Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the silly goose

new favorite nashville eatery

"Would you like a basil lemonade?" Who, I ask you, can resist these words on a sunny afternoon off, particularly after having hopped off a motorcycle into a bright, cheerful, cozy restaurant? I certainly couldn't, and so began our mid-week lunch at The Silly Goose in East Nashville.

We sat at one of the four-top tables in the intimate space, which has high ceilings, original art and murals, and a few bar seats along the front glass walls.  Our server was friendly, hospitable, and attentive.  Just over my shoulder, three more smiling folks worked calmly in the open kitchen.  We sipped our basil lemonades as we looked over the menu, which features bold flavors and some locally-supplied produce.

Wonderful dining partner that he is, my husband allowed me to order for both of us.  We began with the Mexico City couscous dish pictured above, which was infused with red chili and garnished with two vibrant pepper purées.  Though the menu description includes chicken, ours was modified to include avocado and served with the chèvre on the side (Charles reported that it was mild and creamy).  I loved the balance of flavors and textures: mildly spicy, chewy couscous, bursts of sweet, smooth mango, creamy slices of avocado, and the occasional smear of zesty purée.  Washed down with a refill of sweet-sour, herbaceous lemonade!

We also ordered the Wizard wrap, with cheese-less pesto instead of aioli.  The refreshing combination of fennel and roasted red pepper played beautifully against the deep flavors of marinated portobello mushroom and balsamic reduction.  We chose a side salad (herb couscous was the other choice), which was a generous portion of fresh, local greens.

I thought that was going to be it.  I was well pleased by our selections, and was already planning which menu items (Fielding couscous, Goose Stack salad, beet-apple-ginger juice) that I would try on our next visit.  But, following a friendly conversation with the main cook about how the restaurant wishes to accommodate all diners' food preferences, it came out that one of the daily ice cream flavors was vegan.  Mango-lime ice cream, made with coconut milk.  Of course, this led to our ordering a bowl, which led to three luscious scoops being delivered to our table.  We devoured the smooth, sweet, toothsome treat, and I leaned back in my chair with a feeling of absolute contentment.  We lingered for a few minutes before heading out on the bike.  I was certain that we would return.  Soon.

The Silly Goose
1888 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN


  1. You had me at basil lemonade.

    Must add this to our list of places to try.

  2. Basil in lemonade? What a fantastic idea!!