The Standard is considered Nashville’s best-kept secret. Many locals do not even know it exists. Hence a concierge at a hotel two miles away had no idea what the restaurant was when asked for directions. I am here to blow its cover and tell you about Nashville’s best-kept secret.
The Standard is located inside the Smith House which is the only grand townhouse still standing in Nashville. The history behind the house is remarkable. The servers know the history and if you ask them nicely they will give you a tour of the house after your meal.
The Standard is known for being a steakhouse. Despite this knowledge, I opted for the Sea Side Salmon (scallop ceviche and parmesan asparagus). They could sell themselves as a seafood restaurant as well! I have never had salmon seasoned quite like this. The peppery, tomato taste was distinctive to my palate and I wish I could replicate it in my own kitchen.
Others I dined with enjoyed Sea Bass Meuniere (whipped potatoes and wilted greens), Hurricane Pasta (roasted red pepper cream sauce), and a Filet, which all tasted even better than it looked I was told. The service was superb as the whole wait staff, including the host, worked together to please the guests. Candles replaced lights making a charming atmosphere.
Of course I did the tour after dinner. The first stop was a long formal dining room that used to be a porch. They enclosed the porch to make it the elegant room it is today. Yet, there is an extraordinary secret about the room. There is a trap door in the floorboards that used to be a part of the Underground Railroad!
The next leg of the tour was through the rest of the first floor, which is open to the public. It boasts an old-fashioned, elegant grand ballroom with an original fireplace where President Andrew Jackson renewed his wedding vows. Nashville’s first bowling alley is located underneath the ballroom. The second floor is reserved for members only. Members enjoy a private cigar club among other benefits. In recent years the house was used for Allison Krauss and Brad Paisley’s music video “Whiskey Lullaby”.
The Standard at The Smith House is a beautifully preserved piece of history that Nashville will cherish for a long time.
167 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37204