4 minute read

The Sampler at The Nashville Chop House

If you want to rise to the gustatory heights, sometimes you’ve got to climb.

Accordingly, I made the journey up the hill on north Jefferson street to the Hotel Nashville, where, perched high above the Peaceful Valley, the new Nashville Chop House is drawing crowds with the finest quality locally sourced meats and house-made specialties.

It was a Saturday night, the parking lot was full, and so was the Chop House—one big dining room and a small bar. I got seated in the bar, but at a table, which was not so bad.

The bar, called the “wardroom,” has a military theme. A wardroom is the officer’s mess on board a warship and “mess” is what the navy calls the dining room. The Nashville Chop House is veteran owned and operated and the cozy bar room is covered with military memorabilia. I overheard the bartender relate that he was a veteran of both the Army and the Navy. It has a nice little horseshoe bar that seats about a dozen people.

I like a good steak. I wish I could try everything on the menu, but alas, my days of hogging down huge portions of food are in the rearview. I wanted a nice juicy steak with a baked potato and a salad on the side.

But first, as I was seated in the bar, it seemed only fitting that I enjoy a cocktail apéritif, a digestive, as it were, and I had a hankering for an Old Fashioned, just like dear old Dad used to make.

I had in mind the shrimp cocktail for an appetizer, but I wanted to save digestive space for the main event. They also serve fresh bone-in wings, twice baked potatoes, and steak bites as appetizers.

Instead, I had a nice Chop House salad with fresh iceberg lettuce, diced tomato, cucumber, red onion, cheddar cheese and a home-made balsamic vinegar dressing. It was a nice big salad, and gave me something healthy to do while I awaited my steak.

There’s also a chef’s salad on the menu.

The Nashville Chop House serves a Fischer Farms “Can-Can Pork Chop—a glorious Tomahawk cut of pork loin with the belly attached.” There’s an “Aviator Chicken,” bone-in chicken breast with the drumettes attached, and even a fish of the week.

But my sights were set on a steak.

Their menu states that the premium steaks are above prime cut, dry-aged “artisan style” beef from Legacy Maker Farm in Lafayette.

There’s a fourteen-ounce New York Strip and a Wagyu Denver steak in six and ten ounce iterations.

I decided on the petite filet mignon. I’ve grown to feel that six ounces of good steak is about right for me.

I couldn’t help but notice, about halfway through my meal, that the fella at the next table had ordered the ten-ounce filet, and I must admit that, for a moment, I was somewhat covetous. Story of my life—I always want what the other guy ordered.

Still, the steak I got was delicious; tender, moist and perfectly cooked the way I like it, which is a little more done than your average cook likes his meat. They tend to like it rare, and sometimes take a “medium well” order as an insult, or worse, a provocation.

You can order toppings: garlic butter, garlic mushrooms, blue cheese crumbles—but I wanted to taste just the steak.

It was very tasty and satisfying.

There’s something about being in a small space with a bunch of happy people on a weekend evening, having a few drinks, eating good food, that appeals to the social animal in us.

As my meal progressed, I began to get happier and more mellow, I felt that somehow, despite clear evidence to the contrary, all was right with the world. At least in that moment, at least then and there. I had been subsumed in a kind of steak nirvana.

If you are familiar with my methods and practices, you can probably surmise that I did not leave this meal until I had had a little bite of something sweet.

A slice of cheesecake covered in cherry goo did the trick. I took my time and savored it, and I was profoundly satisfied.