On my last night in Music City, I wanted to not only have a good time, but I wanted to have a good meal. I checked with the locals, as I often do when on the road, to see if I could find some hidden gem of a restaurant. Something different that reflects the true spirit of Nashville cuisine. Something dynamite, if that is possible. I wanted something that would blow my socks off, and in light of my most recent Nashville restaurant review (see my older posts), I needed something better than average. The results of my inquiry were varied, so I had to pick one. The spot I picked was Sunset Grill.
Sunset Grill is located just off of the campus of Vanderbilt University in the West End. Though it is on a small street, there is ample parking in an adjacent lot. As we entered, a very friendly greeter immediately met and seated us. We didn’t have a reservation, but it didn’t matter, as there was plenty of room. The dining room was nicely appointed with dark wood as the predominant theme. There were nice wall sconces that reminded me of a dark alley just off of the Casbah in Algeria. Grub met a young lady there back in 1988, and we had dinner in this same restaurant! That image has been seared in my memory since then, but that is another story for another blog. But back to THIS story. There were two large parties in the main dining room and another large party in an adjacent private dining room. A very pleasant woman, who immediately sat us, even though we had no reservation, greeted us. “Are you Grub?” “Indeed.” I replied. “We have heard so much about you – please, right this way!” Ok, maybe that didn’t happen, but that’s what I thought I heard.
Now to the food – first up were the appetizers. We started with the Smoked Pork Beggars Purse ($9.99), which is described as smoked pork tossed in a chipotle-juniper barbecue sauce and wrapped in a phyllo pastry served with crawfish etoufee. Sounds fantastic! Pork eggrolls! In all honesty, these were really tasty and I really enjoyed the smoky taste of the barbecue sauce. It complimented the sweetness of the pork nicely, and the pastry held everything in place. This appetizer wins. We also ordered the Bacon and Eggs ($9.99), which is described as slow braised Niman Ranch pork belly with Tennessee white cheddar stone ground grits and Tabasco butter fried egg. I thought this would be a spicy dish, but the grits absorbed most of the heat from the Tabasco and gave the dish an interesting flavor. The pork belly provided a lot of the flavor with out the dish being salty. This was a good dish, certainly better than average. It was not my favorite dish, but it was a good dish nonetheless.
Appetizers = A
For our entrees, we ordered the Coca-Cola BBQ Beef Short Rib ($27.99), and the Seared Sea Scallops ($32.99). The short rib came served with sweet potato Johnnycakes, Benton’s bacon collard greens, and Farmer Dave’s apple butter & tobacco onions. This dish might have been a bit over-priced for one rib, but I think its ok to splurge every now and again. The rib was perfectly cooked, and the coke-flavored sauce was a nice change of pace. Johnnycakes are for me a blast from the past, and were very tasty and not dry as some I have previously had have been. This was certainly a good meal with a different take on an old classic short rib recipe. As for the scallops, they too were perfectly cooked before they reached their rubbery stage, and arrived at the table surrounded by a pool of polenta to provide both a culinary and colorful contrast. The sublime taste encourages one to eat slowly so as to savor each and every morsel.
Entrees = A
The service for the restaurant was more than adequate for the level of eatery it was. The waitress was prompt and courteous, and made sure we had everything we needed. Drinks were refilled and the ambiance was good.
Service = A
If you happen to be in Nashville and you are in the mood for a good experience, check out Sunset Grill. The menu is varied and eclectic enough for you to find something that will knock your socks off. When Grub makes his next visit to Music City, Sunset Grill is a certain destination. They have a solid business model that works. It is elegant without being pretentious. If a night out on the town is on order, make this ground zero. Give it a try! This is certainly a Good Grub Spot.
Restaurant: Sunset Grill
Address: 2001 Belcourt Avenue Nashville, TN 37212
Telephone: (615) 386-3663
Date of Visit: July 15, 2012
Good Grub or Garbage © 2012Tags: Seafood, Vanderbilt