Testimonials & Press
"I’ve never had better risotto. More than that—I just ate one of the best meals I’ve ever had in Nashville. Perl has
earned themselves a regular with their savory, creative dishes cooked
with local, organic ingredients. As a vegetarian I loved their menu, but
there’s plenty to eat for the meat-lovers too.
Let’s start at the beginning. Perl is located in Bellevue where Old
Hickory meets Hwy. 70. A small, brightly lit but still cozy restaurant,
with a small sitting area of plush green couches tucked away in a corner
by the fireplace, the place feels comfortable and eclectic.
hangs from the walls ranging from $20 to $550, all by local artists
(and they don’t charge any display fees). The tables and chairs are
unmatched, purchased second-hand in support of the owner’s
environmentally-friendly motto, with sprigs of thyme and rosemary as
centerpieces. The music ranged from Billie Holiday to 1950s pop and
Sergio Leone soundtracks (all music I have on my iPod). Despite—or
perhaps because of—the eclectic styles of furniture and music, the vibe
was comfortable and appealing.
The owners, husband and wife Robert and Elizabeth, began their
catering company Perl in 2010 and only recently grew into the
restaurant. Their mission is to serve both organic and local produce
whenever possible, believing that supporting the community is as
important as providing excellent service. The t-shirts on sale in their
market say it all: “Buy Local, Support Local.” Their ingredients come
from many local farms including Green Door Gourmet (just a few miles
away) and LLL ranch in Franklin.
now to the important stuff—what I ate and how it tasted. I started with
fried green tomatoes, a southern staple, with goat cheese sandwiched
between each slice, piled on top of sweet, delicious creamed corn. With
just a hint of BBQ on top, the appetizer was a perfect combination of
sweet and savory. The goat cheese can be purchased in their market as
an entrée I had Acorn Squash Pot Pie. Inside the warm, pastry-topped
squash were sweet potatoes and tomatoes, all lying on top—here it
comes—the creamiest risotto that had me eating even after I had
pronounced, several times, that I couldn’t eat another bite. What
surprised me most was how light everything tasted despite the
combination of root vegetables and risotto.
My husband Ryan had the vegetarian sandwich with goat cheese,
sprouts, watermelon radishes (trust me, these are super yummy) served
on, get this, fried bread. Wonderful crunchiness. When asked to give me
an adjective for his meal he said “balanced,” and, you know, he’s
completely right. Our meals balanced texture, sweet and savory tastes,
and somehow felt light and filling all at the same time.
dessert I had homemade chocolate ice-cream (so syrupy and rich!) and
Ryan the special pie of the day—peanut butter and banana pudding. He ate
every bite, as did I, despite have stuffed myself on the pot pie.
The quality of food is comparable to F. Scott’s and similar high-end
restaurants, yet with much more affordable pricing ($8-$15 entrees) and a
open Tuesday through Saturday 6-3, with dinner until 9 Wednesday
through Friday. While closed Sunday and Monday (the couple wants to have
quality time with their two young children) you can still rent the
space for special occasions. There’s also a small market selling local
candles, soaps, and coffee among many other goodies, and a pastry stand
where the in-house pastry chef serves delectable-looking treats (I
didn’t have any, but plan on remedying that soon).
Perl is a wonderful place to support local farms and businesses while eating a delicious meal."
M. Kingsbury, www.forkology101.com, 4/28/13
"If you are looking for a market for unique food products, or a casual gourmet breakfast / lunch spot on the west side of Nashville, comparable to Café Marché (but more eclectic and comfortable) this is the right place. Not only are the dishes beautiful and flavorful, but healthy, local, and vary by the season. Robert is a true chef.
I had a poached egg on a latke "nest" and mustard greens. It was artfully plated and the flavors and textures combined well into something greater than the sum of its parts. I rounded this off with a great cup of their house coffee, which is from Just Love. The attentive waiter brought me a warm-up at the right time. My wife had a cliff-sized portion of a sort of bread pudding / french toast with pomegranate seeds and whipped cream with fresh fruit garnish, which she says was also very good. Her americano was just right. From the children's menu our son had the fluffy scrambled eggs , and it came with two pieces of delicious toast. Other interesting breakfast items include Bear Creek farms flank steak with sweet potato hash, and a biscuit sampler with homemade preserves (the preserves can also be bought in the market area in the back).
If we had come later we would have ordered one of the interesting items from the brunch menu, like the short ribs benedict or buckwheat pancake with cannoli cream.
It was an excellent experience for such a new place. I can't think of any negatives. The Spinellis have been catering in the area for a while now and the experience obviously translates well to their storefront / restaurant. They are closed on Sundays and Mondays, but they take reservations those days for special events."
Matt C 12/8/12
Here is an annoucement about our opening in the Tennessean
Thank you Leslie for your love for the Balsamic Onion Marmalade! Read her blog post here. Click here to read a blog review from our appearance at the Southern Artisan Cheese Fesival. "Having never been to Nashville, “A Taste of Tennessee” the Nashville Farmers’ Market hosted was a prefect introduction with friendly people/vendors and delicious nibbles. Perl Catering, left the stongest impression with their Onion Bisque and Pumpkin Seed Romesco Sauce on a crostini with spaghetti squash." - Christina from MeleCotte Food Blog 10/11/11 "Out of everything I sampled, My FAVORITE nibblet was the Onion Bisque from the folks at Perl. I am sending hopes and prayers that they someday offer this soup online. Please!! I beg you!!!" - Mary (referring to the Food Bloggers Forum) from FerventFoodie.com 10/10/11
"Perl Catering is a new catering treat in Nashville focused on locally sourced and organic food ingredients. Owner/Chef Robert Spinelli has cultivated relationships with local farms in Nashville for many years and he felt it only natural to highlight their food when he broke out on his own. Their caramelized onion bisque is becoming a favorite in Music City and makes a great option to the customized seasonal menu perl Catering provides to all brides." - Ashley with iHospitality 7/7/11
"Sam and I want to thank you for all of your hard work for our reception. You didn't bat an eye when I described needing an Estonian/Taiwanese/Semi-Jewish friendly/Northern-loving meal. The food was amazing and I have heard that from nearly every guest. Thank you so much - you were WONDERFUL!" - C. Bennett, wedding 5/28/11
"High up on my "secret lunches" list is the chicken salad from Perl Catering sold at the Meharry Bookstore. Buy three or four packets of saltines to scoop up the thick shreds of chicken and slivers of celery and cranberry, and you've got a quick, respectable $2.50 lunch. I met the Perl people, Robert and Elizabeth Spinelli, at Iron Fork, or rather, I chatted with them while they ladled up little cups of divine caramelized-onion bisque and smoked pork spring rolls made with their own smoked pork. The rolls were spiked with cherry barbecue sauce and served up with a celery root remoulade. All together now: Mmmmm." - Nicki Wood, Nashville Scene Bites Blog
"Thank you so much for helping out at the Photography Party last night! Everyone loved your food and couldn't stop talking about it. Thank you and I look forward to working with you more." Christy Bryan, Nashville Scene
"Robert is a wonderful chef! I have utilized the services of perl Catering on several occasions and my experience has been excellent. They will plan your menu or work with your recommendations. They have the ability to meet your needs, stay within your budget, work with your time frame, and provide the most delicious and incredible food. The venues I have worked with them in have ranged from a small, informal meal for 40-50 in attendance to a large formal reception with appetizers, light and heavy for 100-200 guests. " Janey Tiesler
"I told perl Catering that I had 25 out of town business associates coming to my house for dinner. I asked their advice for what to serve at an outdoor party and they took it from there. Robert made the most incredible appetizers that set the stage for a fantastic dinner. The desserts were out of this world. perl Catering made a tremendous impression on me with the ease at which they were able to suggest and customize a dinner of this size that was so well received." Michael Reed
"My husband and I asked perl to cater a celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary. This was an outdoor party, in a remote location about 2 hours from Nashville, for about 50 people. Robert was able to tailor our service to meet our budget, style and desire for local foods, as well as handle the challenging location with ease. The food was simply beautiful and delicious. We will absolutely use perl for any future catering needs." Amanda Hobbs