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Friday, June 15, 2012

Food Friday: City House

For our six month anniversary, Steve decided to surprise me with dinner at one of my favorite places in Nashville, City House.  Steve knows that I love food and I love surprises, so when I was told to just get dressed up and get in the car for dinner I was very excited.

I have been to City House a good amount of times over the past 3 years. The food is wonderful and ever changing and they have never disappointed.  They have amassed a gaggle of fabulous reviews and those reviews are well deserved. City House is popular and reservations are highly recommended. It's also a good place to run into people you know as I've never dined here without running into someone from around town.

City house is nestled in Germantown, which is a historic area north of Downtown.  The streets are cobblestone and the houses are skinny and tall. This area has boomed in the past few years, with new condo projects going up on seemingly every block.  The revitalization of this area has brought with it good food, including City House, Germantown Cafe, and The Cocoa Tree.  I think City House has the best decor, mixing a farmhouse feel with an old industrial type space.  The kitchen is open and everything seems to be made of wood. Guys, if you are paying attention, this is a terrific date spot!

The City House menu changes often depending on what they get in fresh. Every Sunday they prepare a special "supper" that is based around THE PIG. Pork Night is my favorite night at city house and usually when my parents are in town that's when we go there. Our anniversary was a week night, so I was happy to have an opportunity to get out of my rut and try some non-pork dishes.

Drinks. THE DRINKS. The bar at city house is one of the best in town. The fancy drinks rival Holland House or 308.  Steve went with the regular Old Fashioned and I decided to try the Kubric, which to me tasted like the peach version of an Old Fashioned. Both drinks were great, and strong. The Sparkling Cocktail list is usually my go to, because Prosecco is just so great in the summer. I went for a stronger drink because I was feeling very 1960s in my go-go outfit.  The only downside to the bar is the wait for drinks.  Most times I have gone to City House the drinks have taken forever to arrive, and this time they didn't arrive before our first dish. Sad!  I know the bar can get busy and backed up, but the table next to us ordered after us and got their drinks before we did. Bummer.

Old Fashioned and the Kubric

Steve and I are top-notch food negotiators. We read through a menu, present each other options, and then haggle with each other until a list is decided. Because we wanted to try a lot of things (we always share) we ordered one pizza, one pasta and one main dish.

We started off with the House Made Belly Ham pizza with Mozzarella, Grana padano, Oregano and Chilies. So truth be told, I couldn't stay away from THE PIG. City House makes one of my favorite pizzas in Nashville- and they are far and away the fanciest. This was a luxurious pie, covered in fatty meat, chili oils and soft cheese. The center was droopy but the outer crust was crisp, making it perfect finger food. If you go, order a pizza. Share it with someone you love.

For the second course we wanted a pasta dish.  As soon as I saw "gnocchi" on the menu, I knew what Steve was going to ask for. And its a good thing - the bread gnocchi with white cream sauce, peas and ricotta was on my list too! This might have been my favorite dish of the night.  The bread gnocchi had the most amazing texture, like a thick soggy soup nut. While that probably doesn't sound appealing to everyone, I love soup nuts. Anything that reminds me of a more modern soup nut is good stuff. The sauce was thick and cheesy and the peas were the perfect amount of sweet in the heavy dish. I think I gained 5 pounds just by looking at it, but it was worth it.

The MOST delicious!

For the main entree we ordered trout with bread crumbs, peanuts, and raisins.  Since I can't get good fresh fish in Nashville to cook at home I try to order fish at restaurants. It has been a good while since I have a had such a nice piece of trout. The inside was flaky and favorable and the skin (my favorite part) was crispy and fatty. The raisins pair with the fish surprisingly well and the crunch of the breadcrumbs added much needed texture. It was an all around solid, well composed, fish dish.

Carolina Trout

I'm not going to forget the little side dish that stole the show! With your entree you can pick a side, and the list of sides are LONG and all of them sound tasty. We picked a cabbage dish with sweet chow-chow. This was fabulous and I'm pretty sure the cabbage was cooked down in bacon fat.  The chow-chow added a sweet vinegar tang. Steve and I were scraping the bowl and negotiating for the final bite of this side.

Cabbage and Chow Chow

I've had dessert at City House before and its always lovely.  Usually country inspired desserts involving fruit, berries, shortbread and the like. We looked at the sweets menu but I was so full I couldn't even imagine fitting anything else inside of me. I hope to come back later one night and sit a the kitchen bar, have a drink and enjoy some sweets.

What a lovely meal and what a lovely date. I'm a lucky lady and I know it.

City House on Urbanspoon

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