Monday, November 1, 2010


   I hope your Halloween weekend was totally kickass!  Mine may have been a little too kickass considering I spent the majority of yesterday sleeping in various rooms of the house and never quite made it to the basement (where my computer is).

   For the first day of November, I thought I would share an amazing little restaurant with you:  mÄmbu.  It is set up in an old house in Nashville near the West End/Vanderbilt area.  I love places that are set up in old houses where they leave all the walls fully in tact.  It makes for a more intimate setting.  However, I can not comment so much on the indoor decor of mÄmbu because it was a beautiful October night and we sat outside.  mÄmbu focuses on seasonal, local, and environmentally-friendly fare.  Not every food item is local, but if they can get it local, they do.  Seasonal menus make me ridiculously happy because it means they are constantly putting in the effort to give you the best possible food.  Also, it keeps you coming back to see what has been added for the season.

   We started our meal off with "Tree-tinis."  It is kind of an expensive cocktail at $9 (not everything is the that expensive), but for every Tree-tini sold a tree is planted!  It is made with Veev Acai vodka which is smooth and delicious.  If you like Cosmos, you'll love this drink!
   It took us way too long to decide on food items.  While the menu is relatively short, there are so many options.  I thought the menu was a little schizophrenic at first because there are Asian options, some weird French-fusion things, upscale Southern... but after eating the food, it all made sense.  Ingredients are chosen then cooked in the style and cuisine that is best suited for that ingredient.

   We started with mussels in a spicy coconut broth.  It was different than I expected and therefor slightly hesitant at first; I was thinking more Thai-like.  But the broth was delicate with a just a hint of spice that perfectly complimented the incredibly meaty, sweet, tender (HUGE!) mussels.  These were hands down the BEST mussels I have ever had!
   My entree was confit duck leg with andouille cassoulet.  Holy.  Crap.  So good.  The cassoulet was amazing.  It had kale, carrots, caramelized onions, and delicious roasted tomatoes.  Not to mention the artisanal adouille sausage that was thinly sliced and added a lovely meaty spice to the beans.  And the duck.  Slow cooked to perfection then the skin crisped up before service.  The meat is fall off the bone tender and packed full of flavor, but no gaminess because it is farm raised duck.

   My mom had risotto with winter vegetables and diver scallops.  The saffron was in perfect balance in the risotto and the scallops were properly seared.  And again, featured the amazing roasted local cherry tomatoes.
   I hear mÄmbu has a wonderful coconut creme pie, but alas, we were too stuffed to try any desserts.  Guess that will just have to wait until next time!

1806 Hayes St.
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
(615) 329-1293

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