Bachelorette Experience Alternative
You probably already know this, but Nashville is the #1 destination for bachelorette parties. Generally speaking, most of the Nashville bachelorettes barhop on broadway, jump on a pedal tavern or party bus and woo-hoo all night. That's all super fun, but what if you're not looking for sashes, cowboy hats and screaming at each other over the music downtown? Don't get me wrong, there's definitely a time and a place for that. You just might be looking for something a little more - how shall I put this - grown up?
I mean, about 1 in 10 brides are over 40, let that sink it and feel free to take that however you want. I'm just saying that there definitely is something here for everyone - from young party animals with unlimited energy to a bit more mature, maybe a little more reserved and a lot more tired. If it suits you, you can create a bachelorette experience instead of a rager. Maybe you're into something more subdued for your prenuptial celebration (compared to Downtown Nashville standards anyway). I'd personally like to introduce you to one of the best dinning experiences in Nashville and coincidentally, the perfect place to host your bachelorette dinner or even your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, engagement party, or micro wedding. Get a little more info about private events here.
We're not talking about just having a dinner with your leading ladies and/or gentlemen - we're talking about a fully immersive culinary experience that everyone will remember the next day and honestly, like, for the rest of their lives. First, let's dive into the Chef and the restaurant a little bit.
James Beard Award Winner Chef RJ Cooper
Say hello to Saint Stephen, hands down the best restaurant in Nashville. Actually it sits smack dab in the middle of Germantown, which is THE cutest neighborhood in Nashville. It's walkable to music venues and the First Horizon Park and countless other bars and restaurants. I'll be honest, it's my personal favorite spot to eat in all of Nashville. Saint Stephen is led by James Beard Award-winning Chef RJ Cooper, and features totally creative, sometimes mind boggling, innovative takes on fresh and local cuisine.
Saint Stephen is set up with an ultra cool vibe with moody lighting and an open kitchen with, of course, a nod to the Grateful Dead. It's perfect for a casual lunch, a super fancy date, an intimate or large party, or even a corporate event. You might be asking yourself "Why do you love Saint Stephen so much?" You'll just have to keep reading to hear a little backstory and how we came to know and love Saint Stephen.
We were introduced to Saint Stephen during Covid when restaurants were just starting to open back up. It was the summer of 2020 and it only took one visit to fall in love with the food and the entire Saint Stephen team. We quickly made it our once-a-week spot and have never looked back. I'm talking every Friday that's humanly possible, birthday celebrations, when friends come to town or a Saturday for an unexpected Pop Up menu. Saint Stephen is one of the rare restaurants that keeps things interesting and exciting by reinventing its menu almost biweekly. Every time the menu changes, it's a whole new experience.
Chef RJ's is definitely not your typical chef, but he does have some of the "expected chef quantities" - a little ego and a lot fussy. I'm kidding, but I'm not. IYKYK. In all seriousness, he did everything in his power to stay open for this staff AND he regularly gives back to the community. From donating holiday meals to families in need to working with non-profits like Café Momentum (which I'll mention more about a little later).
The Saint Stephen Team Highlights
From Saint Stephen about Chef de Cuisine Chef Corey Hargis:
Raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, our Chef de Cuisine grew up cooking with his mother and grandmother and fell in love with the kitchen. Hargis’ believes simple food is the best food because it has less to hide behind, he truly lets the ingredients do the talking and prides himself on using local produce, using 100% of the product & preserving as much as possible. His ingenuity shines when pulling in French influences, he favors the homey countryside feeling the culture exudes. Much like Chef RJ, Hargis’ favorite thing about the industry is the camaraderie in the kitchen and being able to pass knowledge onto others while helping future generations of cooks be the best they can be. Say a big hello to him next time you're in.. one of the best parts of having an open kitchen!
From Saint Stephen about Culinary Team Member Isaiah:
Isaiah came to Saint Stephen seeking a real culinary experience as a front of house server and bartender. Little did he know @chefrj would soon lure him into the kitchen with a quick question, "hey, do you know how to hold a knife and want to make extra money?" He finds cooking "as similarly detail oriented as producing music or filmmaking. “mise en scene” for film is extremely similar in praxis to “mise en place” for cooking." Isaiah is all about the little details that go missed by most and is always driven to create an exceptional experience for an audience, or rather, our guests. Give him a shout next time you're in, he's one of the coolest guys we know.
Create a Wedding Party Experience
Ok, so you want to create an "experience" your wedding party won't forget right? Skip the sashes and drunken escapades for just this ONE night and get yourself into Saint Stephen for their Secret Society. The Secret Society is multi-course tasting counter at the chef's bar in the open kitchen. It's an incredible once in a lifetime experience. You've probably never tasted what's going to be served to you and probably won't ever again. The menu is ever changing based on the season and what's available locally. This is not just dinner, this is a totally interactive and immersive experience.
Get to know Chef RJ or Chef Corey Hargis up close and personal and if your'e lucky you'll get to say hi to Isaiah and watch him in action too. It's an experience that includes listening, tasting and learning about unique food, interacting with the incredible staff, and, of course, sipping the perfect pairing. And it's a damn good time.
Or Just Reserve a Table
Maybe you're looking to interact with your wedding party and would rather immerse yourself in each other. Well, that's great! Just reserve a table smack dab in all the action in the main dining room or request the coveted Artist Nook where you'll find countless signatures of legends from Nashville and beyond.
Order literally anything on the menu as shared plates, or ask your server for Chef's choice and let your meal be a delicious surprise. Taste and pass plates, but be sure to ask Kevin, our favorite bartender, to recommend the perfect pairing of wine. His knowledge of wine is off the charts and he loves to share. Not sure what kind of experience you want? Call Saint Stephen and ask for the General Manager, Chase, and he'll guide to to the perfect experience for your party.
Saint Stephen works with Café Momentum, a 501(c)(3), that provides a transformative experience for youth coming out of juvenile facilities. These kids rotate through all aspects of the restaurant, focusing on life and social skills, coaching and development. Café Momentum teaches young adolescents that it is possible to break the cycle of violence and crime by creating environments for these youth where they can gain self-confidence and learn marketable skills to ensure a more successful future.
If you're planning a bachelor or bachelorette party in Nashville and want some other ideas of fun things to do, here's a local's guide to the perfect Nashville bachelorette weekend. Before you head over, be sure to watch Stefanie Joyce teach us how to make Saint Stephen's most popular cocktail, the BIG BAD CHEF.