I did a lot of lurking on this board prior to heading to Nashville for 5 days last week. I wanted to provide a brief report as a way to say thanks to those who provided suggestions in several other threads.
This was a great trip for me! My wife was attending a conference and it happened to coincide with spring break where I work. We stayed in the West End, a short walk from our first meal, lunch at Hattie B's. We loved our first taste of hot chicken.
Here’s a quick synopsis of our dinners:
Tuesday: Rolf and Daughters
Thursday: Holland House
Saturday: Broadway Brewhouse
R&D had no reservations available but suggested we arrive a bit after 8 and try for a seat at the bar. It worked. We snagged two seats right away and spent the next couple of hours enjoying chicken liver pate, brussel sprout salad, and two types of pasta. Great wine list and fantastic service from our bartender, Scott. In all, this was our favorite place. The food, the service and the vibe all worked wonders for us. Etch was the only reservation we made before leaving Boston. Again, the food and service were impeccable. I’d go here again but the atmosphere was much different than R&D, much larger and many suits. Not really a negative, just a difference in the space probably due to Etch being located right downtown. Holland House had great drinks and more of a comfort food approach. Silo was a bit of a random pick. It billed itself as farm-to-table and was just that. Simple preps with a southern flair. We had another brussel sprout salad (fried and a bit heavy), before mains of hot chicken (really hot, really good) and scallops (perfectly cooked). This place had a great neighborhood feel and made us feel very welcome. By Saturday evening, we were spent from a long afternoon of bar hopping and ended up at the Brewhouse. It worked for us. Try the gumbo.
What else? I had a couple of solo lunches at Whiskey Kitchen which went well and one at Flying Saucer where the beer selection is excellent and the food is not what you go there for. But the other really cool find was Barista Palace. It was a suggestion by our R&D bartender. This is a fantastic coffee place in an old garage in East Nashville. Coffee is made one cup at a time by the method of your choice. They have great heritage pork sausage biscuits as well. If you really like coffee, have the time and means to go to an out of the way place, are willing to wait a fairly long time to get your coffee and pay a lot for it, you should go. I say that with admiration. They don’t compromise. I went there twice. Amazing coffee and a really funky place.
Thanks again to all posters on this board! Your suggestions were great.