Sinema Restaurant and Bar
Where do I even begin? There is no way that my words or photographs will even begin to do this restaurant justice, but I hope that what I share with you will prompt you to make a reservation so you can see for yourself why I’ve fallen in love.
Last week I got to experience Sinema, the new restaurant in the historic Melrose theater building on 8th Avenue/Franklin Road that officially opens to the public this Friday, June 27th. And that experience left me breathless.
When I first heard that the theater was being converted into a restaurant, I was immediately excited. And the more I read about it, hopeful. Hopeful that finally Nashville was getting something new and different on our culinary scene. Don’t get me wrong- I think we have some fantastic restaurants in this city, but many of them have started to feel the same to me. Feel the same, look the same, taste the same.
But not this.
From the moment I opened that front door and stepped inside, I knew this was special.
Truly, there are no words that can explain my first glimpse of the grand entryway, and I didn’t take a photo of it because I want you to have that same feeling that I had. But I did take a photo of the curved staircase because I couldn’t help myself. It is stunning. Leading up to the second level lounge and private dining space, it is an architectural detail that was kept from the original 1942 theater.
And speaking of the upstairs lounge, I want to move into it. Of course, I don’t think they’ll allow that, but you can be certain that I will be there often. With so many nooks and crannies and cool little areas to lounge with a friend, or a group of friends, this is the bar I’ve been waiting for.
Before you start thinking that all I care about is how absolutely gorgeous this space is, I guess I should tell you a little about the food and of course, the man behind the food. Chef Dale Levitski, an alumni of Top Chef (runner up in Season 3) and a James Beard Award nominee, moved here from Chicago a few months ago to take the helm of this new kitchen.
Personally, I was a big fan of his when he was on Top Chef, so it comes as no shock to me that I love the eclectic menu he has created at Sinema.
Sinema Nashville’s Bread n Butter
Sweet Corn Bacon Butter, White Bean Butter, Caviar Butter, Bella Bakery Bread
We ate a lot of food during our visit, but for the sake of space, the photos I’m sharing are of the dishes I considered to be the best of the best of this particular meal. I’ve seen rave reviews of other dishes pop up on Instagram from people that have also been fortunate enough to get an early taste of Sinema, so I’ve already started compiling my list for the next visit!
Foie Gras at Sinema
Zucchini Bread, Foie Gras Mousse, Curry Cashew Butter
We chose the foie gras as our appetizer, but honestly, I could have eaten it as dessert. It was sweet, but not in a bad way. My gosh, it was incredible. Next appetizers on my list to try: the Octopus (which a trusted source said is phenomenal) and the “Pig and Peach”, a bacon and ham pierogi with mushrooms, stone fruit, and porcini mushroom sauce.
As for entrees, I ordered the double cut pork chop and my husband ordered the lamb, but I probably ended up stealing about half of his. My goodness, it is incredible.
Since there doesn’t yet seem to be a menu posted online, I’ll share with you that prices for appetizers range from $10 – $16. For entrees, you’re looking at $22 – $42, with most prices being right in the middle of that range. The portions are very substantial, so you certainly don’t have to worry about leaving hungry. In fact, we had to take leftovers home because we couldn’t eat it all!
Sinema’s Colorado Lamb
Duck Fat Poached Rack, Lucknow Spiced Lamb Sausage, Pearled Barley Risotto, Anchovy Sauce Vert
The Melrose Theater Building
2600 Franklin Pike
Nashville, TN 37204
Mon – Thurs 4 – 11 pm
Fri and Sat – 4 pm to 12 am
(Sundays brunch will be added soon)
Interior details of the gorgeous new Sinema restaurant
~ Contest Closed ~
And the winner is…..
Now the best part — I’ve got a Sinema 3 course dinner for TWO* to give away!
To enter, all you have to do is this:
1. Leave a comment telling me what you’ve read or heard about Sinema that excites you the most.
For up to 2 additional entries, you can do either or both of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.
2. Follow Sinema on Twitter (@sinemanashville) and tweet “Win a 3-course dinner for 2 at the incredible new @sinemanashville from @betheats! http://bit.ly/T2XlWy”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
3. Like Sinema on Facebook and come back and tell me you did so (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case!)
Contest ends on Friday, June 27th at noon CDT. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the name here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!
*Dinner does not include alcohol or gratuity
So excited to see the remodel of the Melrose Theater! The decor looks amazing and the food just as great! I am excited for everything about it!
I liked on FB!
Excited for this area to get something new + fresh!
We love that Sinema is just down the street from our house. Can’t wait to try the amazing food and check out the retro inspired decor this Saturday!!
Already liked on Facebook :)
Followed Sinema on Twitter too
Sinema looks amazing! Love the idea of using an old theater.
I followed and tweeted to enter!
Added on facebook too :)
In my daydreams I am a judge on Top Chef. I’m not anything like Padma or Tom, though, because this is a DREAM so I never have to be critical. I just say things like “I love how this salad looks like an elfin wonderland forest, with little pea boulders and radish summits that I would happily picnic on,” or “I love how the aesthetic of this caviar butter is unexpectedly reminiscent of funfetti cake and makes me feel all nostalgic, but then I eat it and I’m glad I’m a grownup again.” In the end, I’m way too easily excited to be a Top Chef judge, but I think I’ll be the perfect dinner guest at Sinema!
I followed and tweeted!
I liked Sinema on The Facebook, too :)
I liked Sinema on Facebook!
I am looking forward to seeing the old Hollywood décor and tasting all the eclectic menu items!
So excited for such a unique space and creative menu! The butter sampler has me drooling!
I liked them on Facebook, Beth
I’m following them on twitter and tweeted about your contest!
Looks amazing! Can’t wait to have brunch!! Yayyyy=*)
Would LOVE to have a much needed date night with my husband, and I have been talking nonstop about sinema, the food, the decor, it all looks amazing!!
And I follow on Facebook :)
Also followed and retweeted on twitter!
Also followed and retweeted on twitter
I also followed and retweeted on twitter
Besides the creative and different food (and I agree, great as Nashville has gotten food-wise lately, a lot of the restaurants seem exactly the same), I am so happy that someone is using an old theatre for something good instead of tearing down or ruining the interior.
Followed and tweeted.
Liked on Facebook.
I’ve heard the “French Onion Frites entree is a must-try”. Compliments of NashvilleGuru.com. It’s awesome that y’all have kept the cinematic theme in tact as well.
Liked you guys on Facebook as well! Can’t wait to come visit!
I just Followed you guys on Twitter and posted the contest Link! Fingers crossed!
Just actually heard of it today! (Sometimes I’m behind the times) Would love to try it!
I am most excited because I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews of Chef Dale Levitski new menu at Sinema,(I was a fan of him on Top Chef) whether it was word of mouth or reviews of their soft opening. I’ve also been watching him and his team plan, brainstorm, cook in The Melrose Common Area in preparation for their opening this Friday. It’s exciting to be a resident of the Melrose and be so close to such an awesome place. The cocktail area on the second floor is being said it could be the next Patterson House. We will see, but the drinks are GOOD (and have such creative stories on how they got their names). I would love to taste the goodness he has created for us in Nashville (and I can’t wait for Brunch!)
I was already following Sinema on Twitter but Tweeted :)
I liked Sinema on FB!!
I actually dined there last night. We did have the Pig and Peach and you should try it. Additionally I had the Barimundi which was delicious. We also tried the Chocolate and the Caramel Corn desserts. YOU must try the Carmel Corn…it is a fun not to sweet take on Profiteroles. I loved loved the Violet Elderflower Mouse on top of the Chocolate cake. I am a total Top Chef Super fan having seen each season from day one. I was a big fan of Dale’s on TC and am thrilled he has decided to make Nashville his home. Liked Sinema on FB and following on Twitter.
Looks amazing and unique. I love that they kept the staricase and have a separate bar/lounge area for those nights you don’t want to be in the dining room.
As a Nashville native with memories of The Melrose Theater, the amazing pictures and stories have me excited to see how this historic icon was honored. And of course, to taste anything created by Chef Dale Levitski…hello?!
Liked on Facebook!
With the recent closing of two of my favorite restaurants – F. Scott’s and Nero’s – it’ll be good to have a new dining option! The history, the decor, and the creative entrees seem to be just what I’ve been looking for! In your review, you wrote “that experience left me breathless.” I look forward to seeing and experiencing it for myself!
I definitely “like” it, and liked it on facebook!
I’m following on Twitter! And I’m looking forward to keeping up with what’s happening at the restaurant, and watching it grow!
I’ve tweeted about the contest! And I hope to see my friends dining out at Nashville’s hottest new restaurant!
I generally share your taste in restaurants and appreciate your blog and tweets, but I simply don’t get the raves about Sinema. Granted the lounge upstairs is a great space and the service was excellent, but the menu was unimaginative and food preparation poor. It was pretty, albeit overcooked. The real issue is the menu. It could be anywhere-Etch, Farmhouse, Josephine’s, Adele, etc.-and was particularly heavy for a summer launch. Going to give it another try with lower expectations.
I have been twice and the restaurant is absolutely beautiful, probably the most impressive space in town, but the prices are out of line. Most starters are in the mid teens for small portions and the entrees are mostly in the upper $30’s and low $40’s. While the food is good, I see significant issues with the price points and paying for valet is rare and the only upscale place in town to charge. I hope they make it, but they need some revisions fast to the menu pricing. I was also not impressed with the wine list as it seemed to be unusual and little known wineries (not always a bad thing), but based on food prices, it made me very skeptical as to the wine prices.