Have You Been to Nashville Lately?
Writer Christian T. Owen
Spend a day (or two) in Nashville.
Begin with breakfast.
Star Bagel Café, started as a small Nashville bakery in 1995, has developed into a bakery café with a range of creative salads, soups and sandwiches served on their own bakery breads. Select an original cream cheese spread for a winning combination. (615.292.7993 / www.starbagelcafe.com)
Save room for lunch.
The Food Company—Known for being an ideal choice for catering needs and a daily menu filled with original, healthy, tasty options, The Food Company even has a "Soul Kitchen" menu. (615.385.4311 / thefoodcompanynashville.com)
MAFIAoZA's—A popular 1920s New York-style Italian restaurant known for serving authentic stone-oven pizza offers dishes using fresh, seasonal ingredients, many of which are locally grown. (615.269.4646 / www.mafiaozas.com)
Make reservations for dinner.
Margot Café & Bar features country French and Italian cuisine. With an emphasis on working with local farmers, Chef Margot McCormack brings the freshest ingredients to the table. This casual, fine-dining restaurant is located at Five Points in Historic East Nashville. (615.227.4668 / www.margotcafe.com/home.htm)
PM serves Asian-inspired cuisine. Arnold Myint is the Executive Chef and owner of three popular restaurants in Nashville: Cha Chah, Suzy Wong's House of Yum, and PM. The menu at PM is as colorful as Myint's culinary experiences, which include being a 2010 contestant on the popular show, Top Chef. (615.297.2070 / www.pmnashville.com)
It is too early to go home yet.
Sambuca—Almost 20 years after opening as a small, eclectic location in an artsy warehouse district of Dallas, the Sambuca concept has become a nationally recognized name for combining fine dining with live music seven nights a week. Nashville is one of five Sambuca locations. (615.248.2888 / www.sambucarestaurant.com)
Boun'dry—Enjoy alfresco and open-air dining when weather permits. The bar areas have doors and windows which retract to allow the fresh air of spring, summer, fall and winter to enter. Known for their classic martini, they offer original shaken-not-stirred combinations, too. (615.321.3043 / www.pansouth.net/boundry/index.php)
Sightseeing in style.
The Gulch—The revitalization of Nashville's historic Gulch area has created a downtown community that is "uniquely Nashville." Merchants invite visitors to experience an eclectic mix of everything from clothing and furniture to art and jewelry. (www.nashvillegulch.com)
Franklin's Square—There are 15-blocks featuring 150 unique places to explore in Historic Downtown Franklin's National Register district. Franklin, a charming suburb of Nashville, is a place to shop and eat at all price points. Tour historic attractions that tell part of the Civil War story. (www.downtownfranklintn.com)
Hill Center in Green Hills is a vibrant addition to the city that features restaurants, high-end boutiques, nationally recognized retailers and more. (www.hillcentergreenhills.com)
Hillsboro Village—Commonly known as "The Village," this is one of Nashville's most authentic Main Street outings. Specialty stores, notable restaurants and the historic Belcourt Theatre make Hillsboro Village an ideal destination point. (www.hillsborovillage.com)
Tour main attractions.
Frist Center for the Visual Arts—There is still time to see Chihuly at the Frist, on exhibit until January 2, 2011. From Post Office to Art Center is a panel exhibition outlining the history of the transformation of the Frist Center from a federal post office to Nashville's premier art exhibition center, running through October 24, 2010. (www.fristcenter.org/site/default.aspx)
The Schermerhorn Symphony Center, named in honor of the late Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn who led the GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony for 22 years, opened in September of 2006. It is home to the Nashville Symphony, which performs more than 100 classical, pops and special concert events each season. (www.nashvillesymphony.org)
Ryman Auditorium, a National Historic Landmark and former home of the Grand Ole Opry (1943-1974), continues a more than 100-year music tradition with musical entertainment. Musicians ranging from Roy Acuff and Patsy Cline to James Brown and Sheryl Crow have performed on the Ryman stage. (www.ryman.com)
Football and Hockey—Support your favorite professional team. Both the Titans at their home stadium, LP Field, and the Predators, who play home games at the Bridgestone Arena (formerly Sommet Center), draw fan-filled crowds. (www.titansonline.com / predators.nhl.com)
Rest for tomorrow.
Union Station, a Wyndham Historic Hotel, is located in a restored 19th-Century railroad station. (www.unionstationhotelnashville.com)
The Hermitage—The American Automobile Association has honored The Hermitage Hotel with its coveted Five Diamond Award six years in a row. Opened in 1910 after being commissioned by 250 Nashville residents, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. (www.thehermitagehotel.com/site)
The Hutton Hotel—Named on the 2010 Hot List by Condé Nast Traveler, this hotel presents sleek, modern comfort after a day of exploring nearby boutiques, local music shows and lounges along West End Avenue. (www.huttonhotel.com)