You may have heard, Nashville is hot these days – and not just because of its infamous and ubiquitous inferno hot chicken recipe.
To wit, cool new hotels have been popping up in historic buildings all over the city, with correspondingly cool restaurants. And the once ground level scene is rising up to the sky, as Music City at last catches on to the particular thrills of rooftop indulgences. The restaurants are mostly helmed by emerging chefs, whose goal it is to showcase the new wave of elevated southern fare, with a focus on local and seasonally driven produce and meats.
On our most recent visit, we hit three of the city’s most stylish boutique sleeps – and their not-just-good, but genuinely exceptional in-house dining options.
A 1930’s Art Deco stunner, this is a new addition to the Unbound Collection by Hyatt. Infused with a hint of New York chic from the design team at Stonehill Taylor, it’s a bastion of elegance amidst the honky-tonk mayhem. And Executive Chef Andrew Rodriguez heads up its southern-infused restaurant TENN, which Eater included with its most recent list of essential Nashville dining hotspots.
Rodriguez incorporates ingredients from the likes of Peach Truck, Athena’s Harvest, Micro Pastures, Beaverdam Creek Farm, and 12 South Farmers Market – which is a collection of vendors – into TENN’s signature dishes and specialty cocktails. For instance, the shrimp and grits with pan sauce uses sustainable seafood and locally grown and milled corn. While an updated take on the classic seared skin on salmon paired with spring favas and pea shoots is not to be missed.
In a town with no shortage of new openings, the 18-month-old Noelle – part of the Tribute Portfolio for Marriott – genuinely stands apart, focusing on hyperlocal experiences for adventurous souls. And the location could not be better: on the same block as the infamous/historic Printer’s Alley in Downtown Nashville. The original building is an original 1929 Art Deco structure called Noel Place; and they’ve retained the grand spaces, adding some uniquely stylish design features. A curated collection of local art is on rotation.
Rare Bird, the rooftop bar, offers modern southern classics like mint juleps with locally made Dickel 12 whiskey – plus a spicy strawberry tequila version. A caramelized onion dip with paper thin housemade chips pairs perfectly as a light bite, and gives a new life to the picnic classic; or try the shaved ham plates made with locally sourced pork. It all comes, of course, with show-stealing view of the rapidly changing Nashville skyline.
Bode Nashville isn’t just another designer hotel. With a recent opening in Chattanooga and Palm Springs soon to open, the brand is setting out to revolutionize group travel. To wit, their concept focuses on communal traveling, with two, three and four room shared living spaces. Each has hand crafted artisan lights and fixtures from Southern Lights Electric, as well as fully outfitted chef’s kitchens – perfect for happy hour gatherings after a day of sights and culture.
The onsite café, The Hub, is a market stocked with locally made Tennessee whisky, wine and cheese, which can be enjoyed around the outdoor fire pits. They have rotating food specials like peanut butter & banana toasts for Elvis Presley’s birthday, and vegan granola and baked goods from local bakeries. With “friendscationing” on the rise, it would seem Bode is genuinely on to something.