Going South: Finding Culinary Merit in Nashville

Pinewood Social

Music feeds the soul, but you know what else does? Food. Countless cities strive for culinary excellence, but none do it quite like Nashville. For decades, this southern city has been recognized as the US country music capital, and now its hospitality domain is gaining similar national recognition. Not only has the metropolis’s culinary realm honored the tradition of American southern cooking, but also it has expanded the delineation of southern cuisine to measure up to contemporary standards. Nashville’s food and wine community has played catch up to the popularity of its music counterpart, jazzing up its performance to catapult it into a crescendo of culinary excellence. Exploring the iconic, historic restaurant staples as well as the contemporary dining newcomers exhibit how Nashville holds the title as a worthy US foodie destination.

PINEWOOD SOCIAL | 33 Peabody Street, Nashville, TN 37210

Pinewood Social, as it characterizes itself, is “a place to meet”, and we could not agree with this proclamation more. Pinewood is a space that is based on the idea of creating a social gathering place that can accommodate your needs morning, noon and night. Additionally, Pinewood operates as the perfect inviting, pulsating setting to meet friends for cocktails and dinner. Patrons further deem it as a place to play, whether that means bowling or playing bocce.

CATBIRD SEAT | 1711 Division Street, Nashville, TN 37203

Featured in a recent episode of Anthony Bourdain’s CNN series “Parts Unknown,” Catbird Seat embodies the new-wave culinary realm of Nashville. The restaurant offers twenty-one patrons the chef’s tasting experience every evening, which they can only reserve through a ticketing website. A meal at Catbird isn’t just a meal, but a form of entertainment, where menus don’t really exist and multi-course dishes and drink pairings are full of delight and surprise. It’s not for those who like to play it safe with food, but a treat for real adventure seekers.


Catbird Seat

HUSK NASHVILLE | 37 Rutledge Street, Nashville, TN 37210

Chef Sean Brock of Charleston, South Carolina turned the culinary scene of his hometown upside down with his introduction of Husk restaurant, and recently, this southern celebrity chef conjured up a similar upheaval in Nashville, Tennessee. At Husk Nashville, there are some rules about what can go on the plate. “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door,” says Brock. The resulting cuisine is not about rediscovering Southern cooking, but rather exploring the reality of Southern food.

PRINCE’S HOT CHICKEN | 123 Ewing Drive, Nashville, TN 37207

To commence this culinary investigation of Nashville, where better to begin than Prince’s Hot Chicken. No reasonable discussion of the city’s hot chicken scene can be entered into without paying due deference to this iconic hot spot – no pun (or bun) intended. Prince’s embodies the soul of southern cooking: fried chicken, but without a doubt adds flair, an undeniable flair. Ordering the spiciest dish on the menu will send you into a high octave scream that will imprint a burn into memory that will not be forgotten. Beware. We caution patrons, but encourage the experience.

HERMITAGE CAFÉ | 71 Hermitage Avenue, Nashville, TN 37210

One of Nashville’s only true diner experiences, this Rutledge Hill standby caters for the late-night crowds, opening at 10pm and closing at 1:30pm daily. Cheap, quick and a great spot for people watching, it’s hard to go wrong, but the pancakes may very well be the best in town. The diner serves up other great twists on classic dishes, such as country fried steak. The Hermitage Café is truly an old-school joint that will surely not only transport you into the past, but also leave you full and satisfied.


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