The garden patch out front is a clear signal of the fresh delights to be found inside, where the cooking philosophy is to take the most direct route from the earth to the table. Owners Katie and Gep Nelson set the tone for this restaurant (as well as for their Brentwood place Wild Iris), and they hire chefs with a strong commitment to regional, seasonal fare. Reservations recommended.
Chris Lowry and Jay Luther’s neighborhood bistro is elegant and sophisticated, with a minimalist, contemporary-styled room framing a spectacular view of downtown. Germantown Cafe adheres to the promise of straightforward dining in the style of classic bistros, with unpretentious, well-prepared food, sturdy white china, thick cotton linens, solid stemware and cutlery with a weighty heft. Perusing the selection of entrées is pleasantly effortless, with just 10 to consider, including a green plate for vegetarians. Meat and potatoes is the starting premise of several dishes, with the supremely succulent mustard-herb-crusted rack of lamb leading the way. The preparation of the day’s catch changes every night, but the coconut curry salmon filet perched atop a sphere of creamy risotto is a dependably delicious staple. The menu is tweaked as the seasons change (it is within walking distance of the Farmers Market). A recent expansion moved the bar to a separate room with a small lounge, and added more dining room seating on an elevated platform, the better to see the Nashville skyline.
Named for a play on the word flight, a grouping of wines poured for tasting, the restaurant focuses on pairing seasonal organic and humanely raised foods with reasonably priced, interesting wines that people might not have tried before. The theme of flights carries through the menu, with salads, cheeses, soups, vegan offerings and desserts available in threes. Artisitcally composed plates carry enough flavors to intrigue, without the redundant mounds of starch and super-sized hunks of meat that so often lead to food fatigue.
For nearly 20 years, F. Scott's has maintained its status as one of Nashville's best and most popular restaurants, earning its position with a commitment to quality and excellence on every measurable level. Owners Elise Loehr Solima and Wendy Holcomb Burch run a tight ship with velvet gloves. Named for the Jazz Age author and icon of style, F. Scott's does indeed present live jazz from some of Nashville's most talented musicians seven nights a week in its chic, clubby lounge. Two sophisticated dining rooms are impeccably served by veteran staff. The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence wine list boasts more than 300 selections stored in a climate-controlled, custom wine cellar, with 2,000 bottles in inventory. But it’s the food that continues to impress and seduce year after year, season after season. Executive chef Will Uhlhorn and his staff turn out exquisite and elegantly presented contemporary American cuisine of superior caliber. F. Scott's is now completely non-smoking, including the lounge.
If you’re visiting Nashville, chances are you’re either on vacation (hooray, fun!) or on a business trip (boo, work!). Either way, head to City House and treat yo’ self to a pork belly pizza. Or anything, really — this gem in booming Germantown is run by chef Tandy Wilson, a food genius who was announced as a James Beard finalist for the third year in a row in 2015. But don’t get too carried away on dinner; you’ll definitely want dessert, too — the cookie plate is a local legend.
Constructed on the former site of the flagship Houston's restaurant, Bricktop's fills the popular West End location with loaded kosher hotdogs, crab cakes, grilled artichokes, deviled eggs and banana splits. Houston's founder, co-owner and homeboy Joe Ledbetter mans the door of this clubby, leather-lined eatery.