First, thankyou to everyone for the recommendations for fine dining and brunch places in Nashville. You guys hit it right on the mark.
1. Capitol Grille: nothing but beyond fantastic from start to finish. We started with the crab cake appetizer, which they put on two plates for us. It was all crab meat seasoned and sauteed perfectly topped with radish sprouts and shaved fennel. The side of the plate had a beautiful citrus hollandaise and two segments of orange and grapefruit. Each bite was truely perfection. My husband then had the trio of soups: vidalia onion bisque, eggplant and cream puree, and gazpacho puree. The onion bisque was a little sweet, as vidalia onions are, but balanced well with the bacon on top. We were a little intimidated by the eggplant/cream puree, but it was one of the best soups I've ever had. No bitterness at all, just slightly sweet from the cream with pure eggplant flavor. The gazpacho was ice cold with a slight roasted flavor and just a drop of vinegar to bring out the flavors of the cucumber. I had the arugula salad that was tossed in, what seemed to be, a slightly sweet citrus vinaigrette that balanced the peppery flavor of the greens very well. It was topped with crumbled blue cheese with two wine poached figs (one of which was filled with whipped blue cheese cream), and then a "painting" of port reduction. Our entrees were truely amazing. He had the lamb, which consisted of a two bone rack that was grilled and a loin that had been boiled in a bag with onions and mushrooms. It was served with a duo of fava bean puree and foraged mushroom puree with a medley of fava beans, hominy, and corn. The lamb actually didn't need to be chewed it was so tender. I had the huge pork chop that was grilled to medium and somehow seasoned throughout, served with coarse grits, diced warm peaches, and collard greens. The greens were just sweet enough and had pork belly to add the smokiness and saltiness. Perfection! The desserts were the only dissappointment. Nothing really popped out at us, so we skipped it and had the $14 8-layer chocolate cake at The Palm. Wonderful but huge! Even my filthy dirty martini at Capitol Grille was perfect. The service, atmosphere, and food are beyond compare. We loved it, can you tell?!
2. The Palm: to die for chocolate cake and Starbucks coffee, oh, and a glass of milk!
3. Ellendale's: After finally deciding Sunday morning between Ellendale's, Spring House Golf Club, Tin Angel, Lovelace Cafe, and The Hermitage we are so glad we chose Ellendale's. I've already written the Chef for the waffle recipe. The service is fantastic here. We never asked for anything and we had a party of 10 which included 4 children. Everything here is handmade, including the pastries. At $12.95 this is the best deal going in all of Tennessee. Memphis could really use a lesson from these people in Brunch, hell, in food. I'll just give you a list of some of the things on the brunch buffet: cheese grits, bacon wrapped chicken with rosemary cream sauce, roasted tomato lasagna, smoked beef tenderloin, sundried tomato and spinach carbonara, omelette station, pastries, white chocolate pudding, the best waffles ever known to man with strawberries and real whipped cream, fruit that was fresh and sweet, pasta salad, caesar salad, mixed green salad with raspberry vinaigrette, chocolate cake, etc. Wonderful food in a wonderful setting. Couldn't have been better.
I'm a Chef and I've eaten all over the world and I'm so thrilled that two of my best meals ever are just 2.5 hours down I-40! We can't wait to go back.
Thanks again to everyone for your rec.'s. What a great trip and a wonderful eating experience!