It has been said that the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world. When it comes to Nashville’s culinary culture, the hands of some of America’s leading women do the rocking and they have a few things to say. As the heady notes of summer fill the air, dining al fresco is a temptation not to resist. Pull up a seat and sit a spell at one of these leading lady’s patios, and you’ll leave with more than a full belly.
Nestled along the Cumberland River in West Nashville is one of Tennessee’s largest USDA certified organic farms, Green Door Gourmet. With close to 350 acres, you might say it’s also the largest “patio” in town. Sylvia Ganier is the chief farm operator, president and CFO of Green Door Gourmet where she proudly sources an array of produce to area restaurants, CSA members and other consumers. Down on the farm, Ganier turned what started out as a small kitchen garden into an epicenter for agritourism and education. Swing by the on-farm market where more than 150 artisans and producers have a presence. Open every day, you’re sure to find a spot just right to get reacquainted with where your food comes from.
Green Door Gourmet is located at 707 River Rd Pike, Nashville, TN 37209.
Maher and Kitty Fawaz have tantalized Nashville’s palate with traditional Mediterranean fare since they opened Kalamata’s in 2003. Four years ago, they added a leaf to the table with Epice. The aromatic spices and herbs of Lebanon lend a delicious global option to the trendy 12 South neighborhood’s long list of independent shops and eateries. And, since Kitty is a registered dietitian at St. Thomas West Hospital, she lends her expertise to craft the Mediterranean-style menu you see at Epice. The humus is some of the best you’ll ever taste.Maher says the secret is slow cooking garbanzo beans for close to three hours. But, don’t stop there. Try the Al Raheb which is roasted eggplant with bright citrus notes. The host of Lebanese delicacies is begging for your attention on the street side patio where your pooch is welcome to join you. Natural elements bathed in the natural light from the interior’s skylights will make you think you’re dining outside even on a rainy day.
Epice is located at 2902 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204.
“I’m a color person,” says Etc.’s Chef Partner— Deb Paquette. Tucked behind Green Hills Mall, Etc. is where Paquette treats the plate as her canvas. In broad strokes of vibrant hues, she says that “it’s about the dance….” You may just holler as your tastebuds dance a little while dining at Etc. Try her Beet Salad which includes Neapolitan stacks of beets with sorghum samba goat cheese. They’re so “meaty” you hardly need the apple smoked bacon, but it certainly tips its hat to the “etc.” part. The sautéed cobia atop a bed of red polenta with cilantro-caper guacamole is quintessential summer flavors to be enjoyed on the simply stated patio situated on Green Hill’s quiet side.
Etc. is located at 3790 Bedford Ave, Nashville, TN 37215.
Warmth and grit—the balance of these core values is what makes Frothy Monkey tick. So when Jennifer Sheets joined as managing partner, she says she already had a connection with the brand as a customer. She knew there was something special that you can’t create. “It’s beyond the drinks and food. It’s about the community and making sure it lives on,” says Sheets. Walk into any of the five Tennessee locations, and there’s definitely a buzz of energy beyond the roasted-to-perfection coffee beans in this breakfast, lunch and dinner joint. Each of the locations have feelings of their very own. Whether you like cozy, vintage bungalows such as the ones in Franklin and 12 South or the hustle and bustle of the Chattanooga Choo Choo, perhaps an old stocking factory in The Nations is your jam, or a stroll in the acclaimed Downtown Nashville 5th Avenue Arts District seems like a good idea—one thing is for sure. You can bet Frothy Monkey is always thinking of ways to connect with you, even if it’s on the porch, patio or sidewalk.
With all this talk of connection, the food and drink at Frothy Monkey are calling your name. The team of managing partners works tirelessly to build sustainable relationships with farms and artisans. Sandwiches like The Royale and Betsy showcase Frothy’s commercial bakery’s fresh-baked bread. Wine more your thing? Hang around midweek for Wine Down Wednesdays. But, please enjoy the ritual of coffee done right.
Frothy Monkey is located at 235 5th Ave. North, Nashville, TN 37219 2509; 12th Ave. South Nashville, TN 37204; and 235 5th Ave North Nashville, TN 37219.
It’s no secret the juiciest stories are overheard at the beauty shop. East Nashville’s Lockeland Table’s co-owner, Cara Graham cooks up some pretty delicious tales all her own at this vintage salon-turned-“Community Kitchen and Bar.” With more than 20 years of front-of-the-house experience, she’s a natural at making folks feel welcome. She’s why Lockeland Table’s Community Hour is so popular, 4-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. You’ll be hard pressed to take an early evening walk up Woodland Street and not be greeted by someone you either know or want to know on the intimate patio dressed in summer’s best. An array of cocktails perfect for porch sippin’ are paired with Chef Hal’s snacks like deviled eggs, black eyed pea hummus or NY cheese pizza fresh from the pizza bar. Budget-friendly, kid-friendly and a portion of the daily proceeds benefit Lockeland Design Center PTO.
Lockeland Table is located at 1520 Woodland St, Nashville, TN 37206.
In less than 10 years, Lisa Marie White went from pastry school to co-owning Willa Jean in New Orleans. When Marsh House opened in Nashville’s Gulch community, she saw the city as a new opportunity to spread her wings. “This is my domain and what we do here is to strive to be better than anyone else,” she says. Hands down, White makes some of the best biscuits. Each and every laminated layer is filled with butter and is reminiscent of a croissant. Oh, she makes some of the best croissants, too. Her pastry board includes your choice of six pastries, but you’ll feel cheated if one of those choices isn’t a biscuit. Still, woman cannot live on biscuit alone. Marsh House’s culinary focus is actually seafood. You’re going to want one of those seafood towers to hang out on that swanky patio to people watch.
Marsh House is located at 401 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203.
During the later part of the 20th Century, the northern part of 12th Avenue was where the cool kids hung at Jody Faison’s group of fashionable restaurants. The cool kid and fashionable parts live on. But, there’s a new girl in town, and she’s lookin’ good. Television personality and world-renowned Chef Maneet Chauhan threw a flag on this corner and now there’s no stopping her global influence on Music City. “Each and every restaurant is like having a baby,” she says. Her most recent birth, The Mockingbird, is now “in the walking stage,” says Chauhan. She brought two partners in on this modern diner—General Manager Mickey Corona and Executive Chef Brian Riggenbach. Considering the partnership’s success she says to the guys, “I’m there if you need anything, but I need you to know how to soar.” You can soar, too, on that vibe-y rooftop patio, or maybe a little perching is more your speed on the second patio downstairs. Regardless, a little preening will be in order with playful menu items like the salad, Let’s Get Freekah. “Punch Bags” filled with the punch of the day and your choice of booze is always in order.
Mockingbird is located at 121 12th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37203.
“To me, feeding other people is one of the most intimate forms of human interaction. Nourishing others at work or at home is a labor of love,” says SILO’s Executive Chef Kristen Beringson who is also a mother of two. “I create at home for my babies and at the restaurant for the masses. I enjoy both, equally. Balancing the schedule is hard sometimes. As a chef and a woman, I am the ultimate multitasker.”
You experience Beringson’s creativity when you visit SILO, within walking distance of the Nashville Farmers’ Market and the Nashville Sounds First Tennessee Park and a Germantown staple for Southern cuisine with a seasonally focused kitchen. The front patio’s comfy couches call for a bit of Bourbon sipping while the side bar patio offers the perfect vantage point for watching baseball fans scurry to an evening game. No matter where you fancy, Beringson urges folks to savor the moment with one another. There are plenty of savories to tempt the palate like her Maple Leaf Farm Duck Meatballs or Pan-fried Ricotta Dumplings, but her carrot cake is in a league of its own - coconut-pineapple carrot cake, horchata-cream cheese icing, coconut pastry cream, and brown butter-pecan dust.
Silo is located at 1121 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208.
Jessica Benefield is a powerhouse as chef and managing partner of Two Ten Jack. “Nashville is a bit of a special bubble...and my peers and mentors are genuinely good people who are just as excited to see me as I am them. Real men are not intimidated by the presence of a woman working alongside them, but rather, they are just there to make good food with good people and have a good time. And, I typically roll with a healthy flask of whisky. That doesn’t hurt either.”You can have a good time and eat the even better food at Two Ten Jack, where local and Japanese cultures take their rightful seats at the table. The kodawari ramen, yakitori (skewers and grilled items), sushi selections, and other Japanese-inspired pub comfort food that incorporates local, Southern ingredients has a beauty all its own. Take the Poke, for example, with tuna, sesame chicharron, chili oil, apple, and radish. It’s dressed in edible flowers with very little else, yet so complex in flavor.
Two Ten Jack is located at 1900 Eastland Ave #105, Nashville, TN 37206.