The Food Biz: Giving proof through the night

Anthem brings more than bar fare to club scene

Anthem, which opened in February across from 12th & Porter, just north of Broadway, is best known as a splashy bar, music venue and dance club, but it also serves food. Anthem’s experienced chef is Chad Combs, a veteran of Radius10, Lime and Whiskey Kitchen, and he has crafted a menu that’s a little more interesting than typical bar fare — including ceviche and gourmet tacos with eight different fillings, along with creative twists on Southern favorites like Chicken ‘n’ Waffles (fried chicken skewered with waffle bites and served with smoked maple syrup and white buffalo sauce).

Filling the expansive space on 12th Avenue North formerly held by Mai — and before that, Lot 7 — Anthem has a redesigned floor plan and also houses a venue within the venue, Revelry, a smaller bar and restaurant that serves happy hour drinks, dinner and late-night bites six days a week.

Friday, April 5, Anthem is the latest establishment to welcome Sarah Gavigan’s gourmet ramen pop-up, Otaku South. She’ll be serving up bowls 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, Anthem, owned by Austin Ratliff and London Parfitt, is continuing to roll out new features. A patio is in the works, and Combs says lunch may be added eventually.

Anthem is located at 125 12th Ave. N. The phone number is 679-9782. Revelry, within Anthem, serves food and drink 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

• My Nashville Scene colleague Chris Chamberlain has been closely following the progress of Husk Nashville, sister restaurant to chef Sean Brock’s acclaimed Charleston restaurant Husk.

Writing for his other gig, the Food Republic blog, Chamberlain described the hiring process that’s in the works to help turn a Victorian mansion over on Rutledge Hill overlooking downtown into a palace of Southern-inspired cuisine and meticulously curated local ingredients.

The idea is not to just quiz people about their food service skills, but figure out a “personality profile,” according to David Howard, president of Neighborhood Dining Group, which owns Husk.

“The majority of restaurants just review a résumé and make a little small talk,” Howard said. “At the end of it, neither party understands anything about each other. How can people make a decision based on that?”

He added, “I want to spend time learning about you and really don’t care if you can carry 11 plates on a tray or can recite every winery in Napa.”

Brock has his own list of interview questions for the kitchen staff that probe applicants’ thoughts on literature and “what things really move them when it comes to Southern cuisine,” Chamberlain reports.

The team is looking to fill 70 or more positions before opening day. Howard isn’t ready to give a launch date, but sometime in May or June looks likely.

• Moe’s Original Bar B Cue, a barbecue outfit out of Colorado with 20-plus locations, is coming to Cool Springs. The local team of Alston Noah, Andrew Clark and Jordan Winn are the owners of this first Tennessee outpost of the chain.

Entrees include multiple ’cue options and more: pulled pork, smoked chicken, smoked turkey, chicken wings, catfish and ribs. Moe’s Original Bar B Cue is expected to open later this month at 9050 Carothers Parkway.

• Finally, don’t forget that time is running out to secure tickets to Iron Fork 2013, this year’s installment of the annual competition that pits some of the city’s best chefs in heated battle for the coveted Iron Fork trophy.

The roster of culinary warriors is pretty impressive: Kristin Beringson from Holland House, Jamie Watson from Café Fundamental, Kevin Ramquist from F. Scott’s, Bart Pickens from Loveless Cafe and Jessica Benefield from Virago. The 21-and-up event includes samples supplied by some of Nashville best restaurants and beverage purveyors. Tickets are $50 and include two drink tickets.

Iron Fork, presented by US Foods, is set for 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, at Rocketown, 601 Fourth Ave. S.