A major new addition will soon hit the West Nashville dining scene, as Fifty First Kitchen & Bar is slated for the changing Nations neighborhood. Located at 5104 Illinois Avenue, the property currently under renovations was originally planned fo a new Rumours Wine Bar location, but founder/former Rumours owner Christy Shuff instead changed directions, teaming up with Tony and Caroline Galzin, founders of local pop-up Sycamore Nashville, on the new project, which is slated to open the beginning of March.
Chef Tony Galzin, a longtime veteran of the Chicago restaurant scene who previously worked here as the head chef for frequent ramen pop-up Otaku South and as pastry chef at Flyte World Dining & Wine, describes the concept as having a "seasonally influenced chef driven menu with technique rooted in rustic Italian." The menu will forego the typical 'appetizer, entree' breakdown and work as one long list, featuring 14 to 15 dishes and offering mainly small plates, along with three or four larger, protein-focused items. There will also be a separate charcuterie menu, as well as a rotating selection of cheeses. Dessert will consist of three or four selections rotating frequently, with ice creams and sorbets being made in-house.
A unique element will be the onsite garden, which is being created by Josh Corlew with Hands On Nashville. Tony Galzin says it will start small at first, with herbs and vegetables such as radishes and carrots, but hopes to grow it larger in the future.
On the beverage side, Caroline Galzin, also a seasoned front-of-house veteran in Chicago and Nashville, says that the full bar will feature a frequently changing Old World-focused list of about 20 wines, with around five by the glass at any given time and the average bottle ranging in price from $30 to $50. Four beers will be on tap, with one always dedicated to local brewery Jackalope, with whom the Galzins have teamed up with a number of times for their Sycamore Nashville pop-ups. A small selection in bottles and cans will also be available. She adds that the cocktail program will feature simple, seasonal creations, including house-made aperitifs and digestifs. High Garden Tea will also be on board to help create custom tea blends.
The restaurant space itself will seat 50 inside, including ten at the bar and another eight at a large corner banquette. Two tops and small banquettes will round out the main seating area. A seasonal patio with seating for 20 will also be included. Tony Galzin describes the space as "having a clean aesthetic," with the team keeping a number of the house's original elements, including a center fireplace (which will remain non-functional) in the middle of the dining room.
Fifty First Kitchen & Bar will be open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner only, with plans for Sunday brunch down the road.