TOP 5 FRIDAY: Dine fine in Nashville.

TOP 5 FRIDAY is when we each list five of our favorite things, depending on the topic. Feel free to join in via the comments or by posting on your own blog and linking back here. Play along. It’s Friday.

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Two posts that continue to be super popular here are my recommendations for brunch in Nashville and lunch in Nashville. [Which, I went to update them and realized that actually, that’s still exactly where I’d tell you to go eat.]

But lately, our finer dining options have expanded greatly and whoa are we grateful.

Now, when I say “fine dining,” I mean, “a little nicer than the chicken nachos at Edley’s.” Today I’m listing some of my favorite celebratory dinner spots – I’m talking birthdays, graduations, parents in town, or a great date.

Okay? Okay. If you want your normal buddies-heading-to-dinner spot, any of these lunch places would be perfect.

So if you are headed to Nash anytime soon, or if you live here and are looking for a nicer place to eat this weekend, take my word for it: any of these meals will bless you.

In no particular order, here are my current five favorite fancy dinner restaurants.

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What type of food? : Rustic Italian

Level of love : Really high. Like, every birthday for the last three years high.

Why? : There is not a thing on the menu that tastes less than incredible. The menu changes often, based on the season, but it is all amazing.

Reservations : Make them at least the week of.

Dress : Nice jeans or somewhere around that. No need for a dress unless you wanna, but don’t show up in tennis shoes.

Don’t miss : the kale salad, the gnoche, belly ham pizza

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What type of food? : Southern farm to table

Level of love : Growing every time I visit.

Why? : I’ve been here for dinner and for brunch multiple times and I haven’t had a meal misfire yet. They have bragging rights to not even having a can opener in the kitchen, everything is that fresh and handmade. You can’t go wrong with any of their chicken dishes, but if you are braver, go for one of their original and interesting dishes, like fried rabbit, grouper, or hanger steak.

Reservations : I mean, if there is more than four of y’all, yes. But on Friday and Saturday nights without a reservation, you might get turned away.

Dress : Anything is fine really, the staff wears plaid shirts and jeans. But probably not a tshirt and shorts.

Don’t miss : the deviled eggs [three different flavors that change every day]

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What type of food? : Sushi / Japanese

Level of love : I mean, if I’m wanting fancy sushi, this is IT.

Why? : Fun ambiance, delicious and fresh fish for sushi, and tons of yummy options for non-sushi eaters. Also, if the weather is nice, sit outside upstairs- it has a beautiful view of Nashville.

Reservations : Not always, but I would recommend it. Can’t hurt. And if you want sushi, you’ll be sad not to be eating here.

Dress : This place can get kinda trendy, so dress how you want [nice jeans, etc] and just make the choice not to feel insecure that you aren’t in a tight black dress with ridiculous heels. You’re happier, I promise.

Don’t miss : The Bomb, Crispy Rice / Spicy Tuna… it has watermelon pop rocks. Seriously.

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What type of food? : Super fancy Southern

Level of love : I have only been once, it just opened in May, but it was pretty amazing.

Why? : The historic home is beautiful, and the food was BEYOND. I mean, it was one of those meals that is absolutely unforgettable. We tried a few appetizers and main courses and everything, from the asparagus to the steak to the fried chicken skins to pig tails [no joke] to salmon, was so delicious I felt emotional.

[I’m actually going to tell you all about it next week… so hang on for pics of our meal.]

Reservations : Absolutely and weeks in advance.

Dress : Just nicer than average. Don’t show up after a workout or in a tank top.

Don’t miss : dessert. We had the buttermilk pie and it was a moment. Phew.

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What type of food? : Steakhouse

Level of love : Well, it’s serious. Serious love.

Why? : Maybe the best steak in town, certainly the best sides in town. Owned by the same group that also has Virago, you can expect similar ambiance, stellar service, and incredible food.

Reservations : Yes.

Dress : Again, like Virago, people get trendy and club-like here sometimes, it’s weird. But you just wear your pretties and let them do whatever they want to do with their lives.

Don’t miss : macaroni and cheese, the view from the bar, A STEAK.

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A few friends are insisting I also give you some honorable mentions…. so you could also check out Watermark, Miel, or Rolf and Daughters. I haven’t eaten at these places enough to Top 5 them, but I’m sure they are great. Because my friends say so.

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Have any great recommendations for dinner in Nashville? Or have thoughts on these places? Share, friends!

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