I had dinner with Megan, my dear friend from college, her boyfriend and her parents earlier this week. She is moving to Nashville later this month, and we are going to be roommates! I could not be more excited for her to move to this amazing city.
We both adore downtown Franklin, so we decided to have dinner at GRAY’s on Main. I have been dying to try this restaurant since it opened, so I was overjoyed that I finally had the perfect company to dine here with!
The building has such a rich history and the restaurant really embraces and showcases the history throughout its decor and menu. (Read about the history of GRAY’s here)
I instantly felt as though I went back in time as I walked through the door. It has such a classic and classy southern 19th century feel. We were seated on the second floor, which has a stage and a bar, as well as seated tables. There was musician playing on stage. who was excellent! It was just one man with his guitar singing beautiful Spanish songs. I could have listened to him sing to us all night long.
The cocktail menu at GRAY’s is has all brandy-based drinks. According to its website, GRAY’s wanted to stick with the “drink culture of the 19th century.” This is such a unique idea, and I applaud the restaurant owners for sticking to the building’s roots. If you’re not a brandy fan, they also make classic liquor drinks as well.
I am almost embarrassed to say that I did not order a brandy-based drink off the menu. Almost. I ordered a classic margarita, and loved it. (We went on Cinco de Mayo so I had an excuse!) It was refreshing and delicious, without being too strong. However, next time, I will put my trust in the bartenders, and try a signature cocktail.
The food menu is exquisite. It comprises eight entrees, and more than 10 sharables/appetizers. We wanted to try as many things on the menu as we could, so we chose to go with splitting salads and sharables. It was absolutely the right choice! Below is our spread of food. Isn’t the presentation beautiful? I love how they plate every dish.
First, I had some of the Arugula salad. It had pears, aged feta, and roasted nuts with a raspberry vinaigrette. My favorite part of the salad was the raspberry vinaigrette!
The fried green tomatoes were served with roasted creamy corn and goat cheese. The creamy corn made the dish. It was exceptional on top of the pickles. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a close up of the pickles, but they are pictured in the top-middle of the table picture above.
Next, I tried the grilled pear pizza with arugula, mozzarella cheese, grilled pear, and cambazola on top. The balsamic glaze drizzled on the pizza added such an element of flavor. It was my first time having pear on a pizza, and it won’t be the last.
Since her parents had not been to Nashville before (they’re from California), we decided to indulge in classic southern dishes. I have only had chicken & waffles cooked by chefs in my sorority house in college, so I was very excited to try them in a restaurant.
They were drizzled with local honey and came with maple syrup. This is hands-down my favorite dish. They were to die for. The chicken was fried, but the breading was light enough as not to overpower the tenderness and exquisite flavor of the chicken. The waffles were fluffy and soft, and complemented the chicken very well. I barely used any syrup, because the honey added the perfect amount of sweetness to the dish. If you go to GRAY’s with a smaller crowd, or only want to order one dish, I suggest you order this. I highly recommend it!
I have a confession: I had never tried hot chicken before dining at GRAY’s. Yes, I am a Nashville native, but had never tried Nashville’s famed dish. In my defense, I rarely eat fried food (with tonight as a huge exception), so hot chicken wasn’t something that every really came on the radar for me. But, we were going with the Southern theme, right? You gotta have some indulgence every now and then!
The hot chicken at GRAY’s was served on white bread with a pickle and GRAY’s fever sauce. I see why they call it hot chicken. Oh my lawd was it hot. Now, I am a girl who loves some heat, but I have never tasted heat like this. I broke a sweat and it took me a good 10 minutes and a few forkfuls of coleslaw to get my mouth to cool down. Wow, was it hot! I don’t think I have the tolerance that I thought it did. After I got over the initial shock, I really enjoyed the chicken!
So, if you’re looking for an excellent southern restaurant with a rich history to match, GRAY’s on Main is the place to go. I felt as thought I went back in time. It was truly an experience. I am already planning my next meal at the establishment and I will be a repeat customer at GRAY’s for years to come.