360 Bistro is everything a high-end neighborhood restaurant should be. Chef driven, fine dining. On a most recent note, I just received word that 360 Bistro was named in the top 100 wine restaurants on open table and the only restaurant to be mentioned in Nashville and Tennessee. 360 Bistro has been named a winner of the Open Table Diners’ Choice Awards for the Top 100 Wine Lists in America
As we looked around 360 Bistro, we took note of the clientele, and could tell there were a lot of regulars who don’t mind dressing up a bit past jeans to come and enjoy a fine dining experience. At the same time, it still feels like an approachable neighborhood restaurant, even if that neighborhood invites mostly West Meade and Belle Meade neighbors who can afford the price points. The food is pricy, but is justified by the quality. It’s not the same old menu seen in so many restaurants. Preparation, presentation, quality and creativity abound under the direction of Chef Marco Sedda of Florence.
I believe it a good call to bring in a chef with Florentine training and skill to expand the horizon of local fare in Nashville. The Florentines do everything fancy. They even ride their motorcycles in suits. So while you might see a pork chop, a scallop and a seared tuna, expect a little more in flavor, presentation and innovation. It’s not exactly down home cooking, but it feels as good as that, only elevated, fancier, as the food made us sing and dance a little.
It’s not just food that garners the attention. 360 Bistro is a true wine bar. Not only were we surrounded by hundreds of bottles of wines stacked up perfectly, the extensive wine list was delivered to us on a iPad. Wine is listed by Country, Region and price point with adequate explanations of each bottle.
We narrowed it down to three Italian reds and chose what we believed was the true winner, an Italian red which was so pleasing that we a little disappointed to grab the last bottle. It was described as a soft, floral wine with pretty red fruits that meld into tobacco, spices and minerals. The wine possesses lovely inner perfume to match its accessible personality. This was one of the lower priced bottles of wine on the menu at $55.
We shared the carpaccio which was showered with finely chopped provolone, a clever and innovative way to use cheese in the dish. The next time, I’m not sharing, because as great as the food was, this was my most favorite bite of the night. The walnut dressing had just enough of a bite to bring it all to life.
Our next course was a butter lettuce salad with white anchovies. It was good, but I could have used just touch more dressing. We all agreed, however, that less dressing is much better than drowning a salad.
On the way to the restaurant the three of us had a talk about what to try. We were all in agreement that we must order the carrot gnocchi with a lamb ragu. This dish exceeded our expectations. The gnocchi is as tender as can be, contrasted to the umph of the lamb ragu which is flavorful and the portion generous. The lamb is slowly braised, flavored with sage, and fall apart tender. This is a dish that can be easily shared as a first course between 3 or 4 people. Please excuse the picture. This is a heavenly dish that is so much better than how I was able to capture it.
It may be cliche to say that the seafood was perfectly cooked, so let me try to describe what perfectly cooked means to me. The shrimp and scallops melted in my mouth. One second less and they might have been undercooked. One second more and you may not notice, but they timed it exactly right. We are all skilled in searing scallops and delicately preparing shrimp, but that didn’t stop us from going on and on about this dish at the table because we know how genius it is to get that wonderful tender texture.
The tuna looks great and the flavors were spot on, but it may have been the one miss of the evening, but only by a tad. Unlike the shrimp and scallops, the tuna was overcooked, although it doesn’t look like that on the picture.
As far as desserts, the picture of the molten chocolate cake does not do justice to this sweet, chocolatey dream of a dessert, topped with ice cream, surrounded with creme anglaise. Nothing beats this.
I love french pastries and this dessert reminded me of one big french pastry. Not too sweet, delicate and just a little bit different than the average dessert served around town.
In summary, we love 360 Bistro for all the right reasons. It does its neighborhood well with wonderful selections of fine food and wine. The only criticism I have is that 360 Bistro is restaurant and wine bar , not a sports bar, and we would appreciate the ambiance a little more on a Saturday night if the flat screen TV wasn’t on. Of course, that wouldn’t stop me from returning. It’s just sad that “fine dining” has been redefined, and wherever there is a bar (if even a small restaurant bar) the flat screen TV will dominate