First Bite: Music City Tippler



A few weeks ago, I told you about attending a pre-opening event at Music City Tippler. It was quite a party that Nicki and I attended, so I was curious how it would be on a regular night, just going in for dinner and drinks. Luckily, they invited a few of us back to try out the dinner menu shortly after opening. I thought they’d tuck us away in some private room where we would be sharing plates from the kitchen, but they had us in the main dining room and invited us to order from the menu, all on the house. Yessir, don’t mind if I do.

I started off with a cocktail, the Santeria, their take on sangria, which includes a nice kick from housemade ginger beer. And later, I had a second. Yep. Though I wish I'd had one of their Moscow Mules. I had tasted a couple of their cocktails at the Bartenders’ Bash, so I know these guys aren’t messing around. The Tippler is also the first bar in town to serve draft cocktails, which are supposedly better-tasting in many cases than ones mixed to order, and are quite popular in New York, Chicago and other large cities.

Anyway, the first round of drinks comes with complimentary house-made chips which were quite tasty (and less filling than bread, which is appreciated). But then it was time for appetizers. My husband and I shared a table with Beth Sachan and her husband (check out her review here), so we got a couple and shared them.

The crab cakes were a hit among the omnivores and we all enjoyed the mushroom pot pie, which was quite rich (in a good way). Three different kinds of very savory mushrooms served as duxelles and then wrapped in phyllo.

Red and gold beets, feta mousse, frisée, pine nuts, lemon-thyme vinaigrette
  • Red and gold beets, feta mousse, frisée, pine nuts, lemon-thyme vinaigrette
We also got the beet salad which was not only beautiful, but tasty, too. The lemon-thyme vinaigrette was the perfect accompaniment. The salad helped lighten up from the pot pie.

Though I could have made a dinner from another salad and a selection of sides, the chef prepared a special vegetarian entrée for me that included charred vegetables and puréed local fava beans, a crispy chickpea patty, and frisée with a Mediterranean flair.

The executive chef, Abe Tsavalakoglou, has created a very American rotisserie-style menu, but there are definite Greek and Mediterranean influences here and there, which really liven it up. My husband had the scallops, which he said were perfect, and we also had side dishes of the fingerling potatoes (so good that I took the leftovers home) and a plate of white and green asaparagus with marcona almonds (so good that there wasn't much left).

The vegetarian entree: crispy chickpea patty, charred vegetables, fava purée, frisée
  • The vegetarian entree: crispy chickpea patty, charred vegetables, fava purée, frisée
We were all pretty stuffed by the end of the meal, but didn’t want to skip dessert. There are currently three on the menu, so we ordered one of each to share. The clear winner was the peach cobbler, which came with sea salt and toffee gelato. Luckily, the portion size was generous.

We also enjoyed the banana cake, which was served with vanilla gelato, banana-caramel sauce and candied pecans. The least favorite dessert was a surprise, though. I actually liked the chocolate cake (which is vegan, I was told, and served with chocolate-coconut ganache, rosemary-infused berries, rose wine pearls, and a riff on a Rice Krispie treat), but no one else at our table or an adjoining table liked it. It is not the decadently rich chocolate cake that it appears to be, but I appreciated that. My husband prefers his chocolate cake have a much higher fat content, I believe.

Overall, the food was quite good. Along with the dinner and dessert menus, there’s a late-night bar menu with select items from the dinner menu that are appropriate for snacking. We went on a weeknight and the crowd was lively, but we could still hear each other talk. Though on the weekends when it’s more crowded, it might get a bit loud (if it’s too loud, you’re … well, you know). I would describe the atmosphere as fun but also elegant.

The big, open dining room and bar areas make it easy to spot friends and mingle in large groups, but there are also small tables along the walls as well as quieter spots and several patios. There’s a little something for everyone.

Music City Tippler
1922 Adelicia St.
Full dining: 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
(Bar stays open later)
Closed Sundays

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