The Catbird Seat

The Catbird Seat 
1711 Division Street
Nashville, TN
Your adventure begins thirty days out at midnight, when they open up the reservations online. Yes, you should wait up for this. The thirty-two seat restaurant fills up fast! Once you book all you need to do is show up a month later, prepared to be swept away by three hours of fabulous food, drink and five-star treatment by some of the best chefs on the planet.
The menu is ever-changing so your experience will be different but here’s a peek at the kinds of delights that await you from the night I was sittin’ pretty in The Catbird Seat…
Savory “Oreo”
porcini mushroom cookie with parmesan cream filling

For me, it was love at first sight. This grew stronger with the first bite. Apparently I’m a sucker for clever, delicious takes on popular snack foods because I fell hard for you right away with this one Catbird. And it just got better from there.

Left: Scallop Cone (parmesan cream, roe, chive)
Middle: Jelly Roll (jalapeno jelly, cream cheese)
Right: Hot Chicken (crispy hot chicken skin with Wonder Bread purée)

Picture a scallop, in every form you’ve ever eaten one. Now, picture turning it into a waffle cone. Insane, yes? And incredible. As was the whimsical jelly roll and their version of the Nashville favorite “hot chicken.”

Heart of Palm Salad
coconut, pineapple, habanero, nasturtium
Pairing: Joel Falmet Brut Rose – Champagne, France
Sake Cocktail
TY KU, gin, ginger, lemon

As you enjoy the last of your champagne a new cocktail promptly arrives to accompany the rich dish below. My favorite sip of the evening.

Monkfish Liver
steel head roe, spring onion, ponzu, cucumber, avocado
Shrimp & Onion
truffle, celery, crispy potato, lemon, tarragon

Pairing: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi “Podium,” Garofoli 2009
Grilled Chicken
red pepper, broccoli, oyster mushroom, pea purée

Pairing: Penner-Ash Pinot Noir 2010 – Willamette, OR

This was a crowd favorite. The chicken was deboned and pressed together mixing the white and dark meat so you get a bit of both.

Veal Tender
swiss chard, potato, oyster cream agnolotti, parsley, lemon 

Pairing: Le Grand Bouqueteau Reserve Chinon 2009 – France

I know the veal is supposed to be the star of the show here but the oyster cream agnolotti with lemon dots completely upstage it. Two of the most memorable bites of the evening.

Hudson Red
mustard seeds, fried shallots, cornichon, honey vinegar, 
beer & pretzel mustard
Pairing: Shneider Weisse, Hopfen-Weisse – Germany

This was the most stunning cheese dish I’ve had in quite some time. It’s a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese that is incredibly rich, elevated by all of the flavors on top.

Coconut – Inside
milk chocolate ice cream, coconut, eucalyptus crisp,
sweet plantain, tangerine
bacon, maple, thyme, custard 
pineapple gelee, vanilla cake, cherry crisp, 
charred oak ice cream, bourbon beads
Pairing for Desserts: Royal Tokaji 2008 in a glass soaked with
Black Maple Hill Bourbon

The entire night I couldn’t help but feel that this restaurant just completely gets me, as if they had me in mind when designing the menu. This feeling grew stronger at the tail end of the dinner, when they served cheese followed by three courses of dessert.

The filling in the coconut, unexpected and refreshing. The bacon in the egg, paper thin and delicate. The bourbon beads, a playful surprise. And wine in a bourbon-soaked glass? Genius.
Sweet “Oreo”
chocolate cookie with espresso cream
Oh, and before you go they end the meal as cleverly as they began it – with a parting Oreo, this time sweet.


I’m a good cook and a better baker but my borderline unhealthy obsession with dining out tends to keep me out of the kitchen. I absolutely love discovering new restaurants and devouring all the best they have to offer. Here I’ll share my best finds and hopefully hear yours, all in an effort to add to my ever-expanding-and-contracting culinary bucket list.