First Impression: Shep's Delicatessen

The tornado and the subsequent pandemic has taken a lot from Nashville’s culinary scene, and one of the most noticeable closures in East Nashville was Margot McCormack’s Marché. The Five Points building that was once home to the beloved brunch spot has reopened its doors as Shep’s Delicatessen, “an ode to traditional NYC-style Jewish delicatessens.” We stopped by for a first peek at the highly anticipated deli, which officially opened for business on March 4 and sold 400 lbs. of pastrami and corned beef in its first weekend.

What to Expect

The restaurant layout is not drastically different than when it was Marché, but both the building’s exterior and interior have gotten a cosmetic makeover. A fresh coat of white paint has freshened up the outside, while black-and-white decor and subway tiles has given the inside a more modern feel. Walls of windows continue to bathe the dining room in sunlight for guests who wish to enjoy their meal at a table, but take-out is available from the counter.

What to Know

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and plans to eventually stay open for 24 hours a day on the weekends. (The restaurant is currently open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.) The kitchen is helmed by Chef Jonathan Londer, formerly of the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, and includes traditional Jewish cuisine with the occasional Southern twist.

What to Order

The offerings at Shep’s are hearty, and although there’s a designated place on the menu for salads and “healthy” options, don’t expect light or diet-friendly fare. In addition to bagels and shmears, the breakfast menu includes hefty sandwiches, blintzes, assorted pancakes (ranging in flavors from chocolate chip to macaroni and cheese) and omelettes. The Reuben Scramble pairs scrambled eggs with corned beef, whole grain dijon and swiss cheese, and the Latke Benedict tops traditional potato latkes with smoked salmon, poached eggs and hollandaise. The lunch and dinner menu includes cold and hot sandwiches piled high with meat, as well as classic Jewish starters like matzo ball soup and knish with mustard. Wash it all down with a New York egg cream or a small selection of beer, wine and cocktails.

For more info, visit shepsdeli.com.

Photograph by Kelli LaMantia