Bistro V has a swank new bar and specialty cocktails.  

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Where better to celebrate Valentine's Day than in a brand new bar?

Jeremy Downey recently expanded Bistro V with a new bar. The bar space doubled the size of this chef driven restaurant with both bar seating and table seating. This stylish bar space has bamboo flooring and ceiling, comfy love seats, leather chairs, soft Edison lighting and tables of rough hewn wood.
Chef Tom Saab demos Bistro 218’s delectable duck confit.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Jan Walsh

A very important part of my work as a food writer is… eating the food. And no matter what is put before me, with the exception of mushrooms/fungi that I am allergic to, I eat it. Through the years my palate has developed an appreciation of foods that I previous thought I did not “like.” Duck was one of those foods. I struggled to enjoy duck, even when prepared by the best of chefs. Yet today there was no struggle. Bistro 218’s Duck Confit, paired with a glass of Chateau Mirambeau, is not only the best duck I have ever tasted, it changed my former mindset about this bird. I loved Saab’s duck so much that and look forward to having it again soon at Bistro 218, where it takes him three days to prepare this classic French dish.
Pair The Hermitage Hotel with Nashville Wine Auction.  

By Jan Walsh

I recently enjoyed a lovely weekend in Nashville, without the country music. I paired a stay at The Hermitage Hotel with a weekend of wine at the Nashville Wine Auction’s inaugural Pairings event, held at Noah Liff Opera.

This was my first stay at The Hermitage Hotel. And I do not plan for it to be my last. I fell in love with this place as soon as I entered the Tennessee marble columned lobby with its magnificent painted glass ceiling. The Hotel Hermitage opened in 1910, as the namesake of Andrew Jackson's Hermitage estate. Five Presidents of the U.S. and countless celebrities have stayed here. I could write a book on its history. But that has already been done by Ripley Wills, II: The Hermitage Hotel at One Hundred. The hotel was purchased in 2000 by Historic Hotels of Nashville, LLC, which led to the $17 million renovation of the guest rooms and public areas, after which the hotel reopened on Valentine's Day 2003. Less than nine months later it received the prestigious American Automobile Association Five-Diamond rating, and it remains Tennessee’s only Forbes Five Star and AAA Triple Diamond Hotel.