Under the Stars Patio Series
Under the Stars Patio Series Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6 - 8 p.m. Bobby Hotel Rooftop Tuesday, August 21, 2018 6 - 8 p.m. L27 Rooftop Lounge Thursday, September
If you spend a lot of time reading food-related media, maybe you’ve noticed that the term farm-to-table has officially jumped the shark. Overused and even exploited (e.g., fast food joints showing images of farms in their commercials), it’s a phrase that hardly holds any weight these days. Unless, that is, you’re talking about a restaurant with its own farm, like Harvest at Homestead Manor, which was developed by A. Marshall Family Foods Inc., the team behind the Puckett’s empire.
Butter-roasted mushrooms, $12
Citrus salad, $7.50 (half portion)
Baked cannelloni, $18
8-ounce filet, $39
The Homestead estate, built in 1819 and located just south of Franklin in Thompson’s Station, has a long and storied history and most recently acted as a tearoom and event space. The Marshall family, which was running its events operations, bought the property outright in 2014 and made a few minor adjustments to create a shiny new gem in the Puckett’s crown.
A newly built event barn sits to one side of the home; just beyond that, past a small brook, the land dips down to reveal the two-acre garden, now being overseen by farmers Joni and Casey McCarty, who are growing as many as 75 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, all in accordance with the USDA organic guidelines. They hope to expand to about eight additional acres over time.
“We really wanted to do something a little unexpected,” says director of operations Claire Marshall Crowell of the historic property.
Instead of focusing on its historical relevance (the Battle of Thompson’s Station happened nearby) or opening a restaurant that leaned on their other concepts (think upscale Southern food), they decided that the refined interior of the home coupled with the lush surroundings would be just the spot to try out a Tuscan concept.
“We wanted to do something that would complement area and Italian with Southern influences feels appropriate,” Crowell adds.
Harvest takes up most of the main house and serves brunch, lunch, and dinner. Designed by Kim Leggett of Franklin’s City Farmhouse, each room is themed; there’s the industrial room, the picnic room, the library, and even a music room that showcases a gorgeous chandelier made of vintage piano keys. Outside, a glassed-in conservatory behind the house acts as The Glass Bar, which is a captivating place to take in the beauty of the grounds.
On the menu, you’ll find some of the garden’s harvest dotting the long list of dishes, including fresh herbs, greens, and squashes. Executive chef Carlos Garcia, who had been executive chef at Puckett’s, oversees the kitchen here and puts out a surprisingly vast selection of Italian-inspired fare, from caprese salad and a charcuterie board to pork chops, pasta primavera, and a selection of wood-fired pizzas. There’s beef from nearby Bear Creek Farm, in the form of an 8-ounce filet, as well as an assortment of basic pasta dishes, including lasagna layered with béchamel and Bolognese. During the daytime, Harvest has become a destination for local ladies who lunch—they come for the setting but stay for the housemade gelato.
A solid 40-minute drive from downtown Nashville, Harvest at Homestead Manor is a destination, to be sure. But if you make a weekend evening of it and enjoy the scenery along the way, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning setting, a well-appointed list of wine and spirits, and plenty of memorable food.