Rolf and Daughters

Chef Phillip Rolf Krajeck might just be a pasta savant. You can look at the menu, but unless you speak 4 languages or have earned a Michelin star, good luck understanding the ingredients. Instead, sit on the patio & enjoy the scenery. Order a R.A.D. Negroni and ask the server to describe the flavors and textures. Relish in the culinary education you’re receiving. The staff is intelligent, excellent, and most of all, friendly! Order a few things that pique your interest and share with the group. Oh, and if you don’t have a reservation, try a weekday at 5:15pm before they open and you might score a table.

Kayne Prime

As a steak house, Kayne Prime excels in providing Grade A beef; but it goes far beyond. Your meal will start with a masterclass in meat, courtesy of the waitstaff. Once you’ve picked a cut (literally can’t go wrong), make sure to order a few sides to share. These decadent accoutrement range from canoes of beef (bone marrow) and cotton candy bacon, to cream corn brulee and creamed spinach (topped with a fried egg). Don’t miss out on the seasonal cocktails or wine pairings.


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DeSano Pizza Bakery

After living in Rome for five months, I’m always on the lookout for true Italian pizza. DeSanos offers a great, laid back atmosphere and the most authentic pizza in Nashville. The tables are picnic style—perfect for large groups or meeting new friends. For larger parties or special occasions, check out the private room, where they give you dough to play with! They sell beer and wine, but DeSanos is also BYOB, without a corking fee. What to eat? Try the San Gennaro… but really, you can’t go wrong.

Smiling Elephant

Why would the Kopsombut Family name their restaurant this? I’ve never asked, but I can postulate on the curious fauna they’ve chosen to personify. Elephants are smart; you’d be too, if you chose to eat here. They’re also native to Thailand and very much like spicy food (research in progress). They also act as a tightly knit family unit, with the old & wise working alongside the young & eager. Ah, it makes sense now!

Holland House Bar & Refuge

A fixture in East Nashville since 2010, Holland House Bar and Refuge is aptly named, serving as a haven for any and all who enjoy classic cocktail culture. Chandeliers and exposed beams decorate this charming speakeasy, whose warm ambience is further accentuated by candlelight. The food highlights local, seasonal ingredients and the drinks are crafted with care. Savor the list of six-dollar concoctions and enjoy dive bar prices in a sophisticated setting.

Two Ten Jack

As someone who’s always on the lookout for the next best place to get Japanese cuisine in Nashville, Two Ten Jack brings both Japanese and Southern-influenced dishes to the table. They describe themselves as a Japanese-inspired pub, making it the perfect dinner spot to bring a group of friends for a unique and downright delicious meal. Share an assortment of small plates, rolls, or skewers to get the full experience, but be sure to save room for the ramen, which is truly the main event. Pair your feast with one of their inventive cocktails and you’ll be content for days.