Chef Deb Paquette Back on the Scene with Echo!

UPDATE: Opening of this restaurant has been pushed back to July 2012 and the name has been changed to “Etch”.

You know how I’ve alluded to being full of secrets for the last few months? Well, finally, I think this is the last big one I’ve been holding! The Nashville chef who can make my taste buds tingle like no other, Deb Paquette, is returning to the Nashville restaurant scene in a permanent way and I couldn’t be more excited.

You may remember that Deb and her husband decided to close the beloved Zola a couple of years ago, with the plan to move off to paradise. Well, the restaurant closed, but they never actually left town. Deb has been making guest appearances at various restaurants along the way, but finally someone talked her into staying put for good and taking the helm of her own place again.

Who do we have to thank for that? Please give it up for Doug Hogrefe and Paul Schramkowski, owners of another Nashville favorite, Amerigo. Deb is partnering with them to open Echo, a new restaurant located on the ground floor of the Encore condominium building in the SoBro area of downtown Nashville.

Doug and Paul have promised Deb the restaurant of her dreams, where all she has to do is focus on putting out her amazingly creative food, while they handle all of the front of the house details and back end business operations.

The new spot, which will seat 150, will feature a private dining room, full bar, outdoor patio, and an open kitchen with bar-style seating, allowing the guests to interact with the chef and her kitchen. And as I learned when taking a cooking class taught by Deb a while back, watching this lady’s boundless energy will be quite entertaining!

It’s set to open in March of 2012, which is perfect timing for me since I’ll be giving birth to baby just a few weeks before. Mama’s gonna need to hit Echo for a big night out on the town as soon as it opens, so who wants to babysit?