The Pelican and the Pig – Nashville, TN

In town for an anniversary weekend, I was looking for dinner options and the Pelican and the Pig kept appearing as recommended choice. 2019 Eater Nashville Restaurant of the Year being among them. So off to Resy I went and we were booked for an early dinner in East Nashville. Husband and wife chef team of Nick and Audry Guidry opened in 2019 and have been one the bright lights on the Nashville dining scene ever since.

The concept is simple – wood makes fire and fire (plus a bakery) makes food. The giant hearth is at the center of the open kitchen. The menu is split into a left side which are starters (raw / snacks / share) and a right side (sea / land) that are mains. We started with a panzanella,

composed of bread crumbs, butternut squash, apple, mozzarella, cream, maple syrup and a sage dressing. About four bites into the salad, my beloved said, “ I probably should have this for dinner – this is my jam.” Knowing that I generally like less than half the ingredients on their own, this was a surprisingly delicious dish. The apples were so crisp, I actually sent a piece flying, attempting to cut it with my knife ….

But instead of the bread salad as a main, she chose the option from the sea,

corvina (a saltwater fish commonly called a croaker or drum), in brown butter on a cauliflower / potato mash, served with oyster mushroom confit and crispy capers. The fish was delicate and the dish was put together very well.

I chose to go with the New York strip,

which was on a bed of sunchokes and topped with carrots and a bacon-onion jam. The server recommended the pork chop (which I saw at tables on both sides of us and it looked amazing) and the strip. I was deciding between the strip and the ribeye and went with the strip on his recommendation. I believe that his recommendation was based on the preparation. I should have chosen the pork chop (or the ribeye), as the strip had some very tough parts along the fatty edge.

As we were heading out, we both talked about this was the first time dining out, for us, since pre-COVID that felt like a nice dinner out. Definitely a win.

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