NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Henley, a modern American brasserie led by James Beard Award-winning executive chef RJ Cooper, opens its doors to the public on Monday, June 19.
The restaurant, located in the heart of Midtown Nashville at 21st and Broadway, is steps from historic Music Row and neighbors with the Vanderbilt University campus. The menu consists of shareable dishes and communal courses that emphasize local produce and focus on sustainability.
Chef RJ Cooper has spent his career studying the intricacies of regional American cooking. Under Cooper’s direction, Henley’s inspired cuisine will highlight only the best in Tennessee food resources. Cooper is passionate about continuing to cultivate partnerships with local purveyors to source local ingredients, tapping farmers, growers and producers based in Middle Tennessee, as well as Nashville-based products like the award-winning Olive & Sinclair chocolate and Frothy Monkey coffee.
The dinner menu includes plates like a rich Smoked Duck Egg Rigatoni with morels, liver, sausage ramps and butter; NC Sunburst Trout, a flavorful dish with oyster root, leaves, onions, smoked trout emulsion, brown butter and roe; a decadent 60-day Dry-aged Rib Cap with bone marrow, crushed fingerling potatoes, ranch powder, spinach and red wine butter. The culinary menu also includes communal and shareable items like the Wedge Oak Farm Duck served with bitter orange sweet potato condiment, leeks, fennel and johnny crepes; Bear Creek Farm Short Rib with radishes, allium flowers, burnt onion horseradish aioli and mustard green salad; as well as shareable sides such as a Spring Green Ragout, First Dug Potatoes and Bloody Butcher Grits.
Continuing to play on his inspiration from the cuisine of the region, Chef Cooper has created a morning menu that also highlights his passion for local ingredients. Breakfast dishes range from Duck Fat Beignets with rye whiskey, clear caramel and duck fat powdered sugar; to a Preacher’s Breakfast with Potlikker, eggs, spicy greens, grits and pork sausage; and a Forager’s Omelet featuring buttermilk ricotta, rye crumble, mustard greens and spruce oil. Guests can enjoy additional items such as Baked Antebellum Grits, Buttermilk-chive Biscuits, Ancient Grain Bread Toast and House-made Pork Sausage.
Henley’s bar program, led by Nashville-based industry veteran Jon Howard, focuses on bright and refreshing drinks, hand-selected whiskies, after-dinner drinks and more that complement Chef Cooper’s menu. Guests can expect American flavors with a heavy focus on local ingredients, as well as fresh produce, fortified wine, eau de vie, dehydrated citrus and infused oils incorporated into the bar’s craft cocktails. Drinks such as the Dapper Dandy, a refreshing sipper with Plymouth Gin, vermouth del professore, suze and dandelion; A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts, Henley’s play on tiki featuring coconut-aged Ron Zacapa and Goslings 151, fresh lime and house-made coconut ginger beer and Greenlands, a complex gimlet variation, made with Ketel One Vodka, Aqua de Cedro, Pineau des Charantres, nasturtium, fresh lime and salt can be found on the Henley cocktail menu.
The space, designed to evoke the comfort of a private home, draws guests in as colors and textures transition from light to dark while moving from the bright and breezy patio for al fresco dining to the hushed and moody Snooker in the back. Rich textures and elegant custom furniture complement the contemporary and functional dining space where wooden farm tables and leather banquettes stand in contrast to the black and white tile, bold florals and cool colors present in the space. Henley features design aspects from makers that are local to Nashville, with handmade kinfolk plates and dishes from Handmade Studio TN, charcuterie boards and coffee trays from Holler Design, a snack cart made from a vintage suitcase designed by Hunter Gather Society, leather goods by Emil Erwin, and more.
Chef Cooper is supported by chef de cuisine Daniel Gorman and pastry chef Matt Clement in the kitchen, and the front-of-house team is led by general manager James Garrido.
Breakfast is served daily from 7-10 a.m. with dinner served 5-10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 5-11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with lunch service to be offered in the upcoming weeks.
For more information, visit www.henleynashville.com.
Henley, a modern American brasserie, is located in the heart of Midtown at 21st Avenue S and Broadway, and is a culinary destination at Buckingham Companies’ new mixed-use community, Aertson Midtown. Named as an homage to the iconic shirt made popular at the turn of the century, Henley features communal dining and craft cocktails. The culinary menu, created by James Beard Award-winning executive chef RJ Cooper, offers seasonally-driven inventive cuisine inspired by the flavors of the South. Henley is open for breakfast and dinner daily and features both outdoor and private dining spaces. For more information please visit, www.henleynashville.com or follow along on Instagram and Facebook.
ABOUT KIMPTON RESTAURANTS
Kimpton has more than 70 unique restaurants, bars and lounges across the country helmed by renowned chefs and bartenders who offer guests a chance to dine like a local. Common cornerstones of each restaurant and bar include heartfelt care; chef-crafted, seasonal menus that celebrate local farms and purveyors; and striking interiors with vibrant style and design. Signature cocktails are created by expert local bartenders, and wines are chosen with a nod toward artisanal and sustainable selections. Distinct restaurant concepts range from rustic Italian cuisine in the Pacific Northwest to oceanic fare on the Florida coast and alluring rooftop lounges and bars tucked away in Washington DC. For more information, visit www.KimptonHotels.com/dine.
Photo credit: Emily Hall