If you’ve driven down Broadway or Division lately, you may have noticed that the construction on the huge hotel/apartment/condo/retail complex the Aertson Midtown is finally nearing completion and they are returning a lane back to the people as the fences come down.
As an aside, do you know where the name Aertson comes from? It’s named after a 17th century Dutchman named Jan Aertson who came to America around 1650 from the village of Bild, Holland. So on his official immigration documents he was “Jan Aertson van der Bild,” which morphed into Aertson Vanderbilt, the patriarch of the American lineage of the future benefactors of the university.
Anyway, Aertson Midtown is about to become really active as the Kimpton Hotelopens and R.J. Cooper opens his modern American brasserie, Henley, in the hotel soon. I’ve taken part in a preview tasting of some of Cooper’s menu plans, and it really should be something spectacular as the chef plans to offer at least two different multi-course tasting menus ranging up to more than 20 plates for the premier dinner option.
Also opening soon will be Caviar & Bananas, an offshoot of the popular Charleston deli/restaurant which I first told you about more than a year ago. In preparation for their opening, they have staffed up with some notable local talent: Joseph Denomme as executive chef, Lexi Francisco as executive pastry chef and Jesse Grathoff as general manager. Denhomme has most recently served as chef de cuisine at Barlines in the Omni Hotel. Francisco comes to Caviar & Bananas from her role as pastry chef supervisor at Gaylord Opryland Resort, and Grathoff served with Denhomme at Barlines as general manager.
This fifth location of Caviar & Bananas will be the largest in the chain at 6600 square feet, and is described on the official announcement as a “gourmet market and café [featuring] a from-scratch menu with a variety of prepared foods to dine-in or take to-go, sandwiches and salads made to order, small plates, fresh baked pastries and sweets, an espresso bar, wine bar, and artisan retail goods.” Located in the closest corner of the complex to the population of students and employees at the house of van der Bilt, this should be a really nice addition to the Midtown area.
Read more here.