Dining Guide 

Asian

Asian

Jasmine Local Thai food aficionados have long been devoted to chef-owner Bobby Kornsuwan, who has cooked in, owned or co-owned a succession of progressively more sophisticated Thai restaurants. Before opening Jasmine, he spent six months under the tutelage of classically trained haute-cuisine chef Emil LaBrousse, and the experience shows in a sprinkling of French-Vietnamese-influenced dishes. Best bets, however, are Kornsuwan’s sparkling executions of Thai salads; the delectable pla pad cha, chunks of fish filet sautéed with red curry paste; steamed chicken wrapped in minty pondan leaves; crispy shrimp in hot-sweet chili-tamarind sauce; and gai ob, marinated Cornish hen with sticky rice and spicy pureed mushrooms. 3105 Moore’s Lane, Cool Springs. 661-0169. Hours: 11 am-2:30 pm, 5-10 pm daily.

Ken’s Japanese In 2000, sushi chef Kenji Ohno took over the building formerly occupied by one of Nashville’s most legendary greasy spoons, Mack’s Country Cooking. Japanese, Thai and Laotian appetizers and entrees are one good reason to go, particularly the seaweed salad, the steamed spinach with peanut sauce, and the grilled salmon with Thai cabbage slaw and ponzu sauce. His superb sushi is the other reason to visit, with an excellent fish-to-rice ratio. 2007 Division St. 321-2444. Hours: 11 am-2 pm, 5-10:30 pm Mon.-Thurs.; open until 11 pm Fri.; noon-3 pm, 5-11 pm Sat.; 5-10 pm Sun.

Kien Giang Kien Giang introduced Nashville to Vietnamese food back in the early ’90s, and it remains the most popular among Southeast Asian immigrants and Americans alike. It’s not the Spartan decor, or the often very smoky room, but the struggling-musician-friendly prices, the signature Vietnamese pancake banh xeo, the cac mon man spicy dishes, and the thick, sweet Vietnamese coffee. 5825 Charlotte Pike. 353-1250. Hours: 11 am-9 pm Tues.-Fri.; 10 am-9 pm Sat.-Sun.

Peking Palace A halfway decent Chinese restaurant, though only worth the drive from Davidson County if your pregnant spouse is insisting on a halfway decent version of mu shu pork. Peking’s is pretty good—which is saying plenty in these parts—as are the hot and sour soup, the sesame chicken and the Mongolian beef. The scary red sauce that usually swathes sweet and sour chicken is served on the side at Peking, a reassuring gesture. The kitchen has a heavy hand with the cooking oil, and greasy stir-fries can be the unfortunate consequence. 1745 Galleria Blvd., Cool Springs. 771-7848. Hours: 11 am-9 pm daily.

Shintomi In the heart of tony Green Hills, Shintomi is the priciest and most upscale of Nashville’s sushi restaurants. The booming business it does day in and day out translates to the very freshest product, which is a good thing, particularly when it comes to raw fish. While it offers the usual tempura and teriyaki entrees, most people go for the excellent sushi; order the gyu negima appetizer (green-onion-wrapped rare beef) to while away what can be a long wait. The rainbow roll is a nearly a meal in itself, and the shrimp tempura and avocado Shintomi roll is a favorite. 2184 Bandywood Dr. 386-3022. Hours: 11:30 am-1:45 pm, 5-9:30 pm Mon.-Thurs.; open until 10 pm Fri.-Sat.; 5-9:30 pm Sun.

Siam Cafe/Siam Cuisine These two definitive Thai restaurants are owned and operated by the Silpacharns, one of two families directly responsible for the evolution of Thai food in Nashville. Siam Cafe features one room with a steam table of rather pedestrian Asian buffet items, while the other room is a full-service restaurant serving specialties like pad Thai and massamun curry. It is decidedly less fancy, and certainly less expensive, than its younger sibling, Siam Cuisine on White Bridge Road. The food isn’t notably any better at Cuisine, but it is more nicely presented, and there are more salads, appetizers and steamed seafood on the menu. Siam Cafe: 316 McCall St. 834-3181. Hours: 11 am-10 pm Mon.-Sat.; 5-9 pm Sun. Siam Cuisine: 265 White Bridge Road. 354-0082. Hours: 10 am-2 pm, 4-10 pm Mon.-Fri.; 4-10 pm Sat.-Sun.

Bakery/Coffeehouse/Cafe

Bongo Java The first and most bohemian of Bob Bernstein’s trilogy of coffee shops, Bongo Java is in an old four-square house on Belmont Boulevard. Furnished with wobbly wooden tables, schoolhouse chairs and a staff armed with an acerbic wit, Bongo Java is the unofficial student center for Belmont University across the street, a pit stop for new mothers strolling babies and a cheap, networking hangout for musicians. 2007 Belmont Blvd. 385-JAVA. Hours: 7 am-11 pm Mon.-Thurs.; 7 am-midnight Fri.; 8 am-midnight Sat.; 8 am-11 pm Sun.

Bread & Company Nashville’s first bakery of fresh-baked artisan breads and fine French pastries, Bread & Company has expanded over the years to include specialty domestic and imported grocery items, fancy picnic boxes, gourmet prepared foods, catering and cafe seating. The elegant repast is particularly favored by lunching ladies who nibble on Strawberry Fields and Cobb salads, freshly made soups, and meat, cheese and veggie sandwiches made on crusty sourdough or country breads. 18 Cadillac Dr. 309-8330; 4105 Hillsboro Pike. 292-7323. Hours: 7 am-6 pm Mon.-Sat.; 9 am-4 pm Sun.

Cibo Chef Sylvia Harrelson knows desserts; if you don’t get to this charming little Church Street cafe by mid-morning, you’ll probably miss out on her most coveted treat, the amaretto carrot cake. You might have to settle for the scrumptious bread pudding, tangy key lime pie or dense French chocolate cake. Cibo, pronounced “cheebo,” is the Italian word for food, and there’s plenty of that as well. She prepares 15 salads daily, shimmering with freshness and color in big bowls, as well as sandwiches. The Moroccan carrot soup is as addictive as the carrot cake. 706 Church St. 726-2426. Hours: 7:30 am-3 pm Mon.-Fri.

Frist Center Cafe Museum cafes have gotten so arty, and the one at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is no exception. The gorgeous space is complemented by an exhibition of aesthetically appealing, freshly made salads (Thai chicken, spicy steak, Cobb, orange-broccoli with sesame noodles), big bowls of soup, and sandwiches on artisan bread served with crispy, salty homemade potato chips. Youngsters love the pizza, chicken fingers and grilled cheese. 919 Broadway. 244-3340. Hours: 10 am-5:30 Mon.-Wed., Fri.-Sat.; 10 am-8 pm Thurs.; noon-5 pm Sun.

Parco Cafe If you can snag one of the five stools at Tsuo and Chun Fu’s small Farmers Market counter, you’ll never want to leave. You’ll be mesmerized by Tsuo’s methods of brewing individual cups of coffee and pots of emerald-green Silk Road tea. You’ll be astounded by the perfect simplicity of the tuna sandwich with basil, capers, diced onion, green leaf lettuce and sliced green tomato on lightly grilled Tuscan bread. And Chun’s exquisite desserts will bring tears to your eyes. Parco’s homemade veggie burgers are the best in town. Farmers Market, 900 8th Ave. N. 473-7348. Hours: 11 am-5 pm Tues.-Sun. (Sandwiches available till 3 pm.)

Provence Breads & Cafe Walk in the door of Provence Breads & Cafe, and you’ll swear you have disembarked from the Concorde and landed in Paris. Owner Terry Carr-Hall is clearly obsessed with the art of bread-making, and even spent six weeks in France at bread school before opening his bakery. Provence offers more than 20 types of bread each day, as well as classic French pastries. Bread needs cheese, and Provence’s selection is unrivaled. From 11 am-2 pm, customers patiently queue up for the heavenly daily soups, salads and sandwiches. 1705 21st Ave. 386-0363. Hours: 7 am-7:30 pm Mon.-Thurs.; 7 am-8 pm Fri.-Sat.; 8 am-6 pm Sun.

Barbecue

Fate’s Pig & Pie The pig refers to the barbecue (ribs and pulled pork, along with smoked chicken); the pie is chocolate, pecan or chess; Fate is Fate Thomas Jr. He got his name and his ’cue smarts from his daddy, the late Fate Thomas Sr., one of Nashville’s most colorful characters and its sheriff for nearly 20 years. This wood-framed building with a screened-in porch is as homey as it gets, and the gregarious Little Fate is usually there to greet every customer like an old friend. 7108 Charlotte Pike. 356-3060. Hours: 10:30 am-9 pm Mon.-Thurs.; 10:30 am-10 pm Fri.-Sat.; 11 am-8 pm Sun.

Hog Heaven This tiny spot does a booming business, mostly in take-out orders, but there are a few wooden tables on the covered patio where diners can plop down for a quick bite. The moist pulled pork is lunch on a bun, but the chicken (sold by the quarter) sometimes suffers from too much time in the warming tray and gets as dry as jerky. The tasty white barbecue sauce offers a remedy. Get a couple of sides—the white beans and slaw are best bets—and call it dinner. 115 27th Ave. N. 329-1234; 998-B Davidson Dr. 353-3885. Hours: 10 am-7 pm Mon.-Sat.

Mary’s Old Fashioned Pit Barbecue This longtime Jefferson Street fixture is one of the most racially, socially and economically diverse dining establishments in the city. It’s also the only place in town to get a slab of ribs at 5 a.m. or 5 p.m. It’s take-out only, but many customers go no farther than their front seat before plowing into the superb short rib sandwich. The fish sandwich—filets rolled in corn meal, deep-fried, and served on two slices of white bread with pickles, onion, mustard and hot sauce—is awesome. 1108 Jefferson St. 256-7696. Hours: 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Tex’s Bar-B-Q Texans love to brag, and there’s little they like bragging on more than their beef brisket barbecue; every burg, town and city from Houston to Amarillo claims a joint that has the best barbecue in the state. Tex’s beef brisket wouldn’t win any awards in the Lone Star State, but it’s the next best thing to home for transplanted Texans who sneer at the idea of smoked pork. If you can take the heat, ladle up a bowl of the jalapeño beans. 1013 Foster Ave. 254-8715. Hours: 11 am-2 pm Mon.-Fri.

Burgers & Deli

Cheeseburger Charlie’s Cheeseburger Charlie’s is a fast alternative to fast food, with hand-patted burgers grilled over charcoal right in front of your very eyes. If you have a beef with beef, there are turkey burgers, black bean burgers, garden burgers and veggie burgers, each of which is surprisingly tasty—particularly the spicy black bean. A chilled buffet case holds fresh accoutrements: green leaf lettuce, yellow and red onion, sliced tomatoes, dill and sweet pickle chips, salsa, banana peppers and jalapeños. 400 21st Ave. S. 327-0220. Hours: 11 am-8 pm Mon.-Sun.; The Mall at Green Hills, 2126 Abbott Martin Road. 292-8685. Hours: 11 am-9 pm daily; 3777 Nolensville Pike. 332-0502. Hours: 10 am-4 pm daily.

Noshville Food just like mama used to make, if your mama was Mrs. Lowenstein, or Mrs. Seinfeld. Noshville isn’t just a clever play on words—“nosh” is Yiddish for “eat”—it’s a genuine New York-style delicatessen featuring 6-inch-high sandwiches and classic Jewish comfort food in a casual, cosmopolitan diner setup that will have even sons and daughters of Dixie muttering, “oy vey.” A steaming bowl of chicken soup will cure whatever ails you, from the flu to a broken heart. 1918 Broadway. 329-6674. Hours: 6:30 am-4 pm Mon.; 6:30 am-9 pm Tues.-Thurs.; 6:30 am-11 pm Fri.; 7:30 am-11 pm Sat.; 7:30 am-9 pm Sun.

Casual

Baja Burrito A cheery little restaurant that puts a smile on your face the minute you walk in the door. Get in line and order a burrito: chicken, steak or veggies on white, wheat or flavored tortilla, accompanied by black or pinto beans, Mexican-style brown rice, cheese and salsa. Ask the friendly counter guy to throw on some lettuce, tomato, onions, olives, cilantro, sour cream and guacamole, and you’ve got yourself a two-fisted cure for the blues. The fish tacos, a house specialty, are so good you’ll be delirious. 722 Thompson Lane. 383-2252. Hours: 11 am-8:30 pm Mon.-Thurs.; 11 am-9 pm Fri.-Sat.

Easy’s In The Village The newest watering hole/restaurant in Hillsboro Village offers a spacious open bar/dining area and a menu of casual food with an emphasis on Southwestern and Louisiana favorites, sometimes combined in one dish—such as crawfish quesadillas and tacos, red bean and tortilla soup, andouille con queso, and baby back barbecued ribs with Abita beer glaze and Creole mustard. Of particular interest to agave connoisseurs is a slate of six specialty margaritas using top-shelf tequilas. 1910 Belcourt Ave. 292-7575. Hours: 11 am-2:30 am daily.

Houston’s A national chain that began right here in Music City in 1977, Houston’s has been feeding Nashvillians lunch and dinner in the same midtown location for more than two decades. Children have grown up here on a diet of cheese bread and homemade chicken fingers. The restaurant is also renowned for its huge house salad loaded with cheese, chopped egg, bacon and homemade croutons. Get the crab cakes when they’re available. 3000 West End Ave. 269-3481. Hours: 11 am-10 pm Sun.-Thurs.; 11 am-11 pm Fri.-Sat.

Mojo Grill Chef/owner Ed Arace cooks guy food: filling, hearty and usually spicy. Exhibit A: The New Mexico potatoes are a heaping plate of potatoes roasted with ground chili pepper and cumin, then topped with queso sauce, chopped tomatoes, green onions and jalapeño peppers. Roasted hot wings with mild gringo sauce and the tongue-lashing Mojo wow with habanero sauce are other standouts. If you can’t stand the heat, Broadway Brewhouse, home to 100 bottles of beer on the wall, stands in back of Mojo Grill. 1900 Broadway. 321-3363. Hours: 11 am-11 pm Mon.-Sat.; 11:30 am-11 pm Sun.

Rotier’s Four generations of Nashvillians have settled into the cozy booths of this family-owned, diner-style restaurant opened in 1945 by John and Evelyn Rotier. Not many places offer American cheese and crackers as an appetizer anymore, but Rotier’s does. Meat-and-three “Night Plates,” short orders from the fryer and head lettuce salads are staples, but the most popular item for half a century remains the patty melt: a cheeseburger served on either grilled or French bread. Special mention goes to what is without question the best milkshake in Nashville, even though it’s not listed on the menu. 2413 Elliston Place. 327-9892. Hours: 10:30 am-9:30 pm Mon.-Thurs.; 10:30 am-10:30 pm Fri.; 9 am-10:30 pm Sat.

12th & Porter Lunch is packed with hacks from the daily paper next door. (Newspaper delivery trucks have rammed through the back wall twice in the restaurant’s history.) After dark, the struggling-artist crowd takes over. Insiders know the origins of dishes like Pasta Ya Ya, Rasta Pasta, Joe D’s Hot Chicken Club and Black and Blue Fettuccine, but everyone can get down with the prices: Gourmet pizzas are as low as $8, and huge bowls of pasta start at $10.50. 114 12th Ave. N. 254-7236. Hours: 11 am-2:30 pm, 5:30 pm-midnight Mon.-Thurs.; till 1 am Fri.-Sat.

Contemporary American

Atlantis No one treats a piece of fish better than Josh Weekley, who fine-tuned his skills at Le Bernardin, New York City’s only four-star seafood restaurant, before spreading his nets in Nashville. In 2000, he and wife Susan Cone opened Atlantis, a fine-dining restaurant with a sense of fun and a menu emphasizing fresh and saltwater fish and shellfish. His lobster pie with white truffle mashed potatoes is the crème de la crème of comfort foods; lighter fare is whatever just came off the boat. A meal in the dining room is pricey, but Atlantis offers the best happy hour deal in town. 1911 Broadway. 327-8001. Hours: 4-10 pm Tues.-Thurs.; 4-11 pm Fri.-Sat.

Park Cafe When it opened last year, Park Café was almost immediately touted as just exactly what Nashville needed: a warm, inviting, neighborhood bistro with a menu of substantial but sophisticated fare fusing Asian and Southwestern influences with Left Bank classics. Casual enough for jeans, with food so good it makes every dinner seem like a special occasion. 4403 Murphy Road. 383-4409. Hours: 5-10 pm Mon.-Thurs.; 5-11 pm Fri.-Sat.; reservations suggested.

mAmbu The latest collaboration between co-chef/co-owners Corey Griffith and Anita Hartell is a gift to Nashvillians who appreciate a creative, unique, slightly quirky dining experience so thoughtfully priced it can be enjoyed often. And the ambience is so welcoming, you’ll be dropping in when you’re not even hungry. The dishes are unpredictable—heavy on the Asian influences, with a smattering of Mediterranean—but diners can be assured that their meal will be memorable. 1806 Hayes St. 329-1293. Hours: 11 am-2:30 pm, 5-10 pm Mon.-Thurs.; 11 am-2:30 pm, 5-11 pm Fri.; 5-11 pm Sat. Reservations recommended.

Hispanic

La Hacienda Taqueria A decade ago, Carlos Yepez opened this as a Hispanic market with a small grill to serve the growing south-of-the-border population. Soon word got out about his homemade chips and fresh salsa, and his soft tacos served with chopped meat, fresh cilantro, a slice of avocado and a wedge of lime. Gringos flocked, La Hacienda expanded, then expanded again. Now it is a full-service restaurant, and though it has made concessions to its Southern clientele, it has the best seafood cocktail in town. 2615 Nolensville Road. 256-6142. 10 am-9 pm Sun.-Thurs.; 10 am-10 pm Fri.-Sat.

Las Americas Taqueria & Pupuseria Like many of its compadres, Las Americas opened as a market, then added a dining area. It’s got the usual suspects—tacos, tortas, tostados, enchiladas—but what distinguishes it are the pupusas, a staple of El Salvador, the native home of owner Juan Cruz. Corn meal dough is patted around fillings of pork, cheese and/or beans, then grilled and served with mild tomato sauce and spicy slaw of chopped cabbage and carrots. 4715 Nolensville Pike. 315-8888. 10 am-10 pm daily.

Las Chivas Birria—steam-cooked goat in a stew served with corn tortillas and hot sauce—may be an acquired taste, but it’s the specialty at Las Chivas. There are plenty of other one-of-a-kind reasons to visit Las Chivas: parrillada, a mixed grill of beef ribs, chorizo, shrimp, chicken and carne asada; chuletas de cerdo, grilled marinated pork tips; and ceviche de pescado, chopped raw fish marinated in lime juice with peppers, onion and cilantro. 4021 Nolensville Pike. 831-3595. Hours: 10:30 am-9 pm Mon.-Fri.; 8 am-9:30 pm Sat.-Sun.

Indian/Middle Eastern

House of Kabob This modestly outfitted Persian restaurant serves incredible food of a caliber equal to the finest haute cuisine restaurant, and unique to any other restaurant in Nashville. Jump right into this rich cultural experience with the kashk, sauteed eggplant and garlic topped with cream of whey; the piquant dolmeh, grape leaves stuffed with seasoned rice; or the crispy falafel patties. The kabobs are something to write home about, marinated, broiled just until the juices run, then served off the skewer on a plate of aromatic basmati rice. 216 Thompson Lane. 333-3711. Hours: 11:30 am-8 pm Mon.; 11:30 am-9 pm Tues.-Sat.

Shalimar Shalimar is Nashville’s first Indian restaurant and, in the view of many, remains the premier purveyor of samosas, tandoori chicken, lamb saag and aloo gobi. The menu is concise, which probably explains why each dish does not taste like the other—sometimes the case in Indian restaurants. The food is superbly executed and beautifully presented. Prices are slightly higher than at other Indian restaurants, but if you value quality over quantity, Shalimar is the place. 3711 Hillsboro Pike. 269-8577. Hours: 11 am-3 pm, 5-10 pm daily. BYOB.

Italian/French/Mediterranean

Caffe Nonna The perfect neighborhood restaurant, Caffe Nonna is friendly, warm, cheerful, cozy (with about 40 seats) and wall-to-wall lively, serving good, hearty fare at affordable prices. Chef/co-owner Daniel Maggipinto is, as his name implies, Italian, and many of the comfort food dishes on the menu came from his own nonna (Italian for “grandmother”). Regulars would have a hissy fit if he took off the lasagna Nonna, the lamb shank Toscana or the smoked salmon pasta, but he consistently adds new dishes to keep things interesting. Debuting this season are Florentine polenta, chicken and dumplings, and rigatoni Turrigiano. 4427 Murphy Road. 463-0133. Hours: 5-9 pm Mon.; 11 am-2 pm, 5-9 pm Tues.-Wed.; 11 am-2 pm, 5-10 pm Thurs.-Fri.; 5-10 pm Sat.

Margot Cafe & Bar From her open kitchen in this charming, renovated old building, chef Margot McCormack will feed you fresh, simple fare that might just as likely be found in Provence or Tuscany as in East Nashville. The short menu changes daily, but is consistent in its emphasis on fresh, regional and seasonal products. Desserts are outstanding, best enjoyed with an after-dinner coffee, served in individual French presses. 1017 Woodland St. 227-4668. Hours: 6-10 pm Tues.-Sat.

Zola Chef/co-owner Deb Paquette’s influence is primarily Mediterranean, her menus wildly innovative, her dishes complex and exotic. Some critics—a small group—contend that she flies too high, losing sight of diners with more earthbound, fundamental tastes. In response, she recently simplified the menu, though that may be the culinary equivalent of simplifying calculus. Paquette’s food is not for ordinary tastes, but those who demand extraordinary dining experiences will not be disappointed. 3001 West End Ave. 320-7778. Hours: 5:30-10 pm Mon.-Thurs.; 5:30-11 pm Fri.-Sat.

Meat-and-Three

Arnold’s Country Kitchen Everyone has their favorite meat-and-three, but Arnold’s probably tops more lists than any other, as evidenced by the cross-section of Nashvillians who line up daily for the fried green tomatoes, peppery roast beef, turnip greens, blacBerry cobbler and lemon icebox pie. 605 8th Ave. S. 256-4455. Hours: 10:30 am-2:30 pm Mon.-Fri.

Monell’s Monell’s is not your typical meat-and-three, but more like Sunday dinner at Grandma’s house. It’s served the same way, around communal tables with big plates and bowls of fried chicken, pot roast, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, green beans, yeast rolls and corn bread passed family-style. Wash it down with pitchers of sweet tea and finish up with a slice of fudge pie. 1235 6th Ave. N. 248-4747. Hours: 10:30 am-2 pm Mon.-Wed.; 10:30 am-2 pm, 5-8:30 pm Thurs.-Fri.; 8:30 am-1 pm, 5-8:30 pm Sat.; 10:30 am-3 pm Sun.

Swett’s Meat-and-three restaurants have long provided common ground for Nashville’s blue- and white-collar populations, but Swett’s is distinguished by having the most racially mixed dining room as well. Opened in 1954 in the Jefferson Street neighborhood, the restaurant remained fairly segregated until the early ’70s. But good food provided the common ground that eventually drew white customers to unfamiliar territory—and draws them still. The family still uses the recipes handed down from family matriarch Susie, and everything is made fresh daily. 2725 Clifton Ave. 329-4418. Hours: 11 am-8 pm daily. Farmers Market, 900 8th Ave. N. 742-0699. Hours: 11 am-3 pm daily.

Pizza

DaVinci’s DaVinci’s is not so much a pizza parlor as a pizza restaurant, with exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, fireplaces and a wine list. The Mona Lisa pizza will put a smile on your face: roasted red peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, onions and provolone and fontina cheese. The Bella Vita, with spinach, tomato and feta and provolone cheese, is an edible interpretation of the Italian tricolor flag. 1812 Hayes St. 329-8098. Hours: 11 am-2 pm, 4:30-9 pm Mon.-Wed.; 11 am-2 pm, 4:30-9:30 pm Thurs.; 11 am-2 pm, 4:30-10 pm Fri.; 4:30-10 pm Sat.; 4:30-9 pm Sun.

Pizza Perfect The name is not idle bragging, but pretty darned close to truth in advertising. Dough and sauce are homemade daily, pies are hand-tossed, toppings are fresh and plentiful. Puffy calzones, stuffed hot subs and baked pasta with a near-perfect tomato sauce round out the moderately priced menu. Eat-in or take-out, no delivery. 1602 21st Ave. S. 329-2757. Hours: 10:30 am-midnight Mon.-Sat.; 11 am-11 pm Sun.

House of Pizza/Joey’s House of Pizza Manny and Joey Macca are Brooklyn emigrants who since the late ’80s have been giving Nashvillians a slice of the Big Apple, Italian-style. Big brother Manny runs the House of Pizza in the Arcade, a downtown lunchtime institution; Joey has the suburban outpost in Brentwood. Southerners and Yankees alike love the pizza, the meatball subs, the cheesy calzones, the spinach roll and the thick lasagna. Loyal customers swear by the Sicilian pizza, a thick square of dough topped with plentiful sauce and just the right amount of cheese. House of Pizza: 15 Arcade. 242-7144. Hours: 10 am-6 pm Mon.-Fri.; 11 am-4:30 pm Sat. Joey’s House of Pizza: 214 Ward Cir., Brentwood. 661-0032. Hours: 10 am-6:30 pm Mon.-Wed.; 10 am-8 pm Thurs.-Fri.

Pubs and Sports Bars

Seanachie This Irish-steeped pub and restaurant sets itself apart with very good food, local ownership, an inviting ambience that does not distinguish between tourists and locals, and friendly bartenders with lilting—and genuine—Irish accents. Guinness Stout, Irish whiskeys, corned beef and cabbage, and homemade potato chips doused with a shot of vinegar and salt will have you singing “Danny Boy” with gusto. 327 Broadway. 726-2006. Dining hours: 11 am-10 pm Sun.-Thurs.; 11 am-11 pm Fri.-Sat.

Gerst Haus The Gerst Haus has a long and colorful history in Nashville, so grown men cried when the city announced it was tearing down the place to make way for tailgating in the Adelphia parking lot. But the restaurant was soon rebuilt across the street, spanking-new but somehow retaining the unmistakable eau de Gerst. It remains the only place in town to get the inimitable Gerst surf and turf: oyster rolls and pig knuckles. 301 Woodland St. 244-8886. Hours: 11 am-10 pm Sun.-Thurs.; 11 am-11 pm Fri.-Sat.

Sam’s Sports Bar and Grill Professional sports fans enjoy climate-controlled viewing for the price of a beer or two at Sam’s. The menu is a notch above most game-day fare: The onion rings are excellent, and the burgers are big and juicy. Gourmet pizzas with a crispy-chewy crust are the house specialty. 1803 21st Ave. S. 383-3601. Dining hours: 11 am-11 pm daily (w/pizzas served later).

Steakhouses

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar The meat of the menu is USDA prime corn-fed beef, hand-cut into steaks ranging in size from the 8 oz. petit filet (for just $19.95) to the 40 oz. Porterhouse. And there are 100 wines available by the glass, starting at just $5 a glass. The elegantly designed and decorated dining rooms featuring rich woods and colors are equal parts Mars and Venus. 2525 West End Ave. 342-0131. Hours: 5-10 pm Mon.-Thurs.; 5-11 pm Fri.-Sat.; 5-9 pm Sun.

Jimmy Kelly’s Jimmy Kelly’s is a throwback to the days before liquor by the drink, when the city’s better restaurants were essentially private clubs for the wealthy, well-born and well-connected. Still family-owned, still clubby and still catering to the 37205 crowd, Jimmy Kelly’s tries to hold its own against the city’s more recent steakhouse upstarts with a veteran waitstaff, a familiar, conservative menu and the justifiably famous corn cakes. 217 Louise Ave. 329-4349. Hours: 5 pm-midnight Mon.-Sat.

The Palm The Palm is a chain, but thanks in part to the cast of local celebrities and characters immortalized in caricature on the walls of every restaurant, each location absorbs the personality of the city it inhabits. Those same faces—along with aspirants to the wall of fame—show up in the bar and dining rooms, where deals are brokered over Gigi salad, 5-pound lobsters and bloody slabs of thick steak. Seventy-five years of experience are apparent at every turn, particularly in the irreproachable service. 140 5th Ave. S. 742-7256. Hours: 11 am-10 pm Mon.-Thurs; 11 am-11 pm Fri.; 5-11 pm Sat.; 5-10 pm Sun.

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