With CMA Fest and Bonnaroo right around the corner, I feel like many of you may be coming to my beloved city of Nashville, whether for the first time or a repeat visit. Either way, here are a few of the things that have me excited at the moment:
1) The whole experience at the Catbird Seat in Nashville
It only took me three years to snag one of the 20-ish coveted seats per night at one of the nation’s most buzzed about restaurants, but Y’ALL. Our fifth anniversary dinner at the Catbird Seat last week was totally worth the wait (and every hard-earned dollar spent). From begonias layered over tartare to ice cream wrapped in romaine, every course was surprising and inventive and delicious, and I wouldn’t think twice about paying $200 a piece again to replicate that experience (for another special occasion, but still). Though I never had the food previously, my foodie friends tell me it’s better than ever with Irish chef Trevor Moran now at the helm.
2) Cheese, chocolate and wine pairings
A Euro-style cafe that does chocolate, cheese and wine—and offers pairings at that? Now, you’re speaking my language. Tempered European Indulgence debuted over the winter in Germantown, right in the heart of a very walkable area, and while it doesn’t offer coffee—you can get that across the street at Red Bicycle—it has Wi-Fi and wine (even more important if you ask me), and you will likely find me on the patio frequently in these warmer months.
3) Lunch service at Chauhan Masala & Ale House
I was already loving Maneet Chauhan’s Southern-Indian dinner menu, but the lunch even has that beat: from the original Indian meat-and-three with a trio of sides, rice, chutney, naan and papadum to “sandwiches” like beetroot and cauliflower croquette to a lamb mint burger and a hot chicken pakora “po boy.” It’s also dangerously close to my office—as in, right out the back door—making this a dangerous discovery for my waistline.
4) Boozy drinks and grilled cheese at Goozy
Does it seem like all I ever do is eat? Well, that’s partially the case, but particularly these last few months with so much good stuff opening far and wide in Nashville. I love the concept of a dessert cafe that also has a full bar of delicious cocktails and a half dozen kinds of grilled cheese. Even cooler is that Christie Hauck, founder of the famed Christie Cookie Co., is behind it. A couple friends and I dined with Christie and his wife on Wednesday night, and the More Cheese, Please—with multiple cheeses, Benton’s bacon, and mac and cheese between two slabs of Tuscan bread—was definitely a frontrunner (though there wasn’t a single thing we didn’t like, so do yourself a favor and order it all).
5) the sundries at The Southernaire
Owned by one of my favorite local restaurateurs, Tom Morales (of Acme and the Southern fame), this New York-deli-meets-New-Orleans-bodega is a much-needed, grab-and-go lunch addition to the downtown dining scene.