We've had the pleasure of two really fabulous fresh meals in Nashville over the last two weeks. Last weekend, we revisited Tayst, which has always been very good, but this meal was Really Good. They're using as much fresh, locally-grown ingredients as possible and flying in amazing fish this spring. I had a potato-leek soup, which was heartier than I expected but nice, and my husband had a spearfish appetizer to start. We had very nice salads, mine a red oak with a vanilla vinaigrette and spiced nuts. Entrees were fish, mine a Hawaiian sea bass with mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns, which was just amazing--light and fresh, with an earthiness to the ferns and mushrooms. Another thing I liked is that the portion sizes were perfect--not so large and disgusting as they feel required to plate at so many other restaurants around here. We were therefore able to eat our food and leave without waddling. Service I'd rate as pretty good, with only a little room for improvement (it took a while to have our first visit from the server, but after that they were fairly attentive). The restaurant was full, which was nice to see, but it wasn't too loud for us to have nice conversation. The previous night we'd gone to Red Pony in Franklin, where the food was very good but it was unbearably loud. Just a different scene altogether.
Last night we went to Watermark. I hadn't been in a while. The first time I went, I had the best dining experience I'd ever had in Nashville, then I went back a few months later (mind you this has been a year and a half ago), and was extremely disappointed both in service and food. Thus, we'd not been back until last night. Three of us went for dinner, and it was amazing. Again, big use of locally-grown, fresh ingredients, and very attentive but not overbearing service. Our men had various green salads (w/things like brie, strawberries, etc.) to start, but I had the chilled asparagus and lobster salad on recommendation of the server. Boy, was she right. The salad was fresh, with four beautiful poached spears of asparagus, all served on a bright green sweet pea puree that I could have licked off the plate. For entrees, husband had a corvino that looked really good, and our friend had salmon. They happily substituted the side on the salmon because my friend was avoiding cream, which was key to the dish. Again, the server made a recommendation to me when I inquired about seafood, so I had the scallops. There were four large, tasty, beautiful seared scallops on a potato puree surrounded by earthy roasted mushrooms and haricort verts. It was absolutely lovely and delicious. Service was impeccable. We'll definitely go back, and soon.