Hog & Hominy: Cocktails, Contorni and Bocce Ball
Hog & Hominy, the sister restaurant to Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, is set to open as early as July 5. Then again, it might be as late as July 12 as permits are pending.
I stopped by Wednesday after a caramel drenched Greek yogurt at TCBY and was delighted to find the restaurant buzzing with final preparations. Owners Michael Hudman and Andy Ticer were upbeat and excited about the restaurant’s menu and ambience.
“It’s going to be the kind of food we want to eat when we go out,” Hudman said, listing Naples-style pizzas in the $12 range, house-made hotdogs and charcuterie and contorni made with seasonal vegetables.
“We’ll cook whatever they bring us,” Hudman said about his local produce suppliers. “And we’ll definitely have some surprises with fruit.”
The bar also will serve some seasonal drinks, along with classic cocktails like Sazeracs and Manhattans.
Chef Trevor Anderson, who has been cooking at Andrew Michael across the street, will run the kitchen at Hog & Hominy, and on Wednesday, he was seasoning the brick pizza oven with an ongoing (and very hot) fire. He was clearly thrilled with the oven constructed from bricks saved during the building’s renovation.
“This place was built as a house, so we saved the bricks from its fireplace,” Hudman said, showing off another recycled element: The restaurant’s water glasses are made from Andrew Michael’s wine bottles.
Overall, the new restaurant has a contemporary but casual feel with polished cement floors, an open kitchen and bar across the back, tables in the center and a large outdoor deck. “It’s sunny out here now, but Clark Tower blocks the sun by 5 o’clock,” Anderson said.
A charming outdoor bocce court also stretches along the restaurant’s north side. “We’ll have to bring in a few old Italian guys and give some lessons,” Hudman said, laughing.
The restaurant, named after an early moniker for Tennessee, combines Hudman and Ticer’s southern and Italian heritages with their love for pork. Starters, for instance, include smoked trout salad, along with oysters on the half shell and a small plate with pig ear, chili, lime and fried egg. The pizzas skew seasonal and Italian. Salsiccia, for instance, combines house-made fennel sausage, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and mozzarella.
For more complete descriptions, check out the restaurant’s menu at hogandhominy.com and follow the restaurant on Facebook or Twitter for an exact opening date.
(Hog & Hominy, 707 W. Brookhaven Circle, 901-347-3569)