We attended near the end of their summer menu, and they make seasonal updates throughout the year. We arrived on time, and we were seated family style at one of a few large tables set up at Cool Cafe, their current location. (Word on the street is that they're moving at some point, so keep up on their Facebook page!) We were seated with other guests, which was very fun... we even ended up sharing bottles of wine with our tablemates.
I loved the antipasti! While I don't like olives (and made Dan eat some of my fried olives), I LOVE risotto and mozzarella. The housemade focaccia was delicious too. Everything is served family style, so you pass dishes around and take your portion. It reminded me of dinner at West Point in a really positive way, because we ate family style at meals too. I may have to try to make risotto cakes at home.
The seasonal salad was really interesting, since it combined fruits and tomatoes. Definitely a summer dish! I'm not a salad person, so this was a nice alternative for me.
My favorite dishes were definitely the pastas! Seriously, I can't even describe. I want to eat them all the time. The bolognese was delicious and the orrechiette was awesome. By the time we got to the entrata, I'd had a lot of wine and didn't even remember to take photos. But I remember the chicken was moist and delicious, and Dan loved the roasted veggies.
Oh, and the other thing I forgot to mention... there's dancing. There's singing. I remember belting out "Summer Nights" from Grease at one point. And a women's conga line. Nights at Mangia Nashville feel like attending a wedding reception with a bunch of strangers, but everyone ends up leaving as friends. It's an event, in every sense of the word! The creator of Mangia, Nick, has made Friday and Saturday nights a true celebration.
The desserts were top notch. The panna cotta was incredible, and I ate it all. Everyone took delicious zeppole home, one of my favorite parts of the night. NO ONE is making ricotta doughnuts this good in Nashville, and Nick did it first!
This experience definitely had Dan's seal of approval; in fact, he remarked that he'd love to bring his (Italian) best friend there, which is very indicative of what he thought of the meal!