Reminds me of Manilow
The name Cabana reminds me of the Barry Manilow song Copacabana, the hottest spot north of Havana. I actually liked that song as a kid, it was fun listening to it and jump around the living room to the beat. I actually just played the song again right before I started typing this. The Copacabana Club in New York has this jaunty tune playing while one views the photo gallery, menus and services available. Again, I could not resist getting up from my chair to do a few turns and disco poses while the song was playing through my computer speakers. Listening to the song just took me back for a moment to my childhood in sunny So. L.A., CA, when I didn't have a care in the world.
So, going to the Cabana restaurant during restaurant week was an all around great surprise! I had not gone to Cabana before because of wrongful notions about the place. I had wrongfully thought Cabana might be cheesy like the Copacabana song, it was mostly about the bar drinks and not the food, that it was all about the singles scene, and the food needed a lot of help. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Cabana is not cheesy. There are really interesting seating areas for larger parties of 8 - 10, as well as smaller tables out of the hub-bub for 2. There is nothing cheesy about the interior. Cabana does have a good list of mixed drinks to offer, but it is not only about the drinks, there is a nice balance between fun creative bar food, entrees and the bar. I wouldn't say that Cabana is all about the singles scene either. Rather I would say it is a good place for gatherings to get together after work, after a round of golf, or just to get together. The biggest nice surprise is that the food was really tasty!
We went to Cabana during restaurant week because all the other places we wanted to go to were already booked. I did not know what to expect. I was not expecting good service because in years past, servers seemed to exhausted, "over it already" and almost put out by restaurant week. That was not the case at Cabana. Our waiter, although serving many tables, seemed to be on top of his game, got all the food, drinks and water out in a timely manner. There were people around us not doing restaurant week, so they were getting food off of the regular menu and off the regular drink menu. During restaurant week, we ordered the crab cake, puff pastry baked brie, pork tenderloin with sweet potato, and wild mushroom and gnocchi with truffle cream. For dessert was bread pudding. The crab cakes are generous, and made with lots of crab, not filler. The crab cake is quite possibly the best crab cake I have had in Nashville thus far. The baked brie was a nice slice of brie wrapped in pasty dough, and served with mixed berry preserves and really wonderful lavosh crackers. The combination of flavors and textures, again, was a happy surprise to me. The plating was visually pleasing, and the taste and texture were solidly good. When our entrees came, we were again pleasantly surprised! The gnocchi with mushroom and truffle cream was rich and umami. I took 1/2 home with me to enjoy again at lunch the next day. The pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes and asparagus also a winner. The aroma from the pork was so inviting, the pork was tender and went very well with the sweetness of the sweet potato. All in all, this restaurant week experience did its job and made me make arrangements to go back again as quickly as I could with a lot of friends. I had to "share my find"!
So, a couple weeks later after restaurant week, I arranged for an outing with 8 of my gal pals on Wednesday. Wednesday at Cabana from 4:00 - 10:00 pm is Girls Nite Out with all house drinks, house wines, special martinis, and most appetizers being $3. That is right gal pals out there, on Wednesday evenings, mix and match 5 drinks and apps, add tax and tip, and you are only paying $20. Our house wine pours were generous. The apps are very generous plates, all normally $6 - 10. Me and my gal pals got white bean humus, homemade potato chips with blue cheese, french fries with cheese sauce and ketchup, crab cakes, fried green tomatoes, chicken biscuits, country ham biscuits, tomato soup and grilled cheese, and BBQ pork wontons. Each app plate was more than enough to share with 8 gal pals. We all really liked the BBQ pork wontons a lot because the filling was delicious and the sorgham creamed corn sauce it came with was just super delicious. We ordered a 2nd plate for the table. We were so stuffed. My suggestion is to limit the number of apps to 2 per person because each plate has a lot of food on it. We all made this a meal, and we all were stuffed by the time we left. Another benefit to Girls Nite Out is that it easy on the wallet. When we all opened our check, we all were gasping in joy because we all were expecting to pay more than what was on the bill. One gal pal who came late, had only 2 drinks, had a bill of $6. Amazing huh!? We all were happy with the low cost bill and the very fun and tasty food we had. We all left saying we need to do Girls Night Out again.