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Mar 28, 2011 08:07 AM

Botched reservations for BlueBird Cafe for girlfriend's birthday :: Help me ChowHound

My girlfriend really wanted to do the BlueBird cafe. Storms last night knocked out my internet and I missed the 5 minute window this morning to get the 6 tickets she wanted. I am looking to ChowHound to get me out of the dog house (fitting isn't it). Here is some background:

- I know very little about Nashville and have only been there once
- We are driving from Atlanta so will have a car and are staying up at the Opryland hotel
- We are going out with 3 to 4 couples on Saturday April 2nd and would love good food and possibly a show starting after 8:00pm.
- No one involved is independently wealthy and price may be a concern but I'll work with the options and see how to make it work

I am not sure if there are other BlueBird options or if there is something else unique that someone could offer. Any and All ideas would be great. Thanks in advance.

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  1. my first thought would be to call them directly and ask.....explain what happened...never hurts...
    it says there are also 28...first come,first serve seats..
    so maybe if u can get some of the party in

    1 Reply
    1. re: srsone

      If I was sure I could get there early from Atlanta I would try this and see what we could do. But with at least 6 people involved I am concerned it would be a probable failure. I'm now looking to book something else.

    2. Your main problem is that April 2 is the last day of the Tin Pan South festival. All the good music venues will be participating, so it's not a normal weekend. It can be tough to get into shows if you don't have an event pass, and even then it's tough. It's basically Nashville's version of SXSW, except that it focuses on songwriters only.

      If you HAVE to come this coming weekend, then I would just plan on a nice dinner somewhere (plenty of recommendations on previous threads here; be sure to make reservations), then spend the evening wandering up and down Broadway and honky-tonk hop.

      8 Replies
      1. re: TLF

        Everything is pointing to TLF being dead on here. I appreciate the heads up and I'm going to look through this board to get some ideas. The GF is eying places like "The Standard at the Smith House" and hope to find some others. Thanks everyone.

        Smith House
        Highway 227, Owenton, KY 40359

        1. re: deluxe

          The Standard is a good central downtown choice, southern food in an elegant historic atmosphere. For modern southern with a sleeker, modern atmosphere, take a look at Watermark in The Gulch. For more casual, down-home southern, Monell's in Germantown (served family style at communal tables).

          1. re: TLF

            I want to stay on the romantic side and I really like the look of both Watermark and The Standard. Capitol Grille keeps coming up. Staying near downtown makes sense for us as well. We should have an eclectic group of eaters so I'm curious which you would recommend? Thanks again for all your time.

            1. re: deluxe

              Capital Grille is the finest restaurant of that bunch by far, and plenty romantic. (The Hermitage Hotel is a fabulous building, historic, with an award-winning Art Deco men's room. Seriously.) It's going to be more contemporary cuisine than the others. There's a different chef now, but the previous chef was on the bleeding edge, working with foams and sous vide and the like. I think the current group doesn't do that as much, but it's still going to be more bleeding edge than Watermark, which will be more contemporary than The Standard.

              I would just take a look at the online menus and see which sounds best to you and your group.

              1. re: deluxe

                My choice would be Fleming Steak on West End followed by the Capitol Grille. Neither have ever disappointed my guests.

                1. re: Brawny

                  Fleming's is a chain restaurant in a strip shopping center. It would be way, way, way down on my list of restaurants for a visitor. If they wanted steaks -- which they haven't mentioned at all -- I'd at least recommend The Palm.

                  1. re: TLF

                    Staying at Opryland is a big mistake in my opinion. It is very out of the way and there is nothing out that way that will be much interest to you. I suggest finding one of the many nice hotels in town.

                    1. re: brooky

                      I agree with Brooky. We were in Nashville three weeks ago and Opryland Hotel is still there and happily in business. But the huge entertainment area/shopping center just up river (immediately adjacent) is totally closed and there is chain link fence surrounding it. The flood last spring wiped the area out and as I understand it, they are fighting over who gets what from the insurance.

                      There are many charming parts of Nashville that won't the the downer of going past a huge ghost town. With no restaurants other than the very expensive offerings of Opryland Hotel.

        2. We are booked in at Capitol Grille for Saturday and pretty excited. Already impressed with the staff from just booking the reservation. I appreciate all your help and I will provide feedback upon my return.

          5 Replies
            1. re: deluxe

              I know that it is too late to help now, and hope that all went well.

              At the Gaylord, there is a nice steakhouse, the Old Hickory, that impressed us. In my review, the only issue that I had was the size of the portions - gigantic. I spoke to the GM about offering "small plates," instead of the monster plates. The food was all prepared very well, and the service was quite good. We loved that they had a fromager, who knew his cheeses well, plus he had a wonderful selection. He was happy too, as we were his first clients in years, who asked for the cheese course after the meal - though our server was confused by that request. The formager was delighted.

              The Gaylord is something to behold, and not really my style. It was like Epcot Under Glass, but the Old Hickory was worth the efforts, the shock of the building and we'd definitely go back, especially as we now know how large the servings are. Even when we returned, two nights later, with a group, we tried to tell them that all of the sides would feed the entire table, but the host did not believe me. If one lived in the area, and wanted to have copious doggie bags, that would fill the bill. if one is a traveler, without a full kitchen, then it's way over the top.

              Again, hope that the trip went well, and that the b'day celebration was wonderful.


              1. re: deluxe

                We've dined at several Capitol Grille locations, from DC to Phoenix, and all have been good. I rate them above the Morton's and Ruth's, and we've had to dine (as guests) at many of those. Capitol takes things up a notch, and I have actually found that their beef is better than some locally-owned, chef-driven steakhouses. Normally, I will always give a big nod to the local folk, and take a pass on the chains and even mini-chains.

                Hope that the Nashville branch exceeded your expectations.


                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  The Capitol Grille in Nashville is not affiliated with the chain.


                  1. re: KathyNashville

                    Thank you for that info. Due to the name (you can see who did not search each version of Capitol Grille/Capital Grille - the spelling should have registered with me - Duh!), I made some incorrect assumptions.



              2. The night went off without a hitch. The service was great and the steaks fit the bill. Our waiters were incredible. After a nice bottle of wine the bill did get a little high but the smile on the girlfriends face made it worth it.

                Thanks again for all the help.

                1 Reply
                1. re: deluxe

                  Glad it was a successful outing!