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 were your top restaurant standbys of 2017?
Nancy Vienneau, food writer and critic for The Tennessean:
Margot Cafe and Bar, Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, Anatolia’s (each beloved for delicious consistency)
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:
I'm currently obsessed with lunch and brunch at Butcher & Bee. I can't figure out how they manage to stay so consistent serving so many dishes so fast. Their prep skills are strong!
Arnold's and Martin's BBQ Joint downtown probably show up on my dining journal (and cholesterol test) more often than anywhere else in town. Martin's dry-rub wings with Alabama white sauce and Yazoo Daddy-O was my pregame hockey ritual that went 10-2 in the playoffs! Respect the streak and keep it holy.
Lesley Lassiter, food writer for Nashville Scene’s Bites Blog and Lesley Eats:
Caracasville pop-ups at the Nashville Farmers' Market, Vui's Kitchen, Funk Seoul, Jamaicaway, Thistle Farms Cafe, the food court at Plaza Mariachi, Cilantro's, Amerigo.
Matt Rogers, editor Eater Nashville:
Butcher & Bee, The Treehouse, and Thai Esane were probably the three restaurants that showed up the most in my rotation. With so many new spots opening up in town, consistency and quality are crucial, and these restaurants always seem to hit the mark.
Vivek Surti, founder of VEA Supper Club and Sabrage Society:
The Nashville classics continue to deliver. It's hard to have a bad meal at City House, Rolf & Daughters and/or Husk. I had some truly memorable meals at both Bastion and Treehouse. Even with all of the new restaurants opening in town, the standby's haven't lost a beat. In fact, they've gotten better.
Kristin Luna, travel and food writer and founder of travel blog Camels & Chocolate:
City House never wanes in quality; that will forever be my top pick for dinner, particularly for Sunday supper. Dozen Bakery continues to be a standout for me as a lunch spot; the team there knits together fresh produce and baked bread in a mindful, healthy manner (and it's always delicious). And for breakfast (just so long as it's a weekday...), Biscuit Love will never, ever get old.