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Sep 15, 2010 08:44 AM

nashville dining for senior ladies

you guys have posted some great lists recently recommending Nashville restaurants. Here's my twist: my mom and her friends want a couple of good but not fancy dinner spots to escape a weeklong convention for retired airline stewardesses (yes, they were called stewardesses then. And alert your single fathers/grandfathers...). No bbq because they will get plenty at the convention. No pseudo-French -- these ladies are savvy world-travelers who know their food. Don't be fooled by their ages -- these ladies all look 20 years younger than their passports -- think Betty White minus the blue rinse and granny styles. But no loud music. Oh, and they appreciate a good martini. I fear the much-recommended Miel and the like may be too tame, but they specifically rejected your Southern gems -- think healthier than fried chicken (my idea -- when in the South, eat the best of the South...). Any suggestions? Where would you go to catch up with friends? Thanks.

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  1. City House.
    The Standard. (Southern, but upscale)
    Watermark. (Ditto, but even more so)

    Eastland Cafe.

    Sleek and Unusual:
    Cabana. (Reserve a cabana)

    A little more adventurous ...
    Suzy Wong's House of Yum

    City House
    1222 4th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37208

    3 Replies
    1. re: TLF

      I would not go to Margot (despite the good food) to catch up with friends, unless they can reserve an upstairs table. That place is loud!

      1. re: TLF

        I can't imagine anyone under 30 feeling comfortable at Cabana unless they went very early. Also describing Suzy Wong as adventursome is an understatement, if only because of its location. Not a part of town I would send most visitors to, and certainly not "senior ladies".

        How about SUNSET GRILL?

        1. re: brooky

          I'm assuming you meant "over 30" re: Cabana. I'm well over 30 and I go there frequently, and see people of all ages there. True, if you go after, say, 10pm the crowd is likely to skew young, but for drinks/dinner it's fine for anyone of any age.

          As for Suzy Wong's ... yes, it's a little "out there" but the OP DID say that these were sophisticated women who had been world-traveling stewardesses. They're hardly likely to be put off by Church Street. If the OP was afraid that Miel was too tame, then Sunset Grill -- as good as it is -- would be even more so.

          You seem to have read "senior ladies" and skipped the rest of the description of the group.

          Sunset Grill
          1160 US Highway 42 W, Warsaw, KY 41095

      2. I second the Watermark. You may like dining outside on their patio.

        Watermark Restaurant @ 507 12th Avenue S., Nashville, TN 615 - 254 - 2000.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Littleman

          Thanks for all the recommendations -- noise concerns, outside seating -- all useful info. If I may impose on your Southern hospitality a bit more.... Will the weather in Nashville be enjoyable for al fresco dining Sept 21-26 (coming from CA, but from both the sweater-demanding coast and the patio-misting desert)?
          Is the emphasis at Suzy Wong's and Chachah the food or the theme/scene -- or the drinks?
          Thanks again!

          1. re: mlradin

            Unless it's raining or there's some freak cold front, dining al fresco in late Sept is darn near perfect. Bringing along a sweater might not be a bad idea. Also keep in mind that any place that offers patio dining will also have an indoors, so they can play it by ear that day.

            Suzy Wong's and ChaChah are both owned by Arnold Myint, who is a (now eliminated) contestant on Top Chef. At Suzy Wong's the atmosphere is definitely part of the draw, but at both places the food is the top concern. Drinks get just as much attention because places like this make their own mixers, etc. and a chef like Arnold cares as much about the drink menu as he does about the food, and that extends to the non-alcoholic drinks as much as the alcoholic ones.

            Given your concerns about noise, etc. I'd probably recommend ChaChah over Suzy Wong's, but SW is a hoot.

            And, that's not to say I'm recommending them over the other choices ... but they're just suggestions a little out of the usual box.

        2. Thanks to all who recommended this restaurant for my mom and her friend's dinner out in Nashville. My mom tried to phone me after the amuse-bouche to tell me how brilliant it was...They decided to get several first courses instead of entrees (so as to try more dishes, as they are unlikely to return to Nashville any time soon). My mom had picked out the grits souffle from the website's menu -- although it was not quite what we imagined, really more souffleed grits than a grits souffle (think sweet potato "souffle" -- a heavy base lightened by folding in egg whites rather than a meringue flavored by the addition of the vegetable) -- they loved it. Apparently when the new chef revised the menu, this was the one dish saved. The service was attentive and professional -- when mom's friend could not decide on a wine, the sommelier came over, discussed the choices and had the ladies taste the options -- so she could buy a glass, not several bottles. This should not be surprising, but this kind of professional service, especially without the addition of pretention, is, well, often unaffordable. Anyway, the Watermark was the highlight of their week in Nashville.

          Watermark Restaurant
          507 12th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203