Sunday, September 18, 2011


Nashville Restaurants and Food
Market House
Nashville Farmers’ Market
900 Rosa Parks Blvd.

AM@FM is more than just another place to have a good meal at the Nashville Farmers’ Market. We think this latest Arnold Myint project has given the Market House a new feel. What’s so different? You sit at the tall counter on comfortable bar chairs and chat with the knowledgeable wait staff. Linen napkins and real serving-ware are laid out on the tiled bar. You watch the chef meticulously assembling a crostini. You gaze out over the bustling Market House and feel like you’re in the American equivalent of a European cafĂ©. This is a real upgrade from the usual plastic tray, cafeteria-style dining that the rest of the Market House offers. Don’t get us wrong, Jamaicaway and B&C Market BBQ do a fine job with their seating, and we certainly enjoy the diverse affordable dining options. However, Arnold has taken it up a notch or two, not only with the bar itself, but with the stylish seating area nearby and the table service.

The crostini bar is the real standout thus far. They offered eight or nine different crostini options on the days we visited. Creative combinations included tapenade and local feta; andouille and goat cheese; local farm egg salad with capers and dill; and smoked turkey and chutney. They come three to an order for $6 or $7. We bite into the poached shrimp with smoked slaw and find a perfectly balanced match of tender shrimp, a little bite from whole mustard seeds, fennel and caper berries with a creamy slaw all perched on lightly toasted bread. The light toasting is significant as it helps the creation meld together. It’s an excellent start. Next up is artichoke, goat cheese and truffle; a creamy concoction with pink peppercorns and a little tart finish from an arugula topping. We’re quite happy.

The crostini bar is a great addition to the AM@FM lineup, which is founded in more of a deli-style. They have a daily selection of wraps, salads and side dishes. If you eat-in they offer a little complimentary bowl of crunchy house made chips to get you started. The smoked potato salad is spot-on in flavor with just a touch of coarse-ground mustard and smoke. The hummus naaan one day has the refreshing fresh snap of cucumber and greens, but suffers from a slightly uninspired hummus. Rosemary macaroni salad is quite good and shows the lighter touch that Myint chooses in seasoning. It all strikes us as an inventive and slightly international version of a Southern picnic.

Veggie Eater: Almost half the crostini options are veggie (ovo-lacto) friendly and the deli case options are as accommodating. The staff are knowledgeable about the ingredients used in all items served and can steer you in the appropriate direction. They are genuinely proud of their product and chime in on their favorite items (consensus regarding the smoked potato salad). I obsessed about the little red balls served atop my truffled goat cheese crostini (vaguely peppery, crispy, with a faint rose hippy flavor) and the chef was happy to respond to my query and discuss the use of pink peppercorns. Everything we sampled on our second visit was thoroughly satisfying and the faces of the other diners around us confirmed that they were having the same experience.

Meat Eater: Kudos to the Nashville Farmers’ Market folks for having the vision to expand the Market House in new directions. We look forward to what will come next.

We paid $18 with tax and tip on one visit and $20 on another visit.
Am@Fm on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I'm curious to know what the plans are for that open kitchen right near AM@FM


Eric and Katie said...

mIKES: I think that's the presentation kitchen for visiting chefs and such. It was ruined during the flood and finally rebuilt.