Ensconced in wooden accents and dotted with Japanese artwork, Sakura Japanese Restaurantserves up handcrafted morsels in a cozily festive atmosphere. Diners can perch at sleek wooden tables or along the curved bar, stealing glimpses of chefs painstakingly rolling sushi or slicing meats and veggies with precision. A cascading stone garden brimming with verdant plants lounges in the corner, and a TV sits high in the ornate shelf behind the bar, entertaining guests with the delightful sight of colorful pixels arranging themselves in the exact pattern of tomorrow’s weather.
Bellacino's squad of culinary muses crafts casual Italian fare in its bustling kitchen. Ogle a menu of more than 20 grinders stuffed with meats and cheeses and flaunting billows of fresh-baked bread. The classic meatball creation ($4.19–$10.79) lobs mozzarella, pasta sauce, and green peppers down throats to quench hunger hovering at the edge of empty bellies. Roaring appetites may entertain up to 18 inches of grinder at once or applaud 16-inch pizzas ($11.99–$17.99) adorned with 18 toppings ($0.80–$1.55 each) and endless laugh tracks. Lighten up with selections from Bellacino's light menu or ride the waves of fresh-cooked pasta ($6.99–$8.49) on a surfboard of garlic toast.
It's 3:30 a.m., and Nycole Donelson, co-owner of Short Cakes Cakery with her husband Derrick Donelson, is already hard at work. She's at her bakery, firing up the ovens and filling them with cups of fresh batter from a repertoire of more than 50 unusual flavors. This is the daily routine. Nycole wants everything to be perfect. The Donelsons began their business not with cupcakes, but with a simple fruit tea recipe. The tea became so popular among the duo's co-workers and friends that they decided to bottle it and sell it—all from within their own home—and coined it Deep South Fruit Tea. To pair with the tea, Nycole began baking gourmet cupcakes in flavors inspired by sweet potato pies, cheesecakes, and favorite childhood candies, such as grape now-and-laters. Nycole's personal favorite is the shortcake cupcake, with a pound cake base, Swiss meringue vanilla buttercream frosting, fresh strawberry glaze, and caramel drizzle. The handheld desserts also quickly took off, so the Donelsons decided to open their own bakery, where they continue to use only real butter and no preservatives. Inside the bakery, electric purple and asparagus-like paint colors wash the walls, adding a bright contrast to the black and white floor tiles. Cupcake cutouts swing from the ceiling, and glass bakery cases display the day's edible wares and bottles of sweetened or unsweetened Deep South Fruit Tea, made with 100 percent real fruit juice and regular, unregular, decaf, or green tea.
When Sean "Sully" Sullivan was a kid, he loved eating hot dogs with his mom at the Woolworth's lunch counter. He loved franks so much, in fact, that even as a small-bellied 7-year-old, he'd routinely put away two. In opening Cori's Dog House in 2009 and naming it for his daughter, Sully resurrects the culinary component of his favorite childhood memories?complete with the butter-grilled, New England?style bun. A staggering 35 different toppings provide practically endless combinations, meaning diners will never have to eat the same sausage twice and can easily update their wardrobes with new mustard stains.
To help customers narrow down their cravings, Sully's grouped 35 different hot-dog combinations by region. The East menu, for example, is home to the maple-baked-bean-smothered Boston Nor'Easter, while the Midwest/Central menu includes the sauerkraut-and-swiss-laden Kansas City. Hand-cut french fries, hand-breaded onion rings, and high-fived fried pickles form a few of the sides, while overloaded sandwiches offer non-dog options. Business is going so well, says Sully, that Cori has "only fired me four times, but hires me back two minutes later when she realizes she has to do the work."
You don't have to wait until the 5th of May to enjoy Mexican food and margaritas. However, don't let the name fool you?Cinco de Mayo Mexican Restaurant celebrates the importance of Cinco de Mayo throughout the year, offering authentic Mexican cuisine and drinks at six different locations. Settle in with some queso fundido and a frozen margarita while debating the rest of the meal. The expansive menu offers everything from fajitas and enchiladas to nachos and quesadillas, and if it becomes too difficult to pick just one, opt for one of the eatery's combo plates. Modelo, Corona, and other beers and wine can be paired with meals as well as the popular frozen margaritas.
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.