Nashville Mangia

If you’ve never experienced Chef Nick Pellegrino’s evening feast at his restaurant Mangia Nashville, you really owe it to yourself to make a reservation.

Note we didn’t just say “eat” at Mangia, because it is indeed an experience. The multi-course meal runs for hours, long enough for the DVD of “The Godfather” playing on the restaurant televisions for ambiance has to be restarted. (And that’s a long movie!)

Sit with old friends or make new ones at communal tables as Chef Nick and his staff take you on a culinary tour of Italy. The specific dishes change seasonally as Pellegrino sources the freshest available ingredients, but diners can expect an antipasti plate to snack on while settling in followed by a salad course, pasta, family-style main course, vegetables and dessert over the course of the meal.

Mangia just kicked off their new Winter Feast menu on January 3 with delectable dishes like a bracing beef short rib bolognese with rotini pasta, porcini-dusted tenderloin and roasted chicken for main dishes (because two are better than one!) and sweet treats of limoncello tiramisu and zeppole (Italian donuts) for dessert.

The food is just part of the experience, albeit a delicious part. There’s festive Italian music, Chef Nick playing drums with his ladle and almost always a conga line that breaks out between the primo and secondo courses to help make room for more food. Join the back of the line and dance your way around the dining room! Wine, beer and cocktails are available to accompany your meal, and reservations are a must since these weekend feasts often sell out well in advance.

If you’re not up for the full feast, Mangia Nashville also offers a more casual à la carte menu of classic Italian favorites during the week including pasta, pizza, paninis and several other delicious options that don’t begin with the letter “p.” This menu is available Monday through Thursday and reservations are generally not required. The restaurant is closed on Sundays for private events, so if you’d like to rent out the whole place for a special occasion, call 615-750-5233 or email to inquire.

Heather Sinyard