Friday, November 18, 2016

The Standard at the Smith House

Lindsey is one of my best friends, and she and I have lived near one another a couple of times over the last decade.  Until a few months ago, she lived within two miles of me, and life was grand... but then she was called home to New England and relocated to Rhode Island!  So when she came back to Nashville for a short trip, I knew we had to have a special girls' night out.

I made us reservations at The Standard, a restaurant that had been on my radar from OpenTable but without a recommendation from anyone I knew.  I think that given its location (downtown, but not on a main pedestrian drag) and steakhouse fare, it probably gets overlooked at times.  One reviewer called it intimate and secluded, and maybe that's it!  When we rolled up to the valet, he knew me by name.  (Service!)  He introduced us to the house and its rich history.  I must say that the building impressed me, as it's the only one of its kind remaining in downtown Nashville.

When I entered, I got a little bit worried.  I could definitely smell the cigars from the cigar club upstairs.  They have a members-only group that uses that space, which is kind of neat, but I was worried the smell might hamper our dining experience.  Nope!  Once we were whisked into the beautiful dining rooms, I was transported.  The rooms were small, but stunning. The fireplaces!  I can definitely see it as the perfect place for a wedding rehearsal dinner, or a fancy date night.    It's certainly romantic, and quiet enough you can actually talk to the people at your table without hubbub.  Guys, take note, this place is probably a good one to take a lady friend.

I started with a cocktail, and it was a good one!  I also liked the beautiful postcards on the tables, which show the historic house.  Not a bad keepsake if you make it a special occasion.  They had a pretty good wine list too.  The server really made us feel like he was only waiting on us, and no one else!

On his recommendation, we definitely had to start off with their fried green tomatoes, served with jumbo lump crab meat.  This is something you must order at this restaurant!  Not only is it beautiful, but it's delicious.  Perfect size for two people to share.

Like many steakhouses, the sides here are large and shareable.  We both ordered 6 oz. filets, and the meat and cooking temperatures were excellent.  Their macaroni and cheese also came highly recommended, so we had that as well as the mashed potatoes.  (I know, starch on starch, sue me!  It was delish!)

Overall, I have only good things to say about our visit to the Standard.  It was quiet, pretty, tasty, and charming.  Definitely a hidden gem that hasn't been getting enough buzz in my circles!

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