Four Favorite Chefs Spill the Beans

Hungry and trying to decide where to eat in Nashville? Well, with more than 500 restaurants opening in town since 2010, it can be difficult to narrow it down to just one. To help make your equation easier for you, here are four excellent choices that we love for marvelously memorable Music City meals.  

Deacon’s New South

Deacon’s New South makes its home in Nashville’s oldest skyscraper, the 31-story L&C built in 1956. Step inside and you’ll find yourself in an elegant restaurant and lounge inspired by the Prohibition era’s more sophisticated speakeasies. It’s an upscale yet casual dining experience centered around in-house charcuterie program, dry-aged steaks, locally sourced produce, vintage cocktails and sommelier-selected vintages for a world-class wine selection. 

Chef Travis Sparks is in charge of the kitchen where he creates such dishes as diver scallops with a chowder of seasonal vegetables and roasted Alaskan halibut with fennel, charred onions, mussels and garden snap peas. The very popular short ribs along with winter vegetables cooked slowly over embers. October also marks the unveiling of Deacon’s fall and winter menu and the return to service of Deacon’s wood fire grill, the ideal way to prepare the dry aged steaks for which Deacon’s is renowned. November marks Deacon’s one year anniversary and, with food this good, many more are sure to come.   

Library Bar

“Food for thought” is not just an expression at the Library Bar in the downtown Sheraton. It’s part of the menu. Executive Sous Chef Albert Mallard and the management team created seven three-course, literary-themed dinners that rotate each week. The Charles Dickens, for example, features herb-roasted duck breast and chestnut bread pudding. The Ernest Hemingway centers around grilled swordfish and red pepper coulis. The main course of the Mark Twain brings cornmeal-dusted catfish, collard greens, and a blackberry gastrique.

“It may seem like a very simple dish, but with the amazing ingredients and garnishes from our local purveyors, it is over-the-top for a traditional Southern dish,” Albert says.

There are also dinners for William Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss, J.K. Rowling and Stephen King. This writer’s favorite is the Charles Dickens, but Albert goes with Twain.

“The farmer’s salad we came up with features many local, seasonal products that come together for a perfect, Southern-style salad. As for the last course, have our candied pecan bread pudding with whiskey caramel. Not only do our guests love it, but it also pairs great with the Featherbone Organic Bourbon that is used in the caramel,” he says.

623 Union St., Nashville, Tennessee


Set in the historic and beautifully remodeled Melrose Theater, Sinema effortlessly projects sophistication while consistently serving delectable dishes of innovative American fare. Chef Kyle Patterson’s inspired approach to cooking is the big hit showing here. Popular dishes at Sinema include the Agnolotti Pasta appetizer, the scallop entree, and the new branzino dish with sun-dried tomato arancini, tomato bacon jam, and caramelized squash and fennel. But do not leave Sinema without trying at least one dish of Kyle’s pasta.  He makes it all by hand, and words literally cannot do his pasta justice; it is ineffably good.

This fall, Kyle is in a sage mood, one of his favorite herbs. Sage plays well with the foods of fall, from butternut squash to cranberries and game, and Kyle expects it to be a heavy hitter in his “no-yell” kitchen where he and his crew keep calm in the storm of their nightly success.  

2600 Eighth Ave. S #102, Nashville, Tennessee, 615.942.7746,

Del Frisco’s 

Del Frisco’s plates consistently superior, chef-inspired American fare. The menu features elevated American classics like cheesesteak eggrolls and artichoke beignets, food perfect for sharing. Executive Chef Ryan Charabowski and his team ensure that all ingredients are fresh and sourced locally whenever possible, and the wine program is among the best in town, Nashville included, with an award-winning list that features more than 100 bottles and in-house sommeliers that can help guests pair vintages with their meals. 

Throughout the month of October, Del Frisco’s has a seasonal, prix-fixe menu featuring four dishes such as fillet duo topped with crab meat and gorgonzola butter and a bone-in pork chop with a cider glaze.

“Also this fall, I am really looking forward to cooking some seasonal additions such as the roasted baby beets with hand-whipped goat cheese. I’m also very excited to partner with one of the Grille’s great vendors to switch to a new Buffalo chicken wing that doesn’t have the saucy mess.” 

Along with the outstanding food, Del Frisco’s is also known for its outstanding service and warm family feel. And one of the reasons for that is that everybody on the Del Frisco’s team is well-fed before their shifts, whether that’s a great pancake breakfast or fillet burgers for lunch. Check out Del Frisco’s and get well-fed, too.   

207 Franklin Road, Brentwood, Tennessee, 615.928.6159,