We’re usually flush with good restaurant news here, with delicious-sounding new places popping up seemingly every day. But that doesn't make it any less sad to see longstanding names in Nashville’s food scene locking up.
If you’ve been in Middle Tennessee a while, you can probably relate, and like me, you probably have a list of now-shuttered restaurants that you still really miss. Here are a few of mine, in no particular order — if there are some Nashville restaurants that you’re still mourning, weigh in on the TJ Anderson Homes Facebook page.
This one’s a recent departure (it closed in late 2014), and although owner Matt Charette still has several East Nashville eateries operating, its sushi and Asian fare is missed. They had a great Tuesday sushi happy hour, and while solid drink happy hours are plentiful in Nashville, good sushi happy hours aren’t quite as easy to come by.
After two decades, this restaurant and brew house closed its doors in the fall of 2014. One positive: Beer lovers who miss their unique and delicious Flaming Stone beer could always stop in Memphis.
Eastside Fish in East Nashville
An early 2014 loss, Eastside Fish earned lots of praise for serving “the crunkest fish in town,” even showing up in Jane and Michael Stern’s 500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late: and the Very Best Places to Eat Them book. And… well... now it’s too late.
Sunset Grill in Hillsboro Village
After nearly a quarter century, this Village institution served its last meal this past New Year’s Eve.
An early entry into The Gulch’s fine-dining scene, chic spot Radius10 was apparently brought down by the economic downturn, closing in 2009. Steakhouse Kayne Prime now lives in its place, but Radius’ now long-gone lobster pizza remains a lunch worth pining for.
Have you been watching Nashville chef Arnold Myint on Food Network’s Food Network Star? He’s a born winner, and it’s a shame that his place Cha Chah — which served some pretty incredible tapas — closed in 2012, after three years in business. (Myint relaunched the space in 2013, as French bistro-style eatery blvd.)
With a wild and wonderful mix of Mediterranean flavors, Zola earned tons of love here and elsewhere, getting named one of the Top Sixty Restaurants in the United States in Gourmet Magazine. In early 2010, though, owners Debra and Ernie Paquette closed the place after nearly 13 years to manage a Caribbean fishing lodge. Silver lining, though: Immensely talented chef Deb Paquette is back, leading the kitchen at Etch downtown, and is apparently working on opening a placed called Truss in Sylvan Park this summer.
Mario's Ristorante in Midtown
Mario Ferrari was a Nashville food legend, and his Italian restaurant was legendary. After more than four decades anchoring Midtown’s restaurant world, Mario's had to close after a fire destroyed the building it was housed in. Ferrari had plans to reopen, but passed away at age 80 in 2012, before he was able to bring back his namesake place. Many, many Nashvillians mourn both the man and his restaurant, though he fittingly has a permanent place here, with Lyle Avenue between West End and Division now designated as “Mario Ferrari Way.”
What did I miss? What are the Nashville/Middle Tennessee restaurants you wish were still around?