If walls could talk, the ones at Harvest at Homestead would have quite the story to tell.
Homestead Manor in Thompson’s Station is situated on 50 acres and is home to a multi-purpose event barn, a ca. 1819 plantation-style manor listed on the National Register of Historic Places—which houses the site’s Tuscan-inspired restaurant, Harvest at Homestead—and a working organic farm that supplies the restaurant.
Opened in the summer of 2015, Homestead Manor is A. Marshall Family Foods Inc.’s latest venture (you might know them for their other restaurants Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant and Puckett’s Boat House) and was designed to serve as a multi-layered hospitality concept to be enjoyed by the surrounding communities.
Walls can’t talk, but that didn’t stop A. Marshall Foods President Andy Marshall from telling their story. Working closely with Kim Leggett of downtown Franklin’s City Farmhouse, each room of Harvest was designed around a specific theme meant to share a part of the property’s story.
Perhaps the most famed room is the Alice Thompson dining room located on the first floor just off the kitchen. On March 5, 1863, 17-year-old Alice and the other women of the household were hiding in the basement of the home watching the Civil War’s Battle of Thompson’s Station rage across their backyard.
Story has it, after the Confederate’s color bearer was shot down, Alice braved the gunfire to recover the flag and urge the troops forward. A nod to her heroic action hangs above the room’s mantle: a stitched memento that reads, “Boys a woman has your flag.”
While Harvest was born with deep roots steeped in history, the restaurant has already begun carving its own story. Harvest Executive Chef Carlos Garcia, who originally started with Puckett’s leading the kitchen at Puckett’s Boat House, says the concept was inspired by two regions with similar, strong culinary traditions: Tuscan and the South.
The menu is also heavily influenced by the onsite farm’s daily harvest.
“Farm to fork is the best way to cook,” says Chef Carlos. “A lot of mornings our farmers come in with vegetables still warm from the sun, and I’ll come up with my specials using what they’ve just picked. It also allows us to be creative in the kitchen— we’re constantly evolving our menu with the changing seasons.”
What you will find consistently on the menu is an array of hand-made pastas, wood-fired pizzas cooked in the authentic brick oven on the property, seasonal gelatos and meats and fish locally sourced from nearby farms, like Bear Creek a mile and a half down the road.
Drawing from local and seasonal ingredients, each dish is a creative interpretation of traditional Tuscan and Southern dishes, like pork chop ratatouille; wood-fired brook trout with tagliatelle pasta, garlic, shallots and sautéed kale; and for brunch, chicken and waffles served with house-made strawberry butter.
“My inspiration comes from my own life experiences,” says Chef Carlos. “I draw from memories beginning when I was 11 years old and I started cooking. I learned to make pasta when I was 14—back then I would mix and make it all by hand.”
“I like to fuse foods and cultures together—some Southern, some Mexican—and at Harvest, I can cook Southern and Italian. It’s amazing. I love it.”
Also part of the restaurant is a newly built Glass Bar located off the back of the manor. Reminiscent of a conservatory, the full-service bar features a revolving wine list and craft cocktails that utilize fresh ingredients from the property’s herb garden.
With an ever-changing menu and inspiration around every corner, Harvest at Homestead offers diners a unique experience off the beaten path; a little history, a little entertainment and a lot of great cooking.
Harvest at Homestead, located at 4683 Columbia Pike in Thompson’s Station, is open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. till 9 p.m., and Fridays from 11 a.m. till 10 p.m. Doors open for brunch, lunch and dinner Saturdays from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. till 9 p.m. Visit their website to learn more at www.homesteadmanor.com.