For an early Christmas happy, my oldest daughter and I went to The Hermitage Hotel’s newest restaurant, Drusie & Darr. She’s in graduate school so I knew she couldn’t afford a meal like this, and I wanted to have a special moment with her. While we expected a really good meal, we did not expect to be completely blown away, but blown away we were! We enjoyed the fact that Executive Chef Jean-Georges’ choices weren’t trying to push us to new boundaries, but rather, we were able to enjoy familiar food that was elegantly presented and executed perfectly.
Personally, I’m pretty sure it was one of the best meals I’ve had in Nashville, or outside of Nashville, ever.
Here’s what to expect at Drusie & Darr at The Hermitage Hotel:
When you enter The Hermitage Hotel, take the set of doors to the right and go down the stairs to enter Drusie & Darr. For those familiar with the former Capit0l Grille, Drusie & Darr is in the same location, but that space has been completely overhauled. It’s now a sophisticated yet approachable space.
We ordered the tasting menu, which is the way to go at $118/person. Pricey, yes. Pricey for a tasting menu like this? No. We felt we got every penny’s worth from our experience. If you share it between two people, you’ll likely want to order an additional appetizer. On your own, it’s really filling, but each thing was so good that I wouldn’t want them to pare any of it down. But, just know to arrive really hungry.
And, as the menu is updated seasonally, I’m excited to continue to go back and try future tasting menus!
The First Course
The first course was the egg toast with caviar and herbs, and I’ve never had anything like it, even though the ingredients are all familiar. The toast, which is cracker-thin, had three egg yolks, cooked to be soft but not runny. This was topped by a mound of caviar and herbs, and if the meal stopped after this one course, I would have gone home happy. I’m not sure how to explain this, but the egg yolks uniformly have the consistency of a soft cheese, and that makes this taste like the best grilled cheese of your life, without any cheese. My brain just had a hard time comprehending what I was eating except to think “please don’t stop. I want more.” But, if you want another piece, they are $75 a la carte. Yes, that tasting menu just became a better value!
The Second Course
The second course was tuna tartare with crushed avocado and radish with a ginger dressing. It arrived without the dressing — they poured it into the bowl at the table for an elevated presentation. I do enjoy a great presentation as it just makes a meal stand out. And, after not wanting to put anything in my mouth after that first course, I was once again swept up into that other-worldly place that we can only reach through really great food. This was when my daughter said, “This may be the best meal of my life.” Christmas gift delivered!
The Third Course
Next came the sea bass with charred cauliflower, which was so good, but the table next to us said that we may not want to eat it all if we were getting full, explaining that it was delicious, but not nearly as good as the next course: the filet. Being a fish gal, and really enjoying it, I paid them no attention and ate it all up.
The Fourth Course
But, then the filet came and you know what? The table next to us was right. The filet was the actual best piece of steak I’ve ever had — anywhere in the world. I still can’t believe how good that steak was! I like steak, but I typically order fish. For me to say that I liked the steak this much? It’s saying a lot! So, if I were to go back (which I will) and I didn’t want to order the full tasting menu, I would order the filet and get it medium rare. I am typically more of a medium person, but this medium rare is perfection, and red in the middle in just the way you want it to be as it’s in no way raw, just red. It’s truly like slicing into butter. There is no friction, and the miso mustard sauce is a pairing that I hope never leaves the menu.
The Fifth and Final Course
Then, before they could bring dessert, I asked for mine to be boxed up. I was full. But, my daughter, who had heeded the advice of the table next to us and didn’t finish her fish and cauliflower, did get dessert. It turns out the lava chocolate cake was actually invented by Jean-Georges in the ’80s, so of course, it’s the best! Watching my chocolate-loving daughter eat her lava cake was dessert enough for me as she delighted through each bite, just like she had through the whole meal.
Before we left, we made sure to check out the newly renovated women’s bathroom, now equally as posh as the famous men’s bathroom. And, as it’s Christmastime, we walked into the lobby to take in the Christmas decor and get a selfie in front of the gorgeous Christmas tree!
As it is The Hermitage Hotel, everyone from the valets to the hosts to the servers were Tennessee-gracious, kind, and professional.
From a special mother-daughter treat, to a business dinner, to a place to go before a show, Drusie & Darr is a hands-down win. Welcome to Nashville!
See an overview of Drusie & Darr at their website.
Make reservations for Drusie & Darr HERE.