Let’s just state something obvious: Nashville is a southern city. Southern charm and hospitality are felt from the charismatic plantation style homes nestled in the surrounding rolling hills, to the warm smiles of small business owners, to the rowdy downtown honky tonks. Sunday suppers, river floating, and porch sitting with sweet tea are familiar activities to natives and the overwhelming majority of southern transplants that have moved to Middle Tennessee from other deeply southern cities. Even the southern vernacular of the locals (“y’all”; “bless your heart”) is embedded in the city’s culture. One signature southern style that’s taken quite seriously by the locals is their food. With their hot chicken, collard greens, and biscuits they mean business. So when a restaurant claims southern food as its calling, it better be ready to bring its a-game and Husk Nashville has shown Nashvillians that it’s no slouch.
Residing in an enchanting southern home nestled amongst the streets of the SoBro neighborhood, Husk is just slightly southeast of downtown, enjoying a convenient location without the regular tourist traffic. The house itself sits on a slight hill and looks as if it was plucked from a secluded property near the sea, seeming almost out of place in its urban locale. This may have been just what Sean Brock wanted when opening his second location of Husk after he set down roots in Charleston, SC.
Its appearance is part of the appeal, creating a dining experience rather than just a destination. Seating is scattered throughout the floor plan, from the main floor to the basement, allowing for elbow room between tables and enabling intimate conversations. Although it’s a restaurant, it maintains its homey appeal, welcoming guests with a small foyer, and decked out with chandeliers and dark wood. The bar is positioned where you’d expect homeowners to entertain guests for pre and post-dinner drinks: On the bottom floor of the home with an option to enjoy the outdoor patio. This place seems meant for celebrating, bringing a special person, or a few close friends.
The atmosphere is drenched in hospitality and warmth, everything you’d expect from an evening in a southern home. But can the menu live up to the lovely atmosphere? After all, the social life of a Nashvillian is generally centered around food and drink of some sort (coffee in the morning, whiskey at night anyone?), so a menu that leaves an impression promises a return visit from a local. Not only does Husk serve up creatively southern (and strong) cocktails, its ever-changing food lineup is something to be admired. The menu mixes seasonal selections with classic dishes, offering something for everyone. It even makes a Yankee want to try their taste buds at grits and slather some pimento cheese on… well, basically everything.
Husk is not your average Nashville restaurant. A combination of ambience, speedy service, delicious bites and boozy drinks the encourage you to order two slices of chocolate pie leave this southern staple booked out with reservations for weeks in advance. If you’re looking to sneak in without reserving a table, your only chance is bar seating, but the wait is well worth it. Husk is setting the bar above and beyond what Nashvillians are used to when it comes to Southern dining. This isn’t a hole-in-the-wall meat and three joint or basic BBQ, this is fine dining deeply rooted in Southern tradition.
The next time you’re looking to “wow” someone with a fantastic meal that demonstrates what an elevated Southern dining experience is all about, look no further than Husk. Hats off to Sean Brock and team for bringing your impressive institution to our Music City, because of you our dining scene continues to innovate and expand beyond what anyone could have anticipated.
Check out their website on the Eat Like a Native page!