by Liz Garrigan
I’ve been eagerly awaiting Fox’s review of City House, which we published this week. As a consummate pro, Nashville's premier food critic employed an appropriate waiting period after the opening of this Germantown gem, which has been the Garrigan’s de facto dinner party home for the last couple of months. (With an 11-month-old, two jobs and no housekeeper, we stand no chance of getting our house in shape for entertainment. Encrusted squash purée, dog hair and baby-related plastic crap strewn everywhere take on interminable lives of their own, no matter how much scrubbing, picking up and Swiffering we do. I have had to let go of my inner Martha Stewart and simply accept that enduring the faint smell of poop pretty much all the time is simply the price of parenthood.)
Glad I could help get those taste buds warmed up. At any rate, Fox nails it, of course, noting, among other details, that City House draws on the owners’ newlywed chefs’ tour of Italy. (By the way, for those who thought Carrington just really, really, really liked this homegrown Italian restaurant, the “Very, Very, Very Fine House” headline is a reference to the Graham Nash song “Our House.”)
I quibble with Fox on one small point but in doing so confess that I can be a very pedestrian eater—call it a fifth-grade palate. She found the pan-seared bread gnocchi one of the less successful menu items, writing, “A different choice of pasta would better showcase the excellent cauliflower-and-tomato sauce.” No doubt she’s right, but I kind of liked this twist on traditional potato gnocchi—simple, yes, but comforting.
If I ate stuff that formerly had a face, I’d opine on all the house-cured meats that everyone we’ve dined with—including one couple with a house in Italy—has raved about. But I can say that the bean soups, traditional Italian pizzas and the ever-changing variety of desserts are amazing. You can spend three or four hours with friends here, and it seems to pass in the blink of an eye.
See you at the bar.