Nashville’s foodie scene is certainly on the rise and M Street Restaurant Group is leading the charge. With four banners under their tutelage, they are setting the standard and on a recent trip I made my way into Tavern Restaurant. This is a “gastro pub” in its truest form. A chef driven restaurant, with a palatable passion that jumps right off of the menu from the moment you slide into the over-sized, wrap-around booths. This is no ordinary bar menu, but has all the comforts one would expect to find in a space dotted with 14 plasma screens running the gamut of the sports world. Chef Robbie Wilson, the driving force behind this culinary display, is an alumnus of The French Laundry and has worked with some of the most talented chefs on the planet. He brings comfort food to a new level and surprises at every turn.
After cooling down from a steamy summer day, we eagerly dove into the creative mind of Chef Wilson with a sampling of appetizers. The Chicken Fried Olives & Hominy (pimento cheese / green garlic buttermilk dip) and “Bazooka ” Guacamole (pistachio / goat cheese / bag of tortilla chips) were both delicious and dripping with southern comfort, but is was the arrival of the Shisito Peppers (wok-charred / sea salt / sweet miso) and Fried Chicken Skins (spicy sriracha salt / smoked honey) that keeps me up at night strategizing my next trip.
Mixologist inspired potions like the Pablo Honey (Luna Azul Tequila / blackberry & agave nectars) are in abundance and a soothing intermezzo to highlight a break between courses. Next out of the kitchen were the Beef Shortrib Tacos (Korean bbq / cucumber / cilantro) and the Brown Bag Special (grilled Kutztown bologna / hot-pepper mayo / yellow cheese /white bread / yukon gold truffle chips). For me, this is comfort food at its finest. Add to that an unparalleled level of hospitality and one thing is for certain, I will be venturing into their other restaurants on my next trip. Eclectic—innovative—absolutely delicious!