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May 12, 2008 05:04 PM

Nashville Anniversary reccs wanted

Will be in Nashville May 22-24 and need reccs for a fairly nice place to take my wife for our 15th anniversary as well as reccs for good, inexpensive lunches.

For the anniversary dinner, something fairly easy to find from the Gaylord (neither of us have been to Nashville before and it'll be dark) that does tappas or small plates, or decent American, or Italian (not spaghetti and red sauce!) would be nice.

For lunch, are there any good Southern or diners, drive-ins or dives that aren't to be missed?


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  1. For Italian near the Gaylord (entertainment center, not Gaylord Opryland, right?) I'd go for Sole Mio(Italian). It is literally about a mile away and has nearly always pleased me and my guests. Tapas haven't caught on in Nashville as much as in other cities, but someone else might have some recs for you in that arena. I would suggest Radius 10 in the gulch for small plates and drinks myself. As far as southern diners etc., a good search should unearth the most popular nashville meat-n-3's, usually Swett's, Arnold's, Sylvan Park, and Monell's. Rotier's on elliston is a dive with a good burger and some history.

    1 Reply
    1. re: notgreg

      For Italian I would also suggest Cafe Nonna, which has been really good lately (not that it ever wasn't good, but seems like they've been exceptionally good the past couple of times we've been there.) It's a really small place so definitely make reservations, but food and service were wonderful when we were there. It's just a couple of miles from downtown

      I'm going to also stir things up by mentioning City House; it's gotten mixed reviews on the boards (complaints of food being too salty) but we were there last week and thought it was excellent. The 4 of us tried the trout (perfect), catfish (delicious), prosciutto pizza (also good) some of the house cured salami (delish) and one other pasta dish that I didn't try but think it was pork tagliatelle. All the food is simple, fresh and delicious. If you can get a seat in the upstairs room it's more intimate but we enjoyed being near the kitchen. Check out the menu here

      I also second Radius 10, it's one of my favorites all around for food, atmosphere and service and am a big fan of Flyte as well Flyte specializes in organic/local food and has an extensive wine list. Both of these are near downtown in/around the "Gulch" area and City House is in East Nashville, also an easy drive from the Gaylord.

      I think notgreg covered your bases for Southern lunches.

      Enjoy your visit!

    2. I'll take the opposite position from Notgreg and assume that by "Gaylord" you mean the Gaylord Opryland Complex.
      In which case, Sole Mio is about 10 miles away. 5 miles down Briley Parkway and 5 miles on 1-40.
      Because Gaylord is situated in a bend in the river about 10 miles from downtown, you'll be pretty much committed to driving for fine food. The trick will be to select a spot on Broadway/West End Avenue, which is easy to find and negotiate. Search these boards for Midtown Cafe (small and romatic), Zola (innovative and meticulous), Acorn (trendy and stylish) and Valentino's (getting rave reviews lately among bloggers). All these are right on or just off West End/Broadway. There's the restaurant in Union Station -- now I've forgotten the new name -- but supposedly good. Easy to find, valet parking, spectacular building, pleasant walking area. Go to and search the restaurant review archives. Or go to their blog, Bites, and ask someone about it.
      I'd respectfully disagreee that City House is fairly easy to find. It's fantastic -- ate there last month -- but it's hard to find. I have lived in Nashville my whole life and am very familiar with the part of town in which it's located, but drove past it two or three times nonetheless without spotting it.
      Notgreg covered the Southern eats pretty well. But last time I ate at Swett's, it was very disappointing. I'd go for Arnold's or Sylvan Park. Sylvan Park just opened a location on Old Lebanon Road in Donelson, which is only a couple of exits from Opryland, if that's where you're staying.

      4 Replies
      1. re: fluffernutter

        Thanks, fluffernutter. You are correct, we are staying at the Gaylord hotel. I'll look up the places you mentioned. I looked at the restaurant in the Gaylord--entrees are $25 to $46. I don't mind paying for good food, but even for fine dining, $46 is a bit much, even for a special meal. I'd go for it if I knew the food was going to be a religious experience, but...

        Thanks again. I'll check out the places you mentioned.

        1. re: gophereverette

          Bloggers on one board or other (maybe chowhound) were saying the lamb chop in the steak house at Opryland was the best lamb they'd ever had.

          1. re: fluffernutter

            Check out a review by Bill Hunt regarding the Steakhouse at the Gaylord if you're contemplating it. He gives all the details; you may decide you want to make it easy and stay there one night for dinner. Although I'm a big fan of the West End/Gulch area/East Nashville so personally would always opt for something around there, being a local.

      2. Thanks for all the replies. Based on their Web site menu and several reviews, I think The Acorn gets the nod for the anniversary dinner. I'll let you know how it was.