Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Meal: Jazz and a Burger at F. Scott's

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 6:12 AM

Even in this economy, F. Scott's was packed last Wednesday night, so instead of waiting 30 minutes for a table in the dining room, we ducked into the jazz lounge and ordered off the bar menu.

This room might be the sexiest in Nashville. In fact, we sat next to a couple on their first date. I know this because we were seated so snugly we could hear every awkward word of their flirtation and because when the woman got up to go to the ladies room, the man turned to us and asked, "How am I doing?"

My husband and I had one of our first dates at F. Scott's, and I have to say, it makes a great impression on a girl. I highly recommend it. I'm pretty sure that guy got lucky later Wednesday night.

I also highly recommend the hamburger. Wow. Last year the Scene conducted a near-exhaustive survey of local burgers, but we omitted F. Scott's because our survey was conducted at lunch, and the tony Green Hills restaurant serves dinner only.

That grilled burger is a taste to behold. Swaddled in a soft English muffin with just a hint of toasty crunch, the 6-ounce patty is draped in thick gooey gouda and slathered with a zingy schmear of aoli. Topped with a peppery tangle of arugula and served with grilled Roma tomato halves, it's a combination of flavors and textures in a portion size that never gets boring and doesn't leave you overstuffed.

Chef Will Uhlhorn attributes the flavor to salting the tenderloin and strip scrap at the time of grinding the meat. "There are two schools of thought on pre-salting," Uhlhorn says, explaining that some chefs prefer to add salt right before cooking so as not to risk drawing the liquid out. But that's not a problem at all in this near-perfect juicy burger, which clocks in at $14 with a side of world-beating fries.

It's not the cheapest burger in town, but it makes for a very happy meal indeed.

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