In the same week that we printed this love letter of a dining review, chef John David Crow left Wildwood Oak-Fired Kitchen to start up his own restaurant.
Crow, who recently moved from Seattle to launch Wildwood with veteran restaurateur Dave Wachtel III and Justin Tatum, earned early rave reviews for his menu of creative and locally focused items, such as miso-honey tuna, beef carpaccio and duck spring rolls. A month after Wildwood's Sept. 18 launch, chef Crow parted ways with Tatum and Wachtel, who are developing a chain of neighborhood restaurants with the Bellevue location of Wildwood as the prototype.
Chef Darrell Manhold—formerly of MacK & Kate's in Kingston Springs and, most recently, the Pineapple Room at Cheekwood—has joined the kitchen team as interim chef. Wachtel says he will wait a week or so to make a final decision about replacing Crow, but the recipes and menu items will stay the same for now.
The early success of Wildwood has inspired Crow and his wife Sarah, a sommelier, to stick around Nashville and try something on their own. They're already shopping for locations to open a gourmet pizzeria specializing in Neapolitan-crust pies, fresh pastas and salads. If Crow's grilled Caesar is any indication of what he can do with a salad, we'll be eagerly awaiting his next venture.
Wildwood Oak-Fired Kitchen is located at 8128 Highway 100 (phone: 730-7873).