The Dish on happy hour at the Sutler

Updated 2/7/2017

FANCY? The Sutler offers two separate experiences with its upstairs saloon and downstairs cellar. The cellar is the fancier of the two with its classic speakeasy feel, while the saloon upstairs majors in live music and entertainment. In the cellar, you can easily engage in conversation, and there is plenty of couch and bar seating. This spot is versatile in that it’s ideal for both date night and larger groups. The cocktails and wine are fantastic, and you can’t beat the prices (or quality) on happy hour to boot.

FUN? Hands down. Grab a drink in the cellar before going upstairs to the saloon for a solid Music City night!

FRUGAL? You can easily breakaway from Sutler with minimal wallet damage because its top-notch happy hour includes half-priced draft beer, wines, and cocktails from 5 to 7 p.m. weekdays and two-for-one wines from 7 to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays. Additionally, this is the best happy hour for beer in town with half-off drafts (including some local brews like Jackalope Bearwalker Brown for under $3 and other favorites like Bell’s Two Hearted Ale for $3).

The upstairs saloon offers the same half-priced drafts, cocktails and wine menu from 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays.

The Husband Bourbon Rating: B

The Sutler stocks your standard offerings, such as Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Four Roses and Bulleit, with a few outstanding exceptions. Blanton’s Single Barrel is typically viewed as a fail-safe option; but at $17, you would be better off purchasing a bottle for your own bar on the way home. 

The happy hour bourbon/rye cocktail selections provide nice alternatives. Both The Gambler ($5) and Jack and Diane ($5) are bourbon/rye-based drinks that make for deals you shouldn’t turn down. Overall, this is not a place I would recommend to simply grab a pour of your favorite bourbon, but if you want a cool venue to grab a cocktail and enjoy the vibe– this is  your spot. 

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Michael David’s Petite Petit ($5.50) and Jack and Diane ($5) with Jack Daniel’s single barrel rye, peach, sour, and red wine (photographed in the cellar downstairs)
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The Gambler ($5) with Bulleit bourbon, basil syrup and lemon (photographed in the saloon upstairs)

The Dish on dining at Cork & Cow

FANCY? Between the food and the ambiance, Cork & Cow ranks highly in the fancy department. The restaurant is situated in Franklin’s quaint downtown area. As you can see in the photo with the wine and cocktail, the booths are adorned in a tufted emerald green material. And the food itself lives up to its surroundings! We started with the zucchini fries, which were very lightly fried and all-around delicious. The peach crostini (smoked burrata, onion jam, peach, country ham) is an appetizer that can double as an entree, and the burger with fries did not disappoint. We would happily be back and order the exact same way.

FUN? Very. The bar area is quaint; the restaurant isn’t too loud (which comes at a premium these days); and the restaurant’s small two-story set-up is reminiscent of a Napa Valley bistro with the wine bottle chandelier and corks covering the wall. This would be a great choice for an intimate date night!

FRUGAL? Somewhat. I recommend going on a Sunday to take advantage of the half-priced wine deal. For most of the wines, this means purchasing bottles at nearly the same price you would in a wine shop. For example, the Petite Petit is about $18 before tax in a liquor store. With Cork & Cow’s half-priced deal, you can get it in the restaurant for $22– and you can cork it to take home.

The Husband Bourbon Rating: A-

Cork and Cow’s bourbon offerings are not mind blowing in terms of number, but the menu grants you a chance to get your hands on pours of several hard-to-find selections at reasonable prices, such as Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 22  for $25 and Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2014 for $22.  If ultra-allocated offerings get your Glencairn trembling, Cork & Cow currently offers Booker’s Rye– but it will set you back $60 per ounce. In terms of bourbon-based cocktails, I’d put this bar up against any in town. The previously offered Staggerac was a favorite among many enthusiasts, and the newly added Dillinger* is adding stiff competition. It’s boozy and spirit-forward with a smooth finish that primes you for more. Give it a try and call yourself an Uber!

*The Dillinger ($14): Bulleit 10 yr, Amaro Nonino, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Lustau Manzanilla Sherry, Angostura Bitters

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Cork and Cow’s The Dillinger and Ca’ Del Monte Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore
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The Burger