The Catbird Seat
By: Diane Madison-Jammal
Can I just say OMG!? Holly and Mark Whaley invited us to dinner last night at The Catbird Seat. We had heard great things about this little “eat in the kitchen” restaurant. WELL, let me just say that at the end of the evening we all agreed that we have just had one of our best meals ever.
There is no menu; the only choice you have to make when you go in is whether you want the meal paired with the perfect libation, perfect non-alcoholic pairing, or if you want to stick with wine only, (yours or theirs). The menu changes slightly during the week but almost totally once a month. During the meal you meet all six staff members and you watch them all evening. They prepare the food right in the center of the restaurant “in the round” where they serve between 32 and 40 customers a night. The chefs and the cooks bring the food to your table and describe each of the nine courses you will so enjoy. Each is so delicious you can’t wait to taste what is next.
The preparation is fantastic and original. The food is inventive and has so many flavors it is like a symphony going on in your mouth. Each is served as a work of art, food almost as beautiful to look at as it is to taste. At the end of every single course we looked at each other and said WOW! The hard part was choosing a favorite course. I think the consensus of the evening was a toss up between the Pressed Duck with quince, brussels, granola and duck liver mousse and the Nantucket Bay Scallops, with bits of country ham, Island Creek Oysters, celery, shallots and mustard greens. The Sweet Potato soup with black truffle was elegant, the Octopus course surprisingly tender and memorable. The Kale ash encrusted Wagu Beef was completely original and paired well with the awesome 1994 Beringer Private Reserve we brought.
Between the four of us wine loving foodies we have eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world. Well, we believe one of the world’s best restaurants opened in Nashville 10 weeks ago, and we can’t wait to go back. You should make your reservation soon because when word gets out the wait for a reservation will be forever.