Crab Cakes and Mangia Mayo
Back in the fall, and then again in the winter, I had the pleasure of dining at Mangia Nashville.
Not a restaurant, and not exactly a pop-up, Mangia is in a class all its own. Nashville Scene named it the “Best Weekly Food Event” in 2011. I call it the best, most authentic, entertaining, family-style Italian meal I’ve ever experienced!
Mangia’s Jumbo Shrimp Scampi
Held every Friday and Saturday night inside The Cool Cafe in Franklin, you can stuff yourself silly on incredible Italian dishes while toasting old (and new!) friends with your BYOB wine.
Unfortunately for me, I was pregnant both times I ate at Mangia, so I didn’t get to imbibe. Oh well, someone needed to be the designated driver!
You might notice that the photos I’m sharing with you today are a little seafood heavy. If you don’t like sea creatures, don’t worry- that’s not the norm. There is usually a good mix of pasta, vegetarian, seafood, pork, chicken…well, a little of everything! It just happens that these pictures are from the “Feast of the Seven Fishes”, the traditional Italian Christmas meal Mangia served in December.
Mangia’s Frutti Di Mare (Shrimp, Calamari, Octopus)
Silly, scatter-brained me (I blame pregnancy!), forgot and left the camera at home when I dined there in the fall. That really bums me out, because I would’ve loved to show you some of those amazing dishes as well.
Two of them I haven’t been able to get out of my mind since, and hope to have them both again one day. The bruschetta with lemon artichoke dip and the lemon risotto cakes with Mangia mayo were in-cred-i-ble. They were two of the four appetizers we were served, and I had to force myself to stop eating them so I’d still have plenty of room in my belly for the multiple courses to follow.
Penne Pasta with Pellegrino Family Christmas Sauce (tomato sauce with black and green olives, raisins, capers, and pine nuts)
Speaking of multiple courses – a meal at Mangia is a 5 course extravaganza. When I say 5 courses, I don’t just mean 5 dishes, however.
No, each course serves up multiple offerings. Four appetizers? two salads? two pastas? three entrees? two desserts? This meal is no joke. Come wearing your eating pants.
Mangia’s Lobster Risotto
If you’re looking for REAL Italian here in Nashville, this is definitely the place to go. But beware – it can be hard to get a reservation, so you must be patient. And plan ahead.
Just a few days ago I decided it would be a great idea to gather some friends and dine there for my birthday in May. Unfortunately they’re already booked for the date I wanted.
Of course, there’s always the chance that someone will cancel and some spots will open up last minute. For people that are flexible with dates, you have a better chance of getting lucky and scooping up one of those. (Better “like” their Facebook page to be kept in the loop on those last minute openings!)
Mangia’s House Made Struffoli
The menu changes seasonally, and it’s almost time to launch the taste of Spring! Beginning April 14th and running until June 16th, this is what you can expect:
Mangia Spring 2012 Menu
Note: The risotto cakes I fell in love with in Fall are back again!!!
For only $45 plus tax and gratuity, you really can’t beat this menu. Nowhere else in town would you be able to get this much incredible, real, authentic Italian food for that kind of price.
And did I mention entertainment? Before the night is over, you’ll be singing. You’ll be dancing. You’ll be exchanging email addresses and phone numbers with the strangers sitting beside you that are now your new friends.
And then you’ll walk out the door with a smile on your face wondering when you’ll be able to score reservations to come back again!
1110 Hillsboro Rd
Suite B200 (inside the Cool Cafe)
Franklin, TN 37064
Friday 8 pm – 11 pm
Saturday 6 pm – 9 pm