The Wild Hare

August 4, 2011

The Wild Hare
316 White Bridge Road
Nashville, TN 37209

The restaurant is a homey space with built-in wooden booths on the periphery and a long communal table in the middle.  The design and the conceptualization of the restaurant is meant to cater to families.  The menu offers classic American dishes at a good price point.  There are appetizers and salads to start; main course options include pizzas, sandwiches, or entrees.  Burgers are offered at half portions, for $5.5 (regular portions: $9)–a good option for kids or not-so-hungry adults.  Basic food, basic pricing makes for good family dinner pit stops, but some of the dishes were a bit too basic.

We ordered three starters, all ample in size to share: The tempura vegetables had a nice texture on the outside and the veggie insides had the right temperature and consistency–but the accompanying jalapeno gouda and onion dip seemed to undercut the dish’s lightness.  The tomato stack ($6) had mozzarella and basil with balsamic dressing. It was light an refreshing.  The fried calamari ($8) was served with a peppercorn aioli.  I appreciated the inclusion of  squid tentacles, but the dish’s taste overall was nondescript.

Our entrees, all ordered to be shared, did not get off to a good start.  After a thirty minute wait–with no explanation for the delay, the Wild Hare pizza ($8) came out.  It was undercooked, so the slices sagged in our hands as we picked them up, and the pie’s caramelized onions, bacon, and ricotta cheese just didn’t seem to come together. Our dining companions, Nick and Nora, had been before and they concluded that it was best to stay away from the pizzas.  The fried catfish ($9) had a nice, cornmeal-textured coating that contrasted nicely with the delicate fish, savory and peppery throughout.  The roasted whole chicken ($13) came halved, and was delicate enough to easily take off the bone. Some at the table liked the flavoring and moistness, though I found it to be somewhat bland.

Wines are now available.  Management has remained true to its vision–keeping the prices low, while selecting great wines, such as the Alamos Malbec ($7).  They’ve even gone so far as to carry the canned Sophia Coppola bubbly Blanc de Blancs ($8) to stay consistent with their selection of canned beers.

We went arrived at the restaurant around 6:30 when it was just beginning to fill up. When we left the lines were out the door. Get there early for a table.

For another review, see Nashville Restaurants.



Dinner on the Yellow Porch

January 30, 2010

I had dinner with a friend at Yellow Porch (734 Thompson Ln., Berry Hill area) the other night. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, and it seemed like the perfect place for a few glasses of wine and a good meal. When we arrived the restaurant was packed, and we were lucky to snag the last parking spot. Parking is a premium there, because if the lot is full you might end up braving the mall parking lot. We were sat in a quiet corner with a window overlooking the porch, which was closed for winter.

The server arrived to take our drink orders and bring a basket of fresh bread, accompanied by some vinaigrette  with some cheese  floating in it. Although the vinaigrette did not look appetizing, I ate too much of it while we lingered over the wine and pondered the menu.  V and I debated the trout. I settled on a baby green salad  for $3.95 and Pasta Bettola (Penne pasta in a vodka cream sauce with tomatos and garlic) for $12.95. I should have tried something more adventurous, but I was looking for some comfort food.  The salad was fresh and light with a tart balsamic vinaigrette. The penne pasta was too salty and garlicky. Despite my misgivings at dinner, I reheated it for the lunch next day and found it more to my liking. V’s dish was over the top with flavors. The fish rested atop stalks of broccolini that were perched on sweet potato gnocchi–all of which floated in a pork broth. In addition, next to the fish was a single fried cheddar and pork ravioli that looked a lot like a fried wanton. Yes, we knew all this from the menu and wondered if it could actually be tasty. The individual items were fresh and cooked properly. However, that pork broth was just too potent. There is nothing subtle about pork broth, and I can’t see any reason to pair it with gnocchi and fish. We were too full to order desert, but thrilled to learn they make it all in house. The over-the-top pork-of-some-form dish is undoubtedly a Nashville specialty. I can think of a number of restaurants including Park Cafe and Mambu, where these dishes can be found. Yellow Porch is not the best of the group. However, YP’s prices, ranging from $13-$26 with many in the $15-$17 range, are the best in town. All told, the Yellow Porch is a good place to go for fairly priced food and a few glasses of wine. The menu also has a nice selection of vegetarian options. Next time, however, I might just stick with the appetizers.


Yellow Porch on Urbanspoon