Monday, July 7, 2014

Noelle in Belle Meade: This Week's Dining Review

Posted By on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Noelles Beef Tataki
In case you missed it: In the current issue of the Scene, restaurant critic Carrington Fox checks out Noelle, the latest restaurant in the high-profile Belle Meade space formerly filled by Whitfield's and Belle Meade Brasserie.

Named for owner Dewayne Johnson's baby girl, Noelle (106 Harding Place, 356-5450) is a renovated and reimagined dining spot. Fox describes it as "a surprisingly comfortable neighborhood eatery with a well-executed menu of traditional contemporary cuisine."

Johnson is a remaining owner from the Whitfield's era. His business partners in that project, Nathaniel Beaver and Tabor Luckey, "departed to concentrate on their Infinity Restaurant Group projects, including Bria Bistro Italiano in Bellevue, The Bridge Building on the East Bank of the Cumberland, The Bell Tower in SoBro, and The Harding House inside Belle Meade Plantation," Fox reports.

And there are glad tidings when it comes to Noelle, Fox says:

"Chef Matthew Smith's repertoire of composed plates, including lamb, pork tenderloin, steak and duck, satisfies the modern craving for seasonal and house-made cuisine, without pushing diners into offal-heavy nose-to-tail whole-animal fare. In other words, no beef cheeks, oxtail or pig ears, but enough house-made butters, local cheeses, fresh-baked brioche, herb-infused cocktails and inventive details to qualify as contemporary."

Fox also notes that Noelle is a welcome new place to mention when people complain to her about a lack of good dining options in Belle Meade, which as Nashville's wealthiest neighborhood, would seem to be fertile ground for restaurants. But it's not that straightforward, Fox points out, with lease prices being a powerful factor when it comes to restaurant success.

In any case, you should check out Fox's full review of Noelle. And if you wish, chime in under the comments section below. Have you tried Noelle yet? What's your opinion of the neighborhood when it comes to restaurants? Do you agree that there's "nothing to eat in Belle Meade"?

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