city house beet and persimmon salad

November 24th, 2009 · 25 Comments

i’m not exactly known for being a fan of the nashville restaurant scene. and that statement right there is one that gets me in a world of trouble around these parts. but it’s the very statement that launched ceF – and in 2 1/2 years i still stand by it firmly. dining out in this town has been – with few exceptions, relatively painful for me. and then tandy wilson came along…

city house opened two years ago and by now i suppose you could call me somewhat of a regular. it’s way on the other side of town from me, but if i’m going out to dinner, that’s the only place i want to spend my money. ok, sushi. there’s the exception. and savarino’s because i love corrado and his family and it’s a wonderful place to be on any given afternoon. oh, and patterson house. i really like that place too – serious cocktails and some decent small plates… and sure, there are a handful of others, and sometimes they surprise me. but overall there’s just not that much to speak of. and dropping a wad of cash on something that strives for mediocrity? i’d rather make myself a bowl of cacio e pepe ANYDAY.

but tandy cooks with a sensibility that speaks to me. even if a random dish misses the mark, i always appreciate where he was going with it. because i ‘get’ the food at city house in a big way. and if i had a restaurant, it’d feel very much like this place. but i will never have a restaurant. and so i eat here. and the fact that stephanie mixes me a fine, fine aviation, which is a rarity in almost any town – or city, delights me to no end.

the wood fired ovens reach a solid 750 degrees and the pizza dough undergoes a solid three day age. the roast chicken is consistently damn good and chef knows his way around a pig. tandy’s a snout to tail kinda guy that supports local farmers, sourcing his meat and produce to within any locavore’s comfort zone.

but it’s often the antipasti and the interesting salads that surprise me. and the one pictured above is a version of the one i had there this past friday night.. i roasted red and golden beets, sliced a still firm fuyu persimmon, mint, toasted walnuts, chili flakes and a drizzle of olive oil finished with a thoughtful placement of crunchy salt. all that and some ricotta salata. just beautiful.

it’s thoughtful plates like this one that excite me. i would never have put beets with persimmons yet somehow they are wonderful together. a dish like this is why city house continues to be both an inspiration and an oasis for me here in nashville.

and for the record, a bad dinner at a restaurant never makes me irritable or outraged. after all, it’s just one meal that i’m even lucky enough to get to eat. and really, when you’re out at a restaurant it’s more about the people, the evening – the memory.

but at home in my kitchen? a bad dinner? now that could really piss me off…

Tags: fruit · restaurants · salad · vegetables

25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 naomi // Nov 25, 2009 at 8:16 am

    I love the sound of aviation and the simplicity of that salad, persimmon, toasted walnut and beets – my mouth is watering!

  • 2 claudia @ ceF // Nov 25, 2009 at 8:23 am

    naomi, an aviation is my latest greatest most favorite cocktail. click the link to check it out. but unlike ruhlman, i DO use the creme de violette…

    gotta have it.

  • 3 ponyboat // Nov 25, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I enjoyed this salad more than anything else on the menu Friday, although the anchovy pizza was deadly good too! Yours looks beautiful, even more so than the dish at City House. I like your addition of the golden beets – I only bought the red ones for my Thanksgiving menu. I’ll let you know how mine turns out, I am going to do a drizzle of white balsamic.

  • 4 Lauren // Nov 25, 2009 at 9:17 am

    city house rocks!

  • 5 Maria // Nov 25, 2009 at 9:51 am

    What a great salad!

  • 6 Robert // Nov 25, 2009 at 10:15 am


    This, I’m making…..

    Now I just have to find someone here who will eat either beets or persimmons.

  • 7 Jim T. Smith // Nov 25, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I would love to start thanksgiving with this salad. Great idea. Totally different. That being said, my friends and I are going to go to City House next week for sure. It’s been on my list. Thanks, Claudia!

  • 8 Graciella V. // Nov 25, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I love City House too. I hope I get to go around the holidays. Maybe they will still have this salad… Great post and beautiful photograph. I have never commented before. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • 9 Rachel (S[d])OC // Nov 25, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I’m not fond of beets or persimmons, but this is a visually beautiful salad. I can see what you mean by “getting” the chef here, because I can see where he is going and how he is striving for beauty and creativity. It reminds me of my favorite restaurant, The Iron Forge Inn, where the chef also has some eccentric ideas that always seem to work beautifully and look stunning.

  • 10 nancy at goodfoodmatters // Nov 25, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    brilliant autumn salad!

    I have a persimmon tree in my backyard—very very old and tall—covered with fruit at its (inaccessible) top. but every now and them I find fallen ones that are ripe and still intact–amazing.

    happy thanksgiving to you and yours.

  • 11 Kate O'Neill // Nov 25, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    We certainly agree on this one. They’ve been my favorite restaurant in town for a while now. I live right around the corner, so Karsten and I were going there fairly frequently for a while. (Not so much lately, since the whole raw vegan switch, but when I’m next up for a break from the raw scene, you can bet I’ll be back there.) I love everything about City House, especially the fact that we would walk in and they’d recognize us as ‘the vegans’ and come up with some creative variation of a menu item that’s always just outstanding. And yeah, the cocktails are superb.

    Your salad looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing pics of it.

  • 12 Kath // Nov 25, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Healthy and delicious! Looks perfect!

  • 13 Lesley // Nov 26, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Some time we may give it a try again. Definitely not with more than two other people and probably not on a Satuday night. That said, the bartender is awesome.

  • 14 The Expatresse // Nov 26, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I never know what to do with persimmons (although I love the color . . . it’s my favorite). They are, apparently, in season here in Moscow as they have been on special at the grocery store.

    Beets are always a deal. Good thing I love them.

  • 15 franco // Nov 27, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    i love beets. i love persimons. a perfect marriage. well done!

  • 16 Cary // Nov 27, 2009 at 8:07 pm


  • 17 claudia // Nov 27, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    gee cary – your economy of words is only surpassed by your desire to cook… but keep those comments coming, honey!

  • 18 Miesha // Nov 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Funny enough I was sitting here (Toronto, Canada) wondering about salad ideas for Christmas dinner and the thought came to my head for persimmons and and beets. This puts a spin on it that I would not have imagined. Thanks for the awesome idea!!!

  • 19 jim voorhies // Nov 30, 2009 at 7:47 am

    I’ve only been to City House once – and it was good food but things like this aren’t for me. People call beets ‘earthy’ but to me they taste like dirt. I just can’t eat beets.

  • 20 rebekka // Dec 1, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Man, as much as I go there, and as much as you go there, you think I would have met you by now!!!

  • 21 SpinachTiger // Dec 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Now I feel like I have to give CH another chance. And, the pizza is good. What’s Patterson House?
    See I don’t get out much for same reasons you mentioned.

  • 22 Bren // Dec 10, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    local resto’s where you become a regular is always a treat! esp. if the food is consistently good!!

  • 23 Julie // Apr 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    What a great salad!

  • 24 David // Apr 26, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I’ve only been to City House once – and it was good food but things like this aren’t for me. People call beets ‘earthy’ but to me they taste like dirt. I just can’t eat beets.

  • 25 Eric // Apr 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    local resto’s where you become a regular is always a treat! esp. if the food is consistently good!!

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