Cuisine: What’s come out of the kitchen at Jeff and Barbara Black’s folksy first restaurant can best be described as uneven. But now it’s a different story with Nate Waugaman behind the stove. Gone are the scattered attempts at fusion fare, and in its place are house-made charcuterie (plus a whole lot of excellent Benton’s ham from Kentucky) and rootedly American roasts and fish dishes. Finally, the food has one personality, not 15.
Mood: Driving past strip mall after strip mall, you might miss this creaky, sunshine-yellow Victorian set back in the trees. (Look for the diner-like neon let’s eat sign.) Inside the tiny dining rooms, funky charm abounds, with cheerful young servers and side tables made from antique ovens.
Best for: Lunch or dinner after hitting White Flint Mall; families (although the place can get very loud); satisfying a case of small-town nostalgia.
Best dishes: Charcuterie, including lomo, peppery soppresatta, rustic rabbit pâté, and a wonderful pumpkin marmalade; fried green tomatoes stuffed with goat cheese; artfully presented beet carpaccio over rounds of ashy goat cheese; fried oysters with lemon and chopped egg; grilled trout with brown-butter vinaigrette; rustic vegetable lasagna; in the summer, a fabulous mixed-bean salad with ham.
Insider tips: Don’t be hesitant to make a meal out of the generous appetizers—they tend to outshine the entrées.
Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for dinner. Moderate.