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Diners can look forward to a Japanese comfort food pop-up-turned-restaurant, a Southern Italian fine-dining destination, and an underground tequila bar
In 2022, Nashville’s restaurant boom continues unabated. An increasing number of big-name culinary figures from New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and more have set their sights on Music City, expanding or making plans to expand with new restaurants downtown or in East Nashville. Add to that the homegrown businesses that aim to keep local flavor alive, and it can be hard to keep track. To help, Eater Nashville breaks down the city’s most anticipated restaurants each season so diners can keep an eye out.
For fall 2022, we’re tracking three exciting spots — the first restaurant for a couple behind a hugely popular pandemic pop-up; a fine-dining destination in the upcoming Four Seasons Hotel Nashville; and an underground margarita and tequila bar.
747 Douglas Ave., East Nashville
The hotly anticipated brick-and-mortar location of Brian Lea and Leina Horii’s pandemic-born pop-up is imminent, exciting news for fans of their milk bread sandwiches, onigirazu, and Japanese curry. Kisser, a name inspired by a Japanese kissaten (neighborhood cafe) is a 25-seat cafe opening this fall at Highland Yards, a new development in East Nashville. dishes to expect include curry rice, onigiri, and chicken katsu, as well as wafu pasta, also known as Japanese pasta, and rotating udon, soba, and ramen dishes. Seasonal vegetables and herbs, many of which are grown on the couple’s small farm, will be incorporated throughout the year, and the pair aims to be friendly to dietary restrictions, with gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free, and nut-free options. Kisser will add brunch down the line.
100 Demonbreun St., SoBro
The forthcoming Four Seasons Hotel Nashville has announced its main restaurant and bar, Mimo, will be led by chef Aniello “Nello” Turco. Turco will mix Southern Italian cuisine with flavors and ingredients from the American South, the hotel says; the chef has previously cooked at big-name restaurants like the former one-Michelin-starred Apsleys in London and two-Michelin-starred Noma in Copenhagen. There are few specifics available beyond that so far, but a press release mentions that he is “experimenting” with dishes like chicken fermented with sourdough bread.
Fifth + Broadway, Downtown Nashville
Sam Fox is gearing up for yet another Fifth + Broadway destination, an underground tequila and margarita bar he’s calling Pushing Daisies. A verbose press release rife with jargon makes it clear no penny has been spared for the design, referencing an “elusive underground hallway;” that leads to a room with “daisy-patterned penny tile flooring, plush and pillowy elevated banquettes, leather channeled walls, and heavy curtains made of plum-colored velvet,” as well as a DJ booth outfitted with custom lighting made from found objects. It’s the first bar-only business for Fox, so there won’t be food, and instead focuses on agave aperitifs and cocktails like the Poncho’s Bliss, made with clarified coconut milk punch, dragonfruit tea, and reposado tequila; and the Carajillo, made with espresso-soaked vanilla liqueur and spiced cold brew.
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