Daryl Boatwright, owner of Eastside Fish on Gallatin Road, calls himself the King Fish. But, there’s a contender to the throne with the opening of Kingfish at Eighth Avenue North and Monroe, just a couple of blocks from the Nashville Farmers Market. Boatwright touts his deep-fried whiting sandwiches as The Crunkest Fish in Town. Meanwhile, Kingfish partners Vincent Phinisee and Neil Rice claim that their restaurant is The King of Fish, Shrimp and Chicken. The Kingfish menu features a selection of all, plus a slate of sides that include the traditional fried-fish partner, spaghetti, as well as slaw, fries, baked beans, mac-and-cheese, dirty rice, corn on the cob and mixed veggies. The eat-in/take-out restaurant—in a squat cinderblock building that was most recently home to Dem Bones—is also licensed to sell beer.
Phinisee, who is not from here, and Rice, who is, both have backgrounds in the corporate fast-food industry and, according to Phinisee, are happy to leave the red tape behind and do things their way. “If our customers tell us they don’t like something or want to see us add something, we don’t have to go through 15 layers of management to get it done.” Fish and shrimp are hand-breaded, a choice of light or heavy on the shrimp. “I like a light breading on the fish too,” says Phinisee, “but my partner tells me Nashville fish sandwiches are breaded heavier than the way I like it.” Phinisee acknowledges that Boatwright has raised concerns about possible infringement on his royal title, but notes, “There’s more than one burger joint in town, and there’s more than one fish joint. Competition is good for everybody.”
Kingfish is at 708 Monroe Ave. Phone: 242-5700. Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
It’s official—Corrado Savarino signed the lease on the property at 2121 Belcourt Ave. in Hillsboro Village on Friday, July 28, and before the weekend was out, he was already hard at work ripping up carpet and knocking out walls in the two-story building. The native Italian came to Nashville via Brooklyn and Manhattan, and introduced himself locally through his bakery, Savarino’s Italian Pastries on Nolensville Road and Old Hickory Boulevard. The area was not exactly a hotbed for the Amerigo Vespucci Society, and the store closed a couple of years ago, though he continued to bake for a wholesale clientele. The new cafe/market/bakery/gelateria is certain to draw a passionate customer base from the surrounding neighborhoods. Savarino hopes to be open by Oct. 1, just in time for Columbus Day.
Following dinner on Saturday, Aug. 5, Caffe Nonna, the neighborhood Italian bistro in Sylvan Park, closes for a week as the restaurant takes its annual summer vacation. It will reopen for dinner at 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14.