Rolf and Daughters, which opened in late 2012, embodies the essence of the “new” Nashville – the expansion of ambitious restaurants into up and coming neighborhoods around the city. Located in the Germantown neighborhood of Nashville, just a ten minute drive north of downtown, Rolf and Daughters (“R.A.D.”) describes itself as “modern peasant food,” drawing on Northern Italian and Mediterranean influences with Southern seasonal ingredients. Everything about R.A.D. is cool – the people, the decor, the drinks, and the food.
While R.A.D. does take reservations, we were unable to secure one same day, so decided instead to arrive early, put our name in and get a drink at the bar. The wait ended up being just over an hour, but we didn’t mind a bit as we enjoyed our drinks al fresco on the patio, taking in the ambiance and interesting wall art.
The menu is broken up into Snacks, Market/Garden, Pasta and Grains, Plate, and Sides. Because there were four of us, we ordered a bit from every section.
To start, we gobbled up the homemade sourdough bread, served with seaweed butter and coarse salt. It was fresh, delicious, and offered the perfect amount of sour which balanced wonderfully against the seaweed butter. The beef tartare, with salsa verde and olio novello, bursting with flavors and was another winner. I particularly liked the refreshing beet salad, with beet yogurt and slivered almonds, as well as the spring greens salad, with radish, red quinoa, and green goddess dressing.
For my main course, I thoroughly enjoyed the squid ink canestri, a housemade pasta, served with shrimp, squid, and chili. The pasta was perfectly cooked and the chili offered the right amount of spice. This dish is easily one of my favorite pasta dishes of the year, and was perfect for carbo-loading before the Country Music Half-Marathon!
Also fantastic were the bucatini fra diavolo, another handmade pasta dish, with octopus, red lardo, and Calabrian chili, which was definitely spicy, and the garganelli verde, served with heritage pork ragout and parmesano.
Finally, the dry aged meatballs, with dandelion gremolata and Sunday sauce, were phenomenal. Good thing we still had some sourdough bread to sop up the leftover sauce.
Overall, our meal and experience at R.A.D. was fantastic. Service was impeccable; our server knew the menu items inside and out and made thoughtful recommendations. And the ambiance was comfortable and relaxed. I recommend R.A.D. to anyone living in, or passing, through Nashville.
700 Taylor Street, Nashville, TN 37208