Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Union Common

Union Common, located in Midtown, was not on my radar whatsoever... and they've been open for two months!  My friends MM and MC met up with me for dinner, but when we got to Sinema (sans reservation) we were told the wait was 3.5 hours.  Seriously!  I'm sure I'll try Sinema another time, but it kind of stinks that they save *zero* flex tables for walk-ins; I like restaurants to have a friendly mix.

We called Union Common, and they set a reservation for us in 30 minutes, perfect time to get to midtown from where we were.  We valeted my car at the restaurant and walked into the space.  It had a real art deco vibe to me, from the decor to the menus.  It wasn't jam-packed with people, which surprised us at first, so we didn't know what to expect.

My friends ordered cocktails (which were good, but had a bit too much ice!) and we perused the menu.  There are LOTS of shareables on the menu, which was great for our foodie crew.  MM and MC are more adventurous than I am, so it made for a really great experience for this junior foodie!  We decided to order a few small plates to start.

First up was one of my favorites of the whole meal, the Crispy Duck.  The duck was nestled on polenta and parmesan with some delicious cornbread crackling.  I really, really enjoyed this dish.  There was lots of crunch and flavor.  We scraped the dish clean!

Crispy Duck

The other starter dish we indulged in was Roasted Bone Marrow.  It had a pickled garnish on top and was served with mustard and toast.  They gave us tiny spoons that were very helpful in scooping the marrow out of the bone.  It was excellent!  Bone marrow might sound bizarre, but if you're a meat-lover, this is just a truly awesome thing to try.

Roasted Bone Marrow

For our main dish, we ordered the smaller Dry-Aged Ribeye, which is supposedly aged 50 days.  We had it medium-rare, and they served it for us as medallions so we could share more easily.  It was very good.  In fact, my MM said that the meal was better than Kayne Prime, a Nashville steakhouse I've got on my wishlist.

Dry-Aged Ribeye & Brussels Sprouts

For our sides, we ordered the Lamb Sausage and Brussels Sprouts.  I do not like lamb, but I did try the asparagus.  Not bad!  The Brussels Sprouts were great.  It seems everyone in Nashville is doing their take on Brussels Sprouts (it's the new fried pickles, I suppose), and this one had pork belly (!), parmesan, pine nuts, and sorghum.  Sorghum is another thing I'm seeing all over Nashville menus.  It's the new molasses, or something.

Lamb Sausage

On impulse, we also ordered ANOTHER small plate:  Nashville Hot Sweetbreads.  They came fried, like popcorn chicken, with a great buttermilk dressing.  Yup, I tasted some offal!  And honestly, this batch tasted like Buffalo chicken fried sweetbreads, in a really great way.  MC told me the texture was still similar to other sweetbreads she'd had, so I felt particularly proud to try it.

Nashville Hot Sweetbread

While my friends are savory fans, I saved some room for something sweet.  I chose the Banana Foster Bread Pudding, because I am on a bread pudding ROLL lately.  It was served with a bourbon whiskey ice cream, which was a great complement to the dish.  Everyone tried some!

Banana Foster Bread Pudding

Overall, I've got to say that Union Common really hits the nail on the head for excellent food and tons of menu options.  Our table of three had four cocktails, an entree, five small plates, and a dessert, and the check split was around $65 each before tip.  Excellent, right?  The small plates range in price around $6-15, and the entrees are on the higher end.  There are some very high-price steak options too, but we loved the variety we got by sharing.

I sincerely hope I get a chance to come back, as the waitstaff was great to boot!  They need an extra valet or two (especially on a Friday night, people!) but I'm glad the service is available.  You need to try this place!

Union Common on Urbanspoon

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  1. This looks awesome...and I am really shocked I have never heard of it. I have been wanting to try Sinema but had no idea they had no wiggle room for walk-ins! That's insane.

  2. Well, the hostess at Sinema said she'd be happy to seat me... in 3.5 hours. LOL! Union Common was not on my radar whatsoever, and yet it was just plain excellent. You gotta try it!


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