The year is drawing to a close and, as is tradition, Eater Nashville has surveyed several Nashville food writers and dining experts on everything from their best meal in 2018 to their food headline predictions for 2019. Responses are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited, and are listed in no particular order.
Now, some of Nashville’s top restaurant experts spill their best meals of 2018.
Q: What was your best restaurant meal of 2018?
Nancy Vienneau, restaurant critic, The Tennessean; food journalist, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine: Too hard to name only one best. My first meal at Folk, sharing Ramp toast, scallop crudo, blue crab agretti, Clam pizza and tiramisu cream puff would be hard to beat. My best outside-a-restaurant meal was this summer at No.9 Farm, where chefs Jess Benefield and Trey Burnette treated guests to dishes they were testing for their (then) soon-to-launch restaurant, The Green Pheasant. Their American wagyu ribeye sourced from Mishima Reserve, grilled on site on a hibachi and served with beech mushrooms and baby chard kimchee was sublime, the best steak I’ve eaten, ever. Other shout-outs: Chef Tony Galzin’s (Nicky’s Coal Fired) Butternut squash stuffed agnolotti in sage brown butter. Chef Julia Jaksic’s (Cafe Roze) Chili Eggplant in crisp ground quinoa coating with Salsa Negra and charred orange vinaigrette
Kristen Luna, travel and food writer and founder of travel blog Camels & Chocolate: We had a meal at Sunda with owner Billy Dec, and tasted our way through the menu—and various Asian countries—while at it. Nashville’s lack of international cuisine, at least as a more upscale dinner option, has always vexed me so I appreciate what Billy has brought to the city.
Margaret Littman, author Moon Nashville and Moon Nashville to New Orleans Road Trip guidebooks, freelance writer Nashville Scene, the Telegraph, PUNCH, Nashville Lifestyles: A night out at Bourbon Steak.
Beth Sachan, founder and food writer at Eat. Drink. Smile: It’s too hard to choose just one, but definitely two that stand out are the Capitol Grille at the Hermitage Hotel and The Green Pheasant.
Chris Chamberlain, food writer at Nashville Scene, Sounds Like Nashville: It took me a year to get to Henrietta Red, but once I finally righted that wrong, I went back twice in a week. From start to finish, chef Julia Sullivan and her team put out plate after plate of delicious fresh seafood featuring clean flavors and delicate presentations. We don’t have a lot of great seafood in Nashville, but I can recommend that spot to anyone without reservation. (But make reservations!)
Courtney Hood, founder of Blonde Voyage Nashville: There are 365 days in a year, why limit it to one meal when I can sum it up in four? 1. Guest Chef Series at Nicky’s Coal Fired: Chef John Lasater’s hot chicken-spiced mortadella pizza with pimento cheese, pickles, and hot chicken oil. 2. Chefs Backstage: An Unrehearsed Dinner Series at Sinema with Kyle Patterson and Bryan Lee Weaver of Butcher and Bee. 3. Sunday Supper at Old School Nashville. 4. Any meal at Arnold’s. Period.