Beth’s Best of 2016


Yesterday when I pulled my #2016bestnine from Instagram (above), I was pretty surprised to see that only one photo was actually of food! Of course, a couple of them were of my kiddo dressed as food…so maybe that kinda counts?

Since not many food photos showed up there, I wanted to take a moment here on my blog to highlight some of my best food & drink experiences of 2016. Some I may have already covered in depth, but others I may not have even mentioned at all here, which is a shame! I definitely didn’t want them to go unnoticed, so here’s a quick look at some of my favorites from the past year (in no particular order):


Xiao Bao Biscuit- Charleston

Back in the spring I visited Charleston, and I really meant to write a blog post about it, but when I finally found time to do so a couple of months later, I couldn’t find any of my photos! Recently I discovered this one collage from the trip, and since the dinner at Xiao Bao Biscuit was my favorite meal of that trip, I’m happy it survived.

Shown clockwise: Yu – local snapper, pan seared with Chinese style seasonal greens; Butter curry with potato, eggplant, yogurt and rice; Okonomiyaki – cabbage pancake with the add on of “pork candy”.

If you head to Charleston any time soon, I highly, highly recommend you put Xiao Bao Biscuit on your “must” list!


Bastion – Nashville

No doubt about it, Bastion is my favorite bar in town. I mean, they have Galaga and craft cocktails and fantastic nachos, so how could it not be?

While the bar already had my undying affection, the restaurant opened in May and after two really great visits there, they earned my love too. You can read about it in detail here.


Vui’s Kitchen – Nashville

One of my favorite openings of the year was Vui’s Kitchen. I love a good salad, so I was super excited on my first visit to see that they had a few unique and flavorful options in that category. Over the past few months, Vui’s has become one of my standy-bys for a quick lunch and healthy takeout.

I absolutely love how fresh and clean all the offerings are, and I’m more than a little obsessed with their coconut pudding. Tapioca pearls and chia seeds in coconut cream with ginger, toasted sesame seeds, and crushed peanuts sprinkled on top– so delicious!


Prima – Nashville

Typically I’m more into places with a casual vibe, but there are a couple of fancy spots in town that I love and always recommend to friends looking to celebrate a special occasion, one of which is Prima. That said, I think many people would be surprised to know that Prima is also a great place for quick bites at the bar, particularly during their awesome happy hour!

Chef Sal Avila is (IMHO) one of the best chefs in Nashville, so if any of you still haven’t been to Prima, it’s time you go. Like, now.

Sinema – Nashville

And the other fancy place I recommend? Sinema. Yes, they had a chef change this year, and that can be a scary thing, but in this case, it all worked out when Chef Kyle Patterson picked up the reigns. Last month I had an absolutely incredible meal there with some of my dear friends, and truly every dish we ordered was superb.


Gunshow – Atlanta

After a couple of years of trying to secure a reservation, I finally made it to Kevin Gillespie’s Gunshow in Atlanta! It was just as great as I’d hoped it would be. If you missed my write-up a few months back, you can find it here.


The Farm House – Nashville

One restaurant in Nashville that I think doesn’t get enough attention is The Farm House. Chef Trey Cioccia just seems to keep getting better and better, so it has become a restaurant I consistently recommend to both out-of-towners and locals looking for a place to dine downtown. Oh, and I’m really, really looking forward to the new restaurant Trey has coming in 2017!


Tanta – Chicago

Back in May I got to celebrate my birthday in Chicago, and the one place I just HAD to go back to was Tanta. You see, I’ve fallen madly in love with Peruvian cuisine and now I think I have to dine there on every visit to the Windy City. Unless someone comes along and opens a fantastic Peruvian restaurant here in Nashville. Pretty please?

To read more about why I love Tanta so much, click here and here.


etc – Nashville

Deb Paquette opened a restaurant in my neighborhood this year. How could I not love that???  Read more here.


Thai Esane – Nashville

Still as crazy about Thai Esane as I was a couple of years ago when it opened. It’s on a very short list of places I frequent over and over again. Kao Soy is my winter go-to meal and Tiger Tear Salad is my summer one. And, of course, I have to have that insane Esane Sausage from time to time too! Read more here.


Shaya – New Orleans

There really are no words that adequately describe the meal I had at Shaya. It was all that and then some. And I suppose that’s why it was named Best Restaurant in the country at the James Beard Awards.

To read all about my experience there, click here. And if you go to New Orleans, by all means, EAT AT SHAYA.


Butcher & Bee – Nashville

What can I say? Butcher & Bee has been, without a doubt, my favorite restaurant to dine at this year. I think within the first 3 months it was open I had already been 12 times. Seriously, I couldn’t get enough. As the months have passed, I haven’t been able to visit as often, but I’m still as in love with it now as I was early on.

If you missed my blog post last February, you can find it here. Some menu items have changed since then, but it’s still worth the read (and definitely still worth the visit)!

Here’s to a delicious 2017 ahead!