Like everyone else, we’re mourning the missed opportunities to travel and explore as we remain close to home as the Covid situation drags on (and on). While we may not be sight-seeing on foreign shores or lounging on island beaches just yet—one facet of traveling that we aren’t missing out on is tasting authentic flavors from faraway destinations. Luckily, Music City’s dining scene is surviving the pandemic and some of the most beloved spots offer a taste of something exotic to satisfy our wanderlust. Follow along as we visit a few of the most notable local haunts serving up destination-inspired cuisine that will instantly transport your palate…. and your mindset.
BARCELONA WINE BAR
If you’re looking for one of our team members in the late afternoons or early evenings this fall, there’s a good chance you might find at least a couple of Edit girls cozied up in a booth in Edgehill Village where one of our favorite happy hour and gathering spots is nestled in the charming retail district. With a menu built on authentic Spanish favorites and an emphasis on small, shared plates it suits our curious personalities and desire to try new things weekly.
One exciting thing that’s recently been added is their own private marketplace—where you can pick up gourmet treats to take to office mates or family. The selection also includes hand-cast homewares and beautiful books for the kitchen and home that will solve any gift-giving dilemma. Our favorite items in the market are the hand-carved cutting and serving boards, which are also used on that cheese plate you’ll order at the table.
The scene here feels more ‘big city’ than you would expect from a Music Row area locale but definitely reflects something you might find tucked away in West Hollywood or NYC’s West Village. The dress code is definitely casual but most of the patrons seem to be well-dressed even when the ensembles are jeans and leggings that are wardrobe staples for the Music Row set. The crowd is lively but not rowdy and likely made up of young professionals with office locations in and around the area.
We can’t be mad about any restaurant that has a specific portion of the menu devoted to day drinking, with cocktails, sparkling wines, and sangrias suited for pre-sunset toasts. As women, we especially appreciate Barcelona featuring a select collection of premium European wines exclusively from female winemakers. They are also launching a special bar cart service for gin and tonics this fall, which promises to delight and surprise even those who swear that they just don’t like gin. And for cooler days, nothing beats a big vessel filled with one of their bold red wines. Happy hour, indeed!
This is where Barcelona really gets fun, especially for a group. Their ‘build your own’ cheese and charcuterie boards boast an array of flavors and options while the extensive tapas menu includes a variety of well-seasoned samplings of some of the chef’s most creative dishes. From vegan to keto followers, any food plan is easy to follow due to so many choices, and the portion control is built-in, so it’s easy to keep from overdoing it. For candlelit dinner service, there are amazing entrée selections such as the mussels and impressive paellas – a house specialty! Just save a little room for one of the sweet finishes—our suggestion is a big slice of the Basque burnt cheesecake, which is truly a perfect finish and worth splurging a little for the calorie-conscious.
Well, this is Music Row, so anything goes. Within walking distance to the most famous recording studios and record labels it’s more likely than not to run into the person you heard singing on the radio on your way to the restaurant. It’s also a good place to people watch as movers and shakers in entertainment are here nightly making plans for the next big tour or album release so keep your eyes open for influencers and crooners alike.