I ate at this place.
It was slightly controversial - I loved parts of it, I didn't love parts of it, and the interwebz seems to agree with me.
Ellendale's in Nashville is not for everyone - that is what I have deduced from my experience there.
To be clear, I enjoyed my Ellendale's experience very much. I went a few weeks ago when I was in Nashville for a show - remember? I told you about it. My BFF Heather was with me and we had a fabulous time. The atmosphere is really special at this place - maybe moreso than the food, which I could easily replicate for ⅛th the cost at home. Delicious, but maybe not the most inventive meal I've ever consumed?
The place is a house. When you walk in, there are stairs, rooms....like a HOUSE. You're welcome for describing a house to you. There are small dining rooms throughout the downstairs, and then in the back of the house there is a large dining area with a bar and small stage for live music.
THAT'S what we love. Tom Shinness was playing that night with some randos that just showed up to play too, and it was just so cool. Our table was RIGHT in front of the stage (4 feet maybe? 5?), so it was a teensy bit loud, but we didn't mind.
Our server was lovely and helpful with wine and the menu. Our table was SMALL, so we requested that another small table be brought to add on to ours. Heather and I tend to require lots of glasses and dishes so....we needed more real estate. Our request was met quickly and with smiles, and we were set to go!
At this particular meal, we shared an appetizer, an entree, and a side of sweet potato spaetzle. For the appetizer, we went with the Mediterranean Nachos - they consisted of toasted (a little hard) pita wedges, feta, a sort of pico de gallo/bruschetta combo with tomatoes and onions, and some balsamic drizzle. It was good, but not amazing. I'd eat it again if I was starving, but probably would try something else next time I'm there. That seemed to be the consensus online - appetizers were a bit on the mediocre side.
We LOVED our entree. We got the Romeo and Juliet to share - medium rare steak, mashed potatoes, blue cheese sauce, and some other kind of reduction. Both sauces were great, the steak was cooked really well, and just YUM. We loved it!
The strangest part of the meal was the sweet potato spaetzle we ordered as a side. It was....white? Maybe made with white sweet potatoes or kind of not at all? I don't know. It was featured in many other entrees that we considered so we wanted to try it, but it came out looking like regular spaetzle with no seasoning whatsoever - even salt. It was disappointing, but the sweet potato title was the most baffling to us!
Overall, we really enjoyed our experience here. I wouldn't recommend this place to foodies, necessarily - this was a music place with good food, not great food with some music. The music was GREAT, and we marveled at how you forget that open mics can be GREAT in places like Nashville! We love Greenville but the "talent" isn't exactly the same!
Food-wise, I'd categorize this as well-executed American. Nothing will blow your socks off, but nothing will be totally grody either. We liked it! If there is such a thing, this is kind of "normal" food. Check out the menu here - I want to try the rabbit next time I go!
Thanks for a lovely BFF date night, Ellendale's. We'll be back!