Martha's at the Plantation will close its doors May 31, when chef Martha Stamps' lease runs out on the restaurant space at Belle Meade Plantation. Stamps, who has operated the sunny lunchroom for the past eight-and-a-half years, is looking for a location to launch a new restaurant.
Don't expect Stamps, author of The New Southern Basics cookbook, to revisit the chicken salad-and-croquette repertoire that has been the cornerstone of her ladylike 120-seat lunchtime establishment. Her next act will focus on local and sustainable foods--possibly a dinner-only menu--in a smaller establishment. Stamps says she would like to find an old house--preferably with a garden--and she is looking in East Nashville, Germantown, midtown and downtown.
Meanwhile, Stamps will spend four days this summer in Northern California at Chez Panisse founder Alice Water's Edible Schoolyard. She will continue to operate Martha Stamps Catering and will prepare for the Outstanding in a Field dinner on Sept. 13 in Leipers Fork.