After a variety of real estate issues, Etc., the new restaurant from veteran chef Deb Paquette and 4-Top Hospitality (which also owns Amerigo and Etch) officially opened today in Green Hills. Originally intended to be Truss on 46th Avenue in Sylvan Park, the renamed restaurant is located in a newish development in Green Hills, just west of The Mall at Green Hills, on Bedford Avenue.
Though Green Hills traffic may discourage folks from the east side, the launch of Etc. is welcome news to residents of the western and southern parts of Nashville. Green Hills has numerous places to eat, but most are chain restaurants, and none has quite the flair that Chef Paquette puts in a menu.
During soft-opening training shifts late last week, I was able to check out the menus, which are similar in style to Etch only in that the dishes bring together a lot of different and unexpected flavors. The lunch menu offers starters, salads, sandwiches and larger main dishes, giving diners the option for a light lunch or something more substantial. My friend and I started the meal with sourdough (made special for the restaurant by Bella Nashville) with two flavored butters (celery truffle and malt vinegar). For my main dish, I ordered the “Faux Pas Crab Cakes.” A vegetarian dish inspired by crab cakes, it offers vegetable patties deep-fried in panko and served with fermented black bean mayo and wasabi aioli. A bed of greens with a sesame dressing accompanies the cakes, so it’s both decadent and healthy (also quite filling).
At dinner, I started with a chilled tomato soup flavored with ginger and coconut, which was a special. The bread and butter starter is the only holdover from the lunch menu that is also available on the evening menu (and which I suspect will become a staple, like the butter tasting at Etch). For my main course, I had the “Big Night Pie,” which is a four-cheese-filled phyllo roll with zucchini and some roasted vegetables. It’s got a black olive quinoa “caviar” tucked inside and is served with both an eggplant raisin sauce and a smoked red bell pepper and tomato sauce, which actually work well side by side. It’s also accompanied by an arugula salad topped with a garlic caper vinaigrette. There are a lot of elements going on with this plate, but it works together really well.
Desserts at Etc. are made by pastry chef Megan Williams, who also oversees dessert duty at Etch. We sampled two desserts: an orange-and-chocolate panna cotta with orange meringue (topped with a beautiful and delicate edible orchid) and an upside-down plum cake with goat cheese ice cream. Both desserts were delicious, but the chocolate orange panna cotta is something I would want to eat over and over again. It was perfectly chocolatey and satisfying.
My husband ordered the tuna, which was grilled to perfection (diners are asked to specify how they’d like the tuna to be prepared; my husband prefers rare) and served with a Caribbean-flavored sweet potato and salad. My daughter had the brie and berry napoleon salad, which was a perfect meal for a proper young diner. The restaurant features a brief cocktail menu, a small selection of beers, and a very good wine list.
Inside, the restaurant’s decor has elements of wood, metal and tile, and is clean and modern, though a bit dark (the lighting, however is very good, and a wall of windows helps lighten it up during the day as well). The decor suits the vibe as an upscale-casual neighborhood eatery.
Unlike Etch, the kitchen isn’t wide open to view, but there is still a long area of bar seating at the actual bar. Table seating is at a handful of booths, four-tops, and two-tops. Larger parties will definitely want to arrange seating at adjacent tables ahead of time. The restaurant is open for lunch and during the week; on Saturdays it’s dinner only. Etc. is currently closed on Sunday, but plans for Sunday brunch are in the works.
Check out the Etc. website for the full (current) menus, reservations and more information.