While Mariani has earned a reputation of being a little prickly at best, and is no friend of another of Nashville's best restaurants, his attention is worth noting. He seems to understand Chef Krajeck's approach to "modern peasant food" and the inviting neighborhood vibe that has made the restaurant so beloved in less than a year's time.
The vibe extends to handcrafted communal tables and the way walk-ins are cordially greeted. There is a bona fide industrial cast to the space, a former boiler room: worn brick and heavy metal framing and a lumberyard of reclaimed wood on the ceiling. It all fits together at Rolf and Daughters, an exemplar of the kind of excellence now found in great southern cities like Nashville.
Food Republic also asked me to do a profile of Chef Krajeck for a short piece, and my hour-long coffee conversation with Philip was both entertaining and enlightening. It just confirmed my opinion of how lucky Nashville is that he chose to move here to open his restaurant. Sometimes it's good to be "It City!"