The newest entrant in the Gulch’s ever-evolving restaurant boom is the Iberian Pig, a splashy multi-level tavern devoted to Spanish tapas and, yes, plenty of jamon Iberico. Located in the former Colt’s Chocolate factory, the Atlanta-born eatery will open its doors tomorrow, September 12.
Kicking off with dinner service at 4 p.m., Nashville’s iteration of the Iberian Pig takes most of its culinary cues from its older siblings in Buckhead and Decatur. The menu embraces all things Spanish, doting on the savory slices of ham imported from the Iberian peninsula of Spain. “About 40 to 50 percent of the menu will be the same as Atlanta,” says John Castellucci, culinary director of the Iberian Pig (his brother, Fred Castellucci, owns the restaurant). “We wanted to make sure we had the staples that we are known for, but also lots of new and exciting menu items that we think the Nashville market will enjoy.”
Crossovers from the Atlanta menu include a charcuterie tasting option with six different types of Iberican meats, like jamon and salchichon Iberico. You can opt to add on a tasting of various one-ounce portions of Spanish cheeses ranging from the popular manchego to more obscure options like the KM 39, a Galician cow’s milk cheese that’s been aged for 16 months. Other Atlanta favorites making their way to the Nashville restaurant: bacon-wrapped dates, pork cheek tacos, and a suckling pig that feeds over six people and requires 72-hour notice to prepare.
The rest of the menu will be signature dishes specific to Nashville. “Exploring the Nashville farmers market has been great, and we’ve been able to meet a few key people that we plan to work with — Charpier’s Bakery, Radical Shoots, S. E. Daugherty and Sons Farm, as well as Retrograde Coffee,” John says, noting that he’s most excited about the Idiazabal risotto with braised pork cheek and salmon a la parrilla.
Designed by Atlanta’s Smith Hanes Studio, the 4,500 square-foot Nashville outpost will feature a large rooftop patio with its own private bar. “We’ve used a new design firm for each iteration of The Iberian Pig to give each location a fresh approach,” says Fred. “Smith Hanes Studios, whom I’ve worked with on other projects but is new to the Iberian Pig brand, is masterful with lighting, color, and texture.”
The space will pay homage to the Atlanta locations in its use of color (think gold and maroon accents) and lighting. The main level of the restaurant invites guests in with warm wood floors, rounded velvet booths, and a moody bar as the central focus. “I love how our bar is tucked in the back of the restaurant and can feel like a hideout,” adds Fred. The segmentation of the room with glass and fabric creates a sense of intimacy while also serving as a sound buffer, he says.
When the restaurant opens, guests can count on a special “jamon happy hour” from Monday through Friday with reduced prices on charcuterie, snacks, and sangria, along with a soon-to-launch brunch. “It feels like every time I have visited over the past couple of years, there is a new restaurant serving great food. Some of my favorite dining experiences in recent memory — Locust, Peninsula, Lyra — have been in Nashville,” John says. “It’s an exciting time to be a part of the city and connect with the local hospitality community.”
Check out the menu below.