Among people with young children, there is perhaps only one thing more lamented than the loss of the full night’s sleep: the loss of happy hour. And there is a special brand of nostalgia for the springtime evening on a patio when one cocktail pours into a second, maybe a third, and finally leads to a boozy dinner.
So if you don’t need to beat the closing bell at day care or race to drop a toddler off at soccer practice, it’s practically your job to enjoy cocktail hour while the rest of us endure the witching hour. And there’s no better place than the patio of Radius10 in The Gulch to let the warm buzz of a perfectly chilled martini wash away the guilt of turning a quick drink after work into a full-fledged gastronomic affair.
While Radius10’s exquisite menu of artfully composed main entrées doesn’t come cheap (the 7-ounce filet with blue-cheese-and-walnut crust clocks in at $32), chef Jason Brumm is bending over backwards (read: slashing prices) to attract happy hour traffic. “I don’t want late-night business. I want to serve dinner between 5 and 10 and go home,” says the jovial restaurateur, who selected Nashville as the site of his maiden solo venture after working through upscale Florida haunts Cafe Thirty-A and Fish-Out-of-Water.
The bar menu, which highlights a handful of Brumm’s ocean-inspired plates, ranges between $5 and $7. But between the hours of 5 and 7, everything on the bar menu is $2 off, which means tuna tartare with tomato fennel jus and avocado sorbet is $5, and seared lamb skewers with chimichurri and tzatziki sauce are $4. That’s less than a combo in the Wendy’s drive-through. Couple the cut-rate snacks with two-for-one domestic beers, well drinks and house wines, and you’ve got yourself a veritable gourmet fire sale.
Or if you’re not watching your beer money, there’s the martini menu, with decadent $12 drinks along the lines of the Love Potion #9—pink vodka Stoli Strasberi, strawberry puree and a splash of bubbly—and a Scrubs-worthy appletini of apple vodka, apple liqueur and Sprite. Knock back a few tall drinks at the sleek radial bar, then graduate to a table for a no-holds-barred feast of low country shrimp and grits or short ribs.
Located in the bustling Gulch, which continues to gain critical mass with restaurants such as Watermark and chic residential projects such as Velocity and Terrazzo, Radius10 will soon be joined by neighboring Agave Tequila Lounge, slated to open in August.
As the Scene prepares to move its headquarters to The Gulch, we’re looking forward to logging a few happy hours and early suppers at Radius10, lounging on cushioned benches as the shadows stretch toward Union Station. Of course, some of us still have to sprint to day care and soccer practice, so we’ll be knocking off work a little early.