Chef Deb Paquette’s newest location in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee, is only a year old but is gaining loyal fans among the locals as well as long-time lovers of Chef Paquette’s creative and tasty dishes. Etch, which has been open in downtown Nashville since 2012, now has a sister restaurant simply called etc., but there’s nothing simple about it.
Location: 3790 Bedford Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee, in the Atlas Building.
Menu: Global with a Tennessee country twang might be a good way to describe the menu at etc. For lunch, fried catfish shares the page along with Moroccan bruschetta, and a patty melt with Alabama bacon is a choice in addition to an Indian chicken taco with mint mustard seed pea pesto. Bahn mi is under the sandwich listings. It is made with a Vietnamese bread similar to a baguette and is stuffed with tempura tofu, mushroom pate, cucumbers, pickled carrots, radishes, and cilantro. The preparations going on in the kitchen must be extensive to include such condiments and special touches as fennel parmesan relish, amarillo apricot mustard, roasted cantaloupe lime leaf sauce, butternut squash kale feta filo tart and pumpkin seed crusted cobia. And that’s just the lunch menu!
The dinner menu offers grilled aji octopus and Vietnamese short ribs among the starters, crab and asparagus as one of the salads, and lamb and Beijing chicken among the main courses. But, the Tennessee twang comes back with grilled pork chops and potato salad.
Brunch which is served only on Sundays includes the expected dishes of steak and eggs, quiche, breakfast quesadilla, croissants and coffee cake with the surprising choices of shakshuka, pork belly stuffed biscuit and a way to “eat your vegetables” at breakfast time with a butternut squash waffle. It is served with candied pepitas and mango chile butter. Sunday brunch cocktails include rye, manmosa, cachaca, gin, and a traditional mimosa or bloody Mary.
Chef Deb Paquette is distinctive in her credentials as well as in her culinary flare. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and was the first woman to qualify as a certified executive chef in the state of Tennessee. Before starting Etch and etc., she owned Zola which made list of Top Sixty Restaurants in the United States. After selling Zola and taking some time off to soak up the Atlantic coast and the Caribbean islands, she came back to Nashville and was offered a chance to have state-of-the-art equipment and complete creative freedom. The results are outstanding.
etc. has a swanky, bright vibe throughout its 2400 square feet. There is space for 68 seats and 12 more at the bar, plus lots of open-air seating. The fun light fixtures, combined with splashes of electric blue and touches of copper, glass, and wood give the place energy and sophistication.
Also on the staff of etc. are Chef de Cuisine Jess Lambert and Pastry Chef Megan Williams. Locally-sourced ingredients are used as much as possible. Goat milk comes from Noble Springs in nearby Franklin, Tennessee. The source for buttermilk is Tennessee Real Milk, and Creation Gardens in Nashville provides produce and chocolate.
Price Range: Lunch entrees range from $10 to $17. Dinner entrees are from $22 to $38 with salads from $9 to $16. Desserts are $9 each, except for sherbets and ice creams that are $3 per scoop.
Reservations highly recommended. This is a popular place! You will want to return again and again to sample all of the different flavor combinations Chef Paquette and her staff have perfected and are eager to serve. I can guarantee that your taste buds will be surprised in very pleasing ways.
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Connie's book "Telling It On The Mountain: 52 Days in the Life of an Unlikely Missionary" was published in 2016 and is available on Amazon.In addition to her blog, www.theregoesconnie.com, she is a regular contributor to The Yums,Trip101.com, MilesGeek.com, Epicurean-Traveler.com, ShortWeeks-LongWeekends.com and other print and online travel publications.