I'm a Detroit CH'er.
I'll be in Nashville next month Tuesday - Friday for a conference, staying at the Opryland Hotel.
First, are any of the restaurants at the hotel worth a try?
Second, any not-to-be-missed recommendations? We're not necessarily into white linen and fancy, more interested in farm-to-table. Not huge red meat eaters. One of us (not me!) is allergic to shellfish. At the same time, we want to get a real flavor for Nashville - pun intended.
The only restaurant that's been recommended so far is Silly Goose. I'd love your opinions!
Also, I have all day Wednesday free to get a feel for the city and all the top rated tours on Trip Adviser don't run on Wednesday. I know it's off topic, but I'd appreciate some sightseeing recommendations too.
Thanks in advance!
I certainly agree with ipsedixit on both of these, but they are also both on the pricier side by Nashville standards, so this depends on what you're willing to pay. Catbird Seat in particular is a $100 tasting menu, excluding optional drinks, which is a great peace for what you get, but by no means cheap. Be aware that Catbird Seat also opens res 30 days in advance and books up quickly.
As far as Opryland goes, I've never eaten anywhere there, but I've honestly never heard anything that's made me want to eat there. Unfortunately, that whole part of town is pretty lacking in dining options. I would head into the city as much as you can, if I were you.
I love Silly Goose, and would rank it as one of my top 5 restaurants in the city. I think that despite the slowly increasing regional and national exposure Roderick Bailey's been getting, people can still be quick to dismiss it as a sandwiches and "snacks"-type place. There's a reason it's so busy at dinner time to, and that's the fact that Bailey is coming up with some of the most interesting and flavorful entrees and smaller plates in town.
Since you have Wednesday free, you absolutely should go to Armold's, especially if you want to taste some of the "flavors of Nashville". It's a meat and three, and so incredibly good. It's only open for 4 hours at lunch M-F. City House is an excellent option for dinner, any day of the week. It's my favorite restaurant in town, and I've never had a visitor disappointed by it. You'll run into the very very rare detractor, but just do a Google search of it, and you'll find the countless admirers. There's a reason Chef Tandy was a James Beard finalist this year.
Other great options can be found by searching this board a little, but some of my favorites are:
Mas Tacos (Mexican with excellent soups)
Hattie B's (my personal go-to for hot chicken, a Nashville specialty)
Fido (great coffee, best burger in the city)
Etch (downtown, legendary local chef, unique for the city with lots of North African flavors)
Rolf and Daughters (new but quite popular Italian, but very local influence)
Silo (definitely would fit your farm-to-table interests, though I'd place others higher)
Marché (known for their brunch, it's less busy and, in my opinion better, for dinner)
I'm leaving things off surely, but you'll find them.
The best dining options in Green Hills are F. Scott's and Table 3. They're owned by the same people, with F.Scott's being the more upscale of the two. F. Scott's is sort of French/Southern and is one of Nashville's older great restaurants (a lot of the city's well known chefs came through it's kitchen). Table 3 is much newer and serves a menu of more commonly encountered French country food (bouillabaisse, coq au vin, etc), but they do it quite well. F. Scott's is closer to a "destination"-type place, but probably a bit of a longer meal.
Well, The Catbird Seat has a brand new kitchen staff, and I have no idea how that is going. The new chef, however, is Trevor Moran -- a former sous chef at Noma. So he's got cred, just no idea where he's taking the restaurant, and how he's interacting with the crowd. If you go please, report back, as I am scheduled to be in Nashville in a couple of months.
Aside from that, I still enjoy Flyte quite a bit, especially if you like vino and bistecca (like me). Otherwise, you might look at Husk, Etch and Russ & Daughters.