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Comment Archives: Locations: Food and Drink: Contemporary

Re: “Nero's Grill

This restaurant closing is a tragedy for so many wonderful customers as well as the great long term employees with families , I just do not understand why anyone would leave negative comments at a time like this-idiots!

John and Judy, you have done so very much for so many people and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Wishing you well in all your future endeavors -we love you!

Peace, love and joy to all.

d2

Posted by Dee2 on 01/02/2014 at 10:06 PM

Re: “Criallo's Bistro & Bar [Closed]

The place is closed. And, rightly so, as it went slowly down hill.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Angel Roberts on 08/16/2012 at 3:58 PM

Re: “Red [Closed]

Red has been closed for several years...it was replaced by Suzy Wong's House of Yum

Posted by Jeremy Dykes on 05/10/2012 at 11:23 AM

Re: “Nero's Grill

I am using the recipe for Nero's Famous Scalded Corn Cakes today with my fish. I have used this recipe since in came out in the February 1976 issue of Ford Times magazine. My husband found the recipe and suggested that we try it since he doesn't eat hushpuppies. We live in middle Georgia and have never been to the restaurant in Nashville but love the corn cakes.
Ginger Pinckard
Americus, GA

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ginger Pinckard on 04/05/2012 at 11:22 AM

Re: “Eastland Café

I have eaten here several times. The food is great. The chief has come to my table and asked if everything was good a couple of times. This shows that chief Paul really cares about his customers. I know of a celeb or two that frequent the place so that is a plus. I think it is a cross between a casual diner and a touch of class.
CJ from Atlanta

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by CJ on 01/06/2012 at 6:25 AM

Re: “J. Alexander's

vanderbilt ate there friday night, food was great!!!, but do you not get bread with your meal??? although it is a great place for a romantic date, where we sat was DARK!!!
THANK YOU FOR BEING SO CLOSE TO US
VANDERBILT

Posted by RUTH/VANDERBILT on 11/14/2011 at 10:48 AM

Re: “Eastland Café

Dinner was delicious. For appetizers we had homemade potato & thyme gnocchi w/ bacon, pecans, sour apple, greens, brown butter, and apple cider reduction which was superb. The flavors blended so well together and the gnocchi was perfect. The fried gulf oysters w/ radish, sriracha, lemon, micro greens were excellent – the oysters were tender and crunchy; not greasy. For dinner I had Gulf shrimp w/ Asian noodle & vegetable salad (cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots & cabbage), coconut curry sauce, peanuts, Thai basil & cilantro salad which was very tasty; just delicious. My friends had the TN raised strip steak w/ baby potatoes, grilled asparagus, béarnaise sauce which was a large portion and excellent, and the seared/broiled King clipper fish with sweet cream corn and caramelized beets also excellent. For dessert we split the peach and blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. It was fine, but not memorable. The blackberries overpowered the peaches.
Service was excellent. Our waitress described in detail, and with enthusiasm, the dishes we were intrigued by. She was very attentive and responsive. She gets an A+.

Now for the bad news …. I rate the ambience an “F”. It was so UNBELIEVABLY loud. There was a combination of kitchen noise of clanking pots and dishes, customers and some music in the background. We couldn’t hear each other talk which only added to the decimals. The three us each left with a headache. The wall between the kitchen and dining room should go to the ceiling (add a fan in the kitchen if necessary) and add sound absorbing acoustical tiles to the ceiling.

Posted by Bridget on 06/24/2011 at 10:04 PM

Re: “Eastland Café

November 19,2010

My friends and I just left the Eastland Cafe and had the most embarrassing experience ever. First of all the hostess snarled at us for showing up without having a reservation. I have not noticed any indication that this was a reservation only restaurant. Even if it was a reservation only restaurant, she should have pointed that out to us. We were seated and RUSHED through our meal. At which point the hostess came over and told us that we had 5 minutes to vacate the table for the next customers!

Posted by shellie on 11/19/2010 at 8:19 PM

Re: “Park Cafe

On a Friday, the neighborhood around Park Cafe was respectively parked-up, but again, I procured my favorite parking spot between the dumpster and a barrel of fryer oil. I was greeted by their kind manager/sommelier, who situated me at a two seater in what may have been a small study or library. I realized that I had no romantic affinity towards this room; there were other realms of Park Cafe that were better suited for love (Atmosphere for romance -1). I will say it again, the staff at Park are a great group, they are polite, laid back, engaging, personable, knowledgeable, comical, and whatever else is GOOD. My server and I quickly hit it off, and we were off, on to the meal (Waitstaff enthusiasm +1).

That night I had three glasses of wine, but not in succession, simultaneously. Acquired first was a Sauvignon Blanc, then two Pinot noir joined the party soon after. I started with the modestly deemed, “cafe salad”.

Cafe Salad, artisanal greens, cornbread croutons, spiced pecan, ginger peach vinaigrette $5.50 added crispy goat cheese $1.50
This salad was so close to being coherent, but didn’t quite get it together for me. From what I can remember, the ginger peach vinaigrette had no hint of ginger (Flavor pairing fundamentals -1) and the cornbread croutons were texturally in a bad place between cornbread and crouton; a sort of ‘staleness’ (Texture profile -1). The spiced pecans were actually ‘spicy’ pecans; SO spicy that the rest of my meal was tainted by the lingering heat (Flavor pairing fundamentals -1). The crispy goat cheese was crispy and cheesy but lacked a connection to the dish. The presentation of this “house” salad was less interesting (Presentation -1). The greens with the peachy vinaigrette were refreshing. And all else worked well on paper; it was a nice sounding dish.

REVAMPED Cafe Salad, baby lettuces, cornbread croutons, candied pecan, ginger-peach vinaigrette $5.50

IMHO I would lose the word artisan in the description, it doesn’t really mean anything to me. I understand the greens were probably hand planted and harvested locally, but it’s just basic agriculture, there is no real specialized craft there. The croutons needed a nice deep frying; cornbread just doesn’t get crunchy without it. The spiced pecans would have been fine with a very mild heat, but I think taking them to the sweeter side would have allowed them to play with the others. And finally, the vinaigrette just needed more kick from the ginger.


That evening I discussed wine with two servers and the sommelier. It was agreed upon that a particular Pinot noir would be best paired with my main course, the braised duck leg with raspberry-beet reduction. But I had some notion that pairing this seemingly sweet and fruity duck preparation with Pinot noir would be fundamentally wrong. But I went with the suggestion and put my palate to work. Half of the components of this duck dish would have gone marvelously with any Pinot noir; braised duck leg, mushrooms, greens, garlic, onions, and even the beets. But with the addition of raspberry, sweet potato gnocchi, and sugar (I am sure of it), the flavors were just too bold and sweet for a Pinot noir (Beverage pairing -1). I was served a second Pinot noir to try, but it’s been so long that my brain and palate have lost connection; I forgot if I liked it or not. Aside from all this wine snobbery, the dish was inherently good.

Braised duck leg with sweet potato gnocchi, cippolini onion, seared mushroom, pecan, greens, raspberry-beet reduction $23 With huge flavor, this home-cooked southern feast, composed itself elegantly onto one plate. There was nothing backyard about this dish, yet its components all could have been found at a bbq. It had candied yams, sauteed sweet onions and mushrooms, collard greens, fruit glaze, and pecan pie. All to accompany some finger-lickin’, fall-off-the-bone duck leg, braised to perfection.

The duck had already fallen off the bone and was homogeneous among the earlier mentioned components... no, it was not a puree, but just too much like potato salad (Texture profile -1). Fortunately these flavors all paired beautifully together; strong enough to stand up against one another in such close quarters. The dish was just a bit too sweet and my palate had a small problem with the combination of raspberry and mushroom. But since all else was incorporated, the taste of this faulty pair was easily disguised. Visually, the colors of this dish were vibrant and warm. This duck dish was good like a sexy, glorified bbq (Dish sex factor +1).

REVAMPED - Braised duck leg with sweet potato gnocchi, cippolini onion, seared mushroom, pecan, greens, pinot noir reduction $23

In my humble opinion, leaving the duck leg whole would have given the components enough separation. Instead of a sweet raspberry beet sauce, a more savory Pinot noir reduction would have added more warmth and complimented the mushrooms, nuts, and greens better.

Strawberry-thyme tart with laurel ice cream $8

This modest tart was covered with a top layer of pastry, voiding its title as a tart (Menu cohesion -1). I believed its identity was closer to a pie or cobbler. This fresh, buttery pastry encased warm reduced strawberries, but no thyme, it needed more thyme. I believe this was the kicker ingredient for me, but it wasn’t kicking. This dessert also lacked acid; without lemon or vinegar and the thyme, there was no brightness (Flavor pairing fundamentals -1). The laurel ice cream was intended to pair with the thyme, but it was just left solo. And solo, it was delicious and perfectly executed.

REVAMPED Strawberry cobbler with lemon thyme ice cream $8
I would have changed the name to ‘strawberry cobbler‘ and added a lemon thyme ice cream to solve the acid problem.

I really liked Park Cafe. The atmosphere was literally homey, the staff were kind, the food was bold, and the prices were very reasonable (Pricing +1). Let’s see how they scored up.


------------------------
1. Menu cohesion -1
2. Pricing +1
3. Beverage pairings -1
4. Atmosphere for romance -1
5. Cleanliness 0
6. Waitstaff competence 0
7. Waitstaff enthusiasm +1
8. Overall management 0
9. Flavor pairing fundamentals -3
10. Flavor pairing originality 0
11. Texture Profile -2
12. Use of "easy-pleasers" 0
13. Use of salt 0
14. Doneness precision 0
15. Dish sin factor 0
16. Dish sex factor +1
17. Presentation -1
18. Dish practicality 0
19. Healthful dish execution 0
20. Kitchen speed 0

1st visit (100-4 = 96)
2nd visit (96-7 = 89)
-------------------------

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by DanielBF on 09/20/2010 at 4:18 PM

Re: “Margot Café and Bar

Late on a Tuesday night, I was excited to give Margot another shot. I showed up at 9 and requested a table. No problem, the restaurant had definitely slowed down. Left in the room were a few couples, young and old, schmoozing the night away. I sat at my table for one, ready to be “taken care of”. I really felt the romance this time (Atmosphere for romance +1). The only server left on the first floor was a man in his 40s, a distinguished and professional server. He was attentive but not overbearing, and knowledgeable but not overtly opinionated; he made menu suggestions based on how well-recieved the dishes were by patrons that night. He was however less enthusiastic than I would have hoped; I wanted to make small talk, but I suppose it was too late in the evening for that (Waitstaff enthusiasm -1). To start, lettuce with peaches...

Leaf lettuces, peaches, ricotta salata, and Marcona almonds, with a Banyuls vinaigrette $9 -
This salad was just exquisite. Bold, round sweetness of Banyuls wine with a slight tang of vinegar, nutty oil, and fresh, sweet peach made this salad luscious. The hard, salted ricotta and the toasty almonds cut through the sweetness with aggressive nut; a sort of savoriness. My only scruple was the slickness of the oil to vinegar ratio; near the bottom of the plate I was confronted with lettuce drowning in oil (Texture profile -1). Overall, this sex-laden dish was an incredible and creative match of flavors. I redeem Margot several precious points (Flavor pairing fundamentals +2, Flavor pairing originality +2, Dish sex factor +2).

I thought long about the selection of my main dish, and what would be the most complementing boozy beverage to pair. I knew I wanted fish, so I chose the ‘seared tuna, Romano bean and lentil salad, with bacon vinaigrette’. I presumed a Pinot noir would pair best with this bold preparation of tuna, my server agreed with my selection by stating, “Yes, a Pinot noir, it goes with everything...” Then and there, this statement and his demeanor provoked several thoughts of my own, “Was he just saying that to appease me? Does he actually think a Pinot noir goes with everything? Or does he think I ordered a Pinot noir in respect to its boom of popularity since the movie Sideways?”. Regardless of what he thought, I was more confident in my selection than he alluded. I know that Pinot noir would probably stand up to this tuna dish, but I was hoping he had something EVEN BETTER up his sleeve (Wine pairings -1).

Seared tuna, romano bean & lentil salad with bacon vinaigrette $24 - A generously portioned mound of room temperature lentils, romano broad beans, mirepoix, and crispy bacon sat beneath a fresh, rare-seared tuna steak (Doneness precision +1). A big bad bacon vinaigrette tied it all together. This super-porky fish dish was delicious, for lack of a better word (Flavor pairing fundamentals +1). The fresh, healthy attributes of tuna and lentils were completely undermined by bacon grease (Dish sin factor +1). And although the wine was nearly clobbered by the abundance of ‘bacony’ flavor, I still enjoyed the meal. After all, I did choose the wine myself. Overall, this second course confirmed my earlier impression of how rustic Margot is. The size of this dish was generous, with the tuna steak nearing 1/3 of a pound and the mound of legumes amounting to “more than I wanted to eat”. I was pleased with my entree, I retract no points, and have no nit picking to do.

Peach bread pudding (with ice cream... maybe? I forget) $8 -
Finally, I ordered dessert, why wouldn’t I? I even gave Margot another shot at bread pudding! This time, a peach version done in a medium-sized ramekin. This was more interesting than the one I had previously, yet was even more dry (Texture profile -1). I think there was ice cream included with this, so I was slightly pacified (Dish sin factor +1). But this final course lacked a ‘kicker ingredient’ (you will hear this term frequently). The ‘kicker’ adds a third or fourth dimension to an otherwise flat combination of flavors, here I would have liked cinnamon OR ginger. In this peach bread pudding, all I tasted was bread, a little bit of pudding, and under-ripe peach (Flavor pairing originality -1).

This night at Margot was more wholesome; I felt I could really understand where she was coming from. There lies an air of serious modesty in a casual atmosphere. Do not expect extravagant presentations and ‘5th dimension’ flavor profiles that take your buds to Venus. But do enjoy the crude sophistication of creative, yet safe meals composed of fresh, local ingredients. The creativity that goes into the daily menu should be fully appreciated; eat at Margot frequently, enjoy the menu’s coherent elegance.

www.margotcafe.com


------------------------
1. Menu cohesion 0
2. Pricing 0
3. Beverage pairings -1
4. Atmosphere for romance +1
5. Cleanliness 0
6. Waitstaff competence 0
7. Waitstaff enthusiasm -1
8. Overall management 0
9. Flavor pairing fundamentals +3
10. Flavor pairing originality +1
11. Texture Profile -2
12. Use of "easy-pleasers" 0
13. Use of salt 0
14. Doneness precision +1
15. Dish sin factor +2
16. Dish sex factor +2
17. Presentation 0
18. Dish practicality 0
19. Healthful dish execution 0
20. Kitchen speed 0

1st visit (100-33 = 77)
2nd visit (77+6 = 83)
-------------------------

Posted by DanielBF on 09/20/2010 at 4:15 PM

Re: “Park Cafe

HERE'S A LONG WINDED REVIEW!

On a Friday, the neighborhood around Park Cafe was respectively parked-up, but again, I procured my favorite parking spot between the dumpster and a barrel of fryer oil. I was greeted by their kind manager/sommelier, who situated me at a two seater in what may have been a small study or library. I realized that I had no romantic affinity towards this room; there were other realms of Park Cafe that were better suited for love (Atmosphere for romance -1). I will say it again, the staff at Park are a great group, they are polite, laid back, engaging, personable, knowledgeable, comical, and whatever else is GOOD. My server and I quickly hit it off, and we were off, on to the meal (Waitstaff enthusiasm +1).

That night I had three glasses of wine, but not in succession, simultaneously. Acquired first was a Sauvignon Blanc, then two Pinot noir joined the party soon after. I started with the modestly deemed, “cafe salad”.

Cafe Salad, artisanal greens, cornbread croutons, spiced pecan, ginger peach vinaigrette $5.50 added crispy goat cheese $1.50
This salad was so close to being coherent, but didn’t quite get it together for me. From what I can remember, the ginger peach vinaigrette had no hint of ginger (Flavor pairing fundamentals -1) and the cornbread croutons were texturally in a bad place between cornbread and crouton; a sort of ‘staleness’ (Texture profile -1). The spiced pecans were actually ‘spicy’ pecans; SO spicy that the rest of my meal was tainted by the lingering heat (Flavor pairing fundamentals -1). The crispy goat cheese was crispy and cheesy but lacked a connection to the dish. The presentation of this “house” salad was less interesting (Presentation -1). The greens with the peachy vinaigrette were refreshing. And all else worked well on paper; it was a nice sounding dish.

REVAMPED Cafe Salad, baby lettuces, cornbread croutons, candied pecan, ginger-peach vinaigrette $5.50

IMHO I would lose the word artisan in the description, it doesn’t really mean anything to me. I understand the greens were probably hand planted and harvested locally, but it’s just basic agriculture, there is no real specialized craft there. The croutons needed a nice deep frying; cornbread just doesn’t get crunchy without it. The spiced pecans would have been fine with a very mild heat, but I think taking them to the sweeter side would have allowed them to play with the others. And finally, the vinaigrette just needed more kick from the ginger.


That evening I discussed wine with two servers and the sommelier. It was agreed upon that a particular Pinot noir would be best paired with my main course, the braised duck leg with raspberry-beet reduction. But I had some notion that pairing this seemingly sweet and fruity duck preparation with Pinot noir would be fundamentally wrong. But I went with the suggestion and put my palate to work. Half of the components of this duck dish would have gone marvelously with any Pinot noir; braised duck leg, mushrooms, greens, garlic, onions, and even the beets. But with the addition of raspberry, sweet potato gnocchi, and sugar (I am sure of it), the flavors were just too bold and sweet for a Pinot noir (Beverage pairing -1). I was served a second Pinot noir to try, but it’s been so long that my brain and palate have lost connection; I forgot if I liked it or not. Aside from all this wine snobbery, the dish was inherently good.

Braised duck leg with sweet potato gnocchi, cippolini onion, seared mushroom, pecan, greens, raspberry-beet reduction $23 With huge flavor, this home-cooked southern feast, composed itself elegantly onto one plate. There was nothing backyard about this dish, yet its components all could have been found at a bbq. It had candied yams, sauteed sweet onions and mushrooms, collard greens, fruit glaze, and pecan pie. All to accompany some finger-lickin’, fall-off-the-bone duck leg, braised to perfection.

The duck had already fallen off the bone and was homogeneous among the earlier mentioned components... no, it was not a puree, but just too much like potato salad (Texture profile -1). Fortunately these flavors all paired beautifully together; strong enough to stand up against one another in such close quarters. The dish was just a bit too sweet and my palate had a small problem with the combination of raspberry and mushroom. But since all else was incorporated, the taste of this faulty pair was easily disguised. Visually, the colors of this dish were vibrant and warm. This duck dish was good like a sexy, glorified bbq (Dish sex factor +1).

REVAMPED - Braised duck leg with sweet potato gnocchi, cippolini onion, seared mushroom, pecan, greens, pinot noir reduction $23

In my humble opinion, leaving the duck leg whole would have given the components enough separation. Instead of a sweet raspberry beet sauce, a more savory Pinot noir reduction would have added more warmth and complimented the mushrooms, nuts, and greens better.

Strawberry-thyme tart with laurel ice cream $8

This modest tart was covered with a top layer of pastry, voiding its title as a tart (Menu cohesion -1). I believed its identity was closer to a pie or cobbler. This fresh, buttery pastry encased warm reduced strawberries, but no thyme, it needed more thyme. I believe this was the kicker ingredient for me, but it wasn’t kicking. This dessert also lacked acid; without lemon or vinegar and the thyme, there was no brightness (Flavor pairing fundamentals -1). The laurel ice cream was intended to pair with the thyme, but it was just left solo. And solo, it was delicious and perfectly executed.

REVAMPED Strawberry cobbler with lemon thyme ice cream $8
I would have changed the name to ‘strawberry cobbler‘ and added a lemon thyme ice cream to solve the acid problem.

I really liked Park Cafe. The atmosphere was literally homey, the staff were kind, the food was bold, and the prices were very reasonable (Pricing +1). Let’s see how they scored up.


------------------------
1. Menu cohesion -1
2. Pricing +1
3. Beverage pairings -1
4. Atmosphere for romance -1
5. Cleanliness 0
6. Waitstaff competence 0
7. Waitstaff enthusiasm +1
8. Overall management 0
9. Flavor pairing fundamentals -3
10. Flavor pairing originality 0
11. Texture Profile -2
12. Use of "easy-pleasers" 0
13. Use of salt 0
14. Doneness precision 0
15. Dish sin factor 0
16. Dish sex factor +1
17. Presentation -1
18. Dish practicality 0
19. Healthful dish execution 0
20. Kitchen speed 0

1st visit (100-4 = 96)
2nd visit (96-7 = 89)
-------------------------

Posted by DanielBF on 09/20/2010 at 3:48 PM

Re: “Mad Donna's

Has anyone been to Bingo on Tuesday? It's effin hilarious!. We had dinner before (burger & nachos); both were amazing. Service was awesome too. Our bill came to like $33 bucks with drinks for 2? I will be back:)

Posted by kel kel on 07/09/2010 at 4:31 PM

Re: “Firefly Grille

I dine at Firefly quite frequently in large and small groups. I have only experienced friendly and attentive service as well as culinary excellence! We all know perfection does not exist, but at Firefly it's as close as it gets in an overall dining experience. The atmosphere is quaint and inviting. The servers are knowledgeable and delightful. The seasonal menu is always unique and fresh. Best of all, I love that Firefly is locally owned. I always make a point to take friends and family visiting Nashville to Firefly and they always request to go back on return visits!

Posted by BIGSIS on 06/06/2010 at 9:29 PM

Re: “Mirror [Closed]

Mirror is closed.

Posted by cyndietodd on 04/23/2010 at 2:14 PM

Re: “Firefly Grille

It is my feeling that it's never good to base your entire opinion from one experience. The waiter could have been having a bad day. Now I'm certainly not justifying his behavior by any means but simply suggesting another visit because i've had many great experiences at firefly.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ezek on 04/19/2010 at 4:50 PM

Re: “Sambuca

We had made reservations for Sat 4/17/10 for my daughters birthday party for 11 people. There were 8 of us there by 6pm but was told we couldn't be seated unless all 11 was there. I was told the table was cancelled at 6:16pm , that they could only hold the table until 6:15. I believe we were not seated simply because we are African America. This is 2010 and all these unreasonable shady reasons for not seating us is unacceptable and I will be making a report to the Better Business Burea. We were told you would not have any openings until 10pm, which was not true either as we sat at the bar we noted many empty tables. I personally have been in more upscale restuants than Sambuca and would not recommend it to any of my friends or relatives, Oh I forgot thats probably would be just fine with you because they are all black! Yes, discrimanation is what you all are serving! florenceblair2009@comcast.net

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Florence Blair on 04/18/2010 at 10:15 PM

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