En Garde Arts: Wilderness
En Garde Arts: Wilderness October 20-21 2017 Six kids stand at the brink of emotional chaos. A mother risks losing her child forever. Thoughts racing, emotions firing,
Inside Germantown’s newest industrial-vibed dining room, chef-owner Philip Krajeck is putting out what he describes as modern peasant fare–which is to say, this isn’t just another farm-to-table joint to add to Nashville’s ranks. Krajeck, who worked at Santa Rosa Beach’s Fish Out of Water until leaving to open this space, does work directly with farms, of course. He also butchers whole animals, bakes his own naturally leavened bread, and has filled the Werthan Factory space with locally made tables from the woodworkers at Holler Designs, using scraps of that wood to design a particularly stunning ceiling. But instead of calling it “farm-to-table,” Krajeck rightly refers to his food at Rolf & Daughters as “commonsense, rustic, and thoughtful. I think of it as timeless and focused on craftsmanship.”
Squid ink canestri
Vanilla panna cotta
On the plate, that means thinly shaved Brussels sprouts tangled with apple slices in a peppery heap; buttery, handmade spaghetti carbonara; speck thinly sliced and draped over strands of spaghetti squash; a bowl of tender brook trout perched in a pool of dill-laced crème fraiche; and tender hangar steak sidled with turnips and a slab of beef tongue. And don’t miss that bread, a sourdough served with a butter shmear that gets an earthy kick from infused dried kelp. The menu is broken down into sections like “snack/share” and “market/garden,” but in truth, it’s all food that should be shared, passed, and savored since most dishes are small but indulgent. For those who prefer to eat off their own dish, the “plates” are complex enough to stand on their own. (Also, you might want to request a booth or prepare to cuddle up close to your neighbors at the two lengthy communal tables.)
To go with the menu, manager and wine director Mollie Ward, who recently returned home after a stint at New York’s Landmarc restaurant, has pulled together a progressive list of bottles that don’t normally show up on the wine shop shelves. Behind the bar, Matt Tocco (formerly of Patterson House) is whipping up a sturdy batch of creative cocktails and pouring a tightly edited selection of craft and Belgian-style beers. Together, the crew has created a simple, unfussy but high-energy space where you’ll find accommodating service, a friendly vibe, and just barely, a discernible dash of that fresh-from-the-farm aesthetic.
700 Taylor St, 615-866-9897; rolfanddaughters.com