Nashville is a great town for dining, and of course we’re also an entertainment center that attracts visitors from around the globe to enjoy music, theater and other performing arts. Even better, there are a few fun places where you can enjoy dinner and a show at the same time. So if you’re planning a trip to Music City or scheduling your next date night, keep these spots in mind for an amusing evening out.
At The Chef & I in the Gulch, Chef Chris Raines turns any meal onto an extravaganza. Working with his talented staff at two show kitchen stations, Raines prepares delicious meals right in front of his diners seated in a semi-circle around the cooktops. The entire experience is very interactive, with Chef Raines always willing to answer any questions about ingredients or preparations. The Chef & I has a vibrant atmosphere with music pumping and bartenders at the ready to create classic cocktails or specialty drinks to help heighten the mood.
There is also a semi-secret “backstage” area at The Chef & I where they host private events and special themed dinners. Through the end of September, this cozy dining room is the home of a spectacular multimedia and food event called “Banquet of Hoshena,” a magical experience where innovative video mapping and projection is used to weave a story of the mythical land of Hoshena where flavors and emotions are intrinsically linked as Kings, Queens, fairies and more come to life on your table. A live hostess leads diners through the story and the courses of this two-hour long dining extravaganza, with five different courses expressing the emotions mentioned in the narrative. There are also tasty small treats presented between courses along with a cocktail and optional wine pairings available for purchase.
The Banquet of Hoshena was originally created by the wonderfully talented Nadine Beshir, in collaboration with the multimedia British artists Davy and Kristin McGuire from Studio McGuire. Go West Creative is known to be at the forefront of leading trends and technology in the creation of extraordinary experiences and is proud to bring this experience to the United States where Nashville is the first city to experience the wonders of this interactive dining experience.
The Banquet of Hoshena is presented on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights with an additional matinee on Sundays plus a few Wednesday nights during the two-month run. Guests need to purchase their tickets in advance at the event website, and some showings have already sold out, so don’t miss out!
If you prefer more traditional magic over the technological marvel that is The Banquet of Hoshena, then House of Cards in SoBro is the place to go. This unique dining and entertainment experience takes place in a large entertainment complex, accessible through a hidden tunnel which you’ll find out about when you make a reservation. Once you find the place, you’ll encounter an elegant ambiance highlighted by gorgeous artwork hanging on the walls, striking antiques and an ornate bar.
The restaurant part of House of Cards features a menu of upscale continental cuisine and aged steaks, with the bonus that the cost of your meal includes all sorts of free entertainment. From roving performers demonstrating close-up magic to larger magic acts in the showroom, House of Cards presents an entire evening of diversion. Dress to impress at this classy establishment and please follow their strict no-photography policy.
Across Broadway in Printer’s Alley is the famous Skull’s Rainbow Room, a Nashville hotspot since 1948. The legendary checkerboard stage in this appropriately dimly lit restaurant and bar has hosted some amazing musical acts through the years, from Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash to Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan. It’s best known today as the home of one of Nashville’s most entertaining burlesque shows where voluptuous dancers perform in front of a swinging live band. The dance performances take place Thursdays through Saturday nights with nightly jazz during the dinner hours.
Speaking of dinner, Skull’s offers a terrific old school chophouse menu of classic dishes like escargot and foie gras as starters plus entrees ranging from prime rib, filet mignon and the famous French specialty boeuf en croûte. The bar at Skull’s makes some of the best specialty cocktails anywhere in downtown, and a thoughtful wine list offers excellent pairings with the food.