By Hope S. Philbrick
During a recent visit to Nashville, Tennessee, I mentioned to a local friend that I had dinner reservations at Sperry’s. “Oh!” she exclaimed. “They have the best creamed spinach!”
I happen to love creamed spinach. Whether you do or not, I think we can all agree that it’s not usually the sort of dish that people sit around raving about.
So her enthusiasm for it was my first clue that Sperry’s is a special place.
The second was wrapped up in the knowledge that her job is to promote dozens of other restaurants in Nashville. Not Sperry’s. So her praise carried the added significance that she knows restaurants yet didn’t recommend some other place instead.
Sperry’s is a Nashville tradition that has been operating for 40 years. Few restaurants anywhere last that long. It’s obviously doing more than a few things right.
The Sperry’s dining room offers a glimpse at the “real” Nashville. (Which only vaguely resembles the “Nashville” on ABC.) There’s a vibrant energy, an easy friendliness, a relaxed-yet-elegant style (think jeans and sport coats, polished boots, the occasional strand of pearls, perhaps a few tattoos), and a rhythmic buzz of conversation mingling in the air alongside mouthwatering aromas.
Sperry’s is a steakhouse with the sort of traditional menu items that most restaurants in that genre share, like prime rib, filet oskar, New York strip, lobster tail. But it adds a Southern spin and delivers a few surprises with options like barbecue shrimp & grits, sesame seared tuna, escargot, Kobe beef burger. The problem isn’t finding something that sounds appealing, it’s narrowing your choice down to one entrée. (@21plusTravel Tip: Persuade your dining companion to order something you’ll like and swap a few bites.)
Everything we ordered exceeded expectations, from the wine to the salad, steaks to dessert. Meats were cooked to perfection, seasoned just right.
The creamed spinach? It’s divine. The best I’ve ever had (so far).
Another standout is the signature sticky toffee pudding topped with crème fraiche and warm toffee sauce. It’s the best dessert I’ve had in years.
My husband and I now consider Sperry’s a must-stop on all future visits to Nashville.
Sperry’s – Belle Meade
519 Harding Pike
Nashville TN 37205
Odds of Encountering Children: Possible, of course, but we saw none during our weeknight dinner.
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
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