Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mambu Restaurant and Bar

   Mambu is set off of West End Avenue in a small house that can be spotted easily because of the valet stand out front and huge front patio section. As we walked up the ramp into the restaurant, we were both pleasantly surprised at how quaint and quirky it was decorated and our excitement for this new experience began to grow. The décor is one of my favorites in Nashville, right up their with Firefly in Green Hills, and definitely sets the tone for the meal to come.

   The Happy Hour specials change but our waiter told us it was $6 Wines and $6 well drinks. I have also seen them run $5 frink specials for Mojitos, Margaritas, and more so maybe call ahead to find out what they are offering that night. I sat this one out on the alcohol front and Cole had a glass of the house Cabernet. Our waiter had our mouths watering while thoroughly explaining the many featured specials and the menu was full of appetizing choices. The menu also features small plates which invokes a Tapas style feel and is perfect for sharing and trying more than one option.

 We started off with the Corn Fritters ($7) that were the perfect combination of spicy and sweet, with an unexpected surprise of black beans and green chiles inside. The fritters came on top of a sweet chili sauce that was great for dipping but not enough if you are sharing and both love the sauce as much as we did.

 We were in the mood for a steak but with our $50 budget in mind, opted to share the Flat Iron Steak ($21) in a red wine demi glace with sautéed Zucchini on top of hickory-bacon Gruyere macaroni and cheese. The waiter kindly separated the steak into two meals without us having to ask and even with splitting, I wasn’t able to eat all of it. The steak was cooked to perfection and the zucchini was grilled with just the right texture to compliment the steak. The star of the show however was no doubt the bacon macaroni and cheese The macaroni and cheese is as good as any I’ve had but the bacon hints, while not overpowering, are definitely present and catapult this dish to legendary status. It is worth a trip to Mambu just to try a bowl of this heavenly sent concoction.

  Mambu is a combination of delicious food in a fun setting and is perfect for taking out of town guests, hosting a small to medium size dinner party, or practically any occasion you can think of. Mambu also jumped out to me as being a great fit for a first date, not only providing conversation topics but also making you look like a Nashville Insider with amazing taste. Either way, grab a friend and try out this hidden gem just off of the beaten path.

Ratings for Mambu: (Scale 1-10)
Happy Hour - 5.5 (Based on the specials the night we went)
Taste - 8
Ambiance - 10
Overall - 8


MAmbu on Urbanspoon

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