There’s always a buzz when a new restaurant opens in town and it’s hard for me not to try them out. While I end up writing about some of them for StyleBlueprint, my main attraction is that I actually enjoy trying the new menus and meeting the owners.
Here are three relatively new places in town – as in new within the last two years. These little restaurants have proved themselves places to embrace. I give them all a hearty thumbs up and know you’ll enjoy every bite, too.
Located on 8th Ave, I have mentioned the Smiling Elephant several times. It is commonly referenced as the best place for Pad Thai in Nashville, but I’m going to move it up a notch — I think The Smiling Elephant is cooking up some of the best food, overall, in Music City.
The omnipresent owner, Sam Kopsombut, scrutinizes everything that comes out of the kitchen — it’s all fresh and made to order. And the end result of his watchful eye? Pad Thai and other delicacies so beautiful in their presentation and flavors, you’ll come back quickly for more. I often see chefs from other restaurants there, so I know they’ve got it going on. Sam comes from a respectable line of chefs in Nashville, too. His sister is Patti Myint of the International Market and his nephew is Arnold Myint, creator of Susy Wong’s House of Yum, Cha-Cha’s and PM.
The Silly Goose
A special thanks to Beth for writing this review. You can find her daily at the food blog Eat. Drink. Smile.
I was smitten with The Silly Goose when it was just a tiny space made up of 20 seats and a counter of George Foreman grills and panini presses. The roster of interesting salads, sandwiches and couscous dishes coming from such a bare bones operation were beyond impressive. Their commitment to sourcing local, organic, and sustainably produced ingredients appealed to my serious side, and dishes with monikers like King Kong and Sparky to the playful.
I was happy with The Silly Goose exactly as it was, so when I heard talk of expansion, I’ll be honest, I was a tad bit worried. Would this little East Nashville gem I’d grown quite fond of lose its personality?
Thankfully, my fears were unwarranted and my fondness for the Goose has grown. Even though the space is almost twice its original size, the feel is still the same. And the best part? With the addition of a “real” kitchen, the menu has expanded to offer even more delicious fresh fare than before.
In addition to the original menu, there are now special dinner items available from 5 pm until closing. On my latest visit I opted to try one of these new dishes, a citrus and Greek yogurt marinated chicken breast with red lentils, spring onions and spicy tamarind sauce. As always, a delight!
(For Beth’s original post on Silly Goose from March 2010, click here.)
As soon as Liza and I sat down for lunch at A Matter of Taste, also located on 8th Ave, we exchanged a knowing look, nodding a silent “yes.” Kellie Hopkins is an experienced caterer and lover of good food. What I love about Matter of Taste is you can grab a quick lunch while you’re antiquing or shopping in Berry Hill or on 8th Ave, then grab a soup or two for dinner. We both bought the bean soup and the tomato basil. Yum!
This quaint weekday lunch place offers some gluten-free options and wonderful sandwiches. We were there late in the afternoon and both commented at the steady stream of regulars who walked in. Kellie is both gracious and professional. You can’t go wrong at a Matter of Taste. Don’t forget, she caters, too!
– Happy Eating from StyleBlueprint and Eat. Drink. Smile.