My husband and I dined at Macke's on August 17, 2010. We were only in Nashville for one night, and wanted to have a decent meal (our last visit to Nashville we didn't research restaurants in advance and were disappointed). Based upon reviews we decided to try Macke's. We were absolutely delighted with the experience.
The decor and ambience are sophisticated without being pretentious. While the outdoor mall garden area dining is attractive, by all means sit inside the formal dining room if possible. The art and decor and lighting all combine to create a wonderful ambience that we really enjoyed.
We were surprised at the imaginative flavor combinations that were present throughout the menu. Kim chee with scallops? Pepper jelly with lobster fritters? Veal chop with a dijon-lime crust and curried home fries? There is clearly a creative mind at work in the kitchen who is not afraid to develop unusual flavor profiles by combining elements you wouldn't think would work, but somehow do.
For our meal we started off with the lobster corn fritters with pepper jelly and creme fraiche. The fritters were light and delicate, with large chunks of lobster meat. The pepper jelly added a nice touch of heat and sweetness. Definitely recommended.
We shared the Bibb Leaf lettuce salad, with roasted beets, goat cheese, fresh raspberries, walnuts and a white balsamic dressing. We were glad to have shared the salad, as it would have been too much to eat alone with an appetizer and an entree. While this is a fairly standard combination, all of the elements were extremely fresh and the balsamic dressing was outstanding. Perhaps the walnuts could have been toasted a bit more, but that would be the only criticism.
My husband had the evening seafood special, a grilled halibut over creamy risotto with squash, red corn and lobster. The halibut was perfectly cooked and the risotto was out of this world.
I had the seared scallops with country ham, corn souffle, fried okra, and a gingered peach syrup. The scallops (4 large ones) were perfectly cooked - a nice sear on the outside and cooked just to doneness on the inside. The ginger peach syrup (more of a compote) added a wonderful sweetness and bite to the plate. The fried okra added a great crunchy textural element. The only off note for me was the corn souffle. It was prepared with a smoke flavor that was so intense it overwhelmed the flavor of the corn. Overall, though, and outstanding dish I would recommend.
We were so full by that time we could barely squeeze in desert, but we had a capuccino and shared a fresh peach creme brulee. The capuccino was perfect - nice and strong and flavorful. the creme brulee was fantastic, with a perfect carmelized sugar crust and a luscious filling of creamy goodness with just a hint of peach flavor.
We found the prices to be reasonable for the quality of the food. The service was very good, but perhaps a bit too nonchalant /casual or this caliber of restaurant. One nice touch is that Macke's offers many of their entrees in small portions. We would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who enjoys fine dining, southern cuisine, and unusual flavor combinations that absolutely work. We will definitely be back!
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