By BROOKE WANSER
Leiper’s Fork has long been known as the hidden gem of Williamson County and newly-opened restaurant, 1892, is adding to the uniqueness of the town.
The original Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant and the Country Boy Restaurant across the way comprised the entire downtown dining scene, until now.
Dylan Morrison, 29 and his wife, Jordan Morrison, 37, quietly opened their restaurant, called 1892 after the year it was built, last weekend.
“We’d rather have a nice, smooth coax into it,” Dylan Morrison said of why they have chosen not to advertise the restaurant.
Famed preservationist Aubrey Preston is the landlord of the space, which is located next to the Leiper’s Creek Gallery at 4150 Old Hillsboro Road.
Inside, the restaurant looks like an early 1900s dining room; tin cutlery sits in a cupboard on one wall and chandeliers hang from the ceiling, with a few contemporary touches thrown in.
“Michele [Aubrey’s wife] picked this out,” Jordan Morrison said of the room’s floral wallpaper.
Dylan Morrison’s family moved to Leiper’s Fork while he was in grade school; his father was a bassist for the Doobie Brothers’, Michael McDonald. McDonald previously lived in the town.
The Morrisons met just yards from where their restaurant stands today, working at Puckett’s. As they remember it, she was a server and he was cleaning dishes.
Dylan eventually went to Atlanta to learn cooking skills from Chef Peter Kaiser of Kaiser Chophouse, before moving back to Leiper’s Fork.
Both had worked in the industry for several years, so when they received word that the space had become available, they jumped at the chance.
“The cards kind of just fell,” Jordan said.
What sets 1892 apart from the other two restaurants in town is the quality of food and flair with which they serve it. A relationship with local farmers, like Bear Creek Farm, Foxhedge Farms and Athena’s Harvest Farm, allow the Morrisons to cultivate a genuine farm-to-table experience.
“We’re wrapping our arms around the farms here,” Dylan said.
Jordan concurred. “We’re sitting in the Napa Valley of Tennessee,” she said. “Before they take all their product into Nashville, we get the cream of the crop.”
She described the menu as “slightly Southern flair,” with items like shrimp and grits, braised lamb and black pepper gnocchi and a delightful mac and cheese.
Currently, Dylan said the halibut is a popular dish, complete with sweet corn puree, crispy herb salad and horseradish mashed potatoes.
The couple has relied primarily on word of mouth to draw their customers in a busy first week, and word has spread fast. Morrison said first sisters Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Hager Bush ate lunch at the restaurant earlier this week.
If you want to check it out, it’s best to make reservations in advance, as the dining room only seats 32 at a time. And since the budding business has yet to acquire their liquor license, it’s BYOB.
Call (615) 614-3964 to make a reservation or visit their website for more information.