Nashville, Tennessee’s rich musical roots have long been a primary reason to visit Music City. After all, it was here that country music was born: Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Willie Nelson have all, at some point, called the city home.
But in recent years, Nashville has skyrocketed as one of the US’s most sought-after destinations. Dozens of luxury properties are being developed, including a Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences, and travelers come in droves to indulge in the booming culinary scene, where award-winning chefs trade hot chicken and heavy meals in favor of simple dishes celebrating classic Southern ingredients.
From the trendy Brooklyn-esque East Nashville to the lively Lower Broadway, with plenty of historic attractions in between, you’ll have all the more reason to head here for a weekend of gourmet fun.
Where to eat
At first glance, Husk looks like a colonial Southern home with a red-brick facade and a breezy front porch. Inside, the homey feel continues, as if you’re at a large dinner party. The quaint space is elegant yet comfortable, and its menu celebrates Southern ingredients in their true form. For your appetizer, you can’t skip crispy chicken skins with Tennessee wildflower honey and hot sauce, or the peach-ginger-glazed pork lettuce wraps. For ‘supper,’ as Husk calls it, choose the North Carolina catfish and a savory side of hearth cornbread.
Undoubtedly the best seafood restaurant in all of Nashville, Henrietta Red is perfect for brunch or dinner. The chic space in the historic Germantown neighborhood has a contemporary feel with whitewashed walls and a wraparound patio, but it’s the marble-topped oyster bar that steals the show. It offers 15 types of oysters on the half shell (we love the Mon Louis from Portersville Bay, Alabama) as well as wood-roasted oysters and clams. There are also delectable cooked seafood dishes such as red snapper, grouper, littleneck clams or perfectly seared sea scallops.
The Catbird Seat
The Catbird Seat is an intimate chef’s table experience that seats only 22 guests around a U-shaped counter. Watch chef Will Aghajanian (who trained at Per Se in New York) cook your meal right in front of you using locally sourced ingredients. Inventive dishes, such as frozen artichoke with salted bergamot and artemisia, are inspired by chef Aghajanian’s global travels. Book well in advance; reservations are released just once a month at midnight.
Images: Andrea Behrends, Andrew Thomas Lee, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp