Back when Rumours East first opened at the corner of 12th and Woodland I was stoked--East Nashville can't have too many places where I can have a couple of drinks and walk home. Add to that the fact that the renovation of the old Red Wagon (RIP one of Nashville's best brunches) was absolutely spectacular--with rich colors and a show-stopping handcrafted bar--and it seemed like a serious boon for the neighborhood.
I ate there a bunch of times--often munching on their signature shrimp and grits, made with three cheeses and topped with balsalmic drizzle and arugula--but found a couple things slightly annoying. Mostly, I thought the wine was too expensive. There were no glasses under $8 (even when pulled from a $10 bottle) and I thought they could have used some specials or "house" selections. And, while some of the food was affordable, many of the entrées entered the $20 range--something I reserve for special occasions.
Good news: Many of those concerns have been remedied under new management. A large selection of small plates--Cuban pork mini-sandwiches, pizzetas, mussels--under $10 are a nice option alongside the daily chalkboard specials. Even more exciting is a daily happy hour (5 to 7 p.m.) featuring wine specials (yay!) and a bunch of $5 snacks (including a half-order of mussels and a cheese plate).
A friend and I had a delightful and delicious meal there on Saturday. When you order by the bottle there are a ton of great deals with a bunch of choices under $25 (our vinho verde was $22) and the food was very tasty. I couldn't resist the shrimp and grits (I wound up wiping the bowl with crusty bread--it really is one of this town's best dishes) and started my meal with a fresh, lemony tuna tartar.
After a long hiatus, I will definitely be going back--especially at happy hour.