Wine was once such an expensive commodity that the rich conspicuously spilled it on their golden capes instead of wasting it invisibly in their stomachs. Afford enough wine to braggadociously spill it with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of wine and fancy and fun fare at Tayst Restaurant & Wine Bar, located just east of Belmont University on 21st Street.
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).
Impressing dinegreen.com enough to earn a green-certified restaurant tag, Tayst is the only such certified restaurant in Nashville, which confirms that its earth-friendly initiatives benefit Mother Gaia. By banning Styrofoam from the premises and utilizing produce from local farms that are pesticide-free, Tayst is doing its part to ensure that the earth has a bright, clean future.
Nashville Scene awarded Tayst Best Trendsetter for 2008, and chef Jeremy Barlow won the Scene's 2009 Iron Fork competition. Fortune has featured Barlow, and Nashville magazine and the Tennessean have featured the restaurant. Yelpers give it an average of four stars:
- Having passed through its toddler and adolescent stages of development, matured by time, trial and experience, tayst has perfected the art of polished yet relaxed service, reflective of the restaurant itself— chicly and impeccably dressed yet warm and relaxed in mood. It has the retro ambiance of an intimate supper club, with a pleasant soundtrack of laughter, conversation and clinking glasses, the latter likely filled with wines that are thoughtfully paired with each course. – Kay West, Nashville
- Cooking seasonally remains at the forefront, with the goal of creating a dining experience that is imaginative, adventurous and satisfying. Following his format of first, second and main taysts, Barlow has designed a summer dinner menu with some intriguing offerings. – Nancy Vienneau, Tennessean