In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types and bloggers. To kick it off in Nashville, Eater asked the group eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequent most to the biggest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.
Q. What are your headline predictions for 2017?
Nancy Vienneau, food writer and critic for The Tennessean:
Collin Czarnecki, founder and writer for NOBLE Nashville:
"Henrietta Red blows minds, tastebuds away"
"Dan Forberg's Inglewood Lounge is where you need to eat and drink right now"
"Country singer opens three-story honky tonk on Broadway"
Chris Chamberlain, food writer for Nashville Scene’s Bites Blog, Food Republic and author of The Southern Foodie: 100 Places to Eat Before You Die:
More old stalwarts unfortunately bite the dust.
Lizzy Alfs, retail reporter for The Tennessean:
Restaurants and more restaurants. I don’t think we’re going to see much of a slowdown in 2017. Nashville is too hot and restaurateurs want in. One thing I’ve liked seeing that I hope continues is local restaurateurs expanding their portfolios with new concepts in town. (Tom Morales with Fin & Pearl, Deb Paquette with Etc., Strategic Hospitality with Bastion…the list goes on)
Lesley Lassiter, food writer for Nashville Scene’s Bites Blog and Lesley Eats:
It's a safe bet that Fresh Hospitality will continue to hit home runs in fast casual concepts. The flip side of that may be that we have fewer high-end restaurants opening as the demand levels out.
Matt Rogers, editor Eater Nashville:
The high volume of restaurant openings will continue into 2017, with the vast majority being more casual projects. But towards the end of the year we will start to see more restaurants closing as supply starts to overtake demand.
Vivek Surti, founder of VEA Supper Club and Sabrage Society:
Chefs opening more casual, affordable dining options. And the emergence of longtime sous chefs taking the helm at new projects.
Beth Wallace Sachan, founder and food writer at Eat. Drink. Smile.:
Hopefully more interesting, creative concepts opening and not one headline with the word "burger" in it.
Kristin Luna, travel and food writer and founder of travel blog Camels & Chocolate:
Nashville or Bust: Music City's Meteoric Rise is Unstoppable (but seriously, how can such a small city sustain such exponential growth?). I'm particularly looking forward to Tànsuŏ, Mockingbird Diner and Henrietta Red.