Music City Mod
THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Centrally located in Nashville’s business and art district, the Fairlane is close to Broadway’s honky tonks, but far enough away that you don’t need earplugs to sleep. It’s a short walk to the storied Ryman Auditorium and your choice of coffee spots, like the Frothy Monkey and the Well Coffeehouse.
THE VIBE: Housed in a ’70s-era skyscraper, the eighty-one room hotel draws inspiration from its former life as a bank. The lobby is lofty and modern with original travertine columns, terrazzo floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto bustling Union Street. The two penthouses pay homage to the decade’s playful side with hanging fireplaces and a smoked mirror ceiling.
THE DIGS: In keeping with the hotel’s cosmopolitan setting, the rooms are sleekly minimal with wood paneling, plush green velvet headboards, and a peek-a-boo marble shower. Punchy vintage lounge furniture makes for a nice reading nook.
The lobby of the Fairlane Hotel is bright and airy but the tone shifts the second you step off the elevator at Ellington’s Mid Way Bar & Grill, the hotel’s swanky steakhouse on the fourth floor. With wood-slat ceilings, brown leather booths, and warm lighting, the space is masculine with a vibe that transports you to the 1970s. Even the cocktail menu harkens back to a time of martini-soaked lunches with a roster heavy on classics, like the aviation and bee’s knees. Sidle up to the brass-rail bar at happy hour and you’re just as likely to rub elbows with locals as you are fellow travelers.
While the kitchen works with local farms, this isn’t the place to go for vegetable-forward dining and whimsical plating; the dishes at Ellington’s are indulgent and uncomplicated. While dry-aged steaks are the restaurant’s calling card, the house-made pastas are impressive. The squid ink bucatini is loaded with blue crab and dressed with a light lemon sauce that makes it a standout. But don’t skip the starters: The roasted cauliflower is rubbed with togarashi spice and served over split pea puree—a slight char adds depth to the mild cauliflower and the pea puree gives the dish a touch of earthy creaminess. Stuffed with queso fresco and drizzled in a chimichurri sauce that packs a punch, the piquillo peppers are another memorable snack. For maximum swank, go on a weekend night to catch live jazz performances (which pair perfectly with a dry martini).