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Best bets for dining in Nashville

Best bets for dining in Nashville:  Frommer's recommendations for tasty eats around town
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Best Spot for a Romantic Dinner: If you've got plenty of money to burn and want to treat your special someone to a very romantic evening out, make a reservation at Arthur's, Union Station hotel, 1001 Broadway (tel. 615/255-1494). You can count on such dishes as rack of lamb, chateaubriand (large grilled or broiled beef tenderloin), and tournedos (small filet of beef) to make regular appearances. Best of all, the setting, in the old Union Station, will have you thinking you've stepped into an old black-and-white movie.

Best Spot for a Business Lunch: Capitol Grille 231 Sixth Ave. N. (tel. 615/244-3121), at the Hermitage Hotel, is very popular with the downtown business set. Why? It could be the prime spot next to the state capitol, or the traditional ambience, or perhaps the secret is in dishes such as Jack Daniel's-marinated steak with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and rosemary fried cabbage.

Best Spot for a Celebration: With its wild and colorful decor and adventurous cuisine, Bound'ry, 911 20th Ave. S. (tel. 615/321-3043), even has some circular booths -- perfect for a festive celebratory gathering.

Best Decor: Burnished hues and coppery wall sconces offset the contemporary artwork that fills the West End's newest upscale restaurant and bar. Acorn, 114 28th Ave. N. (tel. 615/320-4399) is easily one of Nashville's most visually sumptuous restaurants.

Best Value: Zola, 3001 West End Ave. (tel. 615/320-7778), serves some of the best globally inspired fusion cuisine in Nashville. Plentiful portions, attentive service, and delicious gourmet food make it a great value for the money. Try the paella, and you'll taste what I mean.

Best for Kids: It's not everywhere that you get to eat in a restaurant next to a full-size trolley car, and anyway, isn't spaghetti one of the major food groups? For less than most restaurants charge for a round of drinks, the whole family can eat at The Old Spaghetti Factory, 160 Second Ave. N. (tel. 615/254-9010), in the heart of The District.

Best Wine List: With an inventory of more than 15,000 bottles, The Wild Boar, 2014 Broadway (tel. 615/329-1313), offers the most extensive wine list in Nashville. The well-stocked cellar at this exclusive restaurant, considered one of the finest wine cellars in the nation, has garnered numerous awards over the years.

Best Japanese Cuisine: While there is cheaper Japanese food to be had around town, you won't find better food than at Goten, 110 21st Ave. S. (tel. 615/321-4537), which combines modern minimalist decor, elegantly prepared food, and an excellent sushi bar.

Best New American Cuisine: The long menu at the Sunset Grill, 2001 Belcourt Ave. (tel. 615/386-FOOD), highlights contemporary combinations (such as blackberry duck with roasted sweet potatoes) and has a great wine list. For years now, this has been one of the trendiest restaurants in town.

Best Traditional Southern Cuisine: Country ham with red-eye gravy and homemade biscuits with fruit jams are perennially popular at the Loveless Cafe, 8400 Tenn. 100 (tel. 615/646-9700).

Best Soul Food: Crispy fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and slow-simmered turnip greens are simply delicious at Harper's, 2610 Jefferson St. (tel. 615/329-1909). Eaten with cornbread, sweet iced tea, and warm banana pudding for dessert, they're sublime.

Best Barbecue: I narrowed my search to the pulled-pork-shoulder sandwich, and agree that Whitt's Barbecue, 5310 Harding Rd. (tel. 615/356-3435), does the best job. Drizzle some barbecue sauce on the pile of juicy, flavorful pork in this sandwich and you too will become a true believer.

Best Burgers and Beer: Tennessee's homegrown Bosco's, 1805 21st Ave. S. (tel. 615/385-0050) with locations in Nashville and Memphis, serves great wood-fired pizzas, burgers, and its signature Flaming Stone Beer.

Best Catfish: At Cock of the Walk, 2624 Music Valley Dr. (tel. 615/889-1930), just up the road from the Opryland Hotel, you can discover just why the South is so enamored of fried catfish.

Best Pizza: DaVinci's Gourmet Pizza, 1812 Hayes St. at 19th Ave., 1 block off West End Ave. (tel. 615/329-8098), serves Nashville's favorite pizza. Step through the door of this funky neighborhood pizza joint, which is located in a renovated brick house near Vanderbilt University, and your salivary glands will immediately plunge into overdrive.

Best Desserts: If you subscribe to the belief that, life being uncertain, you should eat dessert first, then on the way to dinner drop by Provence Breads & Café, 1705 21st Ave. S. (tel. 615/386-0363), and indulge in one of the classic and decadently rich pastries here.

Best Late-Night Dining: It has to be a toss-up between Sunset Grill, 2001 Belcourt Ave. (tel. 615/386-FOOD), and Bound'ry, 911 20th Ave. S. (tel. 615/321-3043), both of which serve New American and New Southern cuisine and stay open until after 1 a.m.

Best Fast Food: Try Calypso, 2424 Elliston Place (tel. 615/321-3878), and other area locations, for some fast and healthful Caribbean food. The rotisserie chicken is the favorite, but the salads are scrumptious too.

For a complete listing of Frommer's-reviewed restaurants, visit our online dining index.

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