Gray & Dudley at Nashville’s 21c Museum Hotel has an acclaimed new executive chef — Rob Newton — and he’s introduced a new menu inspired by his southern roots and global travels.
Newton spent time in some of New York City’s most respected restaurants and kitchen, including Le Cirque, Tabla, Aquavit, and the Four Seasons. Prior to that, the now highly-acclaimed chef and restaurateur served in the United States Army in Operation Desert Storm, then shifted his focus and earned his culinary degree.
Rob Newton’s first gig as executive chef was in Vermont, where he spent three years before transitioning into a private chef role — cooking around the globe for celebrities, musicians, and entertainment executives for six years before settling in Brooklyn to build his own restaurants — Seersucker Restaurant, Smith Canteen, Nightingale Nine, and Wilma Jean.
His new menu at the artsy boutique hotel’s restaurant is a “celebration of Southern sensibilities,” reflecting the Arkansas native’s Southern roots plus nods to Newton’s travels abroad and diverse immigrant communities across the region. Menu options showcase seasonal ingredients, sourced from Leipers Fork’s Bear Creek Farms, North Carolina’s Sunburst Trout, plus many of Nashville’s Kurdish bakeries, Vietnamese markets, and delis.
Some of the new dinner dishes include country ham and shrimp lumpia — a riff on the Filipino snack with a soy-sorghum dipping sauce; Bear Creek Farms beef tartare with green tomato, quail egg, sesame, nori powder, and fried bread; and duck fried rice with house-cured duck ham, shiitakes, and fragrant jasmine rice.
The new lunch menu offers interesting options from black-eyed pea falafel to a crispy five-spice pork noodle bowl and a fried chicken banh mi. Traditionalists can still find a GD burger with dry-aged beef, fried shallots, and special sauce on the menu.
Gray & Dudley is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with late-night dining available at the bar. Gray & Dudley is located in the 21c Museum Hotel, at 221 2nd Ave North.