Tag Archives: Virago

Listeria – Nashville Eats

9 Apr

The latest issue of Nashville Lifestyles lists the 50 best restaurants in Nashville, and it is an impressive grouping. In the past couple of years, the city’s food scene has exploded.

This is the city - the Nashville city.

This is the city – the Nashville city.

People may think that this area is all about Cracker Barrel and collard greens, but some of the nation’s top chefs work their craft around here. I don’t consider myself a foodie, but I like food. That means that I have been to several on the list.

The magazine ranks the Top 10 and offers the next 40 in alphabetical order. For the purposes of this post, I will write a few sentences about my experiences at the Top 10 and give a three word synopsis for the rest.

2. The Catbird Seat – I wrote and entire post about my experience at The Catbird Seat, so I will just go ahead and link it. This is a place that everyone should experience at least once.

4. F. Scott’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar – An ex-girlfriend and I had an interesting experience at F. Scott’s. There was an appetizer that I liked, but she didn’t. It’s a story that needs a post all its own. I promise that it will be coming next.

5. City House – This is a great restaurant with an industrial atmosphere. I have been once and want to go back as soon as I can.

6. Capitol Grille – Located in the historic Hermitage Hotel, this restaurant is a classic dining experience. The food is great, and you are surrounded by history. When the Tennessee legislature approved the 19th Amendment, women got the right to vote. This is where the politicians met to work out that decision.

7. Margot Cafe & Bar – Great food. However, the best part is dessert that is served on dishes that belonged to the owner’s grandmother.

10. Kayne Prime – I am a fan of the M Street experience. Whiskey Kitchen is great. Virago is great. I am even a member of Citizen, the private club in the area. However, Kayne Prime is not my favorite steak place.

And now, the rest of the restaurants.

Eastland Cafe – my favorite one.

Firefly Grille – small but great.

Germantown Cafe – I’ve had better.

Loveless Cafe – overrated country food.

The Mad Platter – books for decor.

Merchants – duck fried tots.

Midtown Cafe – small but good.

The Palm – the steak place.

Park Cafe – just like Eastland.

Prime 108 – company ruined it.

Red Pony – cool little place.

Sunset Grill – Henley’s song better.

Tin Angel – fantastic Angel Wings.

Virago – best sushi place.

Watermark – not so good.

If you are ever in Nashville, then you should check out a few of these places. There are other great restaurants not on the list, so you can’t go wrong. Just stay away from the chains. Like all cities, Nashville has some great locally owned restaurants. As I said, I am not a foodie, but one of my co-workers is. For great reading about food, click on her blog at Nashville Fork. Be warned, it will make you hungry.

A Tuesday Night in Nashville

15 Mar

I have written a couple of posts about Nashville and the great things it offers to those of us who live in its vicinity. For those who think it is a 21st Century version of Hee Haw, I feel the need to explain that Nashville is a cosmopolitan community that happens to be the home of country music. Last night, my girlfriend and I experienced a little of both – call it cosmo-country.

We started the evening by meeting some friends and going to Virago, one of my favorite restaurants.

It has fantastic sushi and is one of the go-to places in town for the famous and not-so-famous (which I am obviously part of). It is part of a collection of restaurants within a block, and each has a different feel. Across the street, sits Whiskey Kitchen, a laid back place where you can get good drinks and comfort food. Kayne Prime is also part of the collection, A high-end steak house, its bar has one of the best views of the Nashville skyline. There is also a secret locale known by only a few. Somewhere in the area is a speakeasy type club for members only. Luckily, I am a member. I would tell you all about it, but I would have to kill you.

After a dinner, we jumped a few blocks down and across the interstate to Marathon Village, home of several cool stores and Marathon Music Works, a new music hall that I had never been to before. I must admit that I entered with some trepidation. We were going to see a couple of performers that my girlfriend listens to all of the time, and we don’t have the same musical tastes. A few weeks ago, I took her to see Lady Antebellum on one night and Jason Aldean on another. I have been planning a post on those experiences, so I won’t go into detail now. I will just say that today’s country music is not my favorite, and some of them need to decide if they are going to be AC/DC or Hank Williams.

With that rant out-of-the-way, I will continue. We were there to see David Nail and Gavin DeGraw. I had no idea what either one of them sing, and I still don’t. However, that did not dampened the fun that I had. They are both great performers, and the crowd was buzzing as they sang. The music hall, which is located in an abandoned factory, is also cool with a huge layout and plenty of bars.

I firmly believe that there is no better place in the world to listen to live music than Nashville. I know that Austin, Texas claims to be the “Live Music Capital of the World”, and I have experienced that. There is definitely some great music played there. But, Nashville has numerous places where you can hear world-class music every night. I would venture to say that the vast majority of wait staff working at Virago or any other restaurant can play and sing as good as anyone you hear on the radio. People don’t go to Austin to get discovered, but they do come here. It is interesting to hear David Nail talk on stage about moving to Nashville three times before getting a gig playing in a local bar and feeling the appreciation he has for finally making it. It is cool to go to a dive and hear someone then see them some awards show years later. That is the musical experience in Nashville.

I am not a fan of today’s country music, but I am a fan of the city from which in emanates. It makes Nashville a special place in the eyes of the world. Those of us who live here know that it is special for other reasons as well.