A Look Back at 2019: Best Nashville Eats
@betheats Instagram Top Nine 2019
Happy 2020 y’all! I don’t know about you, but 2019 flew by for me. January kicked off with my annual college girlfriends’ weekend getaway (to the beach this year instead of Chicago!) and my kiddo turning 7. In the spring we FINALLY started building our new home (check out my Home Renovations highlights on Instagram). In August Archer started 2nd grade and got his first passport so he could make his first trip outside of the country for fall break. That Canada trip also sorta served as a celebration of 11 years of marriage for my husband and I (and 16 years together).
I traveled quite a lot for work (+ a bit for pleasure), so I didn’t have as much time as in the past to blog, but did still have a chance to eat a lot! And some of those meals were definitely worth sharing, so I wanted to do a round up of my best experiences here on the blog since they deserve extra attention. If you haven’t yet been to any of these spots, I highly recommend doing so in the coming months!
1300B 3rd Ave N
Nashville, TN 37208
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve probably heard me mention my friend Vivek. We met years ago when I first began blogging, and I’m so thrilled that he now has his own restaurant (opened late 2018). There is no other place in town creating the type of experience you’ll find at Tailor, and I’m not the only one that thinks that.
Bon Appetit discovered this gem and named it on their Hot 10: Best New Restaurants in America list this past fall!
The menu at Tailor changes seasonally (4 times a year), and it’s a set menu each season, so I can’t make suggestions on what to order. That said, of all the dishes I’ve tried, there hasn’t been a loser yet!
I will say that two of my favorites have been the Pork Coppa with fennel, apple, coriander, and red chile and the Dhokla, a street food snack that’s made of fermented chickpea and rice flour, topped with black mustard seed, cilantro and coconut.
Dhokla at Tailor Nashville
2005 Belcourt Ave
Nashville, TN 37212
‘za in Hillsboro Village
For those that know me well, it will come as a surprise that I would include pizza on my Best of list as I typically am not a big fan of pizza! Not that I hate it, it’s just not my favorite food. I’d happily eat a salad over pizza any day.
That said, I love ‘za, the new concept opened by Sarah and Karl Worley of Biscuit Love.
- Ricotta Dip with Honey and Wood-Fired Pizza Dough
- Thoroughbred Hillbilly Pizza – White Sauce, Mozzarella, Benton’s Prosciutto, Dressed Arugula
- Yell Talker Pizza – Onion Puree, Caramelized Onions, Pecorino, Scallions, Chives
And don’t forget to order some of the dipping sauces for your pizza crusts!
All the dips! at ‘za
345 40th Ave Ave N
Nashville, TN 37209
Small plate dining is, in my opinion, the best way to eat. Personally, I’d rather not commit to one big entree, but instead would rather share several smaller dishes with two or three friends. I think that’s why I like Chaatable so much – the menu is definitely set up in a way that encourages sharing. Plus everything is just so full of flavor…and fun!
Chaatable’s “The Okra Whenfried Show”
I’ve enjoyed several great meals at Maneet Chauhan’s other Indian restaurant, Chauhan Ale & Masala, but once Chaatable opened, it definitely became my favorite of the two. I prefer the dinner menu over the lunch menu, and I’ve never been there for brunch, so can’t speak to it.
Suggested to order on the dinner menu: Okra Whenfried (SO GOOD!), Puff Puff Pass, Hand It Over (samosa chaat), Goan Deep (shrimp), The O.G. (butter chicken), Gobi Awesome (cauliflower), Have a Ball (puffed poori that you’ll need to soak up all of that amazing sauce on the butter chicken!)
The O.G. at Chaatable
1628 21st Ave S
Nashville, TN 37212
E3 Chophouse, Nashville
Very new on the scene, I just wrote about E3 a couple of days ago, so you can visit that blog post here to learn all about it. Definitely a great new steakhouse option in Nashville, and I particularly love the rooftop patio with fire pits, a first for Hillsboro Village!
935 W Eastland Ave
Nashville, TN 372036
Lyra is a restaurant I’ve recommended several times over the past year, and I’ve almost always been met with “where is that? I’ve never heard of it”, which is unfortunate because it really is such a wonderful place. In fact, I would list it in my Top 10, maybe even Top 5! Opened in 2018, the Middle Eastern restaurant is located in the old Holland House space in East Nashville.
Not only is the food amazing, but the cocktails are awesome, and their happy hour starts at 4 pm! For those of us that like early happy hours, you know there aren’t many places in town where you can start this early.
Don’t miss: Hummus with warm pita (my favorite is the the one with roasted turnips and candied onions), Fried Halloumi , any of the beautiful breads that come from the wood-fired oven, and the lamb fries (happy hour menu)
1520 Division St
Nashville, TN 37203
Thai Esane’s grand opening on new Music Row location in 2019
Serving Thai-Laotion food in a fairly non-descript building on 12 South since 2014, Thai Esane made a big move in 2019. Now housed inside the new Element building on Demonbreun Hill within walking distance of Music Row, the sleek new space still feels warm, though a complete transformation from its original space.
Kao Soi at Thai Esane
I’ll be honest, when I heard Thai Esane was moving, I was a little worried it would lose some of its personality, but that worry was completely unfounded. I’ve had the pleasure of dining at Thai Esane many times through the years, and gotten to know Chef and owner Nina Singto. She and the restaurant are both gems!
Favorites: Steamed Dumplings, Kao Soi, Esane sausage, Chicken Noodle soup, Malaysian noodles
2600 Franklin Pike
Nashville, TN 37204
Pumpkin + Crab at Sinema
On a recent visit, I had a few dishes that were absolutely incredible and worth mentioning in case you visit the restaurant sometime soon. Recommendations on the current Fall/Winter menu:
- Fried Burrata with Tomato Bacon Jam, Grilled Focaccia, Pickled Red Onion
- Cast Iron Pumpkin Zeppole, Jumbo Lump Crab, Local Bacon Lardon, Green Apple, Bacon Fat Vinaigrette
- Country Ham & Brussels Sprouts – Shaved Country Ham, Brussels Sprouts, Green Apple, Gruyere, Walnut, Pumpkin Honey Vinaigrette
- House-made Corzetti Pasta, Butternut, Pork Belly, Pear, Pumpkin Seed, Bread Crumbs, Sage Ricotta, Shiitake
303 Demonbreun St (in the Encore)
Nashville, TN 37201
Etch’s Crispy Potato Salad
- Crispy Potato Salad – mustard dressing, chimichurri roja & verde sauces
- Etch Salad – arugula, radicchio, fennel, green apple, blue cheese, hazelnuts, champagne vinaigrette, candied orange peel
- Roasted Cauliflower appetizer: cauliflower, truffled pea puree, salted almonds, feta crema, and red bell pepper sauce
Roasted Cauliflower at Etch
1103 MacGavock St
Nashville, TN 37203
Kayne Prime is first and foremost a steakhouse, but honestly I could easily fill up on non-meat dishes there and be totally happy! I’ve even dined there with a vegetarian and only had vegetables. That said, I definitely sometimes crave a good steak, and their filet with bone marrow butter is my go-to.
Menu Favorites: Bacon with Cotton Candy, Tuna (toasted sushi rice), Popcorn buttered lobster, Kale salad, Cream corn brûlée, any steak with bone marrow butter (!!!)
1222 4th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37208
City House’s Belly Ham Pizza
Yes, I’m mentioning more pizza in this post. City House’s Belly Ham Pizza still stands as one of my favorite dishes in town. On a recent visit though, I ate a salad alongside that pizza that was one of the best salads I’ve had in a long time. Salad is my love language, so I can be pretty critical of them. Finding a really incredible one is harder than you would think, so I was pleasantly surprised.
But the star of my meal at City House on that particular evening was the dessert. Pastry Chef Rebekah Turshen’s Coffee Creme Soda Cake stole the show! If you find yourself at City House and you see it on the menu, it is a MUST ORDER.
City House’s Coffee Creme Soda Cake
1994 Carters Creek Pike
Franklin, TN 37064
The Rambling at Southall Farms
I wrote about my Rambling dinner earlier this year here on the blog, so to get all of the details and see more dishes, visit that post. It truly was one of the best overall experiences I’ve had in a long time, and I’d love to do it again. BUT – I have no idea if they’ll be hosting these again in the spring and fall. If you aren’t already on their email list, I’d suggest you sign up for it, or at the least, follow Southall on Instagram and/or Facebook, to be the first to hear news regarding any upcoming dinners they may have.
Beet Salad at The Rambling
So there you have it — my best Nashville eating for 2019. I’ve got some additional meals to share with you from my travels, so stay tuned in the next few days for those!