Just minutes down the road from the bustling inner city of Nashville sits a stunning brick warehouse just off Charlotte Avenue. This historic icon, built in 1929, was a community staple and housed such companies as the Se-Ling Hosiery Mill, The Madison Mill and L&L Restaurant Equipment Company all which provided work for the surrounding community. Now it has become a community gathering space filled with quaint shops, unique dining, live music and much more. In the heart of it all you will find Culture + Co., a dining experience unmatched by any other in all of the country. Not only is Culture + Co. the only one of its kind in the United States, but also one of only three rotating cheese bars in the world. Trust me when I say this spot needs to be on all foodies' bucket list.
Owners Jacqueline Palladino and daughter Ashton Judy knew they wanted to start a company together, but figuring out what that looked like was years in the making. Jacqueline has 35 years experience as a pastry chef and Ashton has hospitality running through her veins. On a trip to London they stepped into a restaurant that sparked the inspiration they needed; which led them to the opening of Culture + Co. The name Culture + Co. sparks curiosity and is a play on words. Not only does it speak to the culture that is created in this space and the company it attracts, but also the “culture”, a very important ingredient to cheese making, and the accouterments, the additional items accompanying the cheese. This name is just a glimpse of all this mother daughter duo are offering Nashville diners.
This simplistic yet stunning space matches the concept and food perfectly. As you sit down your eyes are immediately drawn to the conveyor belt that wraps around the kitchen where the magic happens. Then, a prominda of unique cheese, sweet and savory pastries and charcuterie slowly pass in front of you making your mouth water. Each dish is an individual serving placed on small plates then covered with a clear dome. Atop the dome hangs a pendant that matches a description on the menu. You can either plan your dishes out before grabbing them or live life on the edge and grab whatever looks tasty as it passes by. Culture + Co likes to keep things fresh by changing up their menu not just by the traditional fours seasons standards but also by taking in consideration produce seasons, for example peach season. They do have a few staples such as the Noble Springs Nashville Hot Cheese with smoked honey and pickles, made with hot and spicy goat milk Chevre from Franklin Tennessee, and a Bruleed Brie, a cow milk brie-style cheese from Pennsylvania, with a seasonal cultured butter. Both are must-tries, and I would personally cry if the Bruleed Brie came off the menu!
The mother daughter duo put a ton of thought into every cheese on the menu. Each one is hand selected and comes from smaller creamiers around the United States. Many of the cheeses have unique stories behind them. Like, the award winning Holy Cow that was created by a very young woman with a ton of love and support from her family, or Calderwood raw cow cheese, in which a portion of the sales go to the Anne Saxelby Legacy fund. A fund that provides month long paid apprenticeships for young adults to live, work and learn on sustainable farms. Each cheese has a story and the team at Culture + Co will be excited to share all the knowledge they have!
But what would a cheese bar be without wine! Culture + Co. has a beautiful breath of wines offered by both the bottle and glass. All are low intervention, organic and biodynamic, meaning the grapes that go into these bottles need nothing more to create an exceptional sipping experience.
Though cheese and wine are the focus you have to save room for dessert! Seasonal bon bons, assortment of cookies and a vanilla brown butter pear tart all made from scratch with love. You just might need to start your meal with dessert, I know I have!
Culture + Co is not just a girls night out dream but also a great and safe date spot. The team has witnessed many first dates at their counter top, three have turned into engagements which the couples excitedly returned to celebrate and share at this one of a kind spot. From a quick lunch to an all out dining experience Culture + Co is here for you. Written By Samanth Grasso from The Blind Bite