Located in the lobby of the Thompson Hotel, Marsh House is decidedly not a “hotel restaurant,” with its luxe bar, Art Deco furniture, and brass accents. With an emphasis on Southern flavors and fresh seafood, it ranks alongside Henrietta Red as one of the best raw bars in the city, but their talents don’t stop there. There’s delicate, succulent grouper in ham broth with lima beans, maitake mushrooms, and clams that tastes like the bouillabaisse your grandmother might have made—if she’d attended Le Cordon Bleu. The shrimp toast is one of the best fried things in town with its Asian-inspired preparation: Ground shrimp, chilies, and ginger aioli are spread on toast and fried like funnel cake, which makes for fat, fabulous comfort food. The fried squash blossoms with goat cheese, mozzarella, zucchini, basil cream, and tomato prove these folks know how to do everything fried right, and then there are the desserts. Pastry chef Lisa White is one of Nashville’s top dessert and bread makers, which is apparent starting with the complimentary bread basket that comes with your meal. Dense buttery cornbread is a showstopper, but real yeast-lovers must go to Marsh House for brunch and to try the pastry plate, which comes with warm breads, fruit-speckled crusty crumbles, and other delights. If you go at dinner, save space for dessert: White’s deconstructed carrot cake dessert with cream cheese ice cream is so much more than the sum of its parts and is one of the best desserts I’ve had in Nashville in recent memory.