Mason’s Restaurant and Mason Bar at Loews Vanderbilt Plaza
A while back I gave you the heads up about the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel renovation and the new Southern brasserie-style restaurant and bar that were to come. Well, now Mason’s Restaurant and Mason Bar are open for business, and last week I had the pleasure of sampling a bit of the menu. My thoughts? Let’s just say I’m already planning my next visit and you all should put it on your short list of things to do!
For years my husband and I have had a recurring conversation so many times… there are no good hotel bars in Nashville. We travel from city to city and have hung out in some really cool hotel bars – San Francisco, Chicago, L.A., NYC, Minneapolis, etc, etc. Why does Nashville not have a single one? Sure, I like to visit the Oak Bar at the Hermitage from time to time. But that’s not the kind of space I’m talking about. When the Hutton Hotel opening was on the horizon, I thought for sure that would be the new cool bar. Nope. I mean, the bar is nice enough, but it’s tiny. Not the kind of place I’d been waiting for.
With the opening of Mason Bar, it has finally happened! Nashville now has a hip hotel bar with incredible cocktails. And plenty of space for mingling. It’s big. It’s cool. It’s a place I, as a local, want to go hang out. Not only are the drinks amazing, but the food is fantastic as well.
Mason’s Fried Green Tomatoes
crab, field peas, feta, smoked pepper aioli
Months ago, when I first heard of the restaurant concept the hotel was working on, and that they were looking for a chef, Brandon Frohne is the person that immediately popped into my head. Brandon is a chef whose food has wowed me at many local competitions and events through the years. He’s bold. He’s competitive. He puts himself out there. I knew he would be perfect for what they were trying to accomplish.
Lo and behold, a few weeks later, the announcement was made – Brandon had been hired as Executive Chef!
I’m excited for him, I’m excited for the hotel and I’m excited for us. Mason’s is a great addition to the culinary scene here in Nashville and (being a little selfish here) it’s fairly close to my house, so an added plus! I foresee many dates nights/girls nights/happy hours/business meetings there in my future.
A Devil of an Egg at Mason’s Bar
bacon jam, mustard seed caviar
During my visit last week, dish after dish was served and none disappointed. The “Jars” – small jars of pimento cheese, lima bean hummus and pepper jelly served with olive oil crackers- were a perfect starter for the evening. The fried green tomatoes were some of the best I’ve ever had. The crab corn dogs were delicious. The beef tartare on dill pollen chips were unique and interesting – in a good way!
But the “Devil of an Egg” was probably my favorite bite – or shall I say bites? Yeah, I ate at least 6. And I’m not ashamed.
Mason’s Crab Corn Dogs
with Mississippi Comeback Sauce
I’ve admitted before here on the blog that I’m a bit of a cocktail snob, and I’m happy to report that Mason’s has passed my libations test with flying colors. Favorites of the night included the Red Zone – a concoction of hot pepper infused Souza, Monin Habanero Lime, Aperol and lime juice – and the Front Porch – Ketel One vodka with house made watermelon soda. So refreshing. In fact, I’m looking forward to enjoying many of those this summer!
Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
2100 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203
Mon – Sun: 6:30 am – 10:00 pm