Sad news from the Myint family this week. The smiling patriarch of the elephants Sam Myint – uncle of favorite local chief Arnold Myint and brother of the late and beloved Patti Myint – has passed away. The Myints, including Sam, Arnold and Patti, have shaped Nashville’s dining scene.
Arnold posted the following on Facebook:
Over the past few years, I have lost so many in my native family and my chosen family; including my parents. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that feeling pain and crying is a good thing. It’s a reminder of the impact they have had in my life. I miss them every day. But because of them, I also push harder to live fully.
As my cousin said in his father’s service, “He has not left us if we remember all the good things he taught us.
By this standard, Sam will not have left Nashville. For years, his smiling elephant on South Eighth Avenue has been rated one of the best Thai restaurants in town, scoring multiple wins in the Scenethe annual Best of Nashville issue. The restaurant is loved not only for its spicy Thai cuisine (although people are happy to wait for a table to feast on dishes such as larb lettuce wraps and sticky rice), but also for its friendly and relaxed atmosphere ( the elephant is smiling for a reason) and his long-standing contributions to the Melrose neighborhood.
The news comes just as Arnold – known for a number of Nashville restaurants, including Suzy Wong’s House of Yum and the recently closed PM, and for his appearances. Excellent chef – reopens the international market at 2013 Belmont Ave., just down the street from the beloved original. Reservations are required for dinner, but not for lunch. What better way to honor Sam and the contributions of the entire Myint family to Nashville than by having lunch at the New International Market or dinner at the Smiling Elephant?