Lannae's Food and Travel

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September 18, 2010

US Constitution 19th Amendment

house made charcuterie and pickled house grown vegetables

On Aug 18, 1920, the last vote in Tennessee made it possible to have the 19th Amendment to the USA Constitution to pass, and allow women the right to vote. The wheeling and dealing for this vote about the 19th Amendment happened right in the Oak Room of the historic Hermitage Hotel which still stands today, and is now the bar of the Capitol Grille. Back then, the Oak Room was a men's only smoking club, and I am sure there my have been a few bottles of spirits in there as well, even though the 18th Amendment prohibiting the sale of liquor was ratified and passed just a short 7 months earlier. By the way, the 21st Amendment repealed that pesky 18th Amendment just in time for those caught up in the Great Depression to drown their sorrows.

So, last month, on August 18, 2010, we went to dine at the Capitol Grille to celebrate the 90th year of USA Women's Right to Vote. Really, voting is my right and obligation to democracy, and I am going to exercise that right and obligation. I also will use the historic vote back in 1920 as an excuse to dine in one of the best restaurants in Nashville.

truffled mac and cheese

Honestly, I love being a USA citizen with the right to vote. And, I love using it as an excuse to dine out too! Tyler Brown, Exec Chef of the Capitol Grille (independent restaurant, and not at all related to the chain Capital Grill) has really taken this fine restaurant back to its roots, literally. Tyler has partnered with the Land Trust for TN, and the historic Glen Leven estate to have an all organic garden on the Glen Leven land. Most of the vegetable served during the growing season, May through October will be from the organic garden. The pickled vegetables that came with my charcuterie plate are vegetables from the garden. The charcuterie, the salami, sausage and air dried ham are all cured in-house, very much in the same style of Tandy Wilson at City House. The bread served with the cured meats was nice and thick and char grilled toasted just the way I like it.

view of the restored mens room

For entrees we got grouper and short ribs. The grouper is accompanied by the organic farm beets and fresh beet puree, with sugar snap peas and a nice light sauce. The beef, it is from Painted Hills in Oregon, and it was braised in Linus' Yazoo beer, and accompanied by squash, and squash blossoms from the organic garden. I really enjoyed tasting the beet puree, it was cooked down to have a really nice earthy and sweet beet natural flavor. The squash broth and Yazoo beer braising liquid combined to make a perfectly light sauce for each bite of beef. There many other dishes that are accompanied by the organic garden vegetables.

For those who have been dining at the Capitol Grille for years and years, there are still the standard oldies but goodies. We started off with the Vidalia onion bisque with a baby brie grilled cheese, bacon bits and chives, which has been a standard menu item for years. It is so tasty and creamy. I am sure Tyler Brown knows he would have a riot if he took this off the menu. There are also the standard oldies but goodies steaks, burger and fries, and truffled mac and cheese. Again, if Tyler Brown took any of these off the menu, a riot would ensue. Well, I would riot if there is no truffled mac and cheese and Vidalia onion soup. OK, hint hint Tyler Brown, me and a bunch of others must have our truffled mac and cheese and Vidalia onion bisque fix from time to time, so these items should always be a fixture on your menu.

another view of the restored men's room

And lastly, if you are walking through the hotel, please take time to check out the men's room. It has been restored to all its splendor from the 1930s. I went in obviously, and I took the photos, but I waited until no men were inside. I believe the phone still works, and gets you a line to the concierge if you need a taxi home. The women's room is nice, but it is nothing like this fabulous men's room.

The Capitol Grille on Urbanspoon


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