Today we announce the fourth annual Eater Awards for Nashville, celebrating the chefs and restaurants that truly made an impact in 2016. We recognize restaurants, bars and chefs that have taken the Nashville food and drink scene by storm and have created something unique and lasting in the city. Read on to learn more about this year’s best of the best.
Restaurant of the Year
The opening of Bastion this year not only signaled the much-anticipated return of chef Josh Habiger to the kitchen, but it also gave the burgeoning Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood a true destination spot. A partnership between Habiger and restaurant group Strategic Hospitality, Bastion was birthed in two phases. First, the high-ceilinged casual neighborhood bar slinging boozy punches, boilermakers and cocktails. Then the intimate 24-seat restaurant where Habiger and his talented crew could work their magic, turning out some of the most inventive and satisfying food in the city. All of this together makes Bastion not only the year’s best, but also one of the best restaurants in Nashville, period.
Restaurant of the Year Readers’ Choice Winner: Bajo Sexto Taco Lounge
Chef of the Year
Jason Zygmont, Treehouse
It’s hard to think of a chef in Nashville who has had more of an impact on his or her respective restaurant this year than Treehouse’s Jason Zygmont. Moving to town this past January after spending a number of years working in high profile kitchens both here and abroad, Zygmont brought his unique, thoughtful style of cooking (and Instagram-worthy plating) to the funky, industry-favorite spot nestled in Five Points. And Nashville’s dining scene is all the better for it.
Chef of the Year Readers’ Choice Winner: Jason Zygmont, Treehouse
Design of the Year
Take a space that has been virtually unusable for years and turn it into one of the city’s best bars? That’s exactly what sisters and business partners Alexis and Britt Soler did with the opening of Old Glory earlier this year. Built into the former White Way Cleaners boiler room in Edgehill Village, it’s an industrial stunner with contemporary flourishes, and wholly unlike anything else in Nashville.
Design of the Year Readers’ Choice Award: Salt & Vine
Bar of the Year
When two veterans of one of Nashville’s best cocktail dens decide to open a bar in a one-of-a-kind space, you’ve got the makings of a boozy destination spot. With Old Glory, sisters Alexis and Britt Soler have not only given the neighborhood its best watering hole, but have added another essential stop to the city’s growing list of top-shelf bars.
Bar of the Year Readers’ Choice Winner: Old Glory
Restaurant Expansion of the Year
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint (SoBro)
Pitmaster Pat Martin’s restaurants have been the go-to for whole hog barbecue in Middle Tennessee since he opened his first Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint south of town in Nolensville. Now ten years later, Martin, partnered with Fresh Hospitality, has opened his pièce de résistance: a 13,000-square-foot, nearly 500-seat true temple to smoked meat with all the bells and whistles in SoBro.
Restaurant Expansion of the Year Readers’ Choice Winner: Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint