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Nashville Convention

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I will be attending a convention in Nashville--early November. Staying at the Gaylord Opryland, and will be renting a car.

Looking for dinners Sat, Sun, Mon & Wed.
Sunday brunch.

Nothing too fancy & defintely no chains. I've done some research on these boards, not sure of the distances from the hotel, so if that info could be included in your responses, that would be a great help.

Also, as far as music downtown on sat and sunday, are there any sections of town I should stay away from?

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  1. By now you've come and gone, but I'll post this for the benefit of other visitors to Nashville. The Opryland Hotel is about 6 miles or more out of downtown, and it's not a straight shot, so read your map closely. The food at the hotel isn't bad, and there are some acceptable options in Opry Mills, the mega mall next to the hotel. Tony Roma's is ok, there's a Texas-style barbecue place in the food court with a man's name that is impressive for mall barbecue.
    Downtown, you'll find Sole Mio on 2nd Avenue (or is it 4th)? It's a great choice for a couple of reasons. The food is fine Italian, priced reasonably (entrees around $20). It's great. It's near the Country Music Hall of Fame, which has been reinvented as a wonderful museum (I'm a museum-nerd), and the new symphony center, which is gorgeous (but the performances sell out fast, so start early if you want tix), and the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge, which is beautifully lit at night and has a commanding view of the river.
    The Palm is in the Hilton, which is one block south of Broadway. Big ole steaks. Men in suits. Expense accounts. It's fancy.
    There's a Big River Brewing Company on Broadway near first. Food is okay, and atmosphere is lively.
    Second Avenue has a few places worth trying -- Mere Bulles is a jazz bar/eatery. I recall they have a Sunday brunch. In an old warehouse, funky but good food.
    There's a Melting Pot fondue place on 2nd, but it's a chain, and not really a solo dining spot.
    Ichiban is a Japanese place on 2nd -- haven't been in years, but it was always full of visiting Japanese from Nissan. Good sign, I always say.
    Merchant's Hotel is on Broadway near 4th -- historic space, very good food that's not insanely expensive. I love the place, but haven't been in 8 or 10 years (I have little kids and live in th 'burbs now). Google them and read their menu. It may be a notch fancier than Mere Bulles
    A few blocks out Broadway is 12th Avenue, which is an old industrial district by the railroad (actually, it was parking lots until about 2005)that is reinventing itself as The Gulch. Some trendy places here. Radius 10 is expensive pizza and other casual food. Lot of young people with hipster specs and expensive haircuts. Haven't been to Sambuca -- I think there's entertainment there. Ru San is great for the sushi and sake-bomb crowd. I have a weakness for the place. There's a place called Watermark that's good, but if you're avoiding fancy, it's not for you.
    The best Sunday brunch in town is Margot, across the Woodland Street bridge in East Nashville. The eponymous Margot had mad skills with everything from pastry to hashbrowns to hollandiase. I can't recall whether you can get a reservation. It's packed. Parking is a chore. But it's worth it.

    1. I believe that Mere Bulles has been closed for years.

      1. I always enjoyed Demo's downtown when doing the convention thing...just a few blocks' walk from the convention center. Old school Italian steakhouse kinda place. Menu is huge, food is solid and reasonably priced, service is good to often excellent.