Sep 21, 2022 - Food and Drink

Nashville restaurants among nation's best

A dish at Audrey

A dish at Audrey. Photo: Emily Dorio courtesy of Audrey

Nashville's culinary scene earned more praise from national media this week as the New York Times listed two restaurants among the best in the United States.

Driving the news: Audrey and Locust were included on NYT's list of the "50 restaurants we love most in 2022."

Why it matters: The honor further validates Nashville as one of the most vital food cities in the country.

What they're saying: NYT reporter Kim Severson singled out Audrey's Sean Brock for bringing "every bit of his culinary, intellectual and history-making self to this restaurant, which was named for his grandmother and is dedicated to interpreting and honoring Appalachian food."

  • "What does that look like? Some dishes come from a Noma-like lab where, for example, he extracts the essence of the dried snap beans called leather britches and turns it into a demi-glace, which he uses to slick a succotash built from nixtamalized hominy and a pickled version of the same bean," Severson writes of the lengths Brock goes to in order to elevate even simple dishes.
  • Audrey is just one corner of Brock's burgeoning food empire. He recently opened June, perhaps his most ambitious concept to date.

Be smart: Speaking of Noma, chef Trevor Moran spent four years working at the world-renowned Copenhagen restaurant prior to landing at Nashville's Catbird Seat and then setting up Locust in the 12 South neighborhood.

  • "Mr. Moran or one of his merry band of chefs will coax you past the small menu and onto an exhilarating (and expensive) ride," Severson writes. "They might be stuffing escargot into halibut or turning caviar, rice and raw, chopped bottom round from a Tennessee ranch into deconstructed sushi."

Locust is on a hot streak. Earlier this month it was named Food and Wine magazine's 2022 restaurant of the year.

  • With the buzz comes a bit of bad news for Nashville foodies. When Nate tried yesterday to book a table, all future reservations were sold out.
  • "Please check again soon," the website said.

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