The Catbird Seat Nashville
If you’re a Nashvillian, you’ve probably overheard at least once or twice in the past two years, in whispered tones, fellow locals utter nefarious-sounding statements like, “So, did you get them?” or “I’ll do or pay whatever, just get me some.” These conversations are not happening on street corners. They’re happening in churches, schools and over business lunches. I’m not talking about a community-wide collective addiction to something unseemly. What I am speaking of is the urban legend-level rumors regarding the securing of reservations at one of Nashville’s most well-reviewed restaurants, The Catbird Seat. (Your best bet, I’ve heard, is to stay up until midnight when the online reservations open for the next 30-day period to try and get your preferred date.)
Almost three years into its existence and one executive chef change, I finally experienced the Catbird Seat myself on Saturday (thank you, Mr. Van Cleave.) I now understand fully why The Catbird Seat restaurant has helped solidify Nashville’s growing reputation as a destination worth the food alone. Not only are Nashvillians clamoring for a seat at the u-shaped table, but so is the rest of the country.
There are so many things I loved about the experience and in an effort to not make this post novel-length, I’ve narrowed the list down to my Top 5.
Top 5 Best Things About The Catbird Seat
1. The decor, or lack thereof. At one point in our nearly three-hour experience we
we had a conversation about the lack of art, decoration or anything, really, hanging on the walls.
The focus is solely directed at the food. The Catbird Seat is vibey without trying. The staff,
the food, and the chef were enough to draw and hold our attention for the entire
2. The non-alcoholic beverage pairing. For those who don’t drink, it’s often difficult to find
anything interesting and different on the beverage menu. Not so at The Catbird Seat.
The flower tea, barley soda with Tennessee honey and the smoked Oolong apparently out-
tasted a few of the wines on my dinner companions’ pairings.
3. The lack of a menu. More specifically, the menu comes at the end of the meal. Everything is
planned before you get there. All you have to do is show up. Part of the fun of The Catbird
Seat is the tasting menu concept and not knowing what’s coming out next. It’s exciting and
worth the wait in between the ten or so courses.
4. The open kitchen. By the end of the night you’ve met everyone involved in creating each and every one-of-a-kind
5. This is the most important part of this list. My favorite thing about The Catbird Seat is
executive chef Trevor Moran. He is funny, un-pretentious, Irish and so talented. His food is
not overwrought or tortured. It is inspired and simple. I left The Catbird Seat looking forward
to seeing him again as much as I was to coming back for the amazing food.
Visit the Catbird Seat website, here, for news, reservations and FAQ’s.