Tim & I went to Margot Cafe to celebrate my birthday last night. If you're not familiar with it, Margot is in East Nashville in the Five Points area. We've actually been there several times, just never for a regular dinner. They have a wonderful Sunday brunch (although more expensive than the Germantown Cafe, so we haven't been there too often) and they also hosted the Nashville Slow Food dinners for the past couple of years. If you ever have a chance to go, the Slow Food dinners are amazing. The next one is coming up on June 26th and if you're interested, you should call for a reservation ASAP. I think we've been to four Slow Food dinners at Margot and each one has been worth every penny. Information is on their website here.
For dinner last night, Tim had the mixed greens salad and the chicken with polenta (OMG, deeeeelish) while I had the corn soup and the sirloin steak with crispy potatoes. If you ask anyone who knows me, you'd know that I almost never clean my plate but I did last night. It was super tasty. For dessert, Tim had the lemon and coconut cake and I had the goat cheese cheesecake. Yes, you read that correctly - goat cheese cheesecake! Must. Find. Recipe. Immediately. It was amazing and delicious. Tim's simple-sounding lemon and coconut cake made me smile when I tasted it, as it had surprising crunchy bits of coconut. It was one of those desserts that would make even the grumpiest person happy to eat. I also had a blood orange martini (not really to my taste, although Tim liked it) and Tim had a glass of red wine. You can read more about the chef-owner (actually, I think co-owner) who produces this great food here.
On top of consistently having the best food in Nashville, Margot also has the most professional waitstaff of any place in town. Last night was no exception to what we've seen on previous visits. The waiters there are uniformly courteous, efficient, full of information, and friendly. I definitely get the feel that the waiters there actually enjoy working at Margot and aren't just stopping off there as part of a music career :)
If you go, while Margot doesn't have much parking, there's a super convenient FREE public parking lot right behind the restaurant. I would absolutely recommend reservations, especially on weekends (including for brunch) and if you want to sit on the patio. The patio at Margot isn't large, but it is a really pleasant place to eat a great meal.
*Consistently great food
*Embarassingly, I can't think of any
ETA: WAIT, I thought of one - it's in East Nashville rather than in Germantown :)
Poor Grad Student Cost Assessment:
Margot is outside our normal grad student influenced budget. It's one of those restaurants that I like too much not to bend the rules sometimes. The Sunday brunch is lower priced, so that's always a good option. The owners of Margot also opened a smaller more-cafe style place called Marche Artisan Foods (The one time we stopped there, it was so insanely busy we ended up leaving, so I can't really comment on the food there.) I can't say enough good things about the Slow Foods dinners as well. They can be a bit of a splurge (although the June 26th one looks inexpensive) but are absolutely worthwhile. It's also a great special event restaurant and I think it can be quite romantic, too.
I think that Margot Cafe is one of the best restaurants in Nashville, and I'm always surprised when someone says they've never heard of it or haven't been there. Seriously: GO! The main words I would use to describe Margot are local and seasonal. They frequently use locally sourced ingredients and the menu changes quite a bit from season to season. One thing we learned last night is that the majority of their menu actually changes every night.
ps Thanks for the birthday wishes! It was a good day, even if it wasn't Paris :)