It took me a few years of living in Nashville to discover my favorite places, and then a few more years to decide which were my favorite dishes. I believe that is one of the great perks of living in a city for a several years.
Jackson’s Bar & Bistro – Jackson’s has been a favorite of mine for a very long time. Their location is great (21st Ave South in Hillsboro Village), they offer both in door and out door seating, the menu is simple but still delicious, and they’ve got great drinks (i’m a sucker for their fruit tea, especially in the summer time)! The fact that they are open until 2am makes it a great place to grab drinks with friends, especially on the patio in the summer. Best of all, they are open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday (did i mention they serve mimosas??). My Jackson’s favorite are: the loaded fries ($6.25), the buffalo feathers caesar salad ($10), the mixto panini ($7.50), and the tuna salad torrado ($7.50). American cuisine, open for B (Sat/Sun), L, D.
Merchants Restaurant – Located right on Broadway in Downtown Nashville, Merchants is great for both formal and casual meals. The upstairs dining room is perfect for business meetings, while the downstairs is great if you want to just grab a casual dinner before a concert or game. My two favorites here: Fried Chicken Tender Salad w/balsamic vinaigrette ($12), and the Pecan Encrusted Rainbow Trout ($25). American cuisine, open for L, D.
Tenno – Sushi in Nashville has definitely stepped up since 2002 when I moved there. While I was an avid Sushiyobi fan for a long time, when I rediscovered Tenno last summer it officially became my new favorite. The service is great, the prices aren’t high, and there is something for every sushi lover. My top 3 rolls: Playboy Roll ($9), Mimi Roll ($8), and Shreveport Orgasm Roll ($10). I suggest getting all three and sharing with a friend 🙂 Sushi, open for L, D, closed on sunday.
I know Providence isn’t known for it’s amazing food, but in this city, I was lucky enough to find two very memorable restaurants. Remember: Fish is almost always the best choice when staying near the water.
Bravo Brasserie – Classy and yet welcoming little bistro, serving incredible French food. I chose the Bravo Lobster Club ($15) and did not regret it. French cuisine, open for B, L, D.
Zooma – A co-worker and I stumbled upon this modern ristorante for dinner. Located in the historic Federal Hill district, Zomma is surrounded by plenty of other Italian restaurants you could choose from. We picked this place for the atmosphere, but it’s on this list because of their INCREDIBLE Sauteed Calamari ($11). I have tried calamari at restaurants all over the world, and nothing has come close to matching the taste of Zooma’s. This is also where I discovered my favorite bottle of red wine, Monte Antico ($31/bottle, $15 in stores). Italian cuisine, open for L, D.
Of course my hometown had to be represented on this list!
Iris – I went to Iris for the first time over the holidays and I can’t wait to go back. There were so many great items on the menu, it took me way too long to decide. I ended up picking some off the specials, which didn’t end up being as amazing as it sounded when the waitress talked about it (a very rare occurrence). However, my friend Lucy ordered the Penne with Garlic crusted chicken ($20) and she definitely hit the jackpot. The great thing about this restaurant is the ocean view which you can enjoy from the heated patio. I already know what i’m ordering the next time i go: crispy skinned duck leg confit ($23). Oh, and did i mention that Tuesday nights are BYOB nights? You can bring your own bottle of wine in, and they’ll wave the corking fee. World cuisine with an American twist, open for L, D.
Karl Strauss Brewery – With locations all over San Diego, this local brewery is a favorite among tourists and locals. Beer lovers will enjoy their locally brewed beers, and food lovers will enjoy all the delicious creations on the menu. My favorite item on the menu has to be the Mac on Tap, which can be ordered plain ($12) or with a variety of meats ($16) or veggies ($15). If you’re not in the mood for mac and cheese, the menu has a great variety of salads, burgers, sandwiches, and steak dishes. If you are visiting San Diego, I highly recommend eating here, and chances are, there will be a location close to where you are staying. Pub/brewery food, open for L, D.
Key: B – Brunch, L – Lunch, D – Dinner