Valentino's Shines in New Nashville Location
If it’s been awhile since you visited Valentino's Ristorante, you might have to ask for directions because the beloved Italian restaurant made a big move earlier this year. After almost three decades of serving upscale Italian food in a renovated mansion at 1907 West End Avenue, the kitchen packed up their pasta pots and settled in to new digs at 1808 Hayes St., still in the Midtown neighborhood, but in a slightly smaller space.
Management attempted to buy the location of their West End home for years, and every time their lease came due, they would search for potential new locales. The latest renewal came with an opportunity to take over a space that already has had a long history of restaurants in Midtown. 1808 Hayes St. has been home to popular spots like Mambu and Tartufo as well as less memorable incarnations such as Rosebud Bistro and Magnolia South.
Even without the benefit of the antique vibe of their former mansion home, Valentino’s has managed to maintain the ambiance of elegance in the smaller space. The house they now occupy is also a 19th century construction, and they’ve updated some of the decor with bold wallpaper, flowing window treatments and attractive seating options. Flexible dining spaces include romantic salons and the sultry bar area plus an expansive patio for al fresco dining.
Open for dinner seven nights a week, don’t forget about Valentino’s special Friday lunch service for an opportunity to treat yourself with some fantastic rustic Italian dishes and a glass of fine wine to kick off the weekend a little early. The dinner menu features Italian classics as well as updated versions of pasta and risotto dishes. Start with an antipasti choice of oven-baked shrimp with garlic lemon butter or pulled chicken served atop a flatbread with crispy pancetta, lemon béchamel, candied walnuts, smoked mozzarella and arugula.
Salads and soups are straight-ahead Italian from a traditional Caesar to the classic pasta e fagioli, a traditional Tuscan white bean soup with pancetta. Larger plates are shareable if you’re feeling generous or perfect for leftovers if you’re not. Bring on the meats like four different cuts of beef steaks or chicken Scarpariello and roasted rack of lamb. Seafood is also well-represented on Valentino’s menu in the form of a fisherman’s Cioppino seafood stew as well as a grilled salmon dish. Save room for dessert, because their tiramisu and tableside Bananas Foster for two are treats not to be missed.
Valentino’s has taken their slight downsizing and turned it into an advantage as they made dinner there even more intimate. Sometimes a little change is a good thing!
1808 Hayes Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37203