Where to Shop, Drink, and Stay in Nashville

Friday, January 01, 2010
Honky-tonks, Stetsons, and the Grand Ole Opry still define Nashville. But while no one was looking, much of Music City shed its rhinestones. Onetime backwater neighborhoods like East Nashville and 12 South teem with stylish restaurants, forward-looking boutiques, and lively bars where young pickers bang out bluegrass. Cultural heavyweights like Jack White and Nicole Kidman now call the Tennessee capital home, and it's easy to see why­—the town delivers southern hospitality with a healthy side of coastal sophistication.

The Patterson House
Patrons don't just pull up a stool at this Midtown speakeasy. Even for the bar, they have to put their names on a list and hope to be seated. But the ends justify the leaning. Toby Maloney and Jason Cott, the masterminds behind the Violet Hour in Chicago, devised the lengthy cocktail menu, which is as complex as it is adventurous. If you dare, try the whiskey-based Vincent's Ruin, a spicy blend of bourbon, absinthe, and elderflower liqueur. And when you're all shook up, follow it with the peanut butter, bacon, and banana Elvis panini. 1711 Division St., 615-636-7724; thepattersonnashville.com

Photograph by Liz Ligon
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