For a time it seemed like Green Hills neighborhood in Nashville, TN had been all but forgotten as restaurants opened their doors in every other corner of the city. But if last year is any indication, this busy neighborhood is emerging as a dining destination in its own right with no sign of losing momentum any time soon.
North Italia, the latest addition, opened on August 28 and occupies a prime location near the main entrance of The Mall at Green Hills. The modern Italian chain is part of Phoenix-based Fox Restaurant Concepts and is the first location in Tennessee.
“We have a real love for Nashville and when the right piece of real estate opened up, bringing North Italia to Music City made perfect sense,” says DJ Duporte, Marketing Brand Manager for North Italia.
The 7,000-square-foot space is drenched in sunlight, outfitted with sleek gray booths and marble tabletops, and accented with warm wood and brass. A crisp pop of red at the far end of the dining room highlights the exhibition kitchen, where plates of homemade pasta and pizzas fill the line. All this is to say, unless you catch a glimpse of the bustling parking lot from the floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s easy to forget you’re dining in a chain restaurant in a mall.
While made-from-scratch pasta and pizza are the main draw (Bolognese is the house specialty), you won’t want to pass over the rest of the menu either. Small plates like the prosciutto bruscetta with crescenza cheese, grilled asparagus, truffle, and Grana Padano, and braised short ribs with heirloom carrot, Swiss chard, and creamy mascarpone polenta (on the entrée side) are not to be missed.
And, as the holiday season kicks into high gear, an Aperol Spritz, Yazoo Hefeweizen, or glass of Chianti may be just the thing to fuel an evening shopping with friends. If cocktails aren’t on the agenda, a hazelnut torta, or one of the other Italian-inspired desserts, alongside a Macchiato will suffice nicely, too.
In addition to lunch and dinner, weekend brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday, and a well-rounded kid’s menu is always available. Those avoiding gluten will appreciate that pizzas can be made with gluten-free dough, and you can also sub sweet potato or zucchini noodles in the pasta dishes.
Duporte stresses that one of the restaurant’s main goals is to facilitate the best dining experiences for all guests no matter what the occasion. “North Italia is not your traditional Italian restaurant and we take great pride in providing a modern and handcrafted experience that delivers consistently,” he says. “We’re focused on each guest, every time.”
The Mall at Green Hills
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Monday–Friday: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Sunday–Thursday: 4–10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 4–11 p.m.