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Nashville’s Hottest Restaurant Can’t Serve Enough of These Dumplings

Locust offers only five dishes, three days a week, based on one concept: Simplicity.

An order of dumplings at Locust.

An order of dumplings at Locust.

Photographer: Andrew Thomas Lee

For almost a decade, Nashville has acted like the Las Vegas of the South for out-of-state restaurateurs who set up shop to appeal to the tiara-clad bachelorette crowd. The venues are big, which also works for the metro area’s skyrocketing population—up 21% in the past 10 years.

More recently, though, artistically minded, highly credentialed chefs have chosen to plant their flag in Music City, rather than a major dining hub like New York. The proximity to good farms and a vibrant creative industry has encouraged endeavors such as chef Sean Brock’s first solo restaurant, the Appalachian tasting-menu spot Audrey, as well as the acclaimed, vegetable-forward Lou, from Los Angeles expat Mailea Weger.