Nashville's Restaurant Week is upon us, highlighting and celebrating this blossoming city's unique and delicious assortment of local originals. This is a city that takes its food, culture and nightlife seriously. For Nashvillians, fun is an everyday part of life. There is so much culture and diversity in this city that it has become a beacon for creative restaurateurs, a place where they can really flourish-- and flourish they have. We couldn't begin to name all of our favorite hip pubs, restaurants and bars in the Nashville area, so we picked just five for this year's top contenders. Make sure to check out the links for their special restaurant week menu.
This elegant Nashville restaurant offers an upscale atmosphere with soul-satisfying southern comfort food. It lies just south of the hustle and bustle of downtown, on I65 between Nashville and Franklin. The building itself represents the historic area that it is located in, complete with a beautiful balcony, white table clothes, an 1800s -era vibe and a welcoming environment. The Sunday Buffet Brunch is not to be missed, as is their menu in general. Try a cup of she crab bisque with seared fish, or the mouth-watering Filet Mignon with mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, Parmesan creamed corn and bleu cheese butter in this building straight out of Gone With The Wind. Restaurant week menu.
For a real taste of downtown Nashville, The Row is toward the top of the list. Along with its collection of Tennessee-native brews and a pub-style menu, The Row has been an historic location for singers and songwriters for the past 30 years. This local favorite prides itself on being the place where blue-collar poets dine and enjoy live music. Country music powerhouses Brooks and Dunn met inside this building, and it's been said Earl Bud Lee sold the rights to Garth Brooks “Friends in Low Places” for a bar tab. Check out Moonshine Mondays for live music, five-dollar moonshine cocktails (a Tennessee favorite) and 2-4-1 BBQ Sammiches after 9:00 pm. Restaurant week menu.
This hip Nashville dining experience is located in Hillsboro Village and specializes in southern comfort food with gulf coast-style seafood. Though the bar has a very open area, Cabana offers chic areas for booths that offer privacy curtains and comfortable accommodations-- it really is like a cabana! They somehow pull off an environment that is open and social as well as private and comfortable. Dishes to try here are the lobster brie mac and cheese or the sweet tea smoked chicken. The drink menu features a dazzling array of martinis and local brews, both draft and bottled, as well as a great wine and moonshine cocktail selection. This place is a great spot to kick off a birthday night in Music City. Restaurant week menu.
SUZY WONG'S HOUSE OF YUM
Located in Nashville's trendiest alternative nightlife scene, Suzy Wong's House of Yum is a fun and unique dining experience. The restaurant is headed by chef Arnold Myint, who prepares an eclectic mixture of Asian and southern cuisine such as Wasabi Deviled Eggs and BBQ Pork Spring Rolls. The name Suzy Wong references a popular 50s novel, The World of Suzie Wong- the story of a beautiful Asian “lady of the evening” falling in love with an American diplomat. This name just about sums up the mischievous nature of this place, which is enough to assure that a good time will be had by all. Suzy Wong's House of Yum is a perfect example of the new attitude in Nashville's nightlife. Restaurant week menu.
THE LISTENING ROOM CAFE
Another great location for Nashville's live music scene, The Listening Room is one of the city's premiere venues. Along with live music every single night, this joint boasts some of the best selections of southern food in town. It was originally only located in the historic town of Franklin, but eventually owner and singer/songwriter Chris Blair found a sweet location closer to the electric music scene of this energetic city. The Listening Room is also another brunch favorite, where you can dine overlooking the stunning downtown area on their huge outdoor terrace. Reserve a table.
Writer Bio: Jared Rigsby is a writer and graphic designer with a BA in Writing/Literature from Middle Tennessee State University. A longtime freelancer, he is published monthly through Dish Magazine (dishmag.com) and develops logos and websites through Neochromatic.com.
Split is a mobile app for diners and bar-goers that allows them to pre-order takeout and pay and split their bills from their smartphones; allowing them to dine on their own time. A portion of all proceeds payed through Split will be donated directly to Open Hand Atlanta.
Download Split: payandsplit.com/appdownload