Fun And Fellowship At Hathorne
Christmas came early for many as Nashville veteran chef John Stephenson re-emerged into the Music City culinary scene with the opening of his first restaurant, Hathorne, located in Sylvan Park. For my Nashville transplants and those who aren’t so familiar with this work, let me give you a little background on this notable Nashvillian.
Stephenson began his career in the restaurant industry in 1991 when he took his first job at Nashville mainstay, Amerigo. From there, he transitioned to the Corner Market where he was one of the early adopters of using local produce and purveyors for products. Corner Market was Nashville’s Whole Foods before Whole Foods was even a thing. Many of us know Stephenson for his time at Fido, where he spent 12 years operating the kitchen and transforming Fido into one of Nashville’s most popular coffee shops. While at Fido, Stephenson created quite the fan base with his famous “Local Burger”. So much so, people continue to call it one of the best in Nashville’s history.
Most recently, Stephenson was called upon for menu development at East Nashville haunt, The Family Wash before leaving to focus on Hathorne.
Hathorne, which is named for Stephenson’s grandmother, is located in a historic fellowship hall, adjacent to event space Clementine. It’s quite felicitous that Hathorne calls this fellowship hall home as guests enjoy the comforts of a family gathering while sharing dishes, laughter, and smiles.
Inspired by his Southern surroundings as well as his travel abroad, guests can expect simple, approachable dishes with robust flavor and vibrant colors.
I’ll warn you. Your first visit to Hathorne will undoubtedly be overwhelming as everything on the menu sounds absolutely mouthwatering. However, I’d recommend starting with a few plates and see where that takes you.
I was fortunate enough to sample more than half of the menu and there were certainly some standouts. While vegetables are the star of the menu, there is something that will appeal to everyone in your party.
Let’s jump into the details, shall we?
First, we started with the Crispy Goat Cheese, Shaved Brussels, and Fried Cauliflower. Of these dishes, there were two standouts: Crispy Goat Cheese and Shaved Brussels. The Crispy Goat Cheese is best when it arrives at your table, so snap your photos and have your fork ready. The creaminess of the goat cheese paired with the fermented honey is absolutely delightful.
You may be shaking your head and saying “ another brussel sprouts dish?” While this food trend may be exhausted, Stephenson’s interpretation of this dish is far from ordinary. The chef incorporated Black Walnut Vinaigrette and feta cheese which added brightness to the dish and left the table wanting more.
Making their way to the table were the Frites and Roasted Heirloom Carrots. Aren’t these dishes just gorgeous? Of the two dishes, the Roasted Heirloom Carrots stole my heart. From the presentation to the taste, this dish was on point. Not to mention, I could eat that yogurt concoction all day.
Our last dishes of the evening were by far the heartiest and some of my favorites. Having the chance to sample each of these, there were two that captivated my attention: Spicy Lamb, Beef & Pork Meatballs and Roasted Beets. Beets aren’t typically a dish that many are fond of, but aside from the meatballs, this may have been my favorite dish of the evening. Even those who don’t appreciate the earthy flavor of beets would be converted by this dish. Nested in a bed of tahini and grilled green onion puree, guests will enjoy golden beets cooked to perfection and topped and with a little parmesan cheese. Without a doubt, they stole the show.
For those who are desperately hoping to see a burger on the menu, might I recommend the Spicy Lamb, Beef & Pork Meatballs? These little lovelies are stuffed with a pequin pepper, so prepare yourself for the slightest bit of heat. Not a fan of spice? No worries, you can cut these meatballs down the middle and remove the pepper with ease. While these are meant to be shared, I could easily devour the entire plate. They are THAT good.
Last but not least, dessert. While there wasn’t a formal dessert menu, the chef prepared these amazing doughnuts covered in sugar and nestled in a bed of pumpkin puree topped with bruleed sugar. To die for!
Hathorne serves dinner Monday-Saturday and offers brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Hours and reservations can be found below.
Monday – Wednesday, 4 – 10 p.m.
Thursday & Friday, 4 – 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Click here for reservations.
Tariff: Dishes range from $6.00- $35.00. The bar offers an assortment of classic and signature cocktails priced between $9.00-$12.00. Beer, wine, and spirits are priced accordingly.
Can’t-Miss: As you can see, I sampled most of the menu offerings and there were definitely some standouts. Without a doubt, I recommend ordering the Crispy Goat Cheese, Shaved Brussels and the Spicy Lamb, Beef & Pork Meatballs.
Potential Pass: To be quite honest, I really enjoyed all of the dishes I had a chance to experience, but if I were torn between several dishes I’d pass on the Frites. It wasn’t because they weren’t delicious, but they fell lower on the list.
Until Next Time!