Kitchen Notes.

Recently, an old friend of mine and I decided to catch up over breakfast at Kitchen Notes, a three-meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner), farm-to-table dining concept located in Downtown Nashville's Omni Hotel.

I am all about the interior of a place just as much as I am about the food!  So naturally, the thing that wowed me upon my first encounter with Kitchen Notes was its decor, which consists of "repurposed materials found at local antique stores and flea markets."

Think old Southern charm with a few contemporary adjustments: tufted benches, floral arrangements sitting in Mason jars, and an assortment of vintage plates and handwritten recipes hanging on the walls in glass frames (hence the restaurant's name). 

The main dining room is situated in an open and naturally lit space that includes this tantalizing buffet of all of the down home cuisine you can possibly think of: fresh fruit, homemade flavored biscuits (such as chocolate cherry), locally prepared jams, steel cut oatmeal with all the 'fixins, an assortment of warm pastries, cereal, applewood smoked bacon, blueberry-maple country sausage patties, country ham, breakfast potatoes, as well as made to order omelettes (my dish of choice), buttermilk pancakes, cast-iron waffles and french toast.

Y'all. During the two times I've visited this place, somehow I have managed to get a taste of everything I've listed above.  And almost nothing falls short of incredible. 

The price point is what you'd expect of a restaurant in an upscale hotel, but I guarantee you that the food and the experience are worth every penny. I'd recommend making reservations in advance regardless of your group size. 

 

Adele's.

I live for the weekend, mainly because I love to brunch.

There are two eateries that I keep in heavy rotation, however, the other day I decided to switch things up a bit and dine at Adele's, one of the newest spots to hit Nashville's rapidly-growing restaurant scene. 

Located downtown in the Gulch, it's a concept that was brought to life by Jonathan Waxman, a former musician turned chef, as an ode to his mother's love and passion for food.  His background is beyond impressive — he attended culinary school in France, has worked in the kitchens of game-changing restaurants in Los Angeles, became the pioneer of California cuisine, opened up one of the most popular dining sensations in New York and has established himself as one of America's most prominent chefs.

Adele's is housed in what used to be an old 1950s automobile repair shop.  Tall, let up garage doors now serve as windows that illuminate the entire space with plentiful amounts of natural light.  The decor is simple — exposed brick walls, oak tables and a few splashes of aqua blue provided by stools positioned at the bar.  There's an open kitchen (which really makes this place feel like home) with a tremendous wood burning oven and an extensive counter where you can sit and engage in conversation with the staff while they prepare the food.

The menu takes an avant-garde approach to traditional brunch items and is subject to change frequently, since everything is cooked with fresh and seasonal ingredients. My goal was to deviate from my usual mimosa routine and try a bloody mary for the first time.  Made from scratch with all of the usual elements — vodka, tomato juice, cayenne pepper, it was surprisingly pleasant and wasn't too spicy or too bold.

I'm still a champagne and orange juice kind of gal, though. 

As a starter, I chose the shaved brussel sprout salad, which included a salty-sweet mixture of golden raisins, walnuts and pecorino cheese.

For the main course, I went for the eggs benedict, which is also something I've never tried before, due to my challenging relationship with egg yolk.

No really, this is a true struggle for me; I have texture issues.  I literally started eating eggs last year!

But this one was rich in flavor and prepared to my liking.  The English muffin was lightly toasted and topped with shaved country ham, hollandaise sauce and a poached egg that had a firm yolk, which made it quite delightful to eat.

Bravo, Mr. Waxman.  I've just added a third restaurant to my list of weekend brunch favorites.