Cool Mention in the Tennessean Friday!


Friday’s (10/25) edition of The Tennessean ( featured a story, “Restaurants find niche in Green Hills”, on Macke’s & our next door neighbor, Firefly Grille. Here is an excerpt from the story:

Tucked in the corner of Bandywood Drive sits Firefly Grille.

And less than 200 feet away, Macke’s restaurant is nestled on the second floor of Grace’s Plaza.

The two eateries definitely have a different feel.

 The more traditional décor and staple favorites like macaroni and cheese at Macke’s gives the place an elegant Southern vibe.

 The funky décor, complete with Mardi Gras beads and indoor Christmas lights, and the straightforward menu of Firefly Grille are reminiscent of local, down home favorites in places like Austin.

 But while the two are different, they both serve the same purpose: to give the people in the Green Hills area a neighborhood restaurant that caters to them…

When Tennessee Bank and Trust chose Grace’s Plaza for a new bank location, principal owner Gaylon Lawrence asked the Strawn family if they’d be interested in opening a restaurant directly above them.

 They jumped at the chance to get into the Green Hills market, after having success at their Kingston Springs eatery, MacK and Kate’s.

 They’re now in their fourth year in Green Hills. The owners have created a quiet, intimate atmosphere, whether you’re dining in the interior of the restaurant or outside in the atrium. The menu is a creation of executive chef Toby Willis, who describes his style as ‘elevated Southern.’

 “Our chefs are constantly raising the bar,” said owner Jan Strawn. “Each special is well thought out and executed with the freshest ingredients. Our customers have come to expect the best.”

 Willis’ summer menu included starters such as fried green tomatoes with a goat cheese crème brulee and shrimp deep fried in a batter made with Atlanta brewery’s Sweetwater 420. Entrees include buttermilk-fried chicken breasts and a Southern version of paella, with shrimp and Andouille sausage.

 Those coming in to dine now could enjoy butternut squash bisque or a cornmeal-dusted salmon, according to a rough draft posting of the fall menu on Willis’ blog, Elevated Southern.

 Strawn said that while dinner traffic has slowed, volume has increased at lunch.

 “Our daily fish specials at lunch give diners a chance to have great fish at an affordable price.,” Strawn said. “We have adjusted our new Fall Dinner menu to give diners an opportunity to create their own tasting menu, two tastings for $30 and three tastings for $40.”

 Strawn said people in Green Hills have gravitated toward the place because the staff makes an effort to give each guest time to enjoy dinner and a space in which to enjoy meal companions.

 While she declined to name specifics, Strawn said changes at Macke’s would be coming soon.

For a link to the story, go to


~ by elevatedsouthern on 2009/09/27.

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