By Victoria Scott
Until I moved to Nashville, I didn’t consider myself a big cauliflower fan. To me, it was broccoli’s less flavorful, less palatable cousin and nothing more. It turns out that in the past few years, Nashville restaurants have become a bit obsessed with their cauliflower appetizers and side dishes, and thanks to their creative takes on the veggie, I’ve finally come to understand what the hype is all about.
Here are four exceptional restaurants that do justice to the city’s cauliflower craze:
Nashville loves cauliflower. Nashville loves hot chicken. It was only a matter of time before a clever chef decided to combine the two. Americano, a freestyle tapas restaurant on West End, offers many delectable bites, but the hot cauliflower with buttermilk blue cheese is a standout.
Lucky for you, the restaurant only opened this past summer, so it’s still somewhat of a hidden treasure. With their impeccable service, impressive bar offerings, and convivial atmosphere (shared plates always make for a good time), Americano is not to be missed.
For a fun spin on the cauliflower craze, you need look no further than Nashville’s favorite Indian eatery. The beetroot and cauliflower croquette is sure to satisfy meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, but let’s be honest, you really can’t go wrong with anything on their menu.
Not only does 5th & Taylor win for most unique and stunning décor, but they’re also one of the few dining establishments to work cauliflower into a vegetarian main course. Even alongside a medley of quinoa, poblano peppers, and acorn squash, cauliflower is still the star of the show.
No cauliflower list could be complete without an Etch shout-out. Easily their most well-known menu item, the roasted cauliflower with pea pesto and feta crema is a showstopper. Though they always provide an ample portion of the salty, crunchy, roasted vegetable and the accompanying sauces, it never seems to be enough. Not to mention that the restaurant donates $1 from every cauliflower plate to Second Harvest Food Bank (which provides food to Nashville residents in need). If that’s not an excuse to place a second order, I don’t know what is!
But here’s a little treat for you—Chef Deb Paquette has actually shared her famous cauliflower recipe with the public! I’ve used it multiple times, and while it doesn’t quite compare to the restaurant’s carefully crafted version, it’s enough to tide me over between visits.