Nashville Reviews: The 404 Kitchen

Let's head down to The Gulch for dinner at The 404 Kitchen on this edition of Nashville Reviews.

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It was a rainy Friday night just five days before Valentine’s Day 2024. My wife and I are pros at this point. This is our 13th Valentine’s Day together. If this thing lands on a work night, you might as well forget it. Nah, we’re vets by now. Not wanting to get out in the mass horde of people dining out on Wednesday, I elected to make reservations for us to celebrate our love for one another a little early. The choice? The 404 Kitchen, whose name has popped up regularly in my inbox and in my social circle for awhile now. I’d been wanting to give it a shot for quite some time, and this seemed like the perfect spot to go for it (even though I’m technically not supposed to “work” on date night). So, my wife and I trekked through the pouring rain to find this fine establishment as our sanctuary. TGIF. For more on The 404 Kitchen, check out their website here.

Pics

Pimento cheese with pickled green tomatoes and housemade crackers
Just look at all the seasoning on these bad boys!
Give me that cornbread
The 72 hour tri tip with demi glace, bourbon butter mushrooms, charred cipollinis (them’s onions)
Perfect with a glass of red

Ratings

Food: 9.67/10 – For all the bells and whistles, the word of mouth, the press releases, the ambiance, and the vibes, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the food. The 404 Kitchen has a strong reputation to uphold, and I’m happy to say that it delivered on that reputation for me. We got started with the pimento cheese, and I found it to have all the richness of a hearty pimento cheese, but the tangy crunch of the fresh pickled green tomatoes gave it a nice bite. The show stealers of the appetizer were the housemade crackers, PACKED savory flavor. Together, it combined for a flavor profile that swayed between zesty, creamy, and spicy.

For our main entree, we elected to go with their tri tips, which I was sold on after learning that they were cooked for 72 hours….72 hours…before serving. The dish had all of the flavor of a complex stew jammed into a single bite. The meat was so tender that it virtually melted in my mouth with each bite. The cipollini onions added the slightest bit of sweetness to the dish where the mushrooms soaked up all of the richness of it, unloading it on my palate with every bite. I’ve already got it on my Mount Rushmore of individual dishes I’ve ever eaten in this city. As a side, we got the cornbread, which was moist, light, and fluffy. Cornbread is so easy to get wrong, but this was cooked to the perfect texture and size, not too thin but not a brick. It was a good complement to the tri tips. Rednecks like me will rejoice at the opportunity to sop up the remnants of the tri tips with the cornbread.

Booze: 8.43/10 – Great wine list. Great beer selection. All the talent and creativity of a specialty cocktail bar. My gin drink isn’t on their online menu, but it was something citrusy and I loved it. Very good.

Value: 6.34/10 – I’ll give it a slightly above average grade on the value scale because of the quality of the meal itself and of the service. But, for that type of meal, I’d say it’s otherwise standard issue value. Tip included, I spent $250 on our meal, which might sound like a lot, but for one of the best dishes in the city celebrating a special occasion, I’m happy to pay it. It’s competitive with some of the other nice, trendier spots in town. Not to mention, the tri tips we got were $110 alone. There are much more affordable options on the menu. We just said, “when in Rome…

Atmosphere: 9.2/10 – From the moment we walked in the door, my wife and I felt like we were transported to the trendiest bar in New York. Oh, wait…that’s just Nashville now? I guess it’s been awhile since I’ve really hung out downtown. Nonetheless, we loved the ambiance of the exposed concrete walls, the candlelit table, and the classic decor around us. And, the service was absolutely spectacular. I put those boys to work on keeping my glass of water full and they did not disappoint. A truly fantastic spot to spend a special occasion.

Overall: 8.41/10 – I knew from the moment I let that meat melt in my mouth (that’s what she said) that this would instantly become one of my favorite meals in town. It grades out as a top five spot in this city on my list of the 83 spots I’ve reviewed so far, and I have absolutely no gripes with that.

CURRENT NASHVILLE RESTAURANT RANKINGS

  1. Audrey (8.82/10)
  2. Hathorne (8.62/10)
  3. Butcher & Bee (8.5/10)
  4. Nectar: Urban Cantina (8.44/10)
  5. The 404 Kitchen (8.41/10)

You can check out our full Nashville restaurant rankings here. I’m always looking for new spots to try – don’t be afraid to hit the comments with suggestions!

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley

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