Jul 2022

Locust – Nashville

Locust - Nashville

I can’t even begin to tell you how long I hemmed and hawed before booking a table at Locust in Nashville. As you can imagine, traveling to the South to eat Asian-leaning food cooked by an Irishman gave me some pause. But after reading more about the chef and the concept, I took a gamble and it paid off in spades. Locust was spectacular.

Locust - Nashville

Behind the stoves is chef Trevor Moran who spent four years cooking at Noma in Copenhagen before running the kitchen at The Catbird Seat in Nashville. He opened Locust in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.

Locust - Nashville

The vibe at Locust was wonderfully chill considering the fine dining chops in the kitchen. Warm mugs of sourdough soup, complete with a crouton that sunk to the bottom of the vessel, greeted us on an unseasonably cold spring day in Nashville.

Locust - Nashville

With just six dishes and two specials, the succinct menu made it easy to order. Lunch started off with the house-canned clams served with a black garlic olive oil mayonnaise, one of the daily specials.

Locust - Nashville

Next up was the beef tartare ($30). Served alongside the platter of raw beef was a wax envelope of nori, a dish of freeze-dried capers, and a bowl of marinated rice resting on a puddle of horseradish cream.

Locust - Nashville

Beef tartar handrolls were assembled and devoured tableside.

Locust - Nashville

The Royal Red Shrimp pocket ($15) arrived next, along with the pickled cucumbers ($10). Moran’s take on shrimp toast consisted of shrimp paste tucked into a crispy dough parcel. The entire thing was deep-fried and doused in a sticky-sweet sauce reminiscent of Chinese American food.

Locust - Nashville

My favorite dish was the eel risotto, another one of Locust’s daily specials, which was creamy, comforting, and delightfully different.

Locust - Nashville

Locust is best known for its pork dumplings, which are served with an incredible seaweed-heavy vinegar and a squirt bottle of chile oil.

Locust - Nashville

To finish, a most incredible kakigori ($12) served with a drizzle of salted caramel. Hidden inside the fluffy ice was a tart passion fruit filling that took us all by surprise.

Locust - Nashville

Bruleed kumquats arrived with our bill.

Locust
2305 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204

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