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Loving Old and New Nashville Restaurants

Appreciating classics Sperry's and Green Hills Grille And Welcoming Two Newer Spots In Town

In a town that's seen some devastating old favorite restaurants close and adapt over the last few years as its welcomed hundreds of shiny new options and rooftop bars aplenty, Nashville diners now have more options than ever when it comes time to decide where to dine out. Here, Belle Meade Lifestyle shines a light on a mix of four of our favorite local dining establishments, from new favorite hangs to tried and true restaurants that have managed to stand the test of time. 

5109 Harding Pike, Nashville

For over 48 years, locals have flocked to the Belle Meade location of Sperry's for sizzling steaks, juicy prime rib, and friendly service - and today the nostalgia and tradition continue to beckon guests. First opened in 1974 by brothers Houston and Dick Thomas, the Belle Meade Steakhouse made a name for itself by offering diners Nashville's first-ever salad bar. The restaurant has evolved through the years and is now owned by Houston's son, Al Thomas, and his wife Trish, but the iconic salad bar still makes the steakhouse a beloved and nostalgic dining destination. The warm, cozy interior makes even dining in the often-packed dining room a consistently pleasant experience, finished with nearly-obligatory table-side-flamed bananas foster. 

Green Hills Grille
2002 Richard Jones Rd #104A, Nashville

For 20 years, Green Hills Grille was a go-to spot in its namesake neighborhood, upsetting many when it closed. One might call it a comeback -- one brought on by a former GHG server, bartender, and "ultimately" its GM, Steven Smithing, who is now a local restaurateur with Green Hills Grille and Mere Bulles as feathers in his restaurant ownership cap. Steven reopened GHG to much fanfare in its current location in 2015 and continues as a local tradition offering approachable, non-fussy dining, done well. Steven's brother Christopher Smithing serves as executive chef of Green Hills Grille, still serving longtime favorites like the tortilla soup, chicken salad melt, Santa Fe chicken, and smoked chicken enchiladas. New menu offerings include select hand-cut steaks and an acclaimed BBIGH – the “Best Burger in Green Hills. A full bar adjoins the 175-seat restaurant and 40-seat patio, offering both the usual standbys and handcrafted cocktails.

Roze Pony
5133 Harding Pike, Nashville

Open since late 2020 in the Belle Meade Galleria complex, Roze Pony is a stunning all-day cafe and the second for owner and chef Julia Jaksic, who previously served as executive chef of Employees Only Singapore and Jack’s Wife Freda. Open daily from 8 am until 10 pm, the Belle Meade cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner alongside a fully stocked bar and cocktail menu, plus Nashville-based OSA coffee and High Garden tea. For breakfast, you’ll find savory egg sandwiches alongside beet-cured salmon on rye alongside sweeter souffle pancakes, banana shakes, or overnight oats. The daytime menu also touts a selection of toasts, salads, and sandwiches, while the current dinner menu offers lobster polenta fritters, raw bar options, lemon roasted trout, and a fennel-seared pork chop. 

Common Ground
 4001 Charlotte Ave, Nashville

Hip-casual Common Ground is one of the newest restaurants/bars in this neck of the woods, open since November of 2022,  between Sylvan Park and The Nations neighborhoods. The interior is clean and modern, with standout culinary and beverage programs that have already drawn locals in as regulars. Leading the culinary team? Chef Eric Babula, formerly of Chicago-based 8 Hospitality. The beverage program consists of Wes Taylor, formerly of The Patterson House and M Street Entertainment; and Matt Ramos, a certified sommelier recently at Tony Mantuano's Yolan and M Street’s Kayne Prime Steakhouse.

Wes and Matt’s professional partnership of Wes and Matt dates back almost six years when the two were running operations together within the M Street Entertainment restaurant group. After managing the struggles throughout the Covid pandemic, the two began brainstorming their ideal neighborhood spot. Throughout the next few years, the duo went their own ways. Matt bounced around different restaurant groups in Nashville and Wes became the Beverage Director of M Street. Eventually, the conversation resurfaced of creating their own concept and what was then born was Common Ground, “made for locals, by locals” says Wes. The approachable yet elevated menu offers everything from an exceptional burger and whipped Boursin cheese to hand-cut pappardelle pasta and Black Hawk wagyu steak, plus brunch, happy hour, and plenty of standout cocktails (including an entire flight of flavored espresso martinis) and zero-proof drinks from the team of experts.

Keep visiting those local restaurants, y'all!

  • Sperry's
  • Green Hills Grille
  • Common Ground's Carrot Cake: ginger cardamom cake, maple cream cheese, candied carrot, walnut
  • Roze Pony
  • Roze Pony
  • Roze Pony
  • Sperry's
  • Sperry's