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Comment Archives: Locations: Restaurants: 5 Stars

Re: “Park Cafe

I had driven to where a short lineup of restaurants reside in a ‘residential-feeling’ neighborhood of Sylvan Park. Located in an area where it is common to park on someone’s lawn on a busy night. I ended up wedging my car between a few barrels of fryer oil and a medium-sized dumpster behind the restaurant.

Amidst an upstanding taco joint, a homely Italian restaurant, and your average bread and cheese pub, was Park Cafe. Park Cafe was open Monday, and respectably slow. Eagerly, their staff welcomed me into their home-converted restaurant. Put in the most exaggerative way, the interior felt like the backstage of a strange theater set; a maze of rooms and hallways, each with a quirk of their own. I was seated in a reduced-capacity renovation, of what looked to be the original dining room; now, an inoperable water fountain adorned with plastic plants centered itself in the space. This hub led to several other dimensions of reality; a dark, empty room flaunting bold artwork was to my south. I felt the twisted romance of dining alone.

Park’s semi-cohesive menu has reasonable pricing. Main course dishes are in a modernized French style and appetizers tend toward Italian. An underlying southern flare peaks through in many dishes including the shrimp ratatouille and roasted chicken with crispy okra and cornbread croutons. The menu features entrees composed of the usual suspects; crustaceans, red meat, fowl, fish, and vegetables all done in a bold preparation. Chef does not skimp on the flavor, but maintains definition among the components in the dish. Bold sauces like Béarnaise, aioli, fruit reductions, cheeses, creamy risotto, and even an Asian-inspired plum sauce accompany main course dishes. The menu is definitely playful and mostly cohesive, but I deduct one point for their inclusion of an Asian-inspired salmon dish (Menu cohesion -1). This just doesn’t play well with the others, and it’s all too common to dress salmon up this way (Flavor pairing originality -1). I skip right to dessert.

'Lemon Icebox Cake' carmel & lemon creme topped with meringue, graham cracker crust, blueberry compote, carmel sauce $7
The description seemed a bit ambiguous, almost misleading; was the graham cracker crust to be on top? I received my icebox cake; a chilled tower of custardy lemon, creamy creaminess, rich caramel, and graham cracker crust... on the bottom. On top, sat what I thought was whipped cream, not a meringue, but I may be wrong... corrections? On top of THAT was the blueberry compote, and unfortunately perched here, was my only qualm. The compote was made from frozen blueberries, which had a terribly flat, chewy texture, and lacked their inherent ‘blue’ flavor (Texture profile -1, Flavor pairing fundamentals -1). The rest of the cake had luscious layers of creamy lemon and caramel. The graham cracker was a crusty vessel for all that sweet fattiness. What else is there to say? it was decadent, sweet, fatty, and mostly executed with precision.

REVAMPED. 'Lemon Icebox Cake' graham cracker crust topped with lemon and caramel cream, meringue, blueberry compote, and caramel sauce $7
My only suggestions would have been to reword the menu description and improve the texture and flavor of the blueberry compote by using fresh berries.

Overall I really liked Park Cafe. Their staff was marvelous, the food was big and bold, the atmosphere was bizarrely romantic, and prices were reasonable. But in the food category, this review only touched upon dessert, so they inevitably scored high. Another one and a half dinners, and this study will be concluded.

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

1st visit (100-4 = 96)

Posted by DanielBF on 09/20/2010 at 4:19 PM

Re: “Samurai Sushi

Best sushi on the planet. Seriously. Try the specialty rolls with fruit on top. Crowd favorites are Choo Choo roll, Iron Miss roll, and Volcano roll. Even great rolls for those like me who do not eat raw fish or seaweed!try the Happy roll,Hawaiian, or Aloha roll. Made with shrimp or crab and wrapped in soy paper and topped with fruit! Amazing!
This place will spoil you!

Posted by Melaps on 09/12/2010 at 1:14 PM

Re: “Park Cafe

Extremely Romantic and great personal service from the servers.

Posted by Dansaman on 09/08/2010 at 11:36 AM

Re: “Bombay Palace

One Of the best Indian Restaurant @West End Aveune & With Friendly Environment & Personalized Attention to each Customer Excellent , I Really Like This Eating Food From Past 15 Days from the same Restaurant , Good Menu , Daily varienty of New Items In Buffet

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kumar Bohra on 09/07/2010 at 7:27 PM

Re: “Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar

Good wine selection.

Posted by pinkpug on 09/07/2010 at 4:45 PM

Re: “Alpha Bakery [Closed]

Friendly staff, delicious food, unexpected pastry choices, especially great for breakfast - Go!

Posted by yeayeayea on 09/03/2010 at 7:08 PM

Re: “Five Guys

Absolutely the BEST burgers I've EVER had! And it's decently priced, so you can't beat that! But seriously, these burgers are amazing!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Wickedactress09 on 08/31/2010 at 5:18 PM

Re: “Cafe Coco

LOVE the hummus and pita!

Posted by Wickedactress09 on 08/31/2010 at 5:15 PM

Re: “Sweet CeCe's

LOVE IT GO THERE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOW GO OR I WILL KILL YOU NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by john lang on 08/29/2010 at 9:58 PM

Re: “Pei Wei Asian Diner

love shrimp teryaki mmmmm so good!

Posted by john lang on 08/29/2010 at 9:53 PM

Re: “Bricktop's

love the bbq chicken flatbread mmmm

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by john lang on 08/29/2010 at 9:49 PM

Re: “Gold Rush

Gold Rush is my Cheers! Keep up the good work guys.

Posted by DogDaze on 08/28/2010 at 5:59 AM

Re: “Gold Rush

I like that I can have a meal and a few drinks and smoke without having to excuse myself. Seems like the two bars have different vibes. The crowd is pretty diverse. The food is pretty good and my bartender was cool. I'll be back, see you there.

Posted by twang on 08/28/2010 at 5:39 AM

Re: “The Station Inn

We were there last month and Vince Gil and Toby Keith played as well. Vince plays with The Time Jumpers whenever he is in town. awesome show and a great time every time we go!

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Let It Ride Mike on 08/23/2010 at 8:10 PM

Re: “Mama Mia's

Disregard Joe Savage's review above as it reeks of ignorance. Mama Mia's was opened over 20 years ago by a Cuban family and was bought in 1994 by the Martinez family (also of Latin American heritage) and considering their staying power, they're obviously doing something right. Every time I've been to Mama's Mia's we've had exceptional Italian food (regardless if it's prepared by a Spanish-speaking/non-Sicilian staff) and friendly service. The Bring Your Own Wine bottle policy is a nice compliment to a romantic atmosphere. I recommend it to everyone I know in Nashville asking for a great Italian meal.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Nashstu on 08/22/2010 at 12:38 PM

Re: “The Yellow Porch

This is a great place for a date night out with your special someone or just going out with your friends! The atmosphere is great! The food was amazing. There was 12 people in our group and we all shared of each others plates. There was not a bad meal at all that night. I loved the long bench on the side wall with nothing but throw pillows for back cushions.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by jc3 on 08/18/2010 at 10:30 AM

Re: “Ri'Chard's Louisiana Cafe

I was in Nashville and visited Richard's. As a Louisiana Native I know good cajun food, and they have it! The atmosphere and service was great also. A must visit for anyone who wants to Lassaiz les bons temps rouler

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by csolar on 08/09/2010 at 11:51 PM

Re: “Giovanni Ristorante

I have enjoyed Giovanni's at least a dozen times since its opening and I have never had a bad meal or a less than excellent experience. The owner is always present and strives to make each customer feel as if he is a guest in his home (not far from true, since Giovanni lives on the top floor of the building housing his restaurant.)

From the smile and greeting from the receptionist (a beautiful brunette named Amy,) to the efficient and personable servers, to Chef Marco who comes to the table to explain the off-menu specials.. it is a wonderful, welcoming and gracious crew who surrounds Giovannni. The northern Italian fare is excellent, well prepared and beautifully presented. The seafood special is always a wonderful selection for me.

Pricey? Yes, a bit, but for the service and food quality and the ambiance of the place, it is a price gladly paid. As a life- long Nashvillian and frequent patron of local eateries, Giovanni's has now replaced the venerable Valentino's as my favorite place for Italian.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by volboy on 08/09/2010 at 7:26 PM

Re: “Miel

Absolutely Delicious. If you haven't eaten here yet, then you are missing out. True, it can be a little pricey by Nashville standards, but you have to pay for quality. I have dined here two times, and can say that I have not yet had a miss! In fact, everything was wonderful. Both times the meal started with an amuse bouche from the kitchen and wonderfully warm rolls. We have had starters including a cheese platter with five artisan cheese, oysters (very fresh!), heirloom tomato salad with ricotta salata, pork belly, and a house salad with lots of fresh veggies and a delicious salad dressing. Entress have included a flat iron steak cooked perfectly with a yummy sauce, their house risotto, and a fish special with braised short ribs (an interesting combo that totally works, trust me you have to try it) My mom loved the roast chicken, and you know you can always judge a restaurant by their roast chicken! Dessert was also delicious. I have no complaints about this restaurant. I have eaten at many of the well respected restaurants in Nashville (Watermark, Flyte, F. Scotts, Red Pony, and Miro) and I have to say without a doubt this was the best!

Posted by Eaters anonymous on 08/09/2010 at 4:42 PM

Re: “House of Kabob

THE best Middle Eastern/Kurdish restaurant in Nashville. My favorite dish is lamb shank (braised in a tomato sauce) with yellow rice (basmati rice with barberries). Get a bowl of the braising liquid on the side and some yogurt and you will have one of the best meals of your life.

Other good dishes are the joojeh (whole skewered cornish hen), kubideh (ground beef kabob), and teka (beef sirloin kabob). Also, the traditional dish is the shabzi (spinach stew with dried lime).

After you finish, have a glass of hot tea and relax - you'll be full.


Posted by VivekSurti on 08/09/2010 at 12:40 PM

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