Three Great Chefs in Town Spill the Beans

There was a time not long ago when Brentwood lacked quality fine dining options. (With the arguable exception of Nobles Corner Restaurant, for us old-timers.) These days, however, fine dining awaits us all around in our ever bigger, ever more bustling Brentwoodopolis. We asked three local chefs at some of our hometown favorites—Del Frisco’s, Amaravati and Ludlow & Prime—to share what’s cooking in their kitchens. Full disclosure: Their answers will make you hungry! Bon appetit, Brentwood!    

Ludlow & Prime

It’s all hands on deck at this popular, family-run establishment. Chef Tim Kohler commands the kitchen while wife Rachel runs the restaurant and son Rhett handles everything else in between. The warm, family dynamic plus Tim’s time-tested talent for steak and seafood—he’s been plating creative dishes nationwide for nearly 30 years now—make for hospitality at its finest and food and drink at their best.  

One popular option is the Prime Farm Burger, a highly edible sculpture consisting of dry-aged prime beef, fontina cheese, pickled red onion, smoked tomato aioli, Benton’s bacon and a fried farm egg. And there are definitely some Cajun dishes, too, a testament to Tim’s time in the Big Easy. Try his seafood gumbo or perhaps his St. Landry Parish fire-roasted catfish, topped with jumbo shrimp, lump crab and lemon garlic butter. There are also the seared sea scallops served with fall succotash, corn puree and Benton’s bacon.  

As for this fall, Ludlow & Prime has opened a full coffee and espresso bar with fresh pastries and lots of pumpkin lattes.  There is also a new lunch menu. Tim is excited about serving seasonal fire-roasted acorn and butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and root veggies. He has even perfected the classic fare for football season: maple-glazed Sriracha chicken wings. So dig in! Ludlow & Prime’s comfortable lounge is an outstanding place to watch games, and you definitely won’t leave hungry.    

330 Franklin Road Suite 226B, Brentwood, Tennessee, 615.942.5907, LudlowAndPrime.com

Del Frisco’s Grille

Located in the heart of Brentwood on top of the hill, its patio overlooking Maryland Way Park, Del Frisco’s Grille plates consistently superior, chef-inspired American fare. The menu features elevated American classics like cheesesteak eggrolls and artichoke beignets, food perfect for sharing. Executive Chef Ryan Charabowski and his team ensure that all ingredients are fresh and sourced locally whenever possible. The wine program is among the best in town, Nashville included, with an award-winning list that features more than 100 bottles and in-house sommeliers that can help guests pair vintages with their meals. 

Throughout the month of October, Del Frisco’s has a seasonal, prix-fixe menu featuring four dishes such as fillet duo topped with crab meat and gorgonzola butter and a bone-in pork chop with a cider glaze.

“Also this fall,” Ryan adds, “I am really looking forward to cooking some seasonal additions such as the roasted baby beets with hand-whipped goat cheese. I’m also very excited to partner with one of the Grille’s great vendors to switch to a new Buffalo chicken wing that doesn’t have the saucy mess.” 

Along with the outstanding food, Del Frisco’s is also known for its outstanding service and warm family feel. And one of the reasons for that is that everybody on the Del Frisco’s team is well-fed before their shifts, whether that’s a great pancake breakfast or fillet burgers for lunch. Check out Del Frisco’s and get well-fed, too.   

207 Franklin Road, Brentwood, Tennessee, 615.928.6159, DelFriscosGrille.com/Brentwood

Amaravati Indian Cuisine

Through a quirk of geophysics, a small piece of Amaravati, the capital city of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, has broken away from the subcontinent and has come to rest in the middle of Brentwood, Tennessee, as the eponymously named Indian restaurant Amaravati. Science calls this phenomenon plating tectonics. Seriously, all joking aside, this is really good food, y’all, and as authentic as it gets. As co-owner Praveen Muthu says, “There is no compromise on the ingredients.” If you want real Indian food, then you no longer have to go far to get it.

Amaravati is traditional Indian cuisine, so you won’t find any pork or beef here, but there are chicken, lamb, fish and even some goat dishes. Plus, for non-meat eaters, Indian food makes it very easy to go vegetarian. Try, for example, the aloo gobi masala, potatoes and cauliflower in a curry sauce of tomatoes, onions and spices.  

Head Chef Chokkalingam Nadarajan—call him Chokka for short—is a veteran of Indian restaurants in Chicago and Los Angeles and can cook it all, from the milder dishes of northern India to the much spicier fare of his native Tamil Nadu. He himself grew up on his hometown dish of Chettinad Chicken. (I had some, and trust me, it’s perfect.) 

“But my mother still makes it better than I do,” Chokka says with a modest grin.

For those unacquainted with Indian cuisine, he recommends trying one of his fish curries of fresh salmon, kingfish or tilapia. Also, consider going in for the weekend buffet. It’s even more expansive than the generous weekday buffet popular with local office workers. The weekend buffet really did look like a part of the city of Amaravati had broken off and become part of Brentwood with a largely Hindi-speaking crowd and dozens of dishes from which to choose. Welcome to town, y’all!     

5012 Thoroughbred Lane, Brentwood, Tennessee, 615.840.8860, AmaravatiTN.com