain captured that this is one of the best bites of 2015.
Porkbelly Poptart, Duck Fat Maple Lemon & Walnut Marmalade
Marrow, Charred Onion Stock, Roasted Leek, Scallion Butter, Grilled Cheese
When I ate the most unique marrow soup with onion and tiny grilled cheese sandwich, I felt like I understood the lure of classic french onion soup (only this wasn’t french onion soup) that will never be considered trendy, even if it was served with an onion sorbet. I would have been happy just having this as my dinner, because it was just so satisfying.
Moving to the Small Plates
Scallop, Cauliflower Puree, Corned Beef, Arugula
The scallops are crispy, yet not overcooked by a second.
The menu changes according to the supply of local resources. This lamb chop dish was one I had lat winter.
Lamb Chops with Cannelini Beans Braised in Buttermilk, Homemade Cavatelli. The lamb was tender, and the dish was just as good as it looks. All pasta is made in house.
You can see right away what I mean when I tell you the Farm House is unique because its not just another Southern cuisine restaurant that attempts to elevate comfort food.
It’s comfort food with a creative spin that never feels contrived, hipster or trendy. You still feel like you’re eating in a country kitchen, a cross between the South and Italy. After all Chef Trey is Italian.
When we sank out teeth into the duck confit, it felt like a bite of food one might have eaten in a small French town 100 years ago.
When I ate the homemade cavatelli, I felt like my grandmother made this. The pictures below do not do the food justice. The lighting of the restaurant at night makes the food just seem brown. But it’s all fall off the bone meat, braised long enough to have several layers of savory flavor. These were the kind of entrees that you want the next night all over again.
Duck Confit, Stroganoff Grits, Citrus Radicchio, Hot Sauce Emulsion
The stroganoff grits are made with mushrooms, and the duck is fork tender.
Lamb Shank, Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Fig, Preserved Lemon, Sausage, Ginger, Mint
The Desserts at the Farm House
The desserts at the Farmhouse never disappoint. I’ve ordered dessert three times at the Farmhouse and they pay just as much attention to every detail of the sweets, and you appreciate the steady, consistent high notes from beginning snack to sweet.
Pumpkin Cake, Brown Sugar Icing, Cranberry Compote, Coffee Chickory Pudding, Molasses Vinaigrette, Root Beer Sherbert
This is a pumpkin cake with a root beer sorbet, which is an amazing combination, and not too sweet.
I had these macarons last winter, but I had to include them. I took them home to enjoy and snapped this picture. They were perfect.
The Farm House is open for lunch Mon- Friday serving blue plate specials, Brunch on Sunday. Dinner starts 5:00 p.m. I recommend going a few times and trying everything. The menu does change seasonally and sometimes daily.
Valet parking is available.
210 Almond St. Nashville, TN 37201 | 615-522-0688
Follow them on Facebook.
They have a great instagram feed.