I love fall for a myriad of reasons but one that tops the list is because it's wedding season! I have attended three weddings in nearly as many weeks and it is so, so special to be included in a couple's sacred day, whether as a guest or a member of the wedding party. Most recently, I was the co-Matron of Honor (alongside my bff, Karli) in our best gal, Becca's, wedding in Nashville, and even though it's already Wednesday, I'm still having wedding weekend withdrawals. It was an incredibly gorgeous ceremony combined with an unbelievably fun reception spent with some of my very favorite people in the world. James & I went to a sweet wedding at a beautiful venue in Weatherford, and I went home to Chicago for my cousin's wedding, which was family-filled and wonderful. The cherry on top is that one of my Dallas bests, Laura, got engaged over the weekend! We met for coffee & wedding talk this morning as I sat there with my cherished friend, I felt that there is so much love in the world. All seems really, really right.
While I'm working on my photos from my trip to northern California, I thought I'd share some fun pictures from my fabulous trip to Nashville last month. I was in Music City for work but I got to spend my spare time playing with one of my very best friends, Becca, who lives in the popular 12 South neighborhood, right in the epicenter of everything fun and exciting and delicious. We dined at Silo, hiked around Radnor Lake, and ate lunch at Mas Tacos Por Favor. We drank lattes and ate homemade Pop-Tarts at Barista Parlor. We checked out Pinewood Social and ate my favorite meal at 404 Kitchen. We took lots of photos by the I Believe in Nashville mural (obviously), licked ice cream cones at Jeni's, enjoyed Southern-style cuisine at Husk, and caffeinated at The Well. We had happy hour at the Oak Bar and barbecue at Edley's, and we shopped for jeans at imogene + willie. We spent more than one afternoon at 12 South Taproom (my cousin, Sean, met us there once!) and we mingled and laughed with many of Becca's fun friends. I hadn't been to Nashville in five years so it was so good to be back, and it was even better to see the city through the eyes of my best gal. Becca was the perfect tour guide - she made my trip absolutely fantastic. I'm ready to go back!
While I was in Nashville last week, I enjoyed so many tasty treats at so many delicious places - crispy brussels sprouts with apples and bacon vinaigrette at Silo, pork tacos with yogurt dill sauce at Mas Tacos Por Favor, bourbon vanilla lattes and homemade Pop-Tarts at Barista Parlor, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and coffee at Pinewood Social, sweet cream biscuits & peach jam ice cream at Jeni's, sweet potato buttermilk pie at Husk, fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese & pepper jelly at the Oak Bar, and barbecued brisket sandwiches at Edley's. Nashville is a southern epicenter of good food, that's for sure. If forced to choose a favorite, though, I would have to select 404 Kitchen, the tiny restaurant nestled in the corner of an even tinier hotel.
Becca had to make reservations two weeks in advance and we were still only able to score a table at 5:15 p.m. This speaks both to 404 Kitchen's popularity and to its very small, intimate size. The space, though small, is beautiful, complete with plenty of natural light and a picturesque bar. We settled into our teeny table and began poring over the menu. We already knew that we wanted to start with the burrata cheese, which was served alongside the most diverse and delicious accompaniments that I have ever seen. The cheese was laid delicately over salty anasazi beans, crispy brussels sprouts slaw, and a piece of corn pone, the latter of which I can only describe as cornbread's saltier, more flavorful cousin. It was intensely delicious. We each drank a glass of the best chardonnay we've ever had while deciding what to enjoy as our entrees. I settled on the tri-tip, and it was perfection. The meat was seasoned wonderfully and it was complemented by a tasty mustard green pesto. But the show-stopper was the side of farroto served alongside the tri-tip. This dish is 404's take on risotto, substituting the common arborio rice with farro, a longer, heartier grain. It was creamy and rich and flavorful and studded with hazelnuts and dried cherries. It was, in a word, heavenly.
For dessert, we enjoyed more wine and a deconstructed apple pie, a caramel-y, rich, autumnal treat that rounded out the meal so well. The whole dining experience was exploding with flavor. If you find yourself in Nashville soon, see if you can snag a reservation at 404 Kithen - and if you can, consider ordering an extra helping of farroto along with your meal.
Image via 404 Kitchen
I'm so sorry for not sharing a Week & End post on Friday but time got the best of me! I'm in Nashville for work (and play - I get to stay with one of my very best friends, Becca, who is the best tour guide) and I'm loving every moment in this sweet southern city. I head back to Dallas tomorrow and I promise to share a great recap of this Tennessee gem soon.