5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

5 Things I’m Loving in Nashville Right Now

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Have I mentioned I love Nashville? No? Not lately? Well, here you have it, my confession: I kind of dig Music City. But really, it’s more like I love Tennessee as a whole, because seriously, I hail from one awesome state. Have you been? If not, what’s keeping you from it?

Along those lines, a bit of exciting news: I’m officially working with the state—or, formally, the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development—this year on their new TripTales platform to bring weekly travel tips to visitors to my lovely grand division of Middle Tennessee (the state is divvied up into three: West, Middle, East).

5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

So if you’re looking for more service-y guides to visiting my area, you’ll find them there going forward (or on my Instagram, always). As for now, here are five things that are getting me excited about Music City these days:

1. the Prima Chef’s Table dinner

Prima has been open for nearly two years, and it wasn’t until January that I finally had a meal there. I’d been for cocktails at the beyond-stunning bar—the best part about this Gulch restaurant is it’s fancy enough for a special occasion while also being chill enough for drinks with friends—but never tried Chef Sal Avila’s creative cuisine. Let’s just say, I’m a new convert.

5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now
5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now
5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

Not two months after my initial foray into Prima fandom, I indulged in a Chef’s Table meal with four of my foodie pals. This pretty much comprised sheer gluttony (with wine pairings, duh!) and a journey through Sal’s own experience walking Camino a Santiago. This was a culinary trip even closer to my heart than most given that my first guidebook writing experience at the ripe age of 23 (a full decade ago!) was in Aragon—right along the Camino route.

Prima Chef's Table dinner

The great thing about the Chef’s Table experience is that it’s intimate (you’re in your own glass room overlooking the restaurant), it can be a romantic dinner or a celebratory meal with friends (the room accommodates two to eight diners), it’s inventive (granita! roulade! potato bread! almond torte! yes, please!), and it’s literally a one-of-a-kind type of meal (Sal burns the menu at the end of each feast).

5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

Chef's Table Dinner at Prima in Nashville
Chef's Table Dinner at Prima in Nashville
5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now
5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now
5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

Chef's Table Dinner at Prima in Nashville

Now the question is: Who wants to tag along with me next time?

5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now
5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now
I’ve long lamented Nashville’s lack of special occasion dining, and the Chef’s Table experience is just what the doctor ordered. Last year, we dined at Catbird Seat; this year, I already know what SVV and I will be doing for our anniversary come May!
Chef's Table Dinner at Prima in Nashville

5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

2. the cocktails at Bastion

Who doesn’t love a cozy bar that discreetly pays homage to that 80’s cult classic The NeverEnding Story? Not only is the name a nod to the protagonist, but the only way you’ll find Bastion from the outside is by spying Falcor’s quote “never give up and good luck will find you” painted on the garage door. The latest winning concept from the Goldberg Brothers features frozen drinks, a punch of the day and other delicious cocktails—not to mention, some seriously sinfully tasty nachos (both meat and vegetarian).

5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now
5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

I’ve been twice so far: once for the preview and the second time for an impromptu birthday party last month during which my friends and I took over the entire back bleacher area. It was perfect for a casual celebration.

3. VEA Supper Club events

My good pal Vivek Surti launched his supper club series several years ago, but due to his day job as marketing director of the Nashville Wine Auction and side gig as the mayor of Music City—not to mention, the sword-wielding founder of the Sabrage Society—dinners only take place every few months.

VEA Supper Club: Vivek Surti's Beer & Biryani in Nashville
VEA Supper Club: Vivek Surti's Beer & Biryani in Nashville

And I’ve missed every last one of his supper clubs in the past—until now. SVV and I already bought our tickets (just $25 a pop, a steal!) to his upcoming Biryani & Beer event at The Family Wash and, a bonus, my girl Lyndi of Littlest Love baking fame is making the dessert! Cardamom and ginger and apple all baked into a hand pie? I hope she has leftovers because I’m not stopping at one!

This guy, his sword skills, his culinary panache and his sophisticated palate are the real deal. You’d be a crazy person not to come out and experience it firsthand! Note: The 6pm seating is already sold out, and there are only a limited number of spots left for the 8pm, so get your tickets while you still can.
VEA Supper Club: Vivek Surti's Beer & Biryani in Nashville

4. everything at the Goo Goo Shop Dessert Bar

I’m sure you’ve heard me extolling the brilliance of Nashville’s own century-old candy company a time or two in the past (and if you haven’t, then you clearly need to pay more attention!). And if you know me in real life, you’ve more than likely been the recipient of a Goo gift in the past (it’s my go-to for a hostess present). Well, as if an entire downtown shop celebrating my favorite, century-old candy brand wasn’t enough, now there’s a new dessert bar, too! And because the good folks at Goo Goo Clusters are the best, they let me come in to taste-test the new menu. You know, so I can have an informed opinion when I tell you guys GO THERE AND EAT EVERYTHING.

5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now
5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now
5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now
Bonus: As of this week, they also serve lunch, too. So if you’re tooling around downtown, pop in for a grilled Pimento cheese, the soup of the day, and a Salty Southerner Shake to top it all of. My other favorite desserts were the Honky Tonk Blonde and the pecan pie. You should probably order one of each (you know, for the sake of comparison).
The New Goo Goo Dessert Bar in Nashville

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5. the design at Le Sel

To be honest, there has yet to be a Strategic Hospitality property I didn’t immediately love (see: Bastion above), and Le Sel is no exception. Everything about the place is fantastic, the drinks are dope, and the service is on point—but overall, I can’t get over how simply gorgeous the space alone is.

5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

It’s a good thing the food is every bit as exquisite as the decor itself. Let’s just say that those Goldberg brothers don’t do anything half-assed.
Le Sel bar in Nashville
5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now
5 Things I'm Loving in Nashville Right Now

Nashville friends, what did I miss? Out-of-towners, what’s on your list of things you absolutely can’t pass up when you come to Music City?

COMMENTS
  • March 24, 2016

    So happy to see this! I live in India and my family is in Ohio.. I go home every July. My family used to always go on vacation to Gulf Shores and last year I talked them into Toronto so now they are into trying something new. This year, I talked them into NASHVILLE! My mom, dad, bro, his wife, and my BF who is english and doesn’t even know what country music life is like! lol

    I’m so excited for the music and food and will be reading your blog like crazy! I might email you down the line to get some specific info… I love planning vacations! Thinking about airbnb since there are 6 of us, a 3 BR house somewhere 🙂

  • March 24, 2016

    Nashville is one of my top cities. I realllllly want to live there!

    • March 24, 2016

      Move here! We can start a book club together =)

  • March 24, 2016
    Jim

    Great post! Nashville is pretty great, we had a chance to go through there a couple years ago and had a blast. That chef’s table dinner looked freakin’ awesome!

    • March 24, 2016

      So good! I hope you can come back soon and taste your way through all the new places that have opened in the last two years =)

  • March 25, 2016

    Nashville looks awesome as always, it would be a perfect stop on an American Road trip!

  • March 26, 2016

    I like reading about place3s I have been before, but I love reading about places where I haven’t set foot before… places that are new and fresh to me… places like Nashville… Thanks for letting me discover it through your eyes.

    • March 29, 2016

      Thank YOU, Laura! And I hope you make it to my city someday very soon =)

  • March 27, 2016

    I have a feeling there will be way more to eat than a week can handle! I am going to have prioritizing now! Prima looks like a great choice!

    • March 29, 2016

      I am so stinking excited for your visit! You must let me know ASAP when you figure out your dates so I can rope off at least a few nights for meals 😉

  • July 10, 2016

    Kristin,
    I have never been but it looks like a great place to visit and I love southern style food. Great photos by the way. You have definitely inspired me to visit very soon as I am not to far :).

  • September 8, 2016

    Though I didn’t go NASHVILLE but it seems beautiful place. I decided to visit this place ASAP. Thanks for sharing your attractive article with us.

  • November 19, 2016

    Hey! I’m finally heading your way in a few weeks – to Nashville for a few days. Thanks for this post about what’s hot right now…am thinking of booking dinner at Prima. I also remember that you (kinda recently?) did a big post on Nashville, and I’m searching around for it. Will follow your directions to the T!

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