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30th Birthday Dinner: Nashville - Radius 10 or Margot Cafe?

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I am a Los Angeles chowhound taking my wife to Nashville to celebrate her 30th with her best friend (and husband). This will be our first time to Nashville.

After searching the board, it looks like Radius 10 and Margot are at the top. Which one is most fitting for a nice dinner where we will not have to yell in order to talk amongst us 4. Also not really looking for a stuffy restaurant - my goal is to experience the "Wow" factor. Unique menus, inspiring dishes, new flavor combinations, or the best version of a classic dish, etc.

Anything after dinner that we should check out as well? Maybe a wine bar like Rumours?

What is your vote and why?

If I am leaving another must-experience fine restaurant out of the mix, please throw it in... BUT please explain why I should consider.

Thank you everyone, for helping make this weekend a special memory!

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  1. Both are very good restaurants. I really like Margots and think it meets your requirements. It seems a little odd to me that you're coming to Music City and wondering what to do after dinner, you know what I mean. The music scene here goes well beyond country and you'd me making a big mistake if you didn't check out a few music venues.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cameraman

      Thanks Cameraman for your advice. I completely overlooked the music factor - great tip!

      1. re: justified

        I actually would advise Radius 10 instead; I have never been a big Margot fan (although love marche for breakfast/lunch, owned by the same people) so am partial to Radius 10, but some of my friends who have for years named Margot as their favorite restaurant in town have been disappointed by their visits over the past few months. It also is a very small space to the point that I feel cramped and the servers can barely maneuver around the tables.

        Radius 10 has great food with a southern flair, but definitely not traditional southern food. Last time I checked their website the menu had not been updated for fall and they have added some great items: a wonderful halibut and a pork chop that were both delicious. I sometimes find Margot's menu to be very hit or miss as well and feel the opposite about Radius 10 and love several items.

        Everyone has their own favorites and opinions so I wanted to share mine. Definitely check out the music scene; www.nashvillescene.com has good listings and their "best bets" for the week.

        If you haven't already done so, check out the menus at both to get a good comparison. Links are below. I also included the link to marche, which would be a great way to get the best of both worlds as you could go there for a very delicious breakfast or lunch in an interesting neighborhood. Enjoy your visit and Happy 30th to your wife!

        http://www.radius10.com/
        http://www.marcheartisanfoods.com/pag...
        http://www.margotcafe.com/home.htm

    2. I liked Margot a lot (we were a table of 4), but that was 3 years ago, so take that fwiw. Nice ambiance, good food & service - and no problems having a conversation.

      Definitely do the music after dinner - there's really something for everyone.

      1 Reply
      1. re: VaPaula

        One other possibility that I thought of is tayst -- it is Nashville's only "green certified" restaurant and all the food is so fresh and wonderful. Jeremy, the chef/owner has really been doing some great things (he even catered Martha Stewart's assistant's wedding and was recently featured on CNN) and they also have a good wine list and cozy/intimate atmosphere.
        http://www.taystrestaurant.com/

      2. I would suggest Zola: the Mediterranean-influenced food is far better and more imaginative than what's served at Margot (which, at its best, is first-rate French-inspired cuisine), and it's never noisy even when full. Deb Paquette from Zola gets a lot more national notice than Margot McCormick, and I don't think that's an accident.

        4 Replies
        1. re: nm1

          I will throw in that the food is great at Zola, but the atmosphere/decor is quite depressing and it needs a facelift. If that doesn't bother you, then go for it and be sure someone has the paella. Part of the "restaurant experience" for me is the ambience/environment and I felt like I was in an old tearoom with the faux trellis/ivy painted on the walls.

          1. re: jcr05

            Well, that's why there's horseraces. I find the decor at Zola unobtrusive and calm, not depressing at all. It's true that the focus there is on the food and not on visual style, but I don't think that the space is dowdy or a downer in any way.

            1. re: jcr05

              Food at Zola is quite nice
              I agree about the decor
              But Zola is nowhere near the food experience as Margot

              1. re: snobofwine

                I'm pretty sure y'all are crazy. :-)

          2. Margot
            Hands down
            Radius 10 is fine
            Margot is stellar