Sea Salt Bar
Olive and Sinclair, $6.50
I hate to think there's any cause-and-effect going on, but Nashville has gotten so much cooler in the years since I moved away. There's the Frist Center for the Arts, the new Country Music Hall of Fame, Bongo Java coffee and Las Paletas popsicles, plus countless cool shops and restaurants in neighborhoods where I would not previously have dared to tread.
And to cap it all off, now there's Olive and Sinclair, the South's first bean-to-bar chocolate maker.
O&S chocolate is made in small batches using cacao from Ghana and the Dominican Republic (when available). Their plain chocolate bars are good, but it's the topped and flavored bars that create converts. The frosty white flakes scattered on the Sea Salt bar bring out the fruity flavors of the chocolate and mesh nicely with its stone-ground texture. The equally delicious Salt and Pepper bar has an additional sprinkle of coarse black pepper.
O&S chocolates also look as good as they taste, with a logo and labels that recall Hatch Show Print's vintage wood-block posters for noted Nashville products and musical acts.