There are a lot of exciting things happening in Nashville right now. There is construction everywhere. It has elements of a big city but with a laid-back feel. There’s music, art, food, fashion, sports, good coffee, over 20 colleges and universities, and the airport is only 15 minutes away. They could use some tips on how to turn left at the light but it was a small price to pay and quite refreshing to hear lots of manners being used all over the city like: Hello, Please, Excuse Me, and Thank You.
Ryan Poli, originally from Chicago, has spent the last few years traveling around the world and also cooking at Blue Hill Stone Barns, Noma and the Noma pop-up in Japan. I was able to get a taste of his cooking upon his return at a pop-up held at Chicago’s Jam Restaurant, and before that, at the now closed, but swanky Tavernita and lively Barcito.
I was thrilled to hear Ryan was taking over the kitchen at The Catbird Seat in Nashville. It’s the perfect place to nourish and develop ideas from his inspirational travels and turn it into good food.
The menu was dynamic yet cohesive with Japanese, Italian and New Nordic influences. The flavors and textures were balanced, ranging from bright and acidic to fresh and crisp with comforting bites like pasta or risotto stepping in at all the right moments. The pacing of the courses flowed nicely and was the perfect amount of food but they really should have let me eat 10 more cookies even though I was full. 😉
The staff was friendly, the energy was fun, the food was phenomenal. Ryan Poli really is sitting in The Catbird Seat.
The wines (champagne not shown). Click on the collage for larger photo and description.