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Sep 14, 2009 07:02 AM

Three Days in Nashville

Will be in Nashville for three days next week and was looking for suggestions. We're staying near Vanderbilt but will always travel for food. Anything interesting out there we shouldn't miss? Thanks!

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    1. Nashville has many, many restaurants worth trying. If you do a search, you'll see numerous people have posted the same generic question many times and have gotten lots of answers. It helps us recommend something specific when we know more about what you are looking for. Saying, "Anything interesting?" isn't much of a guide. The answer to that question is "yes," but specific recommendations would depend on what you consider "interesting."

      Car or not?
      Price range?
      Hi-end or lo-end?
      Breakfasts, lunches, and/or dinners?
      Southern/comfort food, general American, ethnic, cutting edge?

      3 Replies
      1. re: TLF

        Yes, we'll have a car. I'm looking for somethilng we shouldn't leave town without trying. When we visit a restaurant in a town we're visiting I usally ask the waiter if there is something we must try as we probably won't be back. I guess that's the kind of restaurant we're looking for....something we shouldn't miss. Lunch and dinner at any price point...I have searched and am looking forward to trying Prince's chicken and dining at City (I don't remember the rest of the name right now) something. THanks for your help

        1. re: estarae

          You need to go to either Arnold's Country Kitchen or Monell's. Maybe both?

          1. re: jamiecarroll

            Must try Margot and City House. Watermark also good, though I haven't been there in awhile. Watermark has best views of downtown skyline, though I rank it my 3rd favorite restaurant after Margot and City House.

      2. We loved the Loveless Cafe. for a big southern breakfast

        We enjoyed Restaurant Zola. It's a little hard to find but worth the effort. It was somthing a little different for dinner. The starters of Lamb Sausage stuffed Quail, Summer Tomato Tart with smoked provolone and prosciutto, and Pecan Fried Beet Salad were all original and excellent. The main courses included a Rabbit special, that was special, and a Rosemary seared Lamb Loin served with fontina, pancetta, pepperoncini pesto and an eggplant grilled cheese sandwich (a mouth full). I was impressed enough to ask if the Chef had ever published a cookbook and was told that one might be in the works down the road. I hope it's a short road, the food was that memorable.

        2 Replies
        1. re: familyguy13

          +1 on Arnold''ll leave very happy and full. :)

          1. re: pete k

            Arnold's is great, but it is a meat and three. Great food, and the ambience you'd expect from a downhome southern meat and three. Also, I like Swett's as much as Arnold's for meat-and-three food too.

            Zola is good, but I don't think it is the best place in town by any means. Maybe in top 10 of restaurants. It is close to Vanderbilt if you want to walk and not drive.

            Best restaurant in Nashville is Margot, in East Nashville. Margot is arguably the best chef in town. It is a short drive (5-10 min.) from West End/Vanderbilt to Margot in East Nashville. Marche is also run by Margot and is great, but a little less expensive (and perhaps a little less adventurous). Though, I love both, as i just ate at Marche last night. But Margot is the best overall.

            Best new restaurant: City House, in Germantown. A very short drive form Vandy area (but way too far to walk). It is just north of the state capitol, maybe 2-3 blocks north of Jefferson St. I was just there last weekend, and it was packed so word is getting out. There is not a large sign outside of the place (a bit of a secret feel to the place). Best Italian in Nashville, as it is adventurous. The pork belly pizza is spectacular, a mix of southern and italian.

        2. I have a hard time getting excited about even the best meat and three. I'll take my homestyle cooking at home. But that's just me. There are plenty of excellent restaurants in town. Are they singular experiences though? Not so much. I think there are two stand out eating opportunities: Las Paletas on 12 S. They make exotic Mexican popsicles. They cleaned Bobby Flay's clock in a throw down. (I think I saw one of his assistant's knees buckle when she tasted one.) I like the chile cucimber, the hibiscis, and the avacado popsicles. The other place is Martin's Barbecue Joint in Nolensville, about 30 min. down the road. It has been featured in the NY Times and was named as a top ten new bbq spot in Bon Appetite. Pat Martin is passionate about smoke and it's evident in all his meats. And if his mother happens to have made apple pie the night you're there the Gods have truly shined down on you.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cameraman

            I agree with you in principle, cameraman, about home cooking being best at home, but if home isn't in the south, then Arnold's or Monell's would be a place I love to go...come to think of it, didn't we meet at a table at Monell's a couple of months ago? I was there with my wife and daughter (singer/songwriter). I think we had a brief Chowhound discussion. We're from Canada.
            I also agree with your Martin's rec. Great place, although a ways out of town.

            1. re: Yongeman

              We did meet Yongeman, but it wasn't at Monell's, it was at Fred's dinner table. I have since heard your daughter's demo disk and really like it. Your point about Monell's is well taken and I recant. Hope you're all well. Let's chow down next time you're here.

          2. I also recommend City House but, rather than Arnold's or Monell's, I suggest Dan's (Dandgure's) on Lafayette or Wendell Smith's on Charlotte for local food.

            For a good brunch any day of the week and the very best pancakes in town, try the Garden Cafe on Jefferson, just west of Germantown.

            We're also very partial to Bobbie's Dairy Dip on Charlotte (across from Wendell's) and the new upscale restaurant just behind it, Miel, is also quite good.

            5 Replies
            1. re: grounded

              We discovered Bobby's this summer and it's a great stop on our way to or from the Centennial dog park. I just wish they were a little more careful about not over grilling their burgers. All I ask for is a little pink. Is that so bad?

              1. re: Cameraman

                What is the name of the Meat and 3 across the road from Bobby's? It's cheap and authentic.

                1. re: Cameraman

                  It's very difficult to get a burger in Nashville that's got any color left in it. Some of the most revered burger places here (e.g. Rotier's) specialize in stuff that seems overdone to a lot of newcomers/visitors. It's a matter of local preference, I have discovered.

                  And I have to speak up for Zola as the best restaurant in town. Margot's gives you wonderfully cooked but unimaginative French food, but Zola gives you creative turns on Mediterranean cooking, also wonderfully prepared. And the fish there is uniformly lovely and imaginative -- the only place in Nashville I'd go to for fish.