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Comment Archives: Locations: Food and Drink: Bistro

Re: “Mad Platter

My husband and I thought we would catch a nice dinner before meeting friends downtown later in the evening. On the Saturday night of 8/26/12 (8pm seating), the restaurant was only 30% full with no one waiting for a table. Now we know why:

The kitchen and/or server lost our dinner order for over an hour; the waitstaff was apologetic but nonplussed (i.e., "this happens all the time") .

My husband requested no onions in one dish which, when finally delivered an hour and a half after ordering, was chock full of onions - with much more onions than any normal recipe might have reasonably been expected to include (Shrimp and grits), which felt like an intentional slight after an hour and a half of waiting for the order.

Duck and gnocchi: Duck breast was properly prepared (juicy and rare) but gnocchi was dry (undercooked) and the dish had no sauce to speak of on the plate.

We are extremely easy to please and aren't true foodies. The restaurant did comp the Shrimp and grits and offered a dessert gratis, which was a good effort to appease. However, we can't return here with clients or friends due to the uncertainty of the food and service, so we will not be back.

I should also point out to the dating community that the atmosphere is dreary and spartan and therefore Mad Platter is not a good choice to impress a dinner date.

Perhaps you'll have better luck.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by CarolineSexton on 08/26/2012 at 12:47 PM

Re: “Table 3

One of my favorites in Nashville. Everything I've had here has been incredible. The service has also been excellent each time I have gone.

Posted by Aaron Wolfcale on 07/31/2012 at 4:17 AM

Re: “Miro District Food & Drink [Closed]

are you talking about fish & co? or miro district? miro closed at the end of july. never got to try it but heard good things about chef joe.

Posted by oishiinashville on 10/19/2010 at 10:10 AM

Re: “Miro District Food & Drink [Closed]

The food might be good but I'll never go back. I took my husband there for his 50th birthday along with several friends. They made some cocktails that were not tasty and they wouldn't take them back! We even talked to the mgr and he refused!

Posted by chgarrison on 10/12/2010 at 10:55 PM

Re: “Margot Café and Bar

She’s an elegantly rustic, French-Italian, just seconds away from my condo. The tour began close to home, for if I decided that all this posh posh made me sick, I could waddle home with ease. Margot is a stronghold of the 5 Points intersection in East Nashville. 5 Points is a hip, understated, semi-gay, up and coming out neighborhood in Nashville. And with sister cafe, Marche Artisan Foods just around the way, this pair stakes its claim for fine dining east of the river.

Since the beginning of all this eating insanity, I have dined at Margot twice. My premier dining experience at Margot was... well, read on. Miss Margot, await your second, high-scoring evaluation, you secured redemption, and provided me with ”enough” data to conclude this analysis.

With simplicity, like the rustic Margot Cafe and Bar, I will skip the lavish imagery, avoid whimsical sketches of ambiance and aroma, and maintain a strict, scientific method of review. I will treat the subjects like objects and stick to the numbers, even though all this banter is completely subjective. Margot is a relatively small space with one whole first floor, half of a second floor, and a glassed-in patio with 270 degrees of windows. The primary space is open and lofty with exposed brick, yet warm and cozy... whoops, opulence. But really, Margot is quite romantic, but we'll get into that later. And if you are still wondering about Marche, the restaurateur's casual half, you'll have to wait until that post.

The host of a fancy restaurant generally seats parties of one at the bar; I reluctantly sat at the bar. With the worst seat in the house, I attempted to get comfortable. I told myself to focus on the food, and if Margot wasn't to lose points, the food had better be spectacular. Sitting at the bar inhibited me from collecting important table service data. Oh the woes... uncomfortably seated near the dishwashing side of the kitchen, there was nothing redeeming about MY position. I sat uneasy and unknowing, as all the culinary action transpired on the other side of the kitchen. There was no romance in the air, so I just stared at the ceiling (Atmosphere for romance -1).

I spurred consultation with the bartendress on wine pairings for my entree. She was unknowledgeable, but the wine list looked comprehensive and I believed somebody in the house knew something about wine (Wine pairing -3). I ordered a Sauvignon Blanc and the first two courses.

Margot has a brief offering of safe, yet creative French and Italian inspired dishes. The daily episode features dishes composed of locally acquired vegetables, meats, and cheeses, which are prepared in a rustic and healthful execution. There lies a nice menu theme; Margot has a touch of elegance.

First course - Herbed ricotta pizza with squash blossoms $9
In a perfect culinary world, the delicate flavor of the blossoms deserve to make the headlines and the cheese would hang back on the 4th page. But on the front page that night at Margot, HERBED RICOTTA laced with peppercorn was printed in big bold letters, stealing the cover (Flavor pairing fundamentals -2). To top it off, the bottom of this pie was chewy and underdone, I would have preferred a ‘dough done crisp’ (Doneness precision -2). Crispy dough would have also added a second textural dimension for me. But this pizza of fluffy cheese, mushy squash blossoms, and chewy dough was close to mono-textural (Texture profile -3). The pizza’s appearance was doughy, cheesy white, with hints of orange and yellow blossom; divided in four, it sat on a plate (Presentation -1, Dish sex factor -1). So here we have a few fundamentals that were overlooked. STOP THE PRESSES!, with a new menu issued daily, the editors MUST be up all night!

Revamped first course - Ricotta pizza with squash blossoms, crispy shallots, and eucalyptus honey $10 In my humble opinion, a plain ricotta or other quiet, lightweight cheese may have worked better to complement the subtle aromatics of the squash blossoms. And fine, keep the light, chewy dough, but give me some crisp and some saucy stuff! Fried shallots, a drizzle of eucalyptus honey, and fruity olive oil would have been divine. An ice cold Prosecco would be "pants down" the best boozy beverage to pair with this new and improved 1st course pizza.

I sipped my Sauvignon Blanc, awaiting the main course I chose with malicious intention. An extraneous vegan dish that was tacked onto the end of the menu would be the tell-all plate of the night. I put Margot to the test with their healthful yet bland sounding dish.

Couscous with fresh local figs, pine nuts, and a chard and kale salad $16
Small couscous seasoned with salt and olive oil at the bottom, toasted pine nuts strewn about, with under-ripe whole green figs and a lightly dressed raw kale and chard salad to top. It was boring (Flavor pairing originality -2). AND it was mostly bland (Flavor pairing fundamentals -2). All together, it was light and had hints of quality olive oil and sea salt. Its appearance was as I described it, a mere mound of couscous and vegetables. (Presentation -1)(Dish sex factor -3). So I ask, why do it if it’s not done with excellence? Making luscious and sophisticated vegan fare takes some creativity, but it is not difficult by any means. With such a rustic and simplistic menu, I figured this vegan dish would impress in its inherent nature, but its components just lacked the luster, and the dish as a whole lacked a means of tying it all together. Here, a “Sin factor” would have played nicely; every restaurant’s vegan dish needs to sin a little, but for this safe, healthy little angel, four points were deducted (Sin factor -4). I was not impressed, but I’ve said enough on this (Healthful dish execution -3)

Revamped main course - Israeli couscous and pine nut timbale with rosemary-lemon marinated figs, chard salad, and mint "yogurt" $18 - In my humble opinion, I would improve this vegan-blunder with an Israeli couscous & pine nut timbale to add a structural element. Rosemary and lemon marinated figs to add brightness and a great bite. Keep the chard salad and add a mint "yogurt" to tie it all together with a sauce element. A pairing with a dry Rose or a light-bodied Zinfandel may work nicely.

Dessert is my favorite aspect of “no rules” eating. I am literally fatter now, it’s just marvelous. I really like bold desserts that are heavy with nuts, dough, cinnamon, caramel, vanilla, custard, and liqueur sauces. So I picked my poison and waited. I hoped this final course would keep Margot afloat after a near shipwreck.

Pecan brioche bread pudding with caramel whiskey sauce and whipped cream $7 - This dessert was GOOD, I certainly enjoyed the warm flavors of this comfort food, but of course, this being a critical review, I had to pick it apart. I may be a novice when it comes to dessert, and therefore easy to please. With respect to my lean figure, I have avoided honing my dessert-preparing skills. However, I still have taste buds and know what I like. Never having a bread pudding before, I could only assume it to be halfway between bread and pudding. So, since my experience at Margot, I conducted some supplemental research on bread pudding and came to the following understanding. Bread pudding is made by taking stale, highly absorbent bread, soaking it in a basic custard, and baking it lightly in the oven. A caramel sauce and/or whipped cream usually tops it off. IMHO, I’d prefer the bread pudding to be favoring the puddin' side of thangs; bread just doesn’t sound like a good dessert. Margot’s bread pudding was teetering towards the bread side. And yes, while it was brioche, I still felt like I was eating a breakfast pastry or a piece of less sweet cake, I really wanted some PUDDIN’! The pecans in this dish were background noise, and didn’t do much for me. The whiskey sauce was nice and sweet, but tasted more like caramel than whiskey. The freshly whipped cream on top was a refreshing lubricant for this otherwise semi-dry piece of brioche (Dish sin factor -1, Texture profile -1).

Revamped dessert - Brioche bread pudding with whiskey sauce, cinnamon, and orange zest topped with vanilla pecan ice cream $8 - This bread pudding was thirsty for more custard; a super-saturated brioche would have been divine. A boozier whiskey sauce with MORE whiskey and LESS sugar would have added intense warmth. Complement that with the warm aromatics of cinnamon baked into a brioche and brightness of orange zest sprinkled on top. Replace the airy, unsweetened whipped cream with vanilla pecan ice cream, and I would have been in the heavens.



A few last thoughts covering criteria I left out...

The pricing at Margot seemed fitting at $21-$26 for meaty entrees. And although Margot's debut was weaker than expected, my vegan dish was only $16. I had faith in a restaurant of this caliber and knew I had to spend more money to get the good stuff.

I will close up the romance and atmosphere report. I thought the physical space of Margot was very refined yet rustic, open yet warm, relaxing (if sitting at a table), and definitely hot date material. I even think there is a make out room upstairs, but since they definitely wouldn't sit a party of one in the make out room, I hadn't the chance to go up yet. So, with resentment I revoked that one point.

The cleanliness at Margot was certainly looked after. And since I came home without food poisoning or gum on my shoe, no points will be deducted.

Waitstaff ratings could not be included in this report because of my position at the bar. But whilst spinning around on my stool, the staff hustled by, impressing me with their earnest professionalism.

Overall management seemed effective and efficient.

Kitchen speed was 20% slower than I wanted; this is totally arbitrary and biased by my uncomfortable position. But we'll say the duration of time between placing an order and having the first thought that my food should be done was prolonged by 20% (Kitchen speed -1)

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

100-33 = 77
-------------------------


This review was long and painful, my apologies. But I would like to make a few positive concluding remarks. Although my premier experience at Margot was disappointing, I have some of that 'sick puppy' faith to come back. I am always impressed by the daily menu which I frequently look at online, last night's "Pan-roasted duck breast with polenta croutons, pickled peaches, and preserved lemon" sounded really good. The space is lovely, the staff are seemingly passionate, and the food, I know, has potential to please. I will definitely be coming back.

Let's hope Margot bumps up her 77% with a redeeming second visit.


-Dan

Posted by DanielBF on 09/20/2010 at 4:16 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: “Miro District Food & Drink [Closed]

bland food and atmosphere. would not return despite the reasonably priced bottles.
Rating Detail:
Food: 2
Service: 4
Atmosphere: 3
Value: 4
Overall: 3

Posted by amber Reed on 11/21/2009 at 2:53 PM

Re: “Miro District Food & Drink [Closed]

I went with a small group of friends for dinner recently. The food was fantastic, but it took over 40 minutes to arrive. Even the salad didn't come out for 20-30 minutes, which makes me think our server forgot to put in our order. We only got apologies from other servers who brought out our food, and no offer to compensate for such a ridiculously long wait. Also, the drink prices are far too high.
Rating Detail:
Food: 5
Service: 2
Atmosphere: 2
Value: 3
Overall: 3

Posted by Jessica on 09/06/2009 at 6:59 AM

Re: “360 Bistro

Quiet, charming, elegance paired with incredible food presentations and a vast offering of wine selections. A wonderful place to relax, unwind and enjoy spectacular food and wine!
Rating Detail:
Food: 5
Service: 5
Atmosphere: 5
Value: 4
Overall: 5

Posted by Debbie Leming on 04/01/2009 at 2:03 PM

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