The story of Sperry’s Restaurant began in Jacksonville, Florida, with famed restaurateur and hotelier Burton W. Sperry, whose reputation for fine food and sterling service made him the toast of the South in the late 1800s. Fast-forward to 1974, when Sperry’s descendants—eager to uphold their great-great-grandfather’s commitment to dining excellence—started their own restaurant to honor his memory. Since opening its doors more than three decades ago, Sperry's Restaurant has expanded to two locations and developed a loyal following thanks to its continued dedication to cooking palate-pleasing steaks and seafood entrees and bending over backwards for its guests. The aroma of crab legs and bacon-wrapped filet mignon converge to form a culinary siren song for diners sitting at tables made from the hatch covers of World War II Liberty ships.
Since its first restaurant—literally a small, converted shack—opened in 1980, Uncle Bud's has filled its menu of Southern-style eats with golden-brown morsels of fried catfish, chicken, and shrimp. Succulent strips of chicken are breaded by hand before plunging into the deep fryer, and everything from catfish fillets and frog legs to wild-gator tails pile onto dishes such as the Bayou platter. The scent of fried po’ boys fills the dining area, which is decorated with license plates and vintage camping supplies, where patrons can happily slake their hunger or pack up carryout containers with family-size helpings large enough to feed an entire terracotta army.
Thanks to its full menu of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai fare, Fulin's Asian Cuisine was named Best Nashville Chinese Food in Best of Citysearch, and the fine-dining establishment was voted Best Chinese by readers of the Tennessean Toast of Music City Awards for five straight years. Sushi chefs craft rolls such as the Honada, a deep-fried spicy-tuna roll with the chef's special sauce, and the Rock City roll with shrimp tempura and avocado. Thai dishes are also available, like the curry seafood thai-style casserole with shrimp, scallops, and crab. Glasses of wine, sake, and signature cocktails from the full bar accompany dishes.
Head chef and owner Arnold Myint applies his culinary aptitude at Suzy Wong's House of Yum by crafting flavorful Asian appetizers and bowls designed for sharing. As groups swap bites of pineapple red curry shrimp or wonton nachos in a 1,100-square-foot dining room, a stretched canvas emblazoned with a colorful dragon hovers overhead, much like a knight-in-training's to-slay list. Exposed brick walls provide a backdrop for plush candlelit benches and tables, which can be crowded with wine, sake, and specialty cocktails as diners participate in weekly karaoke nights. Two patios provide even more space for cavorting, the lower tier stretches across 300 square feet, and the upper level commands 840 square feet of floor space.
The wine list at 360 Bistro comes with more than 1,000 options, allowing diners to choose from plenty of rich reds and effervescent whites to pair with seasonal plates such as tomato gnocchi with lump crab or sweet-tea-brined pork chops. Owner Nick Jacobson?s efforts to create an outstanding wine program recently paid off with a nod from Wine Spectator, which has handed the restaurant the coveted and exclusive 2nd tier Best of Award of Excellence for five years in a row?360 Bistro is one of the only two restaurants to receive the accolade in the state.
John "Chappy" Chapman watched his mother cook for their family while growing up in Alabama and New Orleans. Her techniques inspired him to open Chappy's Seafood Restaurant in 1984 and serve family-style creole cuisine. When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, it destroyed his restaurant and his home. Chapman hauled the spirit of creole cuisine to Nashville, opening Chappy's on Church. At the new establishment, red beans and rice, jambalaya with andouille sausage, and crayfish étouffée sizzle with as much spice as ever.
"In New Orleans, we live to eat," says Chapman. Inside the restaurant, he's cultivated an Old World atmosphere ideal for dining slowly and relishing every bite. A refinished wooden bar brings its hand-carved reliefs all the way from Belgium, leaving a bar-shaped hole in Belgium's heart. Century-old stained-glass panels and matching lamps were salvaged from a cathedral in Indiana. Bright paintings adorn every wall but one, where Chapman has hung a photograph of the original Chappy's Seafood Restaurant, surrounded by oak trees in the sunlight.