Twice a year, restaurants in Nashville take part in Restaurant Week, a celebration of independent restaurateurs and chefs and a chance for food lovers to check out new places and taste new menu items at much-visited favorites.
Depending on where you go, you might see a special seasonal menu just for Restaurant Week, or a prix fixe deal on existing menu favorites, or something else entirely. Independent restaurants; independent ways of celebrating.
The week has already begun, and runs through Sunday, Jan. 25. Regardless of where you live or work, from Green Hills to Historic Downtown Franklin, there’s doubtlessly a participating spot close by, and your choices also range from low-key (like Mafiaoza's in 12 South) to elegant (Mere Bulles in Brentwood).
Since my job keeps me out and about throughout Middle Tennessee, I have a broad list of Restaurant Week stops in mind. Here are a few of my picks, and what they’ll be offering this week, sorted by neighborhood for easy planning.
Simplicity is a touchstone of Southern food, but when the flavors we love are taken to sophisticated places by expert hands — like those of Red Pony’s chef Jason McConnell — we get to experience a whole new kind of appreciation. For Restaurant Week, Red Pony has a special four-course menu that includes croissant-wrapped elk sausages (your pigs in a blanket reimagined), shrimp and grits and lots more.
This cozy space next to Jeni’s Ice Creams on the East Side gets big praise consistently (you might’ve even seen two of their chefs, owner Roderick Bailey and sous chef Ashlee Saylor, on Food Network’s show Chopped). And they deserve it — their focus on local, organic and sustainable ingredients leads to lots of goodness. For Restaurant Week, there’s a special three-course menu with seared scallops, sunburst trout and a toffee date cake.
Another local restaurant with an exceptional take on upscale Southern flavors, Watermark has an added bonus, too: a great rooftop patio that lets you enjoy the buzzing Gulch from a beautiful perch (this week’s weather: perfect for it). For Restaurant Week, they have a three-course prix fixe menu that elevates Southern favorites like grits (a Tennessee stone-ground grit soufflé with goat cheese and shiitake mushrooms) and pork chops (with andouille cornbread pudding).
Those are a few of my thoughts — check out the Nashville Originals website for more options/inspiration. Any particular places you’re thinking about hitting?
If you’re looking for the right neighborhood to buy a new home in, dropping by one of these restaurants might be a great excuse to do a little more exploring. If I can help with your neighborhood hunt or house hunt, let me know!
Author:TJ Anderson Phone: 615-364-1530 Dated: January 20th 2015 Views: 3,308 About TJ: TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a h...
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