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What: Food made with fresh, regionally sourced ingredients. Nashville is proud to have many restaurants that place a premium on local menu items, including a few establishments with their very own gardens.
Where: In 2010, the opulent Hermitage Hotel’s Capitol Grille (231 6th Ave. North, map), under the helm of chef Tyler Brown, partnered with the Land Trust for Tennessee to cultivate a section of garden on the historic Glen Leven estate (established 1857), five miles from the restaurant, in order to provide the menu with fresh local produce. The goal is to grow varieties that might have been found in Glen Leven’s garden 100-plus years ago, so mostly heirloom seeds and natural methods are used. Plans for heritage cattle and beehives for honey are afoot.
When: Daily, 6:30am-10:30am for breakfast, 11:30am-2pm for lunch, 5pm-10pm for dinner
Order: The menu here is seasonal and rooted in both sustainability and the South. Shown above: the “Tennessee Jack” egg sandwich (made with Jack Daniel’s-whiskey-infused ciabatta, jowl bacon, egg, and tomato gravy; breakfast only, $13); the flaky basil-topped tomato pie; and delicious, fresh-as-can-be gazpacho—the latter two dishes were sourced in early fall from the Glen Leven farm. All vegetables depend on the season, of course, so you never know if you’ll find local beets, tomatoes, or a riot of leafy greens on the menu. Glen Leven-grown items are clearly noted.
Good to know: Adjacent to the Capitol Grille, the Hermitage Hotel’s dark and intimate Oak Bar makes a great pre- or after-dinner drink spot. And the art deco-style men’s room is super cool (yes, we are suggesting you check out the bathroom!).
Alternatively: More restaurants known for their commitment to local (and good food!): the cozy, neighborhoody Eastland Cafe (97 Chapel Ave., map), with a Euro-Southern hybrid menu dotted with the names of local farms and meat suppliers; the French-inspired Miel (343 53rd Ave. North, map), which also has its own garden in town; Margot Café & Bar (1017 Woodland St., map), with a daily-changing seasonal French-Italian menu and Tennessee wines on offer; Flyte (718 Division St., map), where the seasonal “global cuisine” emphasizes produce and humanely raised livestock from area farms; and, for pizza lovers, City House (1222 4th Ave. North, map), where you will find pizza ingredients like house-made mozzarella, belly ham, and sausage as well as a backyard herb garden and an overall commitment to regional ingredients.
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