Dotted with touches of contemporary cuisine and Southern inspiration, the menu of Aura Restaurant. Bar. Lounge draws on the best of both. Designed by managing partner and executive chef Mathew Igwonobe, with help Patrick Swett of the Swett's family of restaurants, the cuisine includes unique highlights such as lobster grilled cheese and crawfish potato skins.
Authenticity is the focus at this Middle Eastern restaurant, which was named Best Persian Food in Nashville Scene's Best of Nashville 2011. Owner and Iraq native Hikmat Gazi adorns the space with traditional decor, from the deep-red color of the walls to glass boxes displaying traditional Kurdish clothing. Diners looking for the full experience can sit on a cushion on the floor and dine on a traditional, low table. Then, of course, there is the food itself, from the titular shish kabob to lamb shanks seared and flavored with regional-specialty spices.
Nashville Scene also chronicles Hikmat’s absorbing journey from an adolescence spent in a Turkish refugee camp during the Gulf War to his triplicate success in the restaurant business. After working with the U.S. military in Iraq, Hikmat returned stateside to continue serving savory Middle Eastern fare at the original Nolensville Rd. location, and has recently opened a new downtown location.
The creations at BBQ Beach leave palates awash with tropical-inspired flavors such as mango, banana, and pineapple—and that’s just from the drink list. As the blender churns out peach-cobbler coladas and pear margaritas, bartenders serve their infused-craft-bottled-beers with flavors like banana nut and tangerine. To anchor their libations, patrons dive into dishes full of complex combinations, such as the citrus-grilled mahi-mahi served atop a sweet tamale corn cake, crested with a splash of lime and sliced avocado. The menu also includes the Man Overboard burger, a towering swell of beef, pulled pork, hickory bacon, shaved ham, and a fried egg that doubles as a flotation device.
Outside, the patio large flat-screen TVs and comfy couches entice visitors to gather around the bar or fire pit framed with slabs of square stone.
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.
In addition to airing the area's biggest games, Sports Page Restaurant & Bar satiates hunger with a robust menu of pub food, including burgers, sandwiches, and wings. Nibble on a traditional reuben sandwich, or dig into a basket of wings in three flavors: barbecue, teriyaki, or hot. The restaurant also serves classic sandwiches, such as buffalo chicken wraps and french dip sandwiches, made with grilled beef and swiss on baguettes.