- Sessue Hayakawa
These days, when you head East across the river, you are faced with an ever-increasing list of dining choices. From a drive-through pizza and wings joint to the double culinary bliss of Chef Margot McCormack, East Nashville has much to offer the food seeker. Much of the charm is found in the pure lack of chains, with independent operators popping up on every corner and transporting us all over the globe with their offerings.
Eastland Cafe is a prime example of the type of place that can make you feel as though you're not in Nashville anymore. From the open dining room with views of the kitchen, to the patio protected from the world by crawling ivy and brightly colored umbrellas, Eastland Cafe has much to offer. A staff with a casual air and easily shared knowledge serves to make the experience even more comfortable, and the range of dishes can satisfy the pickiest of eaters. A daily happy hour and a respectable children's menu rounds out the universal appeal.
On our most recent visit, we were greeted genuinely and escorted to our table on the back patio, where our server was visibly excited about the specials and eager to suggest wine pairings. We opted to go with several small plates instead of entrees, and they did not disappoint. A cheese plate arrived with mounds of pink peppercorn chevre, creamy buttermilk blue cheese, golden manchego and spears of crispy flatbread. Incredibly tender braised short rib ravioli sat atop a delicate white truffle potato puree, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. Large grilled shrimp stuffed with sweet crabmeat was accompanied by fresh vanilla scented corn and cilantro. We rounded out our meal with Snickers gelato, which was a perfect balance of salty and sweet. As we strolled down the sidewalk following our light yet wholly satisfying meal, basking up what was left of the pink and purple sunset, a sigh of content escaped us both.Tip: Don't pass up the green chile mac & cheese - comfort food with a kick.
97 Chapel Avenue (Corner of Chapel and Eastland)
Monday - Thursday 4:30-6:30
Friday & Saturday 4:30-6
$5 Specialty Martinis
$5 Appetizers (pizzas, quesadilla, fried brie wedge, pot stickers)
$3 Premium Beers
Reservations: Recommended but not necessary