By now it’s no secret that I love food. So, as I mentioned in my gluten-free Nashville post, I researched the heck out of gluten-free restaurants in Nashville before our trip. Yes, even mapping out a gluten-free itinerary for the trip. Sorry, Ken…Did I work in tourist attractions to that itinerary? Not really. But hey, that’s what a long car ride is for, right?
We had a fabulous time in Nashville. You can tell a lot about a city and its culture by the food. Not to get too deep on you, but I really feel it’s like the dining is an indicator of the vibrancy and creativity of a city.
I was greatly impressed with Nashville. Here’s a rundown of our first stop in Nashville, the Holland House Bar & Refuge.
It may be on the shadier side of town, but Holland House is a must. Named to best inventive cocktail bars of 2013 by Nashville Lifestyles, we couldn’t pass it up. We conveniently arrived during happy hour. That meant awesome cocktails for $5, plus a sampling of appetizers.
I ordered an Old Fashioned. I feel like you can tell a lot about a place by their Old Fashioned, and Holland House passed with flying colors. This one was Weller Reserve, sugar, Angostura Bitters, and orange peel. Ken got a Moscow Mule, and man, was that good. Not served in a copper cup, but delicious nonetheless.
There weren’t any options for the gluten-freers on the happy hour menu, but we ordered a delicious grilled provolone from the full menu, which our waiter confirmed was gluten-free. And man, was that good. The gist of it? One giant hunk of provolone, topped with prosciutto, roasted tomatoes, arugula and a spicy chipotle sauce.
I will say that I felt like we were inconveniencing the bartender by asking questions about gluten-free options. Perhaps if we had been at a table, we would have experienced something different, but we would have missed out on the fun of watching them prepare the drinks. And, if you’re looking for gluten-free appetizers, there didn’t seem to be that many options – though I can’t speak for the full dinner menu. I’m sure much of it can be prepared gluten-free. However, for cocktails, Holland House is a must.
The crowd? The atmosphere is chic and vintage, but laid-back. You might say it’s a twinge on the hipster side, but there is a mix of older couples and business professionals in there around happy hour, as well. I’ll definitely be back here the next time I’m in Nashville.