GAY FAVES 2015: Dining
Statisticians say that over eighty people are moving to Nashville every day, and it seems like at least one new restaurant joins them! As Nashville’s profile continues to rise, so does its reputation for having a diverse and refined culinary scene. From celebrity chefs to local favorites, sometimes one and the same, Nashville’s LGBT community had a wide range of options to choose from, but overall we showed ourselves to be nothing if not loyal to our perennial favorites.
Best Overall Restaurant and Best First Date – Suzy Wong’s House of Yum
Suzy Wong’s House of Yum is always a favorite with our readers, having won most recently in Best Overall Restaurant in 2013 and Best First Date in 2014! With its prime location on Church Street—I mean, you don’t have to go outside to get to LGBT Nashville’s favorite happy hour (Tribe)—Suzy has an automatic leg up on the competition!
With its creative menu of Asian fusion dishes designed by local star chef Arnold Myint, who is also behind PM and Boulevard, Suzy Wong (Myint’s drag alter ego) serves up a lot more than convenience. Signature appetizers such as Asian Wonton Nachos are renowned, but Myint is constantly updating his menu with such goodies as Chicken Naan Pizza. And Suzy’s sushi is a delight, if a little pricey: but that’s just one more reason to go on Tuesday, when Sushi is half price!
Vegetarian – The Wild Cow
The Wild Cow is a popular and well-reviewed restaurant in East Nashville, featuring a creative menu of vegetarian and vegan fare. Looking over their menu is a bit like looking at a high-end bar menu, from its Buffalo Tempeh Strips to its high gravity beers and ciders.
Cody Hawkins gave The Wild Cow highest praise, when writing, “I'm not a vegetarian. In fact, I love a seared, juicy ribeye whenever I get the chance. However, the Wild Cow has amazing food that makes you welcome the cow apocalypse knowing that all of their delicious food doesn't come from an animal. Personally, I'm hooked and I'm glad I went out on a limb to give it a try.” So even meat-atarians agree it’s a place you should try!
Local Chef — Sarah O’Neill
This year, Sarah O’Neill barely edged out Margot McCormick for Best Local Chef—a big accomplishment given Margot’s reputation. O’Neill is a chef at Batter’d and Fried, one of East Nashville’s best places for seafood, having previously worked at Watanabe. She has also worked at The Silly Goose and participated in Dinner Lab.
Fine Dining – Margot McCormick
Margot McCormack retains her crown as the purveyor of Nashville’s Best Fine Dining. Margot, whose restaurant has been a fixture of East Nashville fine dining for twenty years now, has been featured on the cover of O&AN and has received accolades from all of Nashville’s major print outlets. Margot manages to keep us on our toes, with new dishes like “Calico Bay Scallops with Red Pepper Sauce, Roasted Shallots & Pistachio Gremolata” and “Grilled Quail, with Polenta, Collard Greens & Benton’s Bacon.” For the patron with a taste for something both refined and exciting, Margot’s daily menu change is required reading!
Pizza – Five Points Pizza
We Americans love our pizza (though they may duel over exactly the ‘right’ way of making it), and Nashvillians are no exception. And for a FOURTH year in a row, Five Points Pizza is LGBT Nashville’s pizzeria of choice. So if you haven’t already, you should give it a try. Even if you’re a sucker for Chicago-style—there still isn’t a place to get a truly authentic Chicago pie down here—you’ll have to admit that Five Points Pizza is the best at what it does serve!
Brunch – Mad Donna’s
Mad Donna’s remains our readers’ favorite brunch, and it manages that in the midst of a glut of brunches in that neighborhood. From Lipstick Lounge to the Vine, East Nashville seems to have an insatiable appetite for this most LGBT of invented meal times.
Mad Donna’s infuses their own vodkas, including a fiery habanero blend that is sure to have patrons of brunch’s “Bloody Mary Bar” reaching for a glass of water. But no doubt with a smile on their faces.
Coffee – Frothy Monkey
With multiple locations, you can enjoy a hot Frothy Monkey all around Nashville! They’ve got a drink menu that will make any warm beverage enthusiast happy, with coffees on tap and rotating seasonal beverages.
Frothy Monkey patrons appreciate it for more than its coffee though. As one patron wrote, “The place has a real cosy feel, in addition to its hipness. The coffee was great, but I was really pleasantly surprised that their food was also very good. They serve some really nice combinations in perfectly sized portions.”
Patio – 3 Crow
Last year’s GayFave Best Non-Gay Bar retains the title of Best Patio this year. Our readers find this bar’s porch an almost irresistible draw, and it is particularly beautiful as the leaves change on the little shade trees surrounding it. It’s a prime Sunday stop for the Nashville Grizzlies, and pretty much everyone else. The vibe is so laid back and fun, it’s the perfect place for nice weather casual drinks with friends. And it’s at the back of the building, so if someone drives another car through the front wall, you won’t even spill your drink.