A family celebration took us to Nana's for the first time. I left feeling equivocal. The overall experience was nice -- good food, good service, fair prices -- but I take exception to the cuisine itself, what I call contemporary eclectic. My sister's entree underscores the point: a beef filet on a mound of parmesan-laced grits surrounded by a curry-infused sauce. Few if any chefs are expert enough to make a seamless natural blend of parmesan, grits, and curry. In this case, as one might expect, the dished seemed forced, jarring, wilfully "interesting." Then too the contemporary eclectic menu, for all its seeming variety, actually winds up being fairly repetitive, offering variations on a single basic idea: grilled meat or fish piled atop an exotic starch and wilted vegetable. There's not much play of texture involved in this. Nothing crunches, nothing melts.
The desserts were poles apart in quality. A coconut chocolate layer cake was atrocious, not much better -- worse in fact -- than the Nabisco chocolate wafer cake served at kiddie parties. On the other hand, a fig and rasberry tart topped with sabayon was tremendous, a dessert worthy of New York. This was the highlight of the meal.
If I were rich I'd return from time to time for a pleasant evening. Being less than rich I will husband my dining funds for restaurants that have a notion of simplicity and tradition. These, I'm afraid, are mostly to be found out of town.