There is no shortage of red meat in Nashville. Barbecue joints, burger spots and steakhouses insure that carnivores don’t go hungry. New to the lineup of meat-centric eateries in town, Deacon’s New South promises to be a cut above the rest. Based on curb appeal alone, diners will be delighted to visit Deacon’s New South. But the design isn’t overcompensating for the food, both are equally pleasing.
Discover this new eatery is found in the Life & Causality Tower (better known as the L&C Tower), at the corner of Church St. and 4th Ave. N. Finished in the late 50s, it was Nashville’s first skyscraper and stood as the tallest in the state for nearly 10 years. Deacon’s 7,000-square-foot space includes a dry-aging room, wood-fired grill, two bars, a private dining area, an exposed kitchen and patio with room for roughly 180 diners. In true Art Deco style, the design makes a statement with bold patterns, brass and copper details and architecturally inspired lighting.
Starters and Snacks
In some ways, this is your standard steakhouse with steaks, vegetable side dishes to complement the meat, and robust wines to enhance the flavors of the dishes. In other ways, it is a modern approach to a traditional way of dining. “We are not reinventing the wheel,” sous chef Joey Molteni (executive chef Travis Sparks’ right-hand man) tells us. “We are just making something that is stupid awesome.” And stupid awesome it was.
We started things off with a selection of house-cured meats, a variety of cheese and seasonal accompaniments. Costing $21, this is a big bang for your buck. In fact, we have recommended to many friends that they head to Deacon’s for this dish and a glass of wine. From the starters and snacks section, we tried the skillet yeast rolls, oysters, chicken fried lobster tail, and shrimp and avocado. So the only thing we can’t vouch for is the bresola. Each dish offered a surprising flavor. The coal-roasted oysters pack some heat, thanks to the chili; the lobster tail is chicken fried and served with a red eye aioli; the shrimp and avocado is a must — trust us.
Greens, Vegetables and Sides
Like any good steakhouse should, Deacon’s serves up delicious salads. The bibb and arugula salads are both noteworthy. Atop the bibb salad you will find Gifford’s bacon and atop the arugula, you will find duck prosciutto, which speaks to the modern approach the kitchen is taking. While worth ordering, the salads aren’t the most important vegetables on the menu. We recommend selecting from the selection of eight vegetables and sides and sharing them with the table. Marble potatoes are sweetened with sorghum, roasted carrots and parsnips are topped with pumpkin seeds and thyme, collards are braised in cider vinegar and finished with bacon. These thoughtful, creative dishes won’t have you missing the baked potato and creamed spinach of steakhouses in the past.
We are going to skip the steak (momentarily) to talk about the entrées. First, we’d like to note that the only non-meat option is the scallops. For pescatarians out there, you are in luck. These are the best scallops we have had in some time. Served with cauliflower, olives and beurre blanc, they were perfectly charred. We also tried the roasted chicken, served with spaghetti squash gratin and collard greens, and the braised Tennessee rabbit tossed with pappardelle.
And what would a steakhouse be without a few steaks? Aged in-house, Deacon’s New South’s steaks are wood-fire grilled and served à la carte. “I am most excited about the size of our aging room,” chef Joey shares. It is said that dry-aged steaks are not only more tender but have more complex flavor profiles. At our table for six, we shared a 48-ounce porterhouse and a 48-ounce tomahawk ribeye. Two of the larger cuts of meat I have ever seen, these steaks were not lacking in flavor nor tenderness. Cut from the bone, the steak was good enough to melt in your mouth. Sharing the steaks would be our recommended route so as to save room to enjoy other menu items as well.
General manager and level 2 sommelier, Jenn McCarthy, paired the meat with a Hendry Cabernet Sauvignon, for the ultimate experience.
We rounded out the dinner with a taste of something(s) sweet. The chocolate cola cake, applejack sack, sorbets and ice creams were shared amongst those at the table. It was the perfect ending to a delicious dinner.
Deacon’s New South falls under the A. Marshall Family Foods name (which also is responsible for Puckett’s, Scout’s and Homestead Manor). Deacon’s recently landed on our list of new restaurants in Nashville. They have been open for a soft opening since October 18 but officially opened their doors November 1. Stop by for lunch, happy hour (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.) or dinner to see Deacon’s take on a modern steakhouse!
Find Deacon’s New South at 401 Church St., Nashville, TN 37219. Hours are Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, click here.
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