Jill and Spencer Pittman were captivated by the ingenuity of intelligent wine dispensers, eventually building a business around the idea at the corner of East Main Street and 2nd Avenue in downtown Franklin. The concept combines the relaxation of an informal wine tasting with the novelty of having a robot as a dinner guest as patrons serve themselves from the mechanized dispensers while a smart card tab keeps track of purchases. The helpful automatons even display information about selected vintages at the drink stations, allowing guests to learn about their favorite beverages and perfectly pair wines with soups, salads, or tapas plates of cheese, charcuterie, and seared seafood.
In an ironic twist, the wine bar hosts parties in the one-time home of a Prohibition-era bootlegger. The National Register of Historic Places house charms visitors with tucked-away wine rooms decked out with leather furniture and a bar adorned with paintings from local artists. As they unwind with glasses of rotating featured wines such as Cakebread Chardonnay and Opus One red blend and succulent morsels of chocolate desserts or cheese, patrons watch the street scenes and take in the open air from the lavish wraparound porch or sway to the strains of jazz amid the dark woods and overstuffed sofas of the wine rooms.
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.
Satisfying both wine connoisseurs and fledging fermenters alike, Tayst recommends a palate-complementing beverage for each item on Executive Chef Jeremy Barlow's environmentally friendly menu. Barlow, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, won Nashville Scene's 2009 Iron Fork competition and was featured in Fortune for his sustainable dining efforts. Begin by sipping on a glass of cherry-and-berry scented Morgan Pinot Noir ($13.75), or order the PB&J lamb, served with peanut spatzle and a berry compote ($27), paired with the blackberry-hinting Jean Bousquet Reserva Malbec ($15.75). Vegetarians can nosh the veggie entree, a herbaceous amalgamation of grilled yard beans, purple rice, zucchini, and a butter-bean puree ($17), and partner it with the nuanced notes of plum and oak in a glass of Gunn Estate Pinot Noir ($13.75).