To anyone who’s visited Nashville in the last few years, it’s easy to see how it quickly emerged as one of the nation’s top culinary destinations. And while the restaurant names alone make Music City dining a must, it’s the skilled and creative chefs working behind the scenes who deserve the praise. We’re here to tell you about three big-name flavor connoisseurs - but don’t let us hold you back from trying them all.
City House (@cityhousenashville)
1222 4th Ave N.
This James Beard Award winner (Best Chef, Southeast) knows what a little hard work and dedication can get you. After all, he was a nine-time semifinalist and four-time finalist for the prestigious award before taking home the top prize in May 2016. The accolades come as no surprise to those who’ve visited his Germantown establishment. Combining traditional Italian dishes like pasta, pizza and meats with Southern ingredients and flair, Wilson uses local ingredients to delight guests with everything from belly ham-covered pizza to stuffed trout. While you’re there, ask to see the wine list. It’s extensive, reasonable and the perfect complement to his award-winning dishes.
Rolf and Daughters (@rolfanddaughters)
700 Taylor Street
It’s fitting that the acronym for Krajeck’s restaurant is R.A.D., because that’s exactly how we would characterize his genius take on food. In all honesty, food isn’t even the right word to describe the American South-meets-Italy menu he presents. Krajeck spent the better part of his childhood in Belgium before attending a Swiss hotel-culinary school where he learned how to make pasta from the Italians working alongside him. He opened Rolf and Daughters in a renovated loft building in late 2012, and the Nashville culinary scene hasn’t been the same since. His goal of serving dishes highlighting whole-animal butchery, seasonal produce, and rustic pastas is realized in a menu that you have to sample to believe. We recommend starting with the Cecamariti, cultured butter and black pepper dish. It’s worthy of a visit to the city all its own.
2316 12th Ave S.
Best known for his expansive imagination and rich, flavorful comfort food, Chef Andrew Little of Josephine has been wowing Nashvillians with his brand of cooking for more than four years. His culinary prowess led to national recognition in 2017, as he became a Best Chef (Southeast) semifinalist in The James Beard Awards. It was his first year of eligibility. Chef Little is passionate about preserving every animal organ and fruit rind, continuously relying on curiosity and conservation to bring out the natural charisma of his ingredients. His weekends-only 10x10 special (10 people, 10 courses) has been noted as one of the city’s best dining experiences.
So, there you have it. We’ve started you off with three of Nashville’s most notable and reputable chefs. Now it’s up to you to get out there and sample more from some of the best culinary minds in the country. Do you have a favorite dish in Nashville? Share it with us by tagging @lifestylecommunities on Instagram. Bon appétit!