experience nashville

your insider guide for a local perspective on Nashville, Tennessee.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Nashville Gluten Free Guide

GF Pastries from The Post East image: The Post East
Guest post via Allison Buzard

As someone who lives with Celiac Disease, who considers herself a foodie (or at least a gluten-free version of one) and who does a fair amount of traveling, I know, too well the cocktail of fear and research that goes into a well-curated, safe, and delicious gluten free-trip. I love to explore my own city’s food scene, and have a few safe, tried and true eateries that treat my immune system right. I research food blogs every time I travel, so for anyone traveling to Nashville with gluten-free needs or for my fellow gluten-intolerant-Nashvillians, this one’s for you!

Disclaimer, I know that symptoms of Celiac Disease and the effects of cross contamination affect everyone differently. I wouldn’t wish a glutening on my worst enemy, so know that I wouldn’t steer you wrong. These suggestions are just from one gluten-free body’s response. Proceed at your own risk!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

GIVEAWAY - Dinner for 2 at Amerigo's April Farm Dinner / CONTEST CLOSED

Rack of Lamb, Farrato, Kale, Mint Demi Glace
Heyyyy y'all. So, I have to fill you in on some fab info: I had the chance just a few weeks back to attend Amerigo Nashville's Farm Dinner Series -- and it was AMAZING. Five courses (!) served with wine and drink pairings (!!), in Amerigo's private dining room. Each month, Chef Steven visits the Farmer's Market to source the freshest veggies, fruits, meats and cheeses for the series, creating a unique menu highlighting fresh flavors of the season. I love a good, hearty Italian meal, and this was one of the best I've ever had in Nashville.

Speaking of fab info, I have GOOD NEWS! I'm giving away two seats to the next dinner, held April 26 @ 6:30PM! It's super simple to enter, and, there are multiple ways to do so. Each task completed below equals 1 entry into the contest. A winner will be chosen Monday, 4/17.

1) Comment on this blog post telling me which of the tasks you've completed = 1 Entry
2) Follow @experiencenash on Instagram = 1 Entry
3) Like + Tag a friend on the Amerigo Nashville Giveaway post on @experiencenash Instagram = 1 Entry
4) Like experiencenash on Facebook = 1 Entry

Here's a rundown of the menu from our event. Try not to salivate on your keyboard/phone/device/etc.

Rabbit Arancini
Carrots, roasted peppers, arugula, parmesan // paired with cucumber mule

Pasta e Fagioli
Navy, kidney, and great northern beans, pasta, tomato, chicken stock, and focaccia croutons // paired with Suavia Soave Classico

Rigatoni Bolognese 
Housemade pasta, pork and beef bolognese, grilled bread, Romano cheese // paired with Saddlebred Pinot Noir

Rack of Lamb (pictured above)
Farrato, kale, mint demi glace // paired with Hahn Cabernet Sauvignon 

Peanut Butter and Banana Pie
Vanilla pudding, graham crackers, and whipped cream // paired with Lamberti Sparkling Rosé

Perhaps of Nashville's newest, and best kept secrets? I think so (but not for long)! I for one can't wait until the next event.

This post was sponsored in partnership with Amerigo.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Night Out in Quintessential Nashville: Dinner, Drinks, and the Grand Ole Opry

Whether you're a local and haven't been out to what one might call the old-school destinations in awhile, or, you're visiting for the first time -- I wanted to create an evening itinerary of some of my favorite (pre-"New Nashville") spots for an ideal night out on the town.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Talking Shop with Nashville's McKel Hill, of Nutrition Stripped

New year, new you -- right? For me, 2017 began with the always-so-popular idea of kicking off the year being much more mindful of what I'm putting into my body. I quickly learned, thanks to one of my FAVORITE local nutritionists McKel Hil of Nutrition Stripped, that there are so many delicious and simple ways to make healthy adjustments to my lifestyle. Who knew it didn't have to be so painful? Not me, and my favorite food is biscuits and gravy. #Southern.

To share the wealth, I sat down for a quick Q&A with McKel. We talk overall nutrition, she dished advice, and shared ways specific to Nashville that can help keep our lives in balance. Thanks, McKel!

What inspired you to start Nutrition Stripped?

I started Nutrition Stripped purely as a creative outlet in 2013 with absolutely no idea what social media was let alone blogging; I just wanted to share my expertise in nutrition for free, to as many people as I possibly could to help them live well. I knew first hand what feeling "bad" felt like because I had my own health issues in high school into college from migraines to serious digestive issues; the blog was an outlet to share what I learned through my experiences to help others. It still amazes me having readership in 180+ countries! I live, eat, breath the NS lifestyle and I'll always be asking myself "how can I help more people truly "get" what it means to feel really really good?"-- and I'll do more of that.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Best Bars in Nashville

urban cowboy public house nashville
Urban Cowboy's Public House, image via Urban Cowboy
I always have visitors (and locals) looking for recommendations of places to grab a drink in Nashville, and realized I haven't updated the blog with my favorite bars in town in some time. The last few years have been quite good to us with the food and drink scene here, and we now have a handful of spots that rival pretty much any of the hottest bar scenes you can find. 

So let's get straight to it, and, CHEERS y'all.

Best Bars in Nashville 

Old Glory

Hands down my favorite place to get my cocktail on in Nashville. An expertly crafted and always evolving cocktail menu, housed in an old factory boiler room --  making it the most fabulous atmosphere to drink in all of town. You 100% cannot miss this spot.

1200 Villa Pl #103, Nashville, TN 37212

Urban Cowboy Public House

The newest bar on my list and I can't speak highly enough of it. The vibe is ridiculously cool, the cocktails divine. Make sure and go hungry, because the wood-fired menu is insane: next-level in fact, truly raising the bar.

1603 Woodland St, Nashville, TN 37206


If you're looking for me in Nashville, likelihood is high we'll bump elbows at 308. My favorite happy hour ($5 bourbon + ginger with the most delish house made ginger ale), fab tacos, and on the weekends -- dance parties. 

 407 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206


Dive-y + cozy bar, burgers, hot chicken, and fries with Velveeta cheese? Sold. If it's hip enough for Justin Bieber, it's probably hip enough for you, too. 

411 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206

Patterson House

New Nashville's original "speakeasy"-type bar, Patterson is known for the chic-yet-classic vibe and incredible and inventive cocktails. 

1711 Division St, Nashville, TN 37203

Hop Stop

Tucked over on the East side, Hop Stop offers one of the most extensive beer lists in town (36 on tap), serving up all the local-favorite brews. Pop in for that beer, pair it with a gourmet hot dog and a game or two of darts.

2909 Gallatin Pike, Nashville, TN 37216

LA Jackson

Get your bougie on at LA Jackson, the Thompson Hotel's stylish rooftop lounge. Offering an incredible view of the city, bites by Chef John Besh, and perhaps the hottest people watching in Nashville. 

401 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

Be sure to shoot me your thoughts and follow me on instagram @ experiencenash.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentine's Day in Nashville

Heyyyy Nashville lovers. And singles. Are you looking for some last minute Valentine's Day Ideas? Don't worry -- as per usual, I've got you covered. Let's take a look at what's happening in town.


FLWR shop flower shop nashville

You might think flowers are a cop out for Valentine's, but I'm going to have to disagree , if you're going with an arrangement or succulent from FLWR Shop in East Nashville. Your significant other deserves the best and most beautifully arranged flowers in town. The #NSFW box shown above comes with a flower arrangement in your choice of 4 sizes, two mini cocktail mixers from Nashville based Drink With Company, handmade aphrodisiac chocolate chili truffles from Utterly Nashville, Pink Love bath salts from Fig + Yarrow, a massage oil candle from Even Keel Soap of Brooklyn, and some rose petals to top off the romance. 

Whistle Punk Gift Box

whistlepunk mens grooming

He doesn't want a heart shaped box filled with chocolates. Okay, maybe he does, but that's not all he wants. This year give him something he'll really love: Gift set includes a Death Before Dullness snapback trucker cap, Bottle of Natchez Whistle Punk Beard & Shave Oil, Hand-made folding beard & moustache pocket pocket comb made by Kent and imported from the UK, 1 Whistle Punk Key Chain, 1 "Timber!" Valentines Card, and 2 1-inch "Dangerously Handsome" buttons.



Not looking to go out on the town? You could always enjoy date night at home with Datebox -- a monthly delivery designed for you and your significant other (or even besties) to have a fun night in. From cooking classes to candy, Datebox offers  so many budget-friendly, unique, and always fabulous ideas for date night.

Rhapsody Spa

nashville valentines day

Spa days are simply the best. Whether treating yourself or someone else, you don't want to miss Nashville's newest and sexiest spa in the Westin Hotel. Because we all deserved to be pampered, right? Right.

Thistle Farms

thistle farms nashville

Give to your love and give back with a gift from Thistle Farms. All of the products are handmade by women who are survivors of prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. Each time you purchase from Thistle Farms your contribution goes towards helping women heal. Products span from chocolate facial masks, body butter, and soaps to lip smoothies. 

Nashville Science Center Romance in the Stars

Wait, what? Yes, you read it right! Join the Adventure Science Center to explore romantic stories from the ancient past in the Planetarium. With 6.5 million stars and stunning visualizations of the night sky, an evening under the 63-foot dome will certainly make this Valentine’s Day unique. Tickets are $18 per couple for Adventure Science Center members, $25 per couple for non-members, and include two planetarium tickets for the Romance in the Stars live planetarium show + a box of assorted chocolates, custom made in Franklin by Paul’s Chocolate Gallery.

Restaurant + Activities Round Up

Punch Bowl served this Valentine's Day at Salt & Vine
So many restaurants in town are featuring special menus for Valentine's Day. Check out a few of my faves:


Fest on a fabulous 3 course pre-fixe menu ($85pp) which includes decadent items like Champagne and Saffron roasted lobster, New York Strip, Macadamia crusted elk filet, crab cakes, and cherry stuffed chocolate cake. Good food paired with one of my favorite restaurant ambiances in town = a Valentine's Win.

360 Bistro

West siders -- if you haven't checked out 360 Bistro in awhile, you're missing out on one of the best spots in your neighborhood. To the rest of us: it's worth the drive out West! Valentine's Day will feature a four course, pre-fixe menu for $70pp. Courses include Maine lobster salad, blood orange and champagne zabaione; Short rib boudin balls, red aioli, chicory; and Filet, roasted mushrooms, foie hollandaise, and Chocolate Decadence.

ACME Rooftop Dance Party

A free Rooftop Valentine’s Day show for those single and lookin’ to mingle. ACME's Valentine’s Day dance party with Myzica will certainly be filled with the hottest folks taking in the hottest view in Nashville. Did I mention it was free? Oh yeah. Have fun.

Fin & Pearl

A special Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu designed by Chef de Cuisine Dale Levitski and Executive Chef Matt Farley. $65/pp special three course, prix fixe menu which includes Popcorn Scallop: Sweet corn, peanut, bacon & potato hash, salsify purée, sage peanut pesto; A fresh catch with lobster popcorn rice, wilted greens, truffle cream; and chocolate cherry fudge torte, caramel and brandied cherrie.


Have you been to Deb Paquette's newest venture in Green Hills? Well, here's the perfect opportunity to spoil yourself along with your love with a choice of four starters, two salads, four entrees and two desserts to build their own four-course meal. Chef Deb's globally-inspired options include snapper crudo with pink peppercorn vinaigrette; roasted cauliflower with pea pesto (which so happens to be my favorite appetizer in Nashville); grilled tuna and octopus with quinoa and smoked lima bean espuma; filet and short rib with pesto potatoes; and chocolate-peanut butter mousse with milk chocolate crunch. $80pp.

At one of Nashville's most fab spots this Vfalentine's Day, choose from four starters, two salads, four entrees and two desserts. Dish selections include smoked duck and parsnip bisque; non-conventional Caesar salad with poached farm egg and oysters; grouper and clams escabeche with cana de oveja ravioli; chuck filet with celery root griddle cake; and lemon tart with brown butter shortbread crust. $90pp.

Salt & Vine

This one is for you, ladies. If you'd prefer to ditch the fancy prix fixe Valentine’s Day menus and celebrate all the single ladies of Nashville this year -- Salt & Vine is the place to be. They’ll be bumping Beyonce radio, Prosecco will be flowing, and  handing out complimentary, house made chocolate covered strawberries for the hell of it. But that’s not all, what better way to applaud the evening than with a boozy punch party? Discounted punch bowls all. night. long.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Salt & Vine's Mattie Jackson Discusses the Hottest Wines in 2017

salt and vine nashville
Mattie Jackson, Salt & Vine | photo: Hannah Schneider
Y'all. I love love love wine, but often can be intimidated by the sheer amount of selection when heading to pick up a bottle at my two favorite stores in Nashville, Salt + Vine bottle shop or Woodland Wine Merchant. 

Thanks to sommelier and Salt + Vine owner Mattie Jackson, I have a list of the hottest wines in 2017 -- not only can you show up to your dinner parties in style, but also impress your friends with your abundance of wine-expertise. Cheers!

Hot Wine + Trends to Look for in 2017 

Non-Champagne Sparklers – With sparkling wine at a near 40% increase in sales in 2016 and Millennial consumers surpassing Boomers as the primary demo for wine consumption, value bubbles will be the name of the game in 2017. Frothy French crémants and boutiquey Proseccos will continue surging as the younger crowd brings bubbles out of the celebration only category and onto their daily tables. 

Recommendations: Simonnet-Febvre Brut Rosé & Sommariva Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut.

“Alt Whites” – The ever disparaged “Altnernative Whites” category that I hate on lists but love in my glass. This ubiquitous catch-all for white grapes other than the big 4 – Chard, Pinot Grigio, Sauv Blanc, Riesling – proves vastly over-looked and undervalued. Not only does it tend of unveil value to big boys can’t, but the breadth of styles here is endless. Txakolina from Spain. A spunky, edgy white born and bred for sushi lovers. Gruner Veltliner. A vegetarian’s dream that makes the most bitter brussels taste sweet.  Roussanne. Chardonnay with flavor. 

Recommendations: Saline Txakolina, Gobelsberg Gruner Veltliner, St. Cosme Cotes du Rhone Blanc.

Unoaked Chardonnay – In the wake of the 90s gargantuan Chardonnay trend, modern consumers are now saying, “I’ll take the Chard, hold the butter.” Despite much common assumption, the creamy, buttery, rich experience is not inherent to Chardonnay itself, but simply to how and where it’s made. For bright, clean, mineral driven styles, seek out French Macon Cru or Macon Villages as well as select stainless steel versions from California. 

Recommendations: Henri Perrusset Macon Villages & Riverbench Bedrock Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley).

Low-Alcohol Domestics – It’s hard to speak low-ABV domestics without sharing the story of Broc Cellars. This young Berkley-based producer preaches the ultimate antithesis of loud, boozy California style wines with a movement toward delicacy and balance that the younger market is thirsting for. Gentler alone and a more gracious partner to food, watch for a cleaner, “hands-off” winemaking movement to sweep in 2017. 

Recommendations: Broc Cellars Zinfandel.

Loire Valley – Red, white, sparkling. Lusciously sweet to bone dry. France’s Loire Valley offers a variety of styles equally as wide as the 170 miles of vineyards that snake along the banks of its own Loire River.  Whites of Muscadet show a light, spritely Summer wine. Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, the edgy, mineral face of Sauvignon Blanc. And Vouvray a dynamically plump but refreshing white, not to be missed during fall root veggie season. Cabernet Franc and occasionally Pinot Noir lead the bright, tart, food friendly reds of the region. Value and versatility is the name of the game in Loire. 

Recommendations: Michel Brégeon Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine, Reverdy Sancerre, Charles Joguet Chinon.

Beaujolais Cru – Beaujolais, the historical bastard of Burgundy, will continue to gain market speed in 2017 as one of the wine world’s best kept secrets. Pinot Noir lovers of both French and New World affinity seem to find common ground in this fruit driven, playful red with its subtle mineral backbone. The 10 Cru, or premiere village sites, for Beaujolais’ Gamay grape, range between $18-30 with equal if not greater depth than Pinots at comparable price points. 

Recommendations: Domaine Chanrion Cotes de Brouilly.

Vermouth – While some may project the nation-wide cocktail resurgence as a bridle for the wine industry, ancient fortified wines and wine based cordials should expect a consequential resurrection. And vermouth may be this category’s dark horse.  Whether classically bittered with Piedmontese wormwood, or sweet and barrel aged to counter smoky mezcal or scotch-based cocktails, vermouth will be this year’s chameleon cordial

Recommendations: Bèrto Ross da Travaj (red) & Baglio Baiata Alagna Bianco (white).

Thanks, Mattie, for all the info!

salt and vine nashville
Interior of Salt & Vine | Photo: Josh Gilmore

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