A high-flying name in Nashville food circles is hovering below the radar to launch Wildwood Oak-Fired Kitchen, a new, casual fine-dining concept slated to open in August. Located next to Hollywood Video in an expanding retail area along Highway 100, Wildwood is a joint venture between a well-known local restaurant-industry veteran, who does not want his name associated with the project just yet, and chef John David Crow. The team hopes to open four similar neighborhood restaurants in the next five years to fill the culinary voids in emerging suburban areas where chains tend to dominate.
A graduate of the California Culinary Academy and former chef at the Space Needle restaurant in Seattle, Crow is working on a standing menu of bistro-style entrées below $20, to be complemented by a selection of more expensive chalkboard specials “on a whole different level.” He says he wants to offer “downtown food at neighborhood prices.”
Crow’s wife Sarah will serve as sommelier (she holds a Level I certificate from the International Sommelier Guild), focusing on 40 wines under $40 and specializing in wines from small winemakers.
Sixty percent of the menu will be prepared in the oak-fired pizza oven, from which the restaurant takes its name. Expect items such as sweet pea risotto with fresh ginger-and-carrot jus and pearl onions; shrimp-and-lobster tacos; cedar-plank salmon with fennel salad, tarragon butter and creamed spinach; roast duck breast with port wine glaze and potato confit; and cider-braised osso buco with chestnut spaetzle and bourbon-cider jus.
Founder of Fire & Ice Lounge and an alumnus of Union Square Grill, both in Seattle, Crow was known at those places for his use of seasonal and local products, and he says he hopes to use local ingredients whenever possible to create his global specialty items.
Crow & Co. are currently putting the finishing touches on the decor: stained concrete floors, mahogany booths, 6-foot drum chandeliers and nature photographs. They hope to open sometime in the week of Aug. 7.
Wildwood Oak-Fired Kitchen is at 8128 Highway 100 and will serve dinner seven days a week and brunch on Sunday.
Good luck with the new venture Ed!
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