Many have raved about the dining at 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails...and for good reason. 1799 is the restaurant that sits on the lower left level as you enter The Harpeth, in downtown Franklin.
Situated just off the lobby with an incredible bar that greets you, the eatery has an inviting feel for all that walk through the main entrance to the hotel. Once you enter 1799, you experience Franklin’s historic beauty through the artwork. The walls are covered in a scenic Franklin landscape display, by local artist Kelly Harwood. In the middle of the restaurant, you are pulled in by an amazing and artistic whiskey barrel design. The ceiling is reminiscent of the whiskey mash inside the barrel, along with planked walls surrounding the interior dining area…a nod to the thoughtfully curated whiskey and bourbon selections offered at the bar. On the exterior of the restaurant more tables and private booths, with curtains that can be drawn for private parties, are offered.
The atmosphere is perfect for a romantic date, night on the town, or even a casual drink. All are welcome to enjoy the eatery, as it is not just for the hotel guests. Live music is available on select nights and can be heard either in the lobby or the courtyard, depending on performer setup.
When I visited 1799 for a tasting, Executive Chef Devin Walline described the dining perfectly: It’s an experience. From the starters to the desserts - and the cocktails - the menu is perfectly curated to show appreciation for local vendors, southern fare and relatability. Chef Devin has a passion for creating food that brings people together. He grew up enjoying family meals with his father doing the cooking and grilling, all while Devin learned from him and began his appreciation for the dynamic of family togetherness. He says that his goal is to “bring people together and create moments,” and “doing that through food is very rewarding.”
After talking with Chef Devin, I knew that everything he was going to bring to the menu was going to be an exceptional blend of options that met all tastes and palates. And, I was not disappointed.
The first dish I tasted was the Buttermilk Fried Quail with Johnny Cakes, Pickled Sweet Pepper and Bourbon Maple. Quail is not the typical go-to for many, however, this dish is THE dish to order and try. You will be surprisingly and deliciously satisfied with the flavorful creation. Beautifully presented, this appetizer can be a meal on its own and gives those savory and sweet cravings their satisfaction.
Next, I tried the Grilled Pork Chop with Red Beans, Apple, Frisee and Maple Dijon Glaze. Warning - this dish is huge! It can feed two if you want a hearty meal to split. Chef Devin created this six-hour brined, bone-in pork chop as an “approachable, simple and relatable,” meal. Paired with the red beans, this dish has true southern inspiration and the flavor to meet all expectations.
Another main course I had the opportunity to try was the Scallops, served with Farro, Charred Box Choy, Carrot, Mushroom Dashi, Miso Butter and Sunchoke Chips. This was my favorite dish of the tasting! I am a scallop fan and this take on the seafood dish made it a rich, delectable and filling plate to enjoy. The scallops dish is changed up for the seasons, but I hope this one sticks around for a while...otherwise, I might have to make a special request.
The dessert I got to taste was the Gluten Free Shortcake with Chantilly Whipped Cream, Strawberries and Crystallized Mint. WOW! This is the dessert to order, even if you are not looking for gluten free. The sweet, tart mix with the lightness of it all was a perfect way to complete a meal. It is not over the top, but a perfect balance of taste and ingredients.
I also enjoyed a signature cocktail - the 1799 Cobbler. Made with Cream Sherry, Goslings Rum, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Angostura, Raspberries, Blackberries and Mint - this drink was flavorful and refreshing. You do not taste the spirits, but more so the refreshing and sweet flavors of the berries and citrus. It is a wonderful cocktail to order for a warm day!
I encourage you to visit 1799 if you have not had the opportunity to do so, or go back and try out one of the dishes here. The menu changes up for what is in season, so one must enjoy them while they can. Along with 1799, the hotel also has McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions which is a European-style café with gourmet sandwiches and salads, handcrafted cocktails, premium wines and local craft beer.
The Harpeth itself is a beautiful and inviting space for guests. With 119 elegant guest rooms and various accommodations, including timeless decor and modern comforts, local artists, balconies and views of downtown Franklin or the courtyard, private VIP entrance, bus and valet parking, room service from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. and pet friendly - it is a perfect place for celebrations, wedding parties and business. The lobby is a beautiful spot to sit and enjoy, along with the library of books, and the courtyard that has a grand staircase, surrounded by balconies.
There is so much thought and creativity put into the The Harpeth, its accommodations and dining options. It is a wonderful addition to historic downtown Franklin, that has not missed the mark on reflecting the beauty of our city. The appreciation for the community and its history is everywhere throughout the building and rooms. Visit The Harpeth and 1799 soon - and enjoy THE experience.
The Harpeth | 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails
130 2nd Avenue North | Franklin, TN 37064