The Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel opened today in Nashville’s SoBro neighborhood, bringing with it an impressive cast of food and beverage options, including Yolan from James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Mantuano and wine and hospitality expert Cathy Mantuano.
The hotel’s signature restaurant is a refined Italian love letter to Nashville named in honor odfdeveloper Joel Pizzuti’s grandmother, Yolanda. It marries a menu in honor of both the Pizzutis’ and the Mantuanos’ roots in Italy with the couple’s signature attention to hospitality.
Several other talented names join the team at Yolan. Executive Chef Aaron Thebault also moved from Chicago to Nashville for the position. Thebault cooked with Tony at Spiaggia and at Maddon’s Post and prior to that, was with chef Stephanie Izard for 8 years. General Manager Patrick McClellan went to MTSU, so a return to Nashville is special to him. McClellan most recently ran the restaurants at L’Auberge Del Mar in North Country, right off of the Pacific Ocean in San Diego. Head Sommelier Jon Kearns moved to Nashville for the position after working with Altamarea Group with Michael White in NYC.
A first look at the opening menu (shown in full below) leads off with caviar service complete with burrata, potato pancakes, and prosciutto, plus panzanella and pulpo. The ‘primi’ course showcases house pastas from classic cacio e pepe, carbonara, and gnocchi with truffle and ricotta to risotto with saffron and lobster, plus ricotta with sage, brown butter, and Parmigiano-Reggiano (shaved fresh from the cheese cave). ‘Secondi’ courses include a shareable 36-ounce Kansas City strip steak with “Italian yacht sauce’, potatoes, rosemary lardo, fish, lamb, and a breaded veal chop with lemon and local summer greens. The tasting menu offers a little of everything, priced per person at $95 for five courses and $135 for eight.
Desserts from executive pastry chef Noelle Gogg include arancia rossa — puff pastry with salted meringue, semoline, and citrus, plus caramello and as assortment of gelatos and sorbets. Gogg, a CIA graduate, spent five years leading the pastry program at the Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge in Charlotte, NC before joining the team at The Joseph.
A glass-ensconced and temperature-controlled wine cellar is filled with more than 600 bottles unearthed through travels to Italy and other parts of the world.
Also not to be missed — a weekly cheese-cutting ceremony appropriately dubbed “King of cheese” — where diners enjoy an aperitivo with the Mantuanos as an aged, 80-pound wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano is the star of the show. They can also learn about Yolan’s cheese cave, a special area reserved for the proper storage of extraordinary varieties.
While the menu at Yolan will change frequently to consider seasonality and ingredient availability, it’s fun to see what the Mantuanos have in store for Nashville. Scroll to take a visual tour of dishes and see the dinner menu, tasting menu, desserts, and abbreviated bar options.
Yolan is open for dinner nightly, with reservations between 5 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. The restaurant closes promptly at 10:30 p.m. nightly given current restrictions, and hours will change once those change.