Right now, we’re excited to announce the winners of the 2021 Eater Awards, celebrating the brand new eating places and pop-ups that made the most important affect on Eater cities since January 2020. After Eater deferred final yr’s awards whereas the trade contended with the rippling results of the pandemic, eating places started to settle into the cadence of a brand new regular. New locations within the Nashville eating scene are setting the usual for what the way forward for the trade appears to be like like and the way it operates.
Selecting these winners is rarely simple — a job made tougher this yr by the extenuating circumstances introduced on by the worldwide well being disaster. Eater Nashville’s 2021 winners embody two crowd favorites that started as pop-ups amid the pandemic; a restaurant that elevated pasta and wine decisions in Music Metropolis; the return of a Belmont establishment; a comfy dumpling vacation spot; and a meat-and-three mainstay that added cocktails to its repertoire. With that, congratulations to the Nashville winners for Greatest New Restaurant, Greatest Pop-Up, Greatest Pandemic Pivot, Pop-Up of the 12 months, Wine Vacation spot of the 12 months, and Greatest Restaurant Comeback. Winners will obtain Eater’s illustrious tomato can trophy to placed on show.
2305 twelfth Avenue South
Former Catbird Seat chef Trevor Moran’s long-awaited informal dumpling den and kakigori vacation spot opened in October 2020 in bustling 12 South. The carefully cropped menu continues to over-deliver with steamed dumplings drizzled in chili oil, crispy royal purple shrimp pockets, create-your-own beef tartare hand rolls, and fluffy surprise-filled shaved ice heaps, ranging in flavors from salted caramel to shortbread or almond milk.
Tlaxcala, Mexico, native Julio Hernandez didn’t must have his personal brick-and-mortar restaurant to make a reputation for himself — however he’ll have one quickly at Paseo South Gulch. Within the early days of the pandemic, Hernandez popped up at eating places and farmers markets round city serving crispy, tacky birria tacos and tamales utilizing high-caliber, handmade tortillas made with natural, GMO-free heirloom corn. The chef then bought and outfitted his Maiz De La Vida truck, which you could find six days per week parked exterior of his future enterprise associate Andy Mumma’s Chopper Tiki Lounge in East Nashville.
605 eighth Avenue South
The Music Metropolis meat-and-three mainstay lastly debuted the dinner service Kahlil Arnold had teased for some time — and it added a full bar, too. Nobody actually knew they wanted a cocktail with a meat-and-three platter or tacos and nachos from the Southern spot, nevertheless it’s rapidly change into a “Cheers” of types on the south facet of the Gulch. Sure, you’ll be able to drink alcohol along with your meat-and-three now, plus change it up from the daytime choices with crispy tacos drizzled with Alabama white sauce, hangar steak, and extra.
James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Mantuano spent a long time at Chicago’s Michelin-starred Spiaggia and deliberate to retire a few years again — however fortunate for Nashville he didn’t. Mantuano and his spouse, wine and hospitality professional Cathy Mantuano, signed on with Joel Pizzuti to run the meals and beverage applications on the beautiful Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, thus elevating the bar for positive Italian eating in Nashville. Yolan additionally raised the bar for wine lists in Music Metropolis, with Mantuano working alongside beverage director Jon Kearns and sommeliers Thomas Cheatham and Evan Landry to additional every visitor’s expertise with unmatched data and hospitality. A glass-ensconced, temperature-controlled wine cellar is full of greater than 600 bottles unearthed by way of travels to Italy and different elements of the world. The in depth wine list right here is in fact targeted on Italian wines, however introduces many different curated worldwide, home, and pure choices wine-drinkers beforehand couldn’t discover in Nashville — all served in handblown Veronese wine glasses.
Some of the thrilling openings of the yr was the reemergence of the much-missed Worldwide Market. The Myint household’s longtime Nashville mainstay reopened within the former Blvd house proper throughout the road. Previous and new dishes make up the menu on the new location: assume Burmese tomato relish with shrimp powder and shrimp paste — served with prawn crackers and pork rinds for dipping, smoked char siu tofu, and plenty and many comforting heaps of noodles.
Kisser Japanese BBQ
Husband and spouse workforce Brian Lea and Leina Horii’s pandemic-born pop-up is yet one more success story with a forthcoming brick-and-mortar location within the works (anticipated to open in spring 2022). Named Kisser as a nod to their romantic relationship, in addition to the sports activities phrase for getting punched within the mouth (“proper within the kisser”), the couple’s pop-up was a quick hit in its stint at cocktail important Patterson Home. The 2 cooks have had a protracted profession within the restaurant trade, and each most lately frolicked cooking at Bastion earlier than launching Kisser, which has additionally lately collaborated with Sean Brock’s Joyland for rice burgers and toasted sandwiches served on Japanese milk bread. Different earlier pop-up menus had crowds flocking for all issues smoky meat and Japanese umami — with dishes like salmon inari, black-garlic wings, hamachi and crispy rice muffins, and red-miso mac-and-cheese.