After a few months of holiday time coupled with ‘stuck in the house’ quarantine-style, most of us jump at the opportunity for a few minutes (or a few hours if we’re honest) out of the house. If you’re like me, you miss your girlfriends or that group of like-minded professionals you used to meet for Happy Hour regularly. While some individuals are still holding up based on circumstance, the rest of us are practically chomping at the bit to get out and about. As long as you are safe, choose sanitary-minded venues and follow the rules, there’s no reason to hold back. Because those once normal but now precious outings come few and far between, choosing where to go to meet up is important to ensure an experience that is more than worth it. We are looking for spots that not only offer a refuge from family noise and home life but that go above and beyond in providing wine selections that feel indulgent, helping the whole effort feel like a mini-vacation from home central. These are a few of our top choices.
AN ELEGANT AFTERNOON
Those hours after the lunch crowd and before dinner are perhaps the sweetest spot in the day for planning to sip vino and savor delicious nibbles (along with a little gossip if that’s what you’re hungry for). In our opinion, RH Café inside RH Nashville at The Mall at Green Hills is probably the best choice in the city for truly escaping on a weekday afternoon. For starters, the environment is instantly settling. Plush, neutral furnishings, an abundance of greenery, and the noise of a gentle central fountain combine for an instant calming effect no matter what the rest of your day entails. The food and service are also always on point, so no frustrations there. For me, time, there’s no better place.
You may have visited multiple times since the RH opening, but what you likely don’t know is that they have recently upgraded the menu, and particularly the wine list. RH Café now offers an impressive list that includes 40 wines by the glass. And these aren’t just any wines. The selection has been carefully curated to appeal to a variety of tastes and moods. From bold California reds to light, bright whites and gorgeous rosé offerings, this is the place to soothe your wine-loving soul. I also like that they have ten sparkling by the glass choices. You can celebrate with a Spanish Cava, Italian Prosecco or really treat yourself to the very best French Champagne without having to worry about dealing with ordering an entire bottle. It’s the luxury of choice along with the actual selection that makes this beautiful sanctuary such a precious place for a truly indulgent afternoon off. Served in elegant crystal glassware suited to the varietal, there really isn’t a bad choice on the menu. In fact, I suggest planning to try more than one rather than ordering the same thing for that second glass for the ultimate tasting experience.
GRABBING THAT GLASS AFTER WORK OR BETWEEN PICK UP ERRANDS
You might only have 45 minutes, but that’s enough time to plan to meet the person you’ve meant to catch up with forever for a quick splash in transit. Instead of heading to a bustling spot with loud noise or inferior glassware, pick a place that oozes with serenity and extends an appreciation for drinking wine at the end of the day. These are a few of my top suggestions perfect for being treated well while soaking up friendship along with savory selections and fine wines.
Roze Pony, Belle Meade – This outpost of the wildly popular Café Roze in East Nashville (also an excellent choice) features minimally tasteful décor and a quiet environment focused on encouraging conversations and culinary exploration. The food menu is somewhat limited, but everything is ideally fresh and unique (not a bad dish on it!). The craft cocktail list is stellar, and the wines you can order by the glass are those you likely won’t see elsewhere.
Bob’s Steak & Chophouse, Downtown – Situated in a cozy corner inside the Omni Hotel, this dimly-lit respite is perfect for stopping into when you’re near downtown or just want to venture to the city’s hub without taking in more crowded venues. Expect incredible wines worthy of a top-tier steakhouse, incredible service, comfortable, welcoming seat at the bar or one of the privately situated bar tables.
MOTO, The Gulch – This little bit of Italian heaven in the M Street district is perhaps the bar we crave the most when planning for a night out. Perfect for sharing a pizza in a cozy high-top private booth for 2 to 3 to 4, the setting is a modern bistro done right from lighting to seating design to the bar itself. The wine program here invites experimenting with the most delicious vintages while indulging in the warm feeling from the adjacent open-flame pizza oven.