Being stuck at home with a bad case of the quarantines doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some of the best that Nashville restaurants have to offer. In fact, many local eateries have developed special family-style meals for delivery or takeout that can bring everyone around the communal table to enjoy a dinner together with minimal work or cleanup. However, if you’d rather do some of the cooking yourself, there are also options that will provide you with all the needed ingredients and even instruct you on meal preparation via the internet.
No matter what neighborhood you’re living or sheltering-in-place in, there are some fantastic dining options out there for you to consider, and these restaurants really need your support if we all want them to still be in business whenever the “all clear” is sounded and they can re-open. Here are some of our favorites organized by neighborhood:
On the best of days, reservations at Rolf & Daughters were hard to come by thanks to Chef Philip Krajeck’s popular takes on rustic Mediterranean cuisine and inventive pasta dishes, all made featuring local seasonal ingredients whenever possible. Plus the atmosphere there was so warm and cozy, that diners camped at tables for hours ordering course after course and generally enjoying the vibe. So if you’re looking for one positive aspect to the current pandemic, ordering for carryout is a great equalizer since you can just pick up the same amazing food and carry it back to your own crib.
You’ll find some of Krajeck’s greatest hits on the carryout menu, including the addictive sourdough bread with seaweed butter and an array of unique pastas. A roasted chicken with preserved lemon and garlic confit is the centerpiece of a three-course dinner deal or you can just order the fowl by itself. Rolf & Daughters is also offering boxes of fresh produce for pre-order plus a fun collaboration with local rocker Jack White’s Third Man Records where they’ll pair an album curated from Third Man’s stable of recording artists with a bottle of wine from R&D’s cellar for a creative evening of fun!
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate “Taco Tuesday” (or really any day on this calendar when the days seem to run together,) Nectar Urban Cantina offers what might be the best meal deals in town. They’ve set up easy contactless pick-up through a window at the front of the restaurant where you can carry home a massive amount of food for just a little money. Their highlight – family meals for four that include a taco pack for $25, chicken fajitas for $30 and a massive enchilada dinner for $40. In addition to all the fixin’s for these Mexican classics, each meal comes with delicious side dishes such as verde rice and black beans, chips and salsa and a house salad so you can pretend you’re being all healthy and stuff.
Nectar also offers a convenient “mercado” service with household staples you can add to your food order. From flats of 30 eggs to cuts of beef and chicken to necessary add-ons like sour cream, butter, milk, rice, produce and the much sought after flour, they can save you at least one trip to the grocery store.
This neighborhood stalwart has been serving solid food since 1998, so they are often overlooked on “best of” lists in favor of newer restaurants. However during difficult times, reliable is sexy, and The Yellow Porch has always been there for diners seeking out casual seasonal dishes with Mediterranean influences. Their pandemic offerings include some delightful family meals sized to feed 4-6 people from a menu that changes during the week.
Check their website for the latest available dishes, and you’ll likely discover some great options of whole fish seafood dishes, steak dinners, pastas and their legendary paella. Each meal comes with bread and dipping sauces, and for a real treat, pre-order one of their scrumptious whole pies made from scratch. You deserve dessert for how good you’ve been at staying safe at home!
Nicky’s closed down for the first few weeks of the pandemic while they planned out how to keep both their staff and patrons safe. Luckily for us, they’ve got it figured out with a couple of fun options. On Wednesday and Thursday (with more days coming soon!) they are selling take-and-bake Sicilian-style pizzas already in a foil pan all ready for you to pop in the oven for a half hour to create a fantastic rectangular pie with a crust that is simultaneously crispy and fluffy somehow. The toppings take these pies over the top, including fresh vegetables, artisan cheese and house-made Italian sausage that is way above what you’d expect from your neighborhood pizza joint.
On Friday nights, chef/owners Tony and Caroline Galzin lead online cooking classes on Instagram where you can pick up a box of ingredients from Nicky’s and cook along while you learn. If you’re not feeling that industrious, order their pre-made Sunday Dinner featuring focaccia bread, pasta, Mama G’s meatballs and a salad. You won’t even have to clean up after supper, because odds are, there won’t be any leftovers after you gobble down that great Italian comfort food.
The team at The Farm House has always believed in cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from as close to the restaurant as possible, so they have been better prepared than most to deal with any interruptions in the food supply chain. Working directly with local farmers and purveyors, they still manage to provide a to-go menu of elevated comfort food like sloppy Joe’s, house-cured meats, pork chops, chicken fingers, burgers and wings that will hit you right in the feels. Drive home as quickly as you safely can, because you’ll want to eat it while it’s hot!
Chef Deb Paquette runs the kitchens at two of Music City’s most beloved restaurants, Etch downtown and her Green Hills outpost, etc. She has combined the menus from both places at etc. where she’s offering a prix fixe two-course dinner for two for $50, or four portions for $100. Each diner can pick an appetizer or salad and an entree from a list of several options, all of which demonstrate the Paquette’s talent for deeply flavorful exotic dishes that has made her so beloved by Nashville diners. Desserts are another option that is pretty much mandatory, so save a little room for that. Add a couple cocktails, beers or a bottle of wine to your order to make a midweek meal into something special. The menu changes frequently, so check here for the latest updates.
This restaurant located in the fancy Kimpton Aertson Hotel in Midtown always had an emphasis on large-format entrees, so it wasn’t much of a pivot for them to begin offering family meals through their “Henley at Home” menu. Build a meal around a selection of snacks like charcuterie boards and crab + Pimento cheese crackers followed by soups, salads, pasta dishes, large entrees suitable for sharing and side dishes for the table. Or you can just order a whole smoked chicken with house sorghum rolls and a selection of classic Southern side dishes. Yeah, you should definitely do that.
Lockeland Table is such a cozy neighborhood hang that it seems a shame to eat their food without the rest of the experience of sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with friends and neighbors, but you shouldn’t use that as a reason to deprive yourself of Chef Hal Holden-Bache’s downhome cuisine. Whether you order à la carte from his menu of apps like his Asian-inspired General Hal’s wings, empanadas and pizzas, or opt for a picnic dinner like slabs of BBQ ribs or take advantage of the precooked LT Family Meals that are ready to reheat at home, you’re sure to taste the convivial vibe of the restaurant in your food. If you need further warming, order up a couple of Lockeland Table’s popular cocktails or a bottle of wine to accompany your meal and keep the chill off.