A few weeks back my little sister in KD ran the Country Music Half Marathon. Despite battling knee injuries throughout the year, she finished strong and smiling! To celebrate, the family and I went to brunch at Husk, a great Southern restaurant just south of Broadway in Downtown Nashville. But this isn’t your typical grits and fried chicken joint. Husk transforms traditional local southern ingredients into unique dishes. Oh, and did I mention that the menu changes TWICE daily?! This ensures the freshest ingredients are used and keeps things interesting.
In a recent Nashville Scene article, they listed the 12 dishes that define “New Nashville,” which describes the sophisticated shift in the restaurant scene in the last 5-7 years. Their first dish of the magazine piece was the Vegetable Plate at Husk. Of course, being a pescatarian, I was very intrigued, but before you meat-lovers write it off, hear me out. The Vegetable Plate is served on a tree trunk disk, yes you heard me, a big round tree trunk disk. The trunk hosts 4-5 hearty bowls of unique vegetarian-based farm to fork style dishes from local vendors. As I mentioned earlier, this changes twice daily. While, the Vegetable Plate entrée itself is offered daily, the accompanying dishes change. it’s a great way to try to a variety of the chefs’ daily specials at once.
Before I go into detail about my Vegetable Plate, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing, freshly baked honey sesame rolls served in a mini cast-iron dish – buttery, melt-in-your-mouth kind of good! We also splurged and ordered an appetizer of calas, which are essentially a fusion of rice balls and beignets. The chewy, sticky sweet rice is covered in a light dough and dusted with powdered sugar. Definitely felt like more of a dessert, but hey, sometimes you need dessert first!
Now onto the main event. My Vegetable Plate consisted of a butter bean and farro succotash, savory tomato basil grits with a perfectly poached egg, sautéed mushroom medley, and pan-fried turnips. My favorite one would have to be the grits. While I’m not usually a grit lover due to the texture, the fresh tomatoes and runny, bright yellow yolk combine to make the ultimate sauce. Next up, the succotash was light yet filling and I absolutely loved the creamy butter beans. Mushrooms are a staple in my diet, so I really enjoyed trying the different varieties, especially the oyster ones! Last, but not least, the turnips were delicious, but nothing special. To borrow the words of a Food Network critic, it did nothing to transform the dish. Nevertheless I left happy and satisfied! Can’t wait to go back again soon.