Nashville’s Dining Scene Takes Center Stage

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Dining in Nashville reaches a new pitch of creativity to match the city’s vibrant music scene. Less than a decade ago, meat-and-three, barbecue, and chain restaurants dominated Music City’s culinary oeuvre. But as its population has grown and Southern cuisine has become more celebrated, Nashville has stepped up as a dining destination. “It’s changed more in the last 5 years than in the previous 16,” says chef Julia Sullivan of Henrietta Red. “Nashville has reached a tipping point.” Her business partner, Allie Poindexter, attributes the shift to the city’s deeply creative spirit. While celebrity chefs are only now beginning to make a mark here—New Orleans’s John Besh, of August, is the force behind Marsh House—the gastronomic surge is still largely driven by local chefs graduating from well-regarded kitchens, such as those at Husk, City House, and Pinewood Social, and launching their own eateries.