Best Slice of Birmingham in Nashville

Watermark/Miro District

For more than 20 years, Nashvillians who had the good sense (and good fortune) to include dinner at Frank Stitt's Highlands Bar and Grill in their Birmingham travels wondered aloud, "Why can't we have a restaurant like that in Nashville?" Three years ago, local health care entrepreneur Jerry Brown—a longtime fan of the nationally known chef—literally put his money where his mouth was. He contracted Stitt's right-hand man Dean Robb to consult, hired back- and front-of-the-house alumni of the Stitt system, and voilá!—he opened Watermark in The Gulch. A virtual template of the Highlands profile of classic French technique applied to local and seasonal ingredients of impeccable quality, served with professional finesse in an environment steeped in grace and Southern hospitality, Watermark instantly secured its place among Nashville's best restaurants. This summer, Brown went a step further, convincing Robb—who had overseen the food in Stitt's Italian/Mediterranean-flavored Bottega for 15 years—to permanently move to Nashville. Just weeks ago he opened Miro District, an Italian-Mediterranean restaurant that offers café-casual and elegant dining under one roof—that of the stunning new Adelicia building in Midtown. Boasting about which city's restaurants are better would be rude. Suffice to say that what makes Watermark and Miro better than Highlands and Bottega is quite simple—they are ours. —KAY WEST

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