I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville wife and mother with a passion for family travel, (mostly) healthy cooking, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries with you, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark.
April 8, 2022
‘We’re coming to Nashville soon and staying downtown. Where should we eat?’
I get this question quite a bit, and if you’re asking it, you probably fall into one of two categories. Either you’re coming to Nashville to wear white high-heeled cowboy boots, daisy dukes, and a hot pink Stetson, drink copious amounts of alcohol, ‘WOO!’ your way down Broadway with your friends on an open-air party bus, dance to covers of all your favorite top 40 country songs, sing “Islands in the Stream” at a karaoke bar with a handsy stranger from Cincinnati, and end your trip passed out in the hallway of your hotel just five feet from your door…
You’re genuinely hoping to experience Nashville’s sophisticated Southern cuisine, amazing music scene, history, and natural beauty.
If you fall into the first category, my advice to you is to eat anywhere you can get a table. Most downtown restaurants aren’t bad (that’s some high rent, after all), and you won’t remember anything about your meal the next day, anyway.
If you fall into the second category, though, have I got a restaurant for you.
It’s called Jane’s Hideaway, it’s right around the corner from Printer’s Alley, and it does indeed feel like a delicious secret tucked away in the chaos and frenzy of downtown Nashville. Here, you can enjoy a delicious meal and inventive craft cocktails while listening to some of the best bluegrass and Americana musicians in the city.
We had dinner at Jane’s Hideaway last Friday night and I can now enthusiastically recommend it to any of my friends looking for the perfect brunch or dinner downtown. Why? Allow me to explain.
Printer’s Alley has a long and sordid history filled with stories of raucous live music, free-flowing booze, and shameless dancing, so the building housing Jane’s Hideaway has seen its share of excitement. Built in 1908, it was a speakeasy during the Prohibition years and still connects to bootlegging tunnels that run beneath Printer’s Alley. They’re sealed off now…or so they say. I will be investigating this further at a later date.
In 1977, famed saxophonist Boots Randolph (He wrote ‘Yakety Sax.’ You remember Yakety Sax, right? Me neither) restored the building and opened a dinner club called… wait for it… Boots Randolph. The place was a hit and stayed open for 17 years. After that, a succession of bars, restaurants and even a dinner theater all had runs here. Artists including Chet Atkins, Roy Orbison, Carrie Underwood, and Miranda Lambert have all performed or recorded in the building and two scenes from the TV show Nashville were shot here as well.
Fast forward to 2021, when John Peet, who helped open Skull’s Rainbow Room and the popular bar Old Glory, decided it was a perfect time to open a new bar and restaurant in the space! Right in the middle of COVID! What could possibly go wrong? Fortunately, Peet had the credentials and connections to make it work — He’s a certified Bourbon Steward, a Level One Sommelier, and he won the Nashville Bar Bash two years in a row. Jane’s Hideaway opened in November 2021 with a stellar drink menu and a small but thoughtfully executed dinner menu of Southern favorites like deviled eggs, shrimp and grits, and locally sourced grass-fed steak. And while live music is a given at any downtown bar, Jane’s featured Bluegrass and Americana musicians — a welcome respite from the many Broadway bands leaning heavily on Top 40 country hits.
The result? A year and a half after opening, Jane’s Hideaway is legit thriving. The place stays busy, yet it really does feel like a hideaway just off the beaten path. You definitely want to make a reservation if you’re planning on having dinner or brunch at Jane’s, but if you’re flexible, you’ll generally find table availability most nights (the bar area is open seating) and the restaurant and bar never feel too crowded or uncomfortable.
The cocktail menu is currently divided into hot drinks including buttered rum and a hot toddy (I’m guessing this will change as the weather gets warmer), classic drinks, and seasonal drinks.
We started with a Blue Album Track #9 for me (spiced pear brandy, Blanco Tequila, Cocchi Americano, grapefruit, oregano, salt, and soda) and an Old Fashioned for my husband. Both were delicious.
But it was my second drink, called First Name Ginny, Last Name Spritz (Ford’s Gin, Cappeletti, Yellow Chartreuse, pineapple, sparkling wine, and rosemary) that I really loved. It was sweet but not too sweet, strong but not too strong, complex without getting weird. I recommend it. I wish I could have tried even more of their cocktails (for research purposes, of course), but if I had, things could have gotten a little embarrassing is all I’m saying.
I’m not much of a whiskey drinker, but if you are, consider Jane’s Hideaway your new happy place. John Peet is a whiskey expert and he’s ramping up his selection of local whiskeys from across Tennessee and devoting the entire top shelf of the bar to them. He’s also starting a program called Whiskey Dinner, which for $55 pairs a different local whiskey with each food course.
We were honestly wowed by our meal at Jane’s Hideaway. The menu features many of the foods out-of-towners want to try while they’re in Nashville, like fried green tomatoes and blackberry cobbler. I’ve lived in the South my whole life and had all the Southern favorites dozens and dozens of times, so I’m hard to impress when it comes to these dishes– but impress me Jane’s did, because every dish had a next-level twist that made it new and exciting.
Take the shrimp and grits appetizer. I expected the dish to consist of a few shrimp swimming in a bowl of soupy grits. Instead, we were treated to plump, perfectly blackened shrimp atop the most wonderful Parmesan grit cakes, which were crispy on the outside and gooey within. It was delicious.
The fried green tomatoes were covered in cilantro cream and became an instant favorite with my husband.
The pink deviled egg was one of my favorite dishes of the evening — The eggs were filled with pickled veg, crispy shallot, and Jane’s spice. They were smoky and savory and briny and altogether delightful.
Our steak, from Seven Cedars Butcher Block in Lebanon was tender and delicious and I loved that it was locally sourced — We were told that the butcher brings it to the restaurant himself. And the market fish was absolutely exquisite — On the night we were there, it was blackened mahi over avocado cream and coconut rice, topped with mango salsa and Calabrian chili oil. The market fish changes weekly, depending on what’s available and fresh. This week, it’s Panko-crusted halibut.
The blackberry cobbler was also very impressive — If there’s one thing I know, it’s cobbler, and this cobbler, served in its own cast-iron pan, was the real deal.
Jane’s Hideaway features live music on its stage every night at 7pm, with a singer-songwriter opener on Friday and Saturday nights at five. It’s safe to say you’ll enjoy the music at Jane’s any night of the week (I looked up some of the artists on the schedule for this month and ended up adding several of their songs to my spring playlist), however it’s hard to imagine that anyone can top the house band Greenwood Rye, which plays every Friday and Saturday night. They reminded me of Nickel Creek, if Nickel Creek had five musicians instead of three. This band of young, passionate bluegrass musicians was AMAZING, and I would absolutely pay to see them play anywhere.
The fact that the house band is fantastic is a big deal as far as I’m concerned, because it makes Jane’s Hideaway a destination not just for great food and drinks, but also purely on the quality of its musicians. Go on a Friday or Saturday night and see if you don’t agree with me.
Once you’ve finished your meal, you can head up to Jane’s On Top, an indoor/outdoor rooftop bar with more live music and stellar views of the downtown skyline. Be aware that Jane’s On Top definitely has more of an alcohol-fueled Broadway vibe. This is not a problem for me, as it makes for some fantastic people watching opportunities.
Jane’s Hideaway is located at 209 3rd Avenue N. It’s open Wednesdays through Sundays from 5pm to midnight. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30am-2:30pm. Jane’s is 21 and up after 8pm, so you can take your kids there for dinner as long as you make it an early dinner. I’d stick with tweens and teens for this particular restaurant.