As Liz Lemon says, don’t you “want to go there?” This is Sol, a funky and fun restaurant on Main Street off the square in Franklin, Tennessee. My husband and I wandered in on a recent late-night meander and instantly were captivated. Only the bar was open so we plopped ourselves down and enjoyed exploring the whimsical Mexican menu — and decor. Both are sort of casual-cool with an eclectic twist. It’s Frida Kahlo meets Iron Chef and obviously a popular gathering spot for the young and hip. We felt right at home (!) and happily devoured some deliciously fresh nachos washed down with cold beer — one of our favorite meals — and vowed to come back when we could work our way through the dinner menu: salmon wrapped in a banana-leaf, fish tacos and a poblano-potato cake especially looked good. We remember this same space when it was an upscale Italian sort of restaurant and marveled at the transition. Downtown Franklin is a happening place, worthy of a visit just to walk and eat and shop. Check out Sol at http://www.solonmain.com/ (that’s where these photos came from — it was way too dark, in a good way, for pics the night we were there) and learn more about Franklin at http://www.visitwilliamson.com/
On that same trip to Franklin, we also ate at Basil Asian Bistro, on Carothers Parkway across I-65 from Cool Springs Galleria. If Sol is vibrantly energetic, then Basil is calmly zen. It’s white tablecloths and quiet conversation but with the same appreciation for fresh ingredients and authentically prepared food. The extensive menu offered sushi, pad thai, curry and other classics. Luckily, we were with our friends Ted and Elayne, who had picked Basil for our lunch and steered us to their favorite dishes — and they were right. My husband and I especially loved the inventive sushi, the crisply cooked vegetables and the strong and fragrant hot tea. Good food and good company can’t be beat. We’ll be back. Go to http://www.basilasianbistro.com for details.