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“Excellent food at typical upscale prices but....” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Midtown Cafe

Midtown Cafe
102 19th AVE South, Nashville, TN 37203
615-320-7176
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Ranked #32 of 1,727 Restaurants in Nashville
Price range: $20 - $80
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: For 26 years, a top ranked locally and nationally casual fine dining destination just off West End, offers iconic lunch and dinner signature dishes, Contemporary American cuisine and the finest local and seafood / beef / veal ingredients. Superlative service is by a veteran hospitality staff of professionals. Midtown Cafe offers free shuttle service from downtown hotels and to local performance venues including Bridgestone, Ryman, Schemerhorn, TPAC after dinner with reservations. A fantastic wine list includes 40+ glass selections and 150 bottles, and a multi-course "Tasting Menu" that changes nightly and is available a la carte.
Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Excellent food at typical upscale prices but....”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

I've been to this restaurant a number of times over the past few years while entertaining visiting scholars to be interviewed or to give an invited lecture at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. It is intimate (if a bit crowded) and a little noisy for quiet conversation. But service is always prompt and attentive. All entrees that I have tried (usually lamb or duck, something I don't cook at home) have been excellent. I really can recommend them on virtually every aspect of upscale dining. But......why the "but"?

They pride themselves on their crab cakes, described as Fresh Lump....; I love crab cakes and am perhaps spoiled by having them in little restaurants in Maryland and other places around Chesapeake Bay. At Midtown finding a "lump" in the cake is futile. Fresh? Live blue crab is available daily at our Farmers Market in Nashville. I asked the waiter if that was where they got the crab. Er, No. What is fresh then? Never frozen was the reply. Not good enough for me and neither were the crab cakes. Made me wonder about the source of other items. So minus one star since truly fresh crab is available if they made the effort.

Visited April 2012
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175 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    108
    38
    19
    8
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Excellent, inventive food in Midtown”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

We had a wonderful lunch, beautifully prepared, in this small, well-decorated Midtown cafe. The artwork compliments the modern decor, and the food was truly inspired! They also got us in and out very quickly during a busy lunch period, knowing that we had a deadline to meet a flight at the airport. The wait staff is professional, not young students earning money part time. Treat yourself to a great meal, and you'll find yourself in the midst of a happening part of town. Don't miss the nearby Parthenon in Centennial Park.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Good Food, Great Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

I made an online reservation for lunch and was glad to see they paid attention to my comments. My wife had recently injured her leg, so while it was just two of us, they gave us a table for four so she could keep her leg elevated through the meal.

We started with the Fried Green Tomatoes, which were very good. The aioli gives a nice little zing to them. For lunch, she had a salad and Sweet Potato Bisque. The Bisque was excellent, definitely the highlight of the meal. If they have that when you visit, I highly advise it. I had the burger and fries, which was very good. The bun got a bit soppy, but the flavor was excellent.

One note, it is definitely a power lunch type of place. Far more suits and ties than the jeans and t-shirts we were wearing before hitting Lower Broadway, but no one made us feel out of place and everyone was very friendly.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NW, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“I Can't Believe I Hadn't Been Here Before”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

I was in Nashville for an alumni event and made reservations at the Midtown Cafe for a Friday Night. While the restaurant is fairly intimate, it doesn't feel cramped or crowded. I also found the service to be quite good. Our waiter, whose name I can't remember, was attentive, but not overly so. He was genuinely friendly, rather than the "I'm being nice to you because it's my job" sort of way that can be the case with servers. I had the shrimp and grits for my entree and was not disappointed. The grits were ground in-house and made with smoked gouda. The shrimp were large and generous in number. For dessert, we had the house-made gelato...definitely worth saving room for.

I'll definitely return when I'm back in Nashville. One more thing...the biscuits that they bring out to the table are phenomenal.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Tasty dinner and a ride to the show”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We LOVE the Midtown Cafe. Their food is always excellent. I love their fish, their homemade soups, pasta dishes, Filet Mignon and salads. They never disappoint! We also enjoy their shuttle service to the symphony or TPAC...a nice added treat the night of a show.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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