Best Food in Nashville?
I know there are a lot of Nashville posts, but if I can add one more:
What's the best restauarant in Nashville for a nice dinner? I'm looking for great food and a nice atmosphere. Price is irrelevant. Something within walking distance of the Embassy Suites near Vandy would be ideal, but we'll have a car.
Also, what are the best lunch places near Vandy?
You've gotten some good recommendations already, but an additional recommendation for dinner that I'd offer is tayst. They're a little bit south of Hillsboro Village, on 21st Avenue (or is it called Hillsboro Road by then?). Their web site is http://www.tayst.info -- not .com. I've loved every meal I've eaten there. You could probably walk to tayst, it maps as a mile and a half from Embassy Suites, but I'd drive.
Margot Cafe isn't walking distance, but it's an easy drive, less than 5 miles away, in east Nashville.
Some good recs so far. In that area I would definitely say Zola is an amazing dinner option. Inventive with a Mediterranean flair, and I'd say it is within walking distance on West End. Not the best contemporary restaurant in Nashville, but a very good one that is also on West End is The Acorn, by Centennial Park. If you are willing to drive just a short way, I would suggest Margot Cafe in east Nashville or F. Scott's by Green Hills mall. For lunch in that area, there is a place called Nola's cajun cuisine on West End that looks pretty shabby, but they have a uruguayan sandwich called the chivito that will bring tears to your eyes. Noshville would also be a fun place on Broadway, it's typical New York style deli fare. Sylvan Park restaurant isn't a far drive at all from the area, just off West End on Murphy road, and it is one of my favorite meat-n-three spots.
For dinner, my suggestions would be Radius10 in the gulch or Zola on West End. If you go to Radius10, be sure to order some of the grits! They are to die for! Both of these restaurants are a quick drive from your hotel, or 5 minute cab ride. Virago, which is located right behind the Embassy Suites, is also an excellent choice. They have the best sushi in town, and even if you don't like sushi, they have plenty of other interesting choices on the menu. You'll need to make a reservation, and ask to be seated in the dining room. They have lounge seating as well, but for a nicer, more intimate atmosphere the dining room is your best bet.
I love Red Pony in Franklin as someone else suggested, but I think there are plenty of great places near you in Nashville that will work.
Where you are, your closest really good options are either Watermark and Radius 10 in the Gulch (which is 12th Avenue) and Ombi on Elliston Place. If you love to walk, you can walk the six to 8 blocks to each, but you could also drive. Also nearby are Valentino's (which I find overpriced -- it's pasta and chicken parmesan, for heaven's sake -- and sort of old-world, but in a Sopranos kind of way) and Amerigo (which is a small chain of Italian, but people love their food, and there's nearly always a wait).
Ruth's Chris Steak House and Nick and Rudy's Steak House are both nearby, both high-end. I'm not such a steak person -- if details are important, you might search for opinions on each.
Elliston Place Soda Shop is a hound-y place for lunch. Meat-n-three, our local vernacular cuisine. There's better meat-n-three in town, but it'll do, and the decor is great. Another lunch (or casual dinner) option is the brewpub Blackstone on West End. They have terrific craft-brewed beer and it's just a couple of blocks away. Food's okay. I usually get the tuna burger and hubby gets a pesto andouille pizza.
If you have a car, I would recommend the Red Pony in downtown Franklin - about 20 minutes from your hotel. Excellent low-country cuisine...my wife's favorite is the BLT - Bacon, lobster, and tomato served on homemade mashed-potato filled ravioli...
Make a reservation.
If someone says the pancake pantry - find another person - way overrated but it's in Hillsboro Village on the south side of Vandy's campus - a couple of interesting places in there.
if you like beer - try Big River downtown at 2nd and Broadway decent food and good beer - try the cask style brew.