by TJ AndersonLennon Stella's home, photo via People.comI was already impressed by Lennon Stella, who, by starring in TV drama Nashville, managed to build a double-threat career as an actress and
Treat Your Valentine In Nashville
by TJ Anderson
It’s easy to be cynical about Valentine’s Day (and sometimes it’s more fun to be cynical about Valentine’s Day). But if you have someone to spend this hearts-and-flowers holiday with, it’s at least worth trying to make it fun. So let’s take a look at the traditional menu for the day, and give it something of a Nashville/Middle Tennessee twist. Here, I’ve collected some local options that I find a little more interesting than your by-the-checkout Kroger grabs:
A card from the grocery store says “I stopped for this and beer on the way home today, and you’re worth it.” A card from East Nashville paper goods shop PULP says you’re the type who appreciates shopping local and who’s down to make the effort to hunt down something unique, even when it’s as simple as a card. Their selection — located inside equally fun local shop Hey Rooster — ranges from cute to kitschy to funny to weird. You’ll find something that beams your Valentine.
Again, no on the old heart-shaped box. Nashville-bred gift subscription service Batch developed special Choc-a-lot collections for the cities they serve, and Nashville’s includes items from some highly lovable local confectioners, including artisan marshmallow makers Bang Candy Co. and chocolatier Chocolate/FX. ($55, available through Batch)
The romantic dinner
Thinking about going out? Try The Red Pony. Cheesy to choose a Valentine’s Day restaurant that has “red” in the name? Not in this case. It’s a beautiful room in beautiful downtown Franklin with just the right amount of dimmed-light vibe; Nashville Lifestyles recently named it one of the area’s most romantic places to eat; and the Valentine’s 2015 menu sounds incredible (just maybe only get the 30 clove garlic soup if you’re feeling really confident about your relationship). (Valentine’s menu $75/person; reservations online)
Wanna show off your cooking skills? Stop by either Porter Road Butcher location and see if you can snag a heart-shaped steak, pictured above (East Nashville: 501 Gallatin Ave.; West Nashville: 4816 Charlotte Ave.).
The after-dinner drinks
If you’re already in Franklin for dinner, you might move down to Gray’s on Main — their cocktails menu, developed by Nashville’s PourTaste, is something special. For Valentine’s Day, the Brandy Harlow seems particularly fitting: chocolate-infused cognac, dry curaçao, fernet, cream, espresso.
Rather do the after-dinner drinks back home? Can’t go wrong with a bottle of red, and if you haven’t tried local winery Arrington Vineyards' KB 612 reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, give it a go. AV keeps getting better, and if you like stout reds, you’ll like this one. (Plus it’s a good excuse to make plans to head to the vineyard for a tasting — a romantic outing, for sure.) ($49.99, via Arrington Vineyards)
The point of a Valentine’s gift should be to show the object of your affection that their happiness matters to you, and that you care enough to indulge in some sap to add to that happiness. Personally, I’m still a fan of a little subtlety, as opposed to the Jane-Seymour-open-heart-pendant approach. Nashville’s Freshie & Zero makes hand-hammered jewelry pieces that are thoughtful without being overwrought. This Love necklace is delicate and beautiful, and the symbolism is sweet (interconnected circles, no beginning, no end) without trying too hard. ($54, FreshieandZero.com)
Looking for something a little more masculine? Pair these WoodTones Over-The-Ear Headphones — made by Nashville’s Griffin Technology — with a specially-for-you shared playlist. (Try Billboard’s Top 50 Love Songs of All Time if you need a little inspiration.) ($99.99 via Griffin)
Already have your local Valentine’s plans set? Love to hear your choices.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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