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Old Hickory Steakhouse - Nashville

Bill Hunt Sep 10, 2007 08:03 PM


I'm heading to Nashville in early Oct. and will be staying at the Radisson Gaylord Opryland Resort for a business meeting. I have made reservations at the Old Hickory Steakhouse, for the evening that we arrive. I've done a lot of searching, but almost everything on CH mentions it as an afterthought. The other boards' reviews seem to center on four reviews, that are just re-printed over and over.

What is the scoop? We're omnivores, and do not mind spending the $, provided that the food, the service and the wine are worth it. I'm not expecting Michael Mina's, or Guy Savoy, but would like a great meal with wine. Their list seems comprehensive, and not too badly priced for a resort.

I'd appreciate any recent reviews, recs. on this location.


  1. Bill Hunt Sep 10, 2007 09:03 PM

    I've also got a question, re: wine policies in TN. If I order two full-bottles (for the two of us), can I re-seal the bottle(s) and take it/them back to my room in the hotel?

    I often go for a "sommelier's pairing," if we are doing a "tasting menu," but I see that the half-bottle selection is rather slim.

    Each state, and then often counties within a state, have different laws, that come into effect.


    1. n
      nm1 Sep 11, 2007 09:22 AM

      If that is the steakhouse actually at Opryland, it got a rave review here by a recent visitor (a friend of mine, whose food judgement I trust) a few weeks ago: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/433366 but it's not a place that's prominent in the Nashville consciousness.

      And I'm embarrassed to say that I have no clue about the resealing policy here.

      9 Replies
      1. re: nm1
        Bill Hunt Sep 11, 2007 11:02 AM

        I do believe that it is the same. Now I see why I did not find this post, with a search of the South Board, as the name is not mentioned.

        I appreciate the link, and will do a full report, when we return from the trip.

        I'm still a bit confused, as there seems to be a small list of hotels in this area, that claim the Old Hickory Steakhouse as *their* fine-dining destination. It will be interesting, when we actually get there, to see how many hotels there are in this complex, and exactly which one we are staying/dining at. I've never been to "Opryland," but really baffeled by the various Web sites for what sound like the same places. Oh well, it'll probably all make sense, once we arrive and see for ourselves. Anyway, the Old Hickory reservations are made, and I hope that we can get checked in, and then find it in time for dinner.


        1. re: Bill Hunt
          jcr05 Sep 11, 2007 01:06 PM

          The Opryland Hotel is not associated with the Radisson unless something has recently changed but there is a cluster of small "motels" around the Gaylord Opryland "compound". In answer to your question regarding the Old Hickory Steak House, the reason it doesn't get rave reviews by most Nashvillians is that it is in Opryland, which is somewhat "in the middle of nowhere" if you live in the city and there are plenty of other steak houses "in town" that have great steaks without the 20+ minute trek to Opryland and parking in the middle of nowhere. That being said, I have friends who have eaten there several times and always loved it and also know one of the servers there -- Fred -- and he is great. They have a lobster mac-n-cheese that is supposed to be super rich but great and their cheese guy gets rave reviews as well. I think you will enjoy your meal and don't let the negatives scare you; it's just us snooty city dwellers who would rather eat close to home and steer clear of Opryland! ;-)

          Regarding the wine resealing question, I know there are restaurants in Davidson County (this includes the Opryland Hotel) that allow you to reseal and take wine with you so I'm sure it's not a restaurant by restaurant rule so I think you should be ok there. Enjoy!

          1. re: jcr05
            jcr05 Sep 11, 2007 01:22 PM

            http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylordo... Bill ~ I've also included the link to the actual hotel that houses the Old Hickory Steakhouse just as a point of reference. Anyone else claiming it to be "their" hotel is at least a 10-20 minute walk (it would take that long just to walk down the entrance/across the parking lot) or few minute drive.

            Hope you get a chance to get into Nashville as the hotel is pretty isolated and doesn't show off our city. Again, enjoy.

            1. re: jcr05
              Bill Hunt Sep 11, 2007 07:27 PM


              Thanks for the link and the info. It appears that we are staying at the Gaylord Resort & Convention Center, and not the Radisson. Unfortunately, all of the accommodations are being done via wife's assistants and the organization holding the meeting. I have yet to get the exact details. About all that I know is that we fly in to BNA and grab a rental car to go to our hotel (Gaylord R&CC ?), hope to change and freshen up, in time for dinner at Old Hickory.

              Wife has meetings all the next day, so I will be roaming the grounds alone. As soon as the meeting takes a lunch break the following day, we head over to Walland, TN for a week at Blackberry Farm. Other than the Old Hickory, I doubt that I'll get the opportunity to do much dining, except on the property. It'll have to be another trip, that we get to explore Nashville. Unfortunately, we've driven through on the Interstate, but have never stopped, except for gasoline. I have to admit that I know nothing of Nashville, other than from a trip to Galitan, when I was but a child, and that was a very long, long time ago.

              As the dining highlights of this trip will only be Old Hickory and then Blackberry Farm, I hope to do a good review of each for the board. I'll also check out the wine situation. My plan is also to partake of the cheese course, as I am more into cheese, than desserts. The menu looks very good (a bit beyond the typical "steakhouse fare," that I encounter), and the wine list is more than servicable. I'll whisper my suggestions for more half-bottles, when the sommelier visits. When it is just the two of us, we love to do halves, so we can pair with each course. Since we will be walking, we can probably do a bottle + half, between the two of us, but the selection is a bit limited in the 0.375s. That's why I wondered about the "re-sealing," so we don't buy a bunch of wine, just to be left. Even if I offer a glass to the server, the chef and the sommelier, we still have plenty, if we have to rely on full-bottles for a multi-course dinner. OTOH, I'm not sure that a big Cal-Cab would go with breakfast the next morning.

              Last, I am getting the impression that Opryland is a bit like Disney World, with a myriad of inns and restaurants. Having no prior knowledge, I was easily confused. Hope that they furnish maps... !

              Thanks for holding my hand on this one. I feel bad for my confusion. I can manage a 20 day trip to Europe with all the inns, transfers, airline and restaurants, but two days at Opryland has me baffled.


              1. re: Bill Hunt
                jcr05 Sep 12, 2007 08:13 AM

                It is Disney minus the rides (but in fact there used to be a theme part there that was flattened and replaced with "Opry Mills", an outlet mall mecca that does have a movie theater if you get bored.

                I have not personally stayed at Blackberry Farm but have friends who have and they love it so I think that will more than make up for a few nights at Opryland!

                1. re: jcr05
                  Bill Hunt Sep 12, 2007 07:14 PM


                  Thanks for helping me out here. Other than having a mom, who listened to the Grand Old Opry, I have to admit that I know very little about what is happening in Nashville now.

                  Not being a country music fan, I have not followed the trends. Heck, I was surprised, when we first visited Branson, MO. I though we were going to a "center for Americana," but got an education - though not any really good food and almost NO wine!

                  Looking forward to the Nashville trip, but mainly for the dining opportunity. I'm going to try for a round of golf, while wife is in meetings, and then take clubs to Walland for a few rounds with her.

                  I too, have never stayed at Blackberry Farm, but a reviewer on the CH Wine Board recommended it. Read the description to wife, and she jumped at the opportunity. It's been decades, since we spent time in the Smoky Mtns., and, even in a poor year for moisture, are looking forward to it, especially considering the dining and wine options there. I hope to have a ton of great reviews (not the Fall color, or the Smokies, just the food and wine), when we return. My only regret is that they are not having any culinary events, while we'll be there. Considering their annual lineup, I had hoped for some top chef, or at least a wine tasting, during our stay. We'll have to create our own.

                  Again, thank you for the details, and helping me get a handle on where we're going, and what is there. One of my problems seems to have been with the Gaylord's Web site - it's been down, more than up, and Google has taken me to all sorts of places, that are "near" to what I wanted. Since everyone within 50 miles claims Old Hickory as *their* restaurant, I was very, very confused. You have made so much clear for me now, and the Web site has come back up. Looks interesting. Too bad that we will not have time to try their Italian restaurant, as it seems worth the effort, if one is on property already.

                  If plans work out, I'll "tell all," and hope that it is all spectacular. I'll also survey the wine re-corking issues, to see what shakes out there.


                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                    fluffernutter Sep 17, 2007 08:25 AM

                    I work near Opryland and can tell you that the Radisson is across the street. Opryland itself is miles or corridors and parking lots. Because it's quite complex, has lots of shopping and entertainment, and is far out of downtown, many people just stay there and don't bother to leave. Besides the shopping in the resort, there's a mega mall next door, Opry Mills. If you're a shopper, you'll find it terrific. There are some superb high end kids shops with outlet prices. Ther'es a Bass Pro or Dick's Sporting Goods, an Off Broadway Shoe, a Hanes outlet, an Old Navy, a Saks off Fifth, hundreds of other stores, an Imax theater and a regular cinema.

                    I just returned from the Smokies, where I toured Dancing Bear Lodge, which is also run by Blackberry Farm as their "economy place" -- rooms are only $239/night. The Farm is very posh -- a very high end experience that you'll never forgot (unless you do this kind of thing all the time.) You'll love the area -- it's gorgeous all the time, with towering mountains, rushing streams, foggy mornings and endless canopy of green. It's already chilly there, so take jackets and other items for crisp weather. Have a great time!
                    Oh, and you can recork and take away an unfinished bottle of wine in Tennessee. Done it many time. PS Blackberry Farm is in a dry county -- better check on how they get around this.

                    1. re: fluffernutter
                      Bill Hunt Sep 17, 2007 05:48 PM

                      What are the dining options at Dancing Bear Lodge? That was one of the things that hooked us, when it was recommended. Both of these have either opened after our last trip - decades, or somehow evaded our notice, when last there. I'll check out info on DBL, when at Blackberry. We're hoping that it will not be so very long, before our next trip.

                      Thanks for the tips on Opryland. It is the Gaylord, not the Radisson, that we are staying at. The confusion was totally mine, based on the Gaylord site being down, and all my Googling turning up the Radisson as the "main" lodge, even with Gaylord appearing throughout. Now, armed with the details, I see why I had so many questions on the lodging, and will be interested in actually seeing this place.

                      Any good wine bars in the area, as I'm not much of a shopper, and my wife will be in meetings all day?


                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                        jcr05 Sep 18, 2007 07:38 AM

                        No wine bars in the area I'm aware of, unless there's some hidden gem that fluffernutter knows about since she works in that area. if you want to venture into the downtown area -- a few places with good wine lists/apps or wine bars are: Flyte http://www.flytenashville.com/ they have a great list and have a happy hour from 4:30 -- 6:30 and Rumours Wine Bar on 12th South http://www.rumourswinebar.com/ is a neat little neighborhood place. Neither are open for lunch. They are about a 10-20 minute ride away from Opryland, but in my opinion, worth it to get out.

      2. s
        smoot60 Sep 17, 2007 11:08 AM

        I know a little about Blackberry Farms so I'll put my two cents in. The first time I was there we had to bring our own wine but that has changed. The Inn has a full bar and a extensive wine collection. It is a beautiful place and everything is first class. A real splurge for Tennessee! Being a local from Nashville, we never visit Opryland unless we have too. Much too large and touristy.
        Would like to hear what FlutterNutter has to say about Dancing Bear.
        Kathy in Lebanon

        6 Replies
        1. re: smoot60
          fluffernutter Sep 18, 2007 11:38 AM

          Opryland Wine Bars: Ha. But there's a sports grill, and some of the restaurants in the place do serve wine, and I expect there would be some reasonably drinkable quaffs to be found. I wish I had more intel, but I do my drinking closer to home.

          Dancing Bear Lodge Facilities: rustic-looking but posh. Everything is made of logs and twigs, but loaded with amenities. It's a step down from Blackberry -- I don't think it's a Relais and Chateau property, but it still has everything I need (hot tubs, soft pillows, awesome views, own mountain bike trails, fireplace in the lodge). Food: said to be fantastic, low-key, casual family fare but well prepared, but we didn't eat, and neither have our friends whose mountain cabin we borrowed. Drink: apparently the lodge, like the Inn at Blackberry Farm, has also gotten a permit to serve wine in this dry county.

          Hey have a great time! If you're a cyclist, there's a wonderful strip of greenway near your hotel (but you'll have to drive to it), and the General Jackson riverboat is hokey but fun. I love cruising the Cumberland -- it's pretty and quiet, except for the loud country music on the boat. It would be a fun morning or afternoon activity if you're not a shopper.

          1. re: fluffernutter
            Bill Hunt Sep 18, 2007 07:58 PM


            Thanks for the recs. I'll gather info on the Dancing Bear Lodge, while at Blackberry Farm. Just made our dinner reservations, about 4 hrs. ago. Looking forward to it.

            I'll scope out the wine scene around the Gaylord and include it in the report. I'm not expecting San Francisco, but do enjoy a very nice glass, or two, and will see what exists. My perception of Nashville is that it is more Bourbon, than wine, rather like New Orleans (cocktails vs. wines), but will talk to the concierge and the staff at the Old Hickory. Not really a "sports bar," sorta' guy, though I do enjoy a great micro-brew, or hard-to-come-by imported beer/ale/stout. Years ago, when in DC, near Georgetown, I inquired about a near-by pub. The concierge sent me around the block (OK, it was a 10-sided block, but still in the same block as the Ritz Carlton). I ended up at the Brickskaller, and they had 700+ beers (all types) in stock. Wonderful ! Last trip, they had upped the ante to 1700+ and still growing. Also, they had the best fish n' chips, this side of the Atlantic, so how wrong can one go?

            Used to do road-cycling in NOLA and in Denver, but have not done "mountain biking" yet. Wife had two hip-replacements, so I'm just getting her back to the golf course, with tennis by Spring. Maybe next trip.


            1. re: Bill Hunt
              nm1 Sep 19, 2007 06:04 AM

              Listen, if you're interested in local whisky you need to try George Dickel. It isn't much known nationally but IMO it is head and shoulders above Jack Daniels though distilled in the same county.

              1. re: nm1
                Bill Hunt Sep 19, 2007 07:59 AM

                I'm not a Bourbon fan, though I do keep several bottles of small producer's, usually single cask, for my guests, who are.

                Even in AZ, I've definitely heard of George Dickel, but maybe that was from years of living in NOLA, another Bourbon-town.

                If I have the time, I'd love to take the tour, however. Though not being a fancier of distilled wines, the Alambic distillery in Napa/Sonoma was a great tour.


                1. re: Bill Hunt
                  nm1 Sep 19, 2007 09:30 AM

                  Do you like scotch? If you do, you'll enjoy Dickel. Trust me, it's a whole other ballgame than Jack.

                  1. re: nm1
                    Bill Hunt Sep 19, 2007 06:34 PM

                    Again, I keep a dozen btls. in the bar for my good friends. I love the discussions, the smell of the cork, but that it where it ends for me...

                    The tour still sounds great. I'm always trying to learn, whether the history is of wine, or whiskey.


        2. s
          starbucksbrew Sep 17, 2007 02:22 PM

          I have eaten at the Old Hickory Steakhouse at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando. It is excellent. If they are consistent throughout the chain, it is definitely worth going.

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