Reviews & Press

Top 6 Restaurants with a View - (October, 2009) (March 27, 2009)






(October 27, 2005) (October 7-13, 2004) (March 13, 2003)




(September 13, 2002) (August 2002) (January 2003)

March 27, 2009

Copper Kettle expands to SoBro second location

Jon and Lana Robb are the magic duo behind the Copper Kettle as well as its new sibling in SoBro.
The Green Hills Copper Kettle has evolved — within only seven years — into a Nashville institution, a down-home yet subtly urbane eatery that combines buttered corn and vegetarian wraps with a small yet inviting sit-down space.

The recently opened SoBro version of this “stylish meat ‘n’ three” yearns to become its own institution, with a radically different feel and vibe compared to its diminutive Granny White Pike-based sister.

Copper Kettle Café & Catering owners Lana and Jon Robb know the task will be challenging. Still, the Robbs are as excited about growing their business, located at 94 Peabody Place and overlooking the Nashville skyline, as their customers are about feasting on the Kettle’s scrumptious jalapeno cheese grits and signature eggs benedict.

“Green Hills and SoBro are more alike than I expected them to be,” Lana said. “I was wondering if we would have the faithful regular customers like we do in Green Hills.”

To date, Lana’s wondering has been answered.

“There are several people who live in this area as it builds and who are so excited to see us here,” she said.

Since opening in early November 2008, “C-Kettle No. 2” has gained a solid customer base, the Robbs said. Given its building (perhaps best known for short-lived bars more so than former stalwart tenant Sole Mio) and its specific hours (Copper Kettle closes at 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, is not open on Saturdays, and serves only brunch on Sundays), that support is all the more impressive.

“Without a doubt, lunch numbers are the best,” Lana said. “We have watched a steady increase from the moment we opened until now. When we first opened, everyone was eating our core meat and three options such as fried chicken, pot roast and meatloaf. The trend has broadened, and now our customers have discovered our signature salads and sandwiches as well.”

Due to its early evening closing time, the Copper Kettle is not a late-night haunt like either Sole Mio or Hermitage Café, both located nearby. However, the Robbs said dinner take-out numbers are growing and the restaurant is now offering songwriters nights on Thursdays and Fridays.

“We were open in Green Hills on Saturdays in the beginning and also downtown,” Lana said. “[Saturday] has always proved to be our slowest day of the week. People sometimes think we are crazy [for the days and hours], but honestly, we have three beautiful children that are more important to us than being open seven days a week. If we feel there is a high demand down the road and that our support staff can give us time with our family, we may consider it again. For now, we are content being open six days.”

As are Copper Kettle customers.

On a recent Wednesday, this writer visited the Kettle at 1:30 to find a respectable late-lunch crowd. A robust meal of tasty stir-fried vegetables, green bean casserole, herb-roasted potatoes, fried okra and sweet potatoes with almonds and marshmallow bordered on stupendous.

For regulars, standout menu items include the ahi tuna wrap, goat cheese salad and coconut encrusted chicken, Lana said.

Rivaling the food is the Copper Kettle vibe, which melds seemingly incongruous contemporary and rustic colors and elements in an effective manner. The Robbs bought the building and land on which it sits, and hired general contractor Superior Inc. for the rough work.

“The place needed a facelift, and we decided to take the plunge and give it one,” Jon said.

Artists Veta Cicolello and Theo Antoniadis (the owners of Ovvio Arte and friends of the Robbs) skillfully oversaw both the interior and exterior design. Step inside and one realizes you’re not about to dine in a typical meat ‘n’ three.

“Theo made all of the tables by hand, and Veta came up with the design,” Lana said. “The structure to this building has so much character and we just wanted to accent that. It was also very important to keep the restaurant comfortable and warm. Our Granny White store is so cramped yet cozy, and we did not want to lose that [charming feel]. We also needed to keep in mind that we are downtown and wanted to put a little urban twist to it. I told Veta that I liked yellows and greens and she went with it.”

Indeed Cicolello did, as the yellows and greens (used mainly on the tables and walls) pop off silver chairs, black ceiling fans and dark brown exposed beams. An eye-catching circular lighting fixture dominates the center of the dining space, with one of the city’s most artsy wall menus adding a flavorful design touch.

The Robbs are excited about establishing a SoBro presence, but remain emotionally attached to their Granny White eatery, not surprising given that quirky space suffered fire damage in 2004 (forcing the Robbs to temporarily serve their greens and rolls from the Bellevue Center).

“Green Hills is our baby, and it is tucked into one of the great neighborhoods of Nashville,” Jon said.

With the SoBro Kettle, the Robbs may have just have added a younger sibling for that baby.

The Copper Kettle Cafe & Catering

94 Peabody St.


11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday (brunch)

The Nashville Scene
October 27, 2005

Best of Nashville - Food & Drink - Writers' Choices : Copper Kettle

Can good food happen in a bad mall? Bypass what is left of the food court in what is left of Bellevue Center and head straight to the Copper Kettle, which opened this spring in the corner location where Ruby Tuesday fed, faltered and failed. The original Kettle on Granny White Pike went up in flames last Christmas, and while looking for a place to use as a catering kitchen during reconstruction, the owners created a neighborhood restaurant in an area of town that is arguably bereft of either one. Bellevuans have embraced their Copper Kettle since the start—particularly the renowned Sunday brunch—and if co-owner/operators Lana Robb and Sean Begin intend to close it down once the Granny White store rises from the ashes, they’d better be prepared for a dining room sit-in.

The Nashville Scene
October 7-13, 2004

Best Brunch: Copper Kettle

As they say about a lot of pleasures, this one is sinful. A fancier-than-most meat-and-three known for its weekday lunches, the Copper Kettle on Granny White serves a Sunday brunch that is unadulterated coma-inducing no-two-ways-about-it gluttony. Other restaurants may be larger and more elaborate, but for a place that's relatively small and only two years old, the spread is gorgeous—perhaps the most divine buffet in Nashville. It also draws a line out the door well before church services have ended.

Though the menu changes weekly, you can generally count on owner-chefs Lana Robb and Sean Begin for eggs Benedict, omelets to order, cheese biscuits, and three types of Belgian waffles (including my eternal favorite, chocolate chip). The spread also includes smoked salmon, a carving station, endless trays of fruits and cheeses, and several different cakes and pies for dessert. It's all so gastronomically intimidating that I can't help but recall my father's eloquent words: "This meal has just about done me in." Ah, but what a way to go!

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All The Rage Magazine
March 2003

Copper Kettle's Sunday Brunch

Before heading to the Copper Kettle for Sunday brunch, you'll want to decide whether you're sticking to your diet or blowing it entirely.

The temptations are many ó breakfast pastries and mini-éclairs ambush you right at the beginning of the buffet line, and a full array of desserts assaults you at the end. Between these two sugar zones is a self-serve spread that is arranged as artfully as a masterful still-life painting. On a recent Sunday the offerings included Brie en croute, bagels and lox, strawberry salad with fried goat cheese, breakfast pastries and more. Grapes, melon, squash and lettuce fill out the menu ó and the platters ó to a staggering fullness.

Then, just when you think you've conquered the buffet, the hot items come into view. The menu changes, but on a recent visit we encountered gorgonzola-stuffed ravioli with grilled chicken, eggs benedict, bacon, biscuits with gravy, potatoes and a carving station serving prime rib and ham. Omelets and waffles are always available and made-to-order.

Between three of us we managed to try just about everything but dessert, and we were all three very happy. Our Belgian waffle was crisp on the outside and tender inside, topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream and sliced strawberries. The dizzying scent of waffles hung in the air and kept our appetites going strong. The strawberry salad's dressing was light and tasty, a delightful accompaniment to the warm Brie en croute. The ravioli were perfectly chewy, topped with walnuts and flavorful chicken. It was an impressive sight to see such a large piece of lox on display. It was fresh and sweet, with capers and cream cheese to round out the bagel experience. The eggs benedict were a little unusual, served on a croissant instead of an English muffin, but they were wonderful. The Hollandaise sauce was not too salty or tangy. It was perfectly creamy, and the eggs themselves were hot and still the tiniest bit moist inside.

The décor at Copper Kettle is sort of a mixed bag. Round mirrors and citrusy green walls are sophisticated and pleasant, but white latticework, rubbery tablecloths and water served in plastic cups detract somewhat from the charm. Seating is cozy but comfortable. An autograph wall suggests that you may run into Pam Tillis, Clint Black, Jo Dee Messina or Alison Krauss while you're there.

Fourteen dollars covers everything on the brunch menu, including a beverage of your choice. That's a little pricey for my own wallet, but as a special treat (or when the parents are in town to foot the tab) it's a pleasant alternative. The staff is cheerful and friendly, chatting with regulars and ready to prepare that waffle for you at the wave of your little finger. It's a great place to bring friends from out of town, to linger over coffee and, okay, dessert!

Those mini-éclairs are perfect little miniatures that you don't have to feel (too) guilty about. At least not if you can stop yourself at having just one.

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The Tennessean Newspaper
September 13, 2002

Copper Kettle
By THAYER WINE Staff Writer

For a new place that is slammed at lunchtime, Copper Kettle Cafe & Catering on Granny White Pike serves extraordinary hot and cold dishes with friendly efficiency.

One of the owners, Jill Begin, refers to it as a meat-and-three, serving a choice of meat and three vegetables for a single price, but this place is way more than that.

Students pop in to study with a cup of cappuccino in the afternoon, after crowds of neighborhood people already have come and gone on their lunch hour. Getting in and out in a reasonable time is not a problem here.

The steam table with hot vegetables changes daily, if you get that far. Behind it is a huge wall board listing sandwiches, salads and wraps you don't usually find in a meat-and-three. When was the last time you had a big salad with baby greens, fresh fruits, nuts, special cheese and an unusual dressing at an old-fashioned, Southern-style restaurant?

This summery salad may not be there all the time, according to Begin, as it is likely to be replaced with seasonal variations. But for now, at least, it is one of the most popular. The extra-fresh, bright greens hardly needed embellishment, but with the shiny, red strawberries and bright, orangey-yellow mangoes it was ready for a photo. Add to that pecans, dried cranberries, a generous chunk of lightly warmed goat cheese and the unique maple-mustard vinaigrette and this salad is way over the top of special.

The caramelized onion on the roast beef sandwich gave it a pleasing, sweet accent, while the turkey-and-dressing wrap was more like Thanksgiving dinner wrapped in a tortilla. The chicken salad flavored with tarragon was a big hit, too.

We did stop at the hot foods on the steam table, and while we waited for the sandwiches and salads, we dug into foods that tasted like good ol' Southern cooking — almost. The chicken was a boneless, skinless chicken breast with a little coconut in the crispy, golden coating. I loved the non-greasy white beans with tomatoes and onions, and the lush, fresh summer squash and zucchini seasoned with a little smoked pork or bacon.

''This is the taste I grew up on,'' one friend said of the green bean casserole.

Owners Begin and her husband, chef Sean Begin, and Lana and Jonny Robb decided to keep some of the meat-and-three items on the menu because they had been so successful at the former Green Hills Meat Market at that location. Sean Begin and Lana Robb worked together at the Bound'ry's catering company, Big Guns, before opening the Copper Kettle.

Go for: The strawberry-mango salad or the white beans.

Back to the drawing board: The brownies — too dry.

Atmosphere: Cozy and casual.

Service: A little confusing until you figure out whether you want hot food or a cold sandwich, otherwise helpful.

Copper Kettle Cafe & Catering:

LOCATION: 4004 Granny White Pike. 383-7242.

COST: Meat with three vegetables is $6.75, sandwiches and salads are $5.50-$6.75. Sunday brunch with beverage is $14

HOURS: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday,

OTHER INFORMATION: Seats 56. No reservations accepted. Ask for the Frequent Diner Card — buy 12 meals and get one free. Catering available. You also can buy prime beef, cooked or uncooked, with or without side dishes to take home for supper. No alcoholic beverages sold. No smoking. Barrier-free access. Accepts American Express, MasterCard and Visa.

Food writer Thayer Wine is The Tennessean's restaurant critic. She can be reached at 726-8995 or Reviews are written from anonymous visits to restaurants. Negative reviews are based on two or more visits. The Tennessean pays for all meals.

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Nashville City Paper
August 2002

Copper Kettle gets cookin’ fast

A familiar spot on Granny White Pike has something old and now, several things new since two restaurateurs brought their own style to the area.

In July, Lana Robb and Sean Begin began renting what was The Green Hills Meat Market, turning it into The Copper Kettle, a short six days later.

“It all happened so fast,” Robb said. “We knew we could pull it off, but we were just tired.”

Customers of The Copper Kettle can choose from a menu offering traditional meat-and-three favorites and newer items, such as a mango and spiced pecan salad. Diners are warming to the concept, Robb said.

“This is a really nice neighborhood here. People were very welcoming,” she said.

In the five weeks they’ve been open, Robb and Begin have seen a 20 percent increase in sales each week, she said.

The facility, open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. each weekday, seats 60 people. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays a buffet is served.

Robb and Begin, who bring a combined 35 years of experience to the table, are also continuing their catering work through the location.

“I’ve worked in the restaurant business a long time, and Sean is consistently the best chef I’ve worked with,” Robb said. He makes all recipes and sauces from scratch. Robb takes care of the restaurant’s managerial duties. Six employees staff The Copper Kettle.

While expansion is a future possibility, Robb said she and Begin are “just happy with what we’ve got.”

Before its sale, businesswoman Karen McDevitt owned The Green Hills Meat Market for 18 months. She now owns a Nashville public relations firm, McDevitt and Associates Media Relations, which opened a year ago.

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Nashville City Paper
January 2003

Spring springs eternal at the Copper Kettle

Everybody loves a snow johnson.

And even though all of us here at The City Paper do our best to maintain a modicum of professionalism as we drill through daily deadlines and scour the city for scintillating news, we just have to stop every once in awhile and giggle like schoolchildren at the frozen phallic symbol in our pond.

Even passersby, their driving game faces on and Safety Sue hands at ten and two on the steering wheel, slow, stop, point and return with their cameras to shoot the icy shaft, statuesque and still except for the spray of water spouting out the top.

If you’ll forgive the phrase, it’s a natural ice breaker — Mother Nature’s way of saying, “I know winter sucks, but if you keep smiling and hang on a little while longer, we’ll all be back in tank tops soon deciding which restaurant has the best outside dining.”

And for the first time since I outgrew my Superslider red sled and blue snowsuit, I’m learning that the key to embracing winter is to keep a little summer burning in your heart.

Now let’s not kid each other, I’ve spent my fair share of quality time with my blanket warmer since the temperature dipped beneath 70, but I haven’t given my stomach over to the season. In years past, I’ve switched from salads and sushi to pizza and potato anything as soon as there was frost on the pumpkin. It’s hard not to do when most restaurants put out fall/winter menus that lean hard and heavy on lard and gravy. This year I’m trying to be better about it because, among other reasons, Target’s already got bikinis out and I want the one with the monkeys on it.

The best place to let the voices in your head and stomach duke it out is the Copper Kettle at 4004 Granny White Pike. Previously Green Hills Meat Market, husband and wife team Lana and John Robb and Chef Sean Begin have taken over this cute little dinner, lunch and bruncheonette to offer all the things you crave when it’s warm — plus a modified meat and three line to cure the winter woes.

Lana Robb and Chef Sean crossed the Bound’ry where Robb was in charge of the third floor Phoenix room and Chef Sean was the catering chef. Though they’ve never owned a restaurant, both have vast restaurant experience and wanted a place to use as a springboard for their catering business which encompasses boxed lunches, hors d’ouevres, carving stations, display stations, specialty stations, themed events, weddings and formal dinners. Now their catering and sit down/carry out ratio is almost 50/50.

Located directly across from David Lipscomb, Robb sees a fair amount of faculty and students but the majority of their business comes from lunchers trying to avoid Hillsboro Road traffic. “We completely changed the menu but kept it standard café style so that people could get in and get out quick,” she said.

While some might want to dine and dash, I couldn’t help but linger over the coconut encrusted goat cheese cake salad ($6.50). When I was fork deep in the mesclun greens, sliced pears and spiced pecans drenched in the sherbert-like sundried cranberry vinaigrette, it could have been 7 degrees or 70 for all I knew. Don’t even get me started on the big ball of goat cheese coated in coconut. The memory of the smooth cheese balanced out by the sweet coconut is too fresh. I saved the pecan encrusted cheddar cake salad ($5.50) with the maple mustard vinaigrette for another day.

Far be it from me to say no to more cheese, but I could justify the double cheesing by balancing it out with vegetables in the marinated grilled veggie wrap ($6.50). A two-handed meal for sure, spicy pimento cheese holds the good stuff together along with lettuce, tomatoes and sprouts in a chipotle tortilla.

Round about Thanksgiving I discovered the Copper Kettle’s turkey and dressing wrap ($6.50), and though I’ve tried many times to recreate it at home, I can’t quite get it right. It’s all the reasons you bear being with your family — turkey and hearty scoops of dressing with cranberry mayonnaise rolled tight in a spinach casing.

Pick up a fresh turkey sandwich with cheddar, bacon, sprouts and avocado mayo on maple wheat bread ($6.50) and pretend like you’re taking it and a book to the park. Can’t fool yourself? Then grab the Monte Cristo — full of turkey, ham and Swiss and fried — and eat it by the light of your Duraflame log.

All the sandwiches and wraps come with French fries, chips, pasta salad with parmesan and marinated veggies or the best picnic potato salad imaginable.

Sometimes, no matter how strong you are, your demons cannot be quieted. You can sit in your can and tell yourself you’re going to have the Caesar salad with grilled chicken ($6.50), then walk in the door and fall victim to the scent of the steam table. You are not alone.

But you do have options. Now don’t get your pan-fried panties in a wad, but the Copper Kettle might offer you coconut chicken with a pineapple mango chutney as your meat option. Then again, there’s also fried chicken on Mondays, meat loaf on Tuesday, and the famous fish fry Fridays to soothe your butter-slathered soul.

Anyone who puts out meat and three knows that they’re judged almost solely on their macaroni and cheese — and Copper Kettle is a blue ribbon winner with their white cheddar concoction. Second runner up is the smashed potatoes filled with tomatoes and lots of great spices.

If there has to be winter, dark days, dormancy and bone-chilling wind that makes you wonder why you shaved your legs, you can at least fool your stomach into thinking that it’s summer with a salad or a shaved turkey sandwich. Then again, sometimes the great gods of green bean casserole require a sacrifice. Either way, the Copper Kettle can help.

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FOR CATERING CALL: 615-742-5545, 615-500-1258 or 615-400-2256
or email
Our Locations
4004 Granny White Pike
Nashville, TN 37204
phone: 615-383-7242
fax: 615-383-7949

624 Grassmere Park, Suite 2
Nashville, TN 37211
phone: 615-742-5545
phone: 615-500-1258
fax: 615-732-0372
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