Inventive chefs have restaurants in Music City singing a different tune. Check out five of our favorite openings.
With a strong Southern food identity and a bevy of nearby farms, all Nashville needed to become a red-hot culinary destination was a dose of innovation—and it has arrived. At the Catbird Seat(1711 Division St.; $$$), chefs Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson have turned heads with their whimsical tasting menu (Wonder Bread purée, anyone?). Pizzas get a creative spin at Bella Nashville(Farmers Market, 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.; 615/457-3863; lunch only; $), where toppings include hummus and beets. The hip coffee shop Barista Parlor(pictured; 519B Gallatin Ave.; 615/712-9766; $$) offers more than just cups of joe: its chicken and waffles sells out in hours. Local food icon Deb Paquette goes global at Etch(303 Demonbreun St.;$$$), serving dishes such as Moroccan-spiced duck breast with harissa cranberries. Finally, Silo(1121 Fifth Ave. N.;$$) offers smoked-pork pot pie and grits with bacon jam, proof that even down-home classics can have an edge.
It was with a bit of skepticism that my husband and I watched the new hotel going up across the street from us, on the corner of Kenmare and Elizabeth. The
modern Grzywinski + Pons building looked a bit off-kilter with the rest of the
neighborhood, with its geometric glass cutouts and sleek lines. Though the
idea of having a place for our parents to stay (other than our foldout couch)
was nice, deep down we wondered what a new boutique hotel would do to our
wonderfully quirky, Starbucks-free corner of Nolita?
Prince Edward Island may be best known for its Anne of Green Gables lore and
Malpeque oysters, but a sleek new boutique hotel—the island's first in 25
years—is causing quite a buzz. Located in historic downtown Charlottetown, The Holman Grand Hotel opened in August, after a year of renovation, in the former R.T. Holman
On the northeastern side of Lake Michigan, Traverse City is a hip little town that has exploded in recent years with new wineries, a slew of fantastic farm-to-table restaurants, and its very own Michael Moore-founded film festival. Surrounded by lush farmland, vineyards, and pristine beaches, the area is still blissfully under-the-radar. But not for long: with summer-resident and star chef Mario Batali singing its praises, Traverse City’s on the rise.
BEST MEAL: Located in the historic Bowers Harbor Inn on Old Mission Peninsula, Mission Table reopened in 2010 after a major renovation and menu overhaul. Their commitment to local, sustainable ingredients is evident in their ultra-seasonal farm-to-table fare.