Interior: There is something to be said for a restaurant that can perk you up as soon as you enter. Nada Nashville has accomplished this feat. The atmosphere is bright and cheery with loads of natural light coming from floor to ceiling windows that open onto 21st avenue. The vibrant tile work is a nod to the Mexican cuisine featured on the menu and the bar reflects the owner’s passion for quality tequila. The shelving is open and uncluttered. The beautifully curated bottles of liquor act as a functional art installation.
Food and Drink: Nada Nashville is the 5th of the Nada locations and it’s obvious the kinks in opening a new restaurant have been ironed out through the success of the previous sites. Husband and wife team, David and Caitlin Falk, have other restaurants in the Midwest that have exceeded diners expectations and Nada Nashville is no different. As explained to us by our server, Barbara, each Nada location shares most of its menu with the original restaurant but there are dishes unique to the city in which the eatery resides. Nashville is different from this formula. There are more uniquely Nashville tacos and dishes on this menu than the other locations. These dishes are a reflection of the city’s current culture and the growth that is to come.
Navigating the menu was made much easier by Barbara. It was obvious she sincerely loved each menu item. Her meticulous and colorful descriptions helped us to better understand the dishes we were interested in. We started with a salsa trio which was perfect. The freshly fried chips were warm and salty with a perfect crisp. I know everyone has a preference in chip width but I felt these were great for dipping without being too heavy. The habanero kreeper salsa was the crowd favorite; we went through 3 bowls before dinner!!! The queso fundido was quite delicious with a beautiful table-side presentation, however; make sure to dine with someone that does not have a bean aversion. The base of this cheesy goodness is a black bean puree. Next, we tried some of the salads and a soup. We ordered the baby kale salad, house salad and butternut squash soup. The house salad with sweet corn and avocado was lightly dressed with chipotle pineapple vinaigrette. I loved the pepitas garnish.
Now, to the tacos!!! Affordably priced and properly portioned in size, these are going to become a Nashville staple. Because of the above mentioned traits, it makes flavor exploration feasible. I had the caramelized cauliflower with confit garlic goat cheese, ancho hoison glazed pork belly and the baja fish with cabbage slaw and chipotle crema. The corn tortillas looked delicious but I subbed in the lettuce wraps so I could indulge in dessert later. The tacos arrived on shared plates but the servers were very allergen aware and made sure that there wouldn’t be an issue with this delivery method. The tacos were delicious. Each with its own flavor and taste, these will easily satisfy a large group.
For dessert, we shared the churros, flan and rice pudding. The churros were fried without being greasy and sprinkled with a cinnamon sugar that complimented the caramel dipping sauce. The rice pudding was decadent and rich; the cream based pudding was topped with a peanut brittle to offer some variety in texture. It was incredible. I will have to say, the flan was the prettiest as it was topped with a lacey confection and whipped cream. In addition to the presentation, it was also delicious. Just as Barbara had warned us, you really can’t go wrong with any option.
It is rare to have such a quality restaurant experience within the first month of its opening. The service and food were flawless; the ambience perfect. Do not walk, but run to NadaNashville!!!