There is nothing quite like a relaxing night with old friends and new. And that is exactly the night I had at City House. This restaurant is impeccable.
Josh, an old high school friend, invited me to go to City House with him and his girlfriend last night since he was back in town. He knew I had started a blog, and his cousin, Tandy Wilson, happens to be the owner and executive chef of the restaurant. City House has been on my list to try for just about forever, I just never found the right company to try it with. What better company than an old friend and soon-to-be new one!?
Before we got there he gave me a little back-story on the restaurant. The house used to be Alan LeQuire’s, the artist who sculpted the musica sculpture in Nashville. LeQuire used the main room of his house as his studio, upstairs as his office and a loft as his bedroom. When Wilson bought the house, he added a room onto the side for an extra bar area. It is amazing to learn all of the history on this place!
Josh and his girlfriend said they try to dine at the restaurant at least once a month. They know all the servers, hostesses and cook. I was very lucky to dine there with them, because they showed me the best things on the menu and knew exactly what to order!
This is one of those establishments where you (well, maybe just me…) really can’t figure out what it is you are ordering off the menu, but you know it will be fantastic regardless. Wilson grows his herbs in the garden out behind the restaurant, and uses all fresh ingredients.
We started the night with cocktails. After asking the bartender about basically half of the drinks and what the heck the liquors were (because they were too fancy for me to have ever heard of them), we finally decided on our order. I got the Oscar, which was described to me as an Italian Margarita (done and done) and Sammi, Josh’s girlfriend, ordered the Moose cocktail. Unfortunately I can’t say exactly what these have in them because they aren’t on the menu online. Looks like you’ll have to try them for yourself!
Above is a picture of my drink in my little mason jar. At first, I was taken aback by how small the cocktail was, but once I tried it I understood why. Those babies are strong. But, it was absolutely wonderfully concocted and sweet.
The menu changes regularly, based on what is fresh and in season. For our antipasti, Josh ordered us the Frico. It comprises of buttermilk cheddar, broccoli, Calabrian chilies, garlic and lemon. I couldn’t even begin to tell you exactly what a “Frico” even is, but I can tell you that you should order it when you go to City House. The combination of the cheese and broccoli with that little hint of spice from the chilies gives it such a unique yet familiar flavor that leaves you wanting more.
We decided to order three entrees and split them. This was perfect because I could try multiple dishes! From my research on the restaurant and reviews from other friends who have dined at City House, I knew that I had to try the gnocchi and the ham pizza. Luckily for me, those are Sammi and Josh’s two favorite dishes. The third one we chose is a new menu item: the cauliflower pizza.
Above are our choices:
Left: Pizza with Cauliflower Ragu, Pecorino, Red Onion, and Chilies
Middle: Bread Gnocchi, Lamb Sugo, Chard, and Pecorino
Right: Pizza with House Made Belly Ham, Mozzarella, Grana Padano, Oregano, Chilies (and we added a fried egg on top, insider secret!)
I mean those look immaculately crafted, do they not?
Let’s begin with the cauliflower pizza. The cauliflower added such a nice flavor to the pizza, especially with the tomato base. The chilies will get you, though. There was a good amount of heat to each and every bite. The pizza was absolutely divine and like nothing I have ever tasted before. I had never heard of pecorino cheese before, but it was excellent.
Gnocchi is something I had always wanted to try. I can’t really compare it to anything, except that I can tell you to order this when you go! The combination of lamb mixed eaten with the gnocchi was just incredible. The lamb was so tender and cooked to absolute perfection.
The ham pizza is the main dish I have heard the most about, and I can see why. Josh told me that every slice needed to be dipped in the egg yolk before eaten to get the full effects. Don’t have to ask me twice! Wow. I mean, wow. There is a heat to this pizza as well, that will keep your waitress filling up your water all night long, but it is well worth it. This pizza is out of this world. Apparently there is always a fight for the middle piece of pizza with the fried egg on it, and they were nice enough to let me have that piece! Thanks Josh and Sammy!
We were absolutely stuffed by the time we were through. Then, Josh’s cousin decided we just had to try some of the dessert, so he had the waitress bring some out. Pull my leg a little bit, won’t you? Even though I was stuffed to the brim, I wasn’t going to turn that one down.
Our first dessert (on the left) was the honey caramel + Sesame Pie with Honey Vanilla Gelato and Sesame Brittle. It was divine! Always get a bite of the gelato and the pie at the same time. It was the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Absolutely scrumptious.
We also had the butterscotch Panna Cotta, which comprised Buttermilk Praline, S + P Pecan Sandies, Mascarpone Crema. Oh. My. Gosh. This is the best dessert I have ever had in my entire life. It was extremely rich though, so it is absolutely for sharing. Wow. The flavors mix so beautifully and perfectly that you just want to keep eating it, no matter if you are about to keel over from being so full.
Finally, after about three hours of great conversation and the best food I have ever had, we decided to call it a night. They took me on a tour of the house on the way out, showing me all the different details of the house that only a family member would know. It was amazing to hear how much they knew about the house and the restaurant.
All in all, it was one of the best dining experiences I have had in my life. It is amazing what friends, old and new, and some great food can do. Everyone needs to get a reservation ASAP for City House and go try it. I can guarantee you; you have one of the best meals of your life.