Celebrating Mother

Dee and Evan 1

Though the celebration of Mother’s Day can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, this year marks the one hundredth anniversary of Mother’s Day in the United States.  In fact, it was President Woodrow Wilson, past lunch guest of The Hermitage Hotel, who declared Mother’s Day an annual holiday in America.  He believed that there should always be a day that honored the sacrifices that mothers made for their children.

Some early traditions on Mother’s Day include: spoiling Mom with bunches of white carnations, cooking large meals to celebrate mom, and giving her a break from her daily duties.  One of the more modern traditions includes our increasingly present mobile devices.  Throughout the world, more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day.  In fact, phone traffic has been known to rise as much as 37% on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is not only celebrated in the United States, but is a day of reverence world-wide. Here are just a few of the traditions celebrated around the world.

France: Children celebrate mom with presents and a cake that looks like a bouquet of flowers. Italians bake a cake in the shape of a heart.

Denmark: Mother’s day or Mors Dag is celebrated by children cooking breakfast for their mother and then celebrating with a fantastic lunch. Flowers are also the highlight of the day with spectacular arrangements delivered to moms throughout the country.

Ethiopia:  Celebrated in mid-Fall, Ethiopians travel home to their mothers for a three day celebration. Children bring ingredients (girls bring vegetables, butter, and spices while boys bring meat like bull or lamb) for a traditional hash that the mother prepares for the family. This is followed by three days of dancing and singing.

However you choose to celebrate, enjoy honor Mom this Mother’s Day!


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Celebrate Christmas with the Capitol Grille

Join us at the Capitol Grille for a Christmas feast fit for a king

The holiday season is in full swing. Children’s Christmas lists are getting longer, families are trimming their trees, holiday parties are already underway and folks are making final arrangements for their Christmas travels. It’s traditions like these that fill our hearts with memories. This year, why not add something special to your list of holiday traditions? Celebrate Christmas with The Hermitage Hotel.

Our doors will be open Christmas day for brunch and dinner. In addition to the Christmas lights spilling out of our lovingly decorated lobby and grand ballroom, smells of Christmas favorites will fill the hotel.

Join us for brunch or dinner and enjoy holiday favorites from Executive Chef Tyler Brown, Executive Sous Chef Andrew Kalmar, Chef de Cuisine Richard Neal and Pastry Chef Kayla Swartout.

Brunch Menu

Brunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Brunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dinner Menu

Dinner will be held from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Dinner will be held from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

You can download the menus online by visiting our website.

Reservations are required (and going quickly!), so give us a call today at 615-345-7116.

If you’re not able to join us on Christmas day, stop in sometime over the holidays. Take a step inside, warm up (we’re also offering snacks of spiced hot tea and Christmas cookies in the lobby) and take a look around our Christmas decorations. As you ascend the staircase into the lobby and see the decorations, you’ll get that warm, fuzzy feeling your remember from childhood. Just around the corner, the grand ballroom is also decked to the nines. Share your photos of the decorations with us on Facebook and tag us on Twitter and Instagram at @HermitageHotel.

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Happy Thanksgiving from your Friends at The Hermitage Hotel

After celebrating another Thanksgiving brunch and dinner at the Capitol Grille, we reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for this year.

First, we are thankful to have served a capacity crowd at our Thanksgiving brunch and dinner. We cooked and served 36 turkeys and more than 1,600 macaroons. Our executive chef Tyler Brown and chef de cuisine Richard Neal prepared traditional Thanksgiving dishes with a southern twist, such as roasted sweet potatoes with pecan crumble, sock sausage and cornbread stuffing, smashed Yukon gold potatoes with buttermilk, southern style green beans, and more. It was a celebration to remember.

We consider every guest a member of our Capitol Grille family and we are thankful to be a part of your Music City experience. Join us this holiday season as we celebrate family, friends and delicious food around the Capitol Grille table.

Stop by The Hermitage Hotel for a view of our Christmas decorations. We promise they’ll put you in the holiday spirit. Stick around awhile and cozy up with dinner and a drink at the Oak Bar. And stay tuned—our Christmas brunch and dinner menus will be posted soon.

Thanks for a great year. We’ll see you at the table.

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Modern Farmer Magazine Features Double H Farms

The Capitol Grille is changing the way Nashville does fine dining. With the purchase of our second farm, Double H Farms, in 2012, our farm-to-table mission has blossomed into a way of life for our chefs, staff and patrons – and others have noticed.

This November, Modern Farmer magazine featured our dedicated duo, Executive Chef Tyler Brown and Hermitage Hotel Managing Director Greg Sligh, in a fantastic article about our cattle operation at Double H Farms. We send our thanks to author Erin Byers Murray and the entire Modern Farmer team for spotlighting our mission and recognizing the ground-breaking work by our hardworking staff. Many restaurants today are raising their own produce, but Capitol Grille is one of only handful of restaurants worldwide to take the next step of raising its own beef.

The article chronicles the development of our cattle farm, which Tyler and Greg began experimenting with in 2009. With the help of a local farmer at the already established Farm at Glen Leven, the team raised beef that was added to the Capitol Grille menu and met with rave reviews. This success at Glen Leven led to our decision to purchase a 245-acre farm west of Nashville that is now dubbed Double H.

Since the farm’s official founding in 2012, our herd has grown to over 120 head of cattle, and within two to three years, we expect Double H Farms to be our primary beef supplier.

Tyler and Greg have worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality, shuttling themselves between their full-time jobs at the hotel and Double H Farms on a daily basis.

Erin Murray highlighted their dedication in her article:

“We could have 20 people working out here and Tyler could just call and say, ‘How are those cattle?’ But we agreed that we would start by doing everything ourselves so that we knew what went into it,” says Sligh. That means early mornings on the farm followed by late nights in the hotel, or vice versa depending on the day’s chores — with a stop at Glen Leven in between….“I want to be able to put my hands on everything at any given time. All of it is really overwhelming — and that excites me,”(Brown said).

Chef Tyler is beginning to see the hard work pay off, and he is excited to see how the farming culture will continue to shape his staff and his kitchen.

To read more about the farm and Chef Tyler’s thoughts on raising cattle, read the full story at Modern Farmer.

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Capitol Grille Named “Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant that Actually has a Farm”

At Capitol Grille, farm-to-table is more than just catchphrase—it is a way of life. It’s a commitment made by our chefs, farmers and staff to provide culturally sustainable food to the Nashville community, grown and raised on our own farms or sourced from our friends at other local farms.A Harvest Basket

The Nashville Scene recently recognized this commitment to farm-fresh dining by naming Capitol Grille the “Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant that actually has a Farm” for 2013. This honor, a part of The Nashville Scene’s annual “Best of Nashville” issue, belongs to Executive Chef and Farmer Tyler Brown and the team that creates our impeccable Southern cuisine from the ground up.

It all begins in the gardens of our Glen Leven Farm. Chef Tyler tends to crops of heirloom vegetables, fruits and herbs and handpicks the perfect ingredients for our seasonally inspired menus. He then couples the fresh produce with our tender heritage breed beef, raised on our Double H Farm in Dickson County. The result is a menu of homegrown, home cooked favorites that have Nashville diners returning season after season.

This fall, Chef Tyler and his team focus on a harvest full of crisp apples, fresh farm lettuces, juicy tomatoes and ripe radishes, all complements to the hearty tastes of the season. For lunch, the Double H Farms Meatloaf Sandwich is a Nashville favorite with Double H Farm beef, grilled onion, farm-fresh arugula and a special sauce from Chef Tyler. Our dinner menu features rich, filling entrees like our Sweet Potato Ravioli and Duo of Border Springs Lamb.

Join us for breakfast, lunch or dinner as we toast our fabulous Chefs and their commitment to sustainable Southern cuisine. We look forward to seeing you at the table.


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Fall Favorites from Our Farm to Your Table

Fall has finally arrived on the farm, and Capitol Grille is bringing the best ingredients of the season straight to your table with a new menu from Executive Chef and farmer, Tyler Brown.

The light, crisp tastes of summer have given way to warm and flavorful new dishes, all inspired by our homegrown ingredients from Double H Farms, the Dickson County farm where we raise most of the beef served in the Capitol Grille, and the Double H Farms Garden at Glen Leven, where we raise most of the vegetables served. Chef Tyler gathers the freshest produce, including beets, figs, radishes and apples, to compliment the hearty, farm-raised meats and fresh fish found on this season’s menu.

These savory meals will have you enjoying the brisk days of autumn through breakfast, lunch and dinner. Take a look at a few of our new recipes and join us at the table for fall 2013:

  • Double H Farms Meatloaf Sandwich: Our own take on the classic Southern favorite features Double H Farm beef, grilled onion, farm-fresh arugula and a special sauce from Chef Tyler. Consider pairing this lunchtime dish with our handpicked Farm Salad of beets, apples, pecans and farmer’s cheese, or a with a warm cup of our Sweet Onion Bisque.
  • Sunburst Farms Trout: From the rivers of the Appalachian Mountains to your table at the Capitol Grille, this flavorful fish makes for a perfect autumn dinner. Danvers carrots, cipollini onions and pickled celery enhance this entrée’s tangy, fresh taste.
  • Duo of Border Springs Lamb: This hearty dinner plate includes two tender cuts of naturally raised lamb, a sea island red pea cassoulet, arugula and pickled fall vegetables from Chef Tyler’s garden.
  • Sweet Potato Ravioli: A rich and delicious treat for any autumn evening, our Sweet Potato Ravioli is made from Red Fife flower and paired with pine nuts, cabbage jam and brown butter.

To try some of these seasonal favorites, stop by the Capitol Grille or make your reservation today.

Crispy Chicken Thigh

Crispy Chicken Thigh

Duo of Lamb

Duo of Lamb

Farm Salad

Farm Salad

Maple Leaf Duck

Maple Leaf Duck

Sweet Potato Ravioli

Sweet Potato Ravioli

Suburst Farms Trout

Suburst Farms Trout

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A&M Meetings and Incentives Names The Hermitage Hotel to Sustainable Events Program

The Hermitage Hotel is one of five hotels in the nation selected for A&M Meetings and Incentives’ new sustainable events program.

From growing our own vegetables and raising our own beef to restoring and maintaining our historic building and supporting the Land Trust for Tennessee, sustainability is infused in The Hermitage Hotel. We are deeply committed to preserving what is best about the South and Southern Hospitality, including the lush environment that makes our region so inviting. We are honored to be among the handful of hotels selected for this sustainable events program.

A&M Meetings and Incentives’ seeks to meet three goals in inaugurating its sustainable events program: 1) to introduce clients to unique, socially responsible properties, 2) to plan amazing events that create positive social and environmental impacts in the community and 3) to develop a lasting relationship with the client, hotel and community that creates awareness for sustainability in the meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE) industry.

A&M’s sustainable events program offers off-the-shelf, green meeting packages for each of the hotels in the program. The packages are designed to fit groups of various sizes in locations along the East Coast — from advisory boards and executive retreats to small meetings and incentive trips.

At The Hermitage Hotel, which is more than 100 years old, is committed to running as sustainably as possible and preserving the region’s heritage by protecting the state’s historic and scenic landscapes through a relationship with The Land Trust for Tennessee. It’s through this partnership that we were able to create our garden at Glen Leven, where we grow our own vegetables using sustainable practices. We also raised our own cattle at Glen Leven until last year when the demand grew too high. The increasing demand led us to purchase a second farm, Double H Farms, in 2012 with the goal to develop and increase the herd of grass-fed cattle in Nashville.

We’re honored A&M Meetings and Incentives selected us for this partnership that complements our efforts. It’s our goal to focus the future of the hotel and restaurant on preserving the land through continuing to use sustainable farming practices as well as sourcing local products and amenities.

Of the five hotels selected to participate in the A&M sustainable events program, The Hermitage Hotel is one of only two members of the Preferred Hotels GroupTM, the other of which is The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, sister property of The Hermitage Hotel.

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Music City Rings Abuzz with Sheryl Crow’s New Album

If you’re a country music fan, you’ve probably heard Sheryl Crow’s new song, “Easy,” making its way to country music radio in the past month. The song is from the singer’s newest album, Feels Like Home, which climbed its way to number three on the iTunes Country Albums charts.

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to hear a few songs from her new album before the official release on Sept. 10 at the Southern Living Listening Party.

At the listening party, which was held at Sheryl Crow’s barn just outside of Nashville, Sheryl talked about her new album—her first in the country format—and played a few songs while we sipped on cocktails and enjoyed a delicious spread of food from Southern Living.

It was an intimate affair with about 60 fans who won a giveaway from Southern Living – a trip to Nashville and private concert with a sneak peek at songs from Feels Life Home – as well as folks from Nashville’s music industry.

It was a treat to be part of such a special event and a beautiful reminder of what Music City is all about.


Watch this video to hear what Sheryl had to say about the event—as well as a glimpse at her performances from the evening.

What’s your favorite song from Feels Like Home? Let me know in the comments section below.

– Janet Kurtz

Director of Sales and Marketing, The Hermitage Hotel

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The Capitol Grille’s Oak Bar Named Among America’s 55 Best Bourbon Bars

We’re honored and excited to announce that, in August, the Oak Bar was named to The Bourbon Review’s list of the 55 best bourbon bars in the country.

The Oak Bar was selected for its proud display and knowledge of bourbon and providing patrons with a superior selection of bourbon. Five regions were selected for representation: Bourbon Country, the Northeast, South, Midwest and West. The Oak Bar was one of 10 bars represented in the Southern region and one of only four Tennessee bars named to the list.

To celebrate each of the 55 establishments selected, we joined The Bourbon Review by participating in a nationwide toast on Aug. 28 as part of Four Roses Distillery’s Year of the Toast campaign.

We invited fans to celebrate with us Wednesday evening at the Oak Bar with special pricing on select bourbon, and encouraged guests to share their celebration on social media using the hashtag #55Toast. Click here to see what folks are saying on Twitter.


bourbon review

bourbon review toast

It’s an honor to be recognized for our knowledge and selection of bourbon. We had a blast sipping and sampling some of our favorite bourbons during the toast celebration and look forward to continuing the celebration.

Visit us at the Oak Bar and sample our fine selection of bourbons. Justin Thompson, founder of The Bourbon Review, noted our barrel of Jefferson’s Presidential Select 18-Year Bourbon in his write up of the bar — come give it a try today.


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Take Me Back To Old Virginia

We had such a fabulous time during our trip to the Virginia countryside earlier this month that we wanted to share it all with you. See our previous blog for full disclosure on the first 36 hours of our stay.

After a beautiful evening at Keswick Hall, where the Capitol Grille’s Executive Chef Tyler Brown joined forces with chefs Walter Bundy and Aaron Cross to prepare a four-course meal for guests of the hotel’s Summer Bounty Garden Party, we retired to our rooms for a good night’s sleep. If the delicious food and wine we sampled throughout the evening weren’t enough to put us into a deep, peaceful rest, the beds at Keswick Hall were so luxurious that we were in dreamland before we could count to three.

We woke the next morning well rested and ready to continue our adventure in Old Virginia.

Saturday morning & early afternoon – Edible Orange Fest

Tyler, Walter and Aaron were asked to participate in Orange, Va.’s second annual Edible Orange Fest. The drive to Orange was gorgeous. Rt. 22 was a patchwork quilt of farm after farm with a pocket of Keswick Vineyard peeking through. When we arrived at the festival, the bottom dropped out; the sky opened up and, as we unloaded our supplies from the cars, we got drenched. We had passed a co-op on the drive there, so we hiked back and bought the first dry shirts and jackets we could grab. Now, one of my favorite pieces of clothing is my new, pink John Deere t-shirt.

john deere

Once we were settled, the master chefs went to work and, naturally, the sun came out. We had a beautiful day and the visitors at the festival crowded into the demonstration tent to listen to the chef-farmers talk about the bounty of summer harvests and how they incorporate the seasonal produce in their kitchens.

First up was Tyler, who showcased some of summer’s freshest fruits with a melon soup.

Melon Soup

  • 1 ea. cantaloupe melon
  • 2 ea. lemon
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water

Mix sugar and water together until sugar is dissolved. Next, mix all remaining ingredients together in a blender and chill. Garnish with anything fresh from the garden such as thinly sliced yum yum peppers and shaved fennel with lemon juice.


Tyler's melon soup

Chef Tyler’s melon soup

Chefs Walter Bundy was up second. He taught guests how to prepare a Hanover Tomato Gazpacho and Aaron Cross finished it out with a chilled Henley Orchard Peach and Lavender Soup with Caromont feta. The recipes for their soups may be found on each of their websites.


Chef Walter Bundy’s Hanover Tomato Gazpacho

Chef Aaron Cross preparing his Henley Orchard Peach and Lavender Soup

Chef Aaron Cross preparing his Henley Orchard Peach and Lavender Soup

The three chefs had as much fun preparing and serving their dishes for guests as the guests, a well-heeled group of food growers and lovers, had tasting them. They swapped stories about gardening and the things they’ve learned from tending to their gardens.

Saturday late afternoon & evening – Polyface Farm

Once the chefs finished their demos, we headed to Polyface Farm, a family owned, pasture-based farm that is beyond organic and perfectly situated in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

Three generations of the Salatin family support the farm. And it’s their unconventional way of running Polyface that intrigued us so much that we had to visit.

Their mission is to develop emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises and facilitate their duplication throughout the world.

We got an up-close view of just how they fulfill this mission. They run the farm their own way, disregarding conventional farming techniques and wisdom. The Salatins invented portable sheltering systems, which allow them to produce their animals on perennial prairie polycultures.

This should give you an idea of just what we’re talking about…


The image above is a photo from our tour with Joel Salatin, a third generation alternative farmer at Polyface. Joel spent three hours showing us around his farm and teaching us all about his and his family’s nontraditional ways of farming.

Displayed in the image above is one of the farm’s portable sheltering systems—this one’s specifically for the farm’s stewing hens. As you can see, it’s basically a moveable chicken coop.


But what’s the point? The chickens eat ticks and other bugs that the cows leave behind. The farmers then move the coops around from pasture to pasture so that the animals are always on fresh grass. So, the purpose of the moveable shelter is to produce a truly organic environment for the animals.

It’s no surprise that Polyface Farm, which means “the farm of many faces,” doesn’t just specialize in raising and producing one animal. Their production models include all of the following:

  • Pastured eggs
  • Pastured turkeys
  • Salad bar beef (not breed specific)
  • Pastured broilers
  • Forage-based rabbits
  • Stewing hens
  • Pigaerator pork
  • Forestry/lumber





The Salatins also keep bees, which produce local honey that is known to treat allergies.


Touring Polyface with Joel was a real treat and the perfect ending to a beautiful weekend. We certainly didn’t want to leave, but were excited to get back to our own farms after learning so much from Joel and the rest of the Salatin farmers. Tyler and Greg came back completely inspired by the visit—if you see any unconventional farming techniques taking place at Double H Farm or Glen Leven, you’ll know where the inspiration came from.


And so concluded a magical visit to a beautiful state. We can’t wait to visit our sister property, Keswick Hall, again. In the mean time, be sure to put Keswick Hall at the top of your travel list. Be sure to say hello to everyone from us.

Until next time, Virginia.


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