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 was the best dining neighborhood of 2017?
Nancy Vienneau, food writer and critic for The Tennessean:
Downtown. Maybe not "the best," but most transformed--considering Gray & Dudley, Black Rabbit, Sea Salt, Deacon's New South, and soon-to-come Makeready Libations and Liberation in Noelle.
Germantown, even though I don't get there often enough. City House and Rolf & Daughters are like dear friends that you forget to call or email for awhile and then you feel like it's your fault so you don't call or email because you're embarrassed. But you should because your real true friends are always there for you. With meatballs and garganelli.
Lizzy Alfs, business reporter for The Tennessean:
Probably East Nashville but I think it’s been that way for years. Look at the newcomers alone – Attaboy, Cafe Roze, Rosemary & Beauty Queen, Urban Cowboy Public House, Fort Louise, Greko, Noble’s, Peninsula. It’s an exciting time for dining on the east side.
Lesley Lassiter, food writer for Nashville Scene’s Bites Blog and Lesley Eats:
Melrose. Such a good, wide range of cuisine, style, pricing. Everything from fast food to fine dining.
Matt Rogers, editor Eater Nashville:
While the number of dining options continue to grow in neighborhoods across town, Germantown and East Nashville are still way out in front in terms of overall quality and variety. It’s been that way for several years, and it probably won’t change anytime soon.
Vivek Surti, founder of VEA Supper Club and Sabrage Society:
Germantown. It's really hard to beat the combination of City House, Rolf & Daughters, Henrietta Red, and 5th & Taylor. The addition of Kuchnia & Keller is very exciting - Aaron Clemins has been a stalwart of the Nashville food community for a long time. The beer list that they've put together with Matt Leff of Rhizome Productions features a variety of some of the best craft beers from around the world - many of them hard to find and/or special collaborations that only have a few kegs available. It's the spot to drink beer in this town and the awesome hot dogs on the late night menu don't hurt either. Lastly, the addition of Vui's Kitchen in Germantown Market means there will finally be a place to eat Asian food in the neighborhood.
It's a tie between Germantown and East Nashville.