Creating quite a splash since its late 2007 opening, City House remains one of the more spectacular restaurants to open in recent Nashville history. Most critics, both of the paid variety and of the average Joe and Jane Q. Public variety, agree. And packed houses don't lie. Housed in the remarkably renovated former studio of noted local sculptor Alan LeQuire in the gentrifying Germantown neighborhood just north of downtown, City House sports multilevel seating and an expansive chef's table/main bar: all the better to watch James Beard Award-nominated chef/owner Tandy Wilson and crew work their magic with contemporary rustic Southern-influenced Italian cuisine in front of a wood-burning oven. Wilson, a Nashville native and former sous chef at East Nashville's acclaimed Margot Café, specializes in bold flavors and house-cured meats and mozzarella. Highlights from his short, attractively priced and consistently winning menu can include octopus with fennel bread crumbs and field peas, any of the pasta offerings, Carolina trout, the Painted Hills tri tip, and any of the magnificent thin-crust pizzas - the fantastic belly ham pizza with a fried egg makes a perfect appetizer to share or single entree. Desserts never disappoint either. The caramel custard pie and almond ricotta pound cake provide a sweet finish to a stellar meal. Early detractors have complained mainly about the short menu (no spaghetti and meatballs, etc., here) and aggressive seasoning. And as befits a place that was once home to oversized statues, City House can get loud, loud, loud during peak hours.
James Beard Foundation: Tandy Wilson: Best Chef: Southeast finalist, 2013-14
"On the appetizer list, consider the house-cured meat plate or whatever vegetable preparation is in season. For dessert, try the chocolate mascarpone crema with espresso and rum caramel."
Full bar, including some of the city's tastiest cocktails. Serving dinner Wed–Mon, with a special, even-briefer Sunday menu that attracts area chefs and restaurant staffs on their nights off. Closed Tue.