Internationally acclaimed chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten is adding Nashville next to his lengthy restaurant repertoire — as he’s taking on the revamp of all culinary operations at the historic Hermitage Hotel.
According to the Tennessean, Vongerichten will be the brainpower behind the menu of the as-yet-unnamed restaurant replacing the Capitol Grille, which will serve the chef’s signature plant-based dishes plus wood-fired pizzas. Beyond a new name and menu change, the restaurant space will undergo a major renovation — one that leaves the iconic arched ceilings intact. When it reopens in the fall of 2021, the refreshed restaurant will have a new, direct-access entrance for the first time — one that diners can access from Sixth Avenue.
The world-famous chef will also help in the creation of a new and casual all-day cafe that will also open this fall. The cafe will feature indoor and outdoor dining, with service evolving throughout the day — functioning in the morning as a coffee bar and in the afternoon a to-go friendly lunch spot. At night it will transform into a wine bar with small plates and cocktails too. Vongerichten will also oversee all direction of the hotel’s culinary operations for weddings, meetings, and high-profile events.
Vongerichten has a long list of celebrated restaurants (including some with Michelin stars) ranging from NYC to Paris, Shanghai, and beyond.
When asked what level of involvement the chef will have with the hotel, hotel executives said ”Vongerichten is thoroughly involved in the development of the culinary program at The Hermitage Hotel, which began with his visit to Nashville in 2020.”
The dining stalwart in its heyday welcomed Sean Brock in his first stint in Nashville plus a 13-year tenure by farmer and chef Tyler Brown (now at Southall in Franklin). It’s one of the oldest restaurants in the city, tucked away in what’s known as “Nashville’s original million-dollar property” The Hermitage Hotel, a timeless icon beckoning to the Nashville many long to remember.
By the way, yes, the historic hotel’s refresh also includes the ladies’ restroom — which hotel executives say will receive a pink marble-themed overhaul to rival the iconic green-splashed art deco men’s room.