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Peninsula Reopens Soon, Pivoting to a Temporary Tasting Menu Model

Yuriko Say, Craig Schoen, and Jake Howell weathered the pandemic with a new dumpling pop-up, broth subscriptions, and gin and tonics


Beginning on Thursday, October 8, Iberian-inspired Peninsula will reopen for the first time since the pandemic shutdown in Nashville for limited seating, private event dining.

Just in time for Peninsula’s three-year anniversary, Eater Nashville’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year is temporarily shifting its service model with COVID-19 related safety measures at the forefront. Pre-ticketed tasting menu dinners will be available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only with two seatings each evening, 5:30 and 8 p.m.

Peninsula co-owners Yuriko Say, Craig Schoen, and Jake Howell have stayed afloat like so many other restaurateurs have — by thinking outside the box. Navigating the pandemic with Say’s new dumpling pop-up and Howell’s broth subscriptions, plus create-your-own gin and tonic kits with Schoen’s tonic syrups, the trio says they’re certainly ready to reopen to guests for the first time in seven months.

In a phone call, Say said the timing finally seems right to open up. Say also said, thankfully, that she is going to keep making those dumplings. While she’s been keeping her hands busy, making over a thousand dumplings each week herself to keep up with demand, she said she is thankful for the time that the pandemic has given her to focus on her new craft — a labor of love built out of trying to recreate the dishes flavors she and her husband Schoen had been missing since moving to Tennessee. Say said the transition to tasting menu allows them to keep control, as far as safety and as far as food costs go: “Well, honestly, for a while we talked about doing something like this. We see our regulars every week or so when they pick up their broth subscriptions, and they were constantly asking us about doing some small private event dinners like we’ve done in the past. We thought that was the right idea and something we felt might be safe (or safer), with more control as far as costs and reservations and spacing. Plus the pacing makes more sense that our regular model of family-style that was much quicker but doesn’t adapt to the current climate .”

The tasting menu dinners are available only with advance reservations via Resy. Each seating has a maximum of ten guests.

The restaurant will remain closed on Sunday through Wednesday, and will continue the Tuesday Manju Dumpling pop-up from Say, alongside broth subscriptions and tonic syrup sales via their online marketplace. Dumplings are available for pre-purchase and curbside pickup at Peninsula on Tuesdays, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Frozen pork dumplings with shrimp, water chestnut, and scallion come frozen in packages of 18, ready to cook at home and serve in Peninsula’s own beloved broths or on their own with soy sauce and chili oil. Place dumpling orders here alongside orders for broth subscriptions, gin and tonic kits, and more. Dumplings are available for delivery if combined with a broth delivery subscription (must be home to receive delivery on Tuesdays between noon and 4 p.m.).

Peninsula first opened in October of 2017, bringing a menu inspired by the Iberian Peninsula to the 38-seat space in East Nashville. Howell is known here for adding French techniques and using plenty of unexpected flavor combinations. The tomato toast, braised rabbit, and constantly-changing broths are all favorites on the regular menu at Peninsula.

Say’s Manju Dumplings come frozen and ready to serve at home


1035 West Eastland Avenue, , TN 37206 (615) 679-0377 Visit Website