Welcome to my newest blog post category: Foodie Flashback–my twist on the “flashback Friday” posts seen on social media. I have all these pictures of food I’ve eaten at Nashville restaurants over the months. I thought this would be a great way to showcase some of the amazing meals (and restaurants) I’ve tried. Today’s “Foodie Flashback” features Tavern in Midtown, an MStreet restaurant. MStreet owns and operates seven different restaurants in the city, including Tavern. (A list of all their restaurants can be found on MStreet’s homepage.)
Tavern has become one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I’m always coming up with reasons to have date night there. Besides Tavern’s gourmet bar-food-inspired appetizers and entrees the restaurant is a two minute walk from Vanderbilt’s law school; Jesse and I can park in his assigned lot at Vanderbilt instead of searching for a space nearby.
Tavern Food Gallery
Grilled chicken skewers: This is one of the most amazing entrees I’ve ever had. Period. I loved it so much the first time that I’ve order it on subsequent visits. The dark soy combined with ginger and garlic is impeccable; it pairs well with the chicken and rice. The portion is perfect for one. I’ve cleaned my plate each time I’ve ordered this dish!
Belgian and Tuscan fries: Tavern offers three options for fries: Belgian, Tuscan, and Tennessee (sweet potato). Fries are served in a mini fryer basket, which is a fun way to present them. I’ve tried the Belgian and Tuscan, and both are addictive. The Belgian are deliciously crispy. The Tuscan are flavorful and messy with a little kick from the red pepper. The serving of fries given with a meal is manageable for one person. However, if you order the fries as a separate side you’re going to want the help of one or two friends.
Bread pudding: Tavern’s bread pudding was the first bread pudding I’ve tried. I believe it was an alcohol-infused bread pudding. The presentation was artistic, and it was perfectly moist. I probably could have devoured this dessert on my own, but I opted to share it with Jesse.
Grilled cheese: Grilled cheese is probably a close second to macaroni and cheese in terms of my favorite comfort foods. At Tavern they serve you two sandwiches cut into four triangles with the crusts cut off–just like mom used to make it when you were a kid! Two pieces were enough to fill me up. Tavern’s grilled cheese is served right off the stove, and it’s gooey and buttery (in case you’re wondering these are both positive descriptors).
Tuscan kale and parmesan salad (not pictured): The kale salad is overpriced for the portion you get ($13 for about a cup-and-a-half of finely chopped kale). Toasted almonds and currants decorate the salad, and lemon and olive oil tone down the kale’s bitterness. The simplicity of Tavern’s kale salad inspired me to create my own version that I eat most nights with dinner. (Quick recipe: I steam two cups of kale over boiling water on the stove for five minutes or so. After letting the kale cool for a few minutes I add 1/2 cup of strawberries, 1/4 currants, 1/4 pistachios [or other nuts I have on hand], 2 teaspoons of shredded parmesan, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil to it. Voila! Simple and filling salad that costs much less than $13 to make.)
- Free valet parking: I highly recommend tipping these hard-working individuals.
- One-page menu with unique options: No choice anxiety compared to a place like The Cheesecake Factory. Also, it is evident that a lot of creativity went into determining every dish.
- Extensive beer, wine, and libation list
- Atmosphere: A self-described “gastro pub” with a sophisticated and modern interior.
- Pricey: Appetizers start at $6.50 and go up to $15, and entrees start at $11.50)
- Location: There are numerous restaurants and bars along Broadway. Unless you use their valet parking service it can be difficult to find a parking spot.
- Popularity: Expect a long wait weekend afternoons and evenings.
- TVs everywhere: It can be difficult to focus on making conversation when there are so many TVs commanding your attention.
I’ve had nothing but delicious food and attentive service each time I’ve gone to Tavern. Five out of five stars!