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Lightning Review: blvd Nashville2013 Belmont Blvd. Nashville http://blvdnashville.com/
Has Arnold Myint finally redeemed himself to me? Maybe, it’s a start anyway. After a disastrous visit to Suzy Wong’s, and a few up and down visits to PM, I wasn’t exactly a huge fan of the chef-turned-bravo-tv-star, but lunch at blvd today may have me changing my opinion. Blvd Nashville opened earlier this year in the old Cha Chah location, intended to be a more casual option with both table and counter service in addition to grab-and-go options. I had heard good things about blvd Nashville and jumped at the chance to give it a try when a colleague suggested it for lunch.
The interior of blvd Nashville is quite nice, with a mix of several rooms and yet still a modern, open feel. One of the front rooms is enclosed walls of windows, one of which even rolls up for open air dining, allowing ample natural light to illuminate the large, family style wood table and other exposed wood detailing. This room would make a great place for medium to large groups. It was an unseasonably warm December day, so we decided to dine on the front porch.
In anticipation of my visit I asked my Twitter followers what to order, and @blvdnashville responded that they were in the midst of changing their menu and the one online wasn’t current. Whoever runs the account suggested the hot chicken sandwich and spiced madras curry fries. Impressed with their online attentiveness and recommendation, I took their advice and ordered exactly that. Kudos to blvdnashville for monitoring and responding to twitter inquires! They did however lose points in my book because the recommended curry fries were not available as a side item (salt and pepper are the only option if you want fries as your side) and I had to order them individually for $5. However, this did lead me to choose the sun dried tomato and feta macaroni salad, which was delicious! The flavors were vibrant and the salad did a wonderful job of extinguishing the fire left on my tongue from the spiced fries and hot chicken.
The fries came out first and they were beautifully presented, thin and crispy, and spilling out of a white bowl. But boy were they spicy! I like hot things, maybe not as much as Josh “Side of Hot,” our hot chicken super enthusiaist, but these fries were just too hot. The powdery spices didn’t quite coat the fries, but it was more than a dusting. The heat was so much that it totally overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the french fries. I just wish there was a little less heat. The fries themselves seemed like they would have been really good, and I’d like to try some of the other variations. The hot chicken sandwich came out shortly thereafter, and it was also beautifully presented. Served on a small hoagie roll, the fried chicken rested on a thin layer of spinach and was topped with stone ground mustard, habanero, ranch, sirracha, lettuce, onion and cornichon. The boneless, white meat chicken was high quality and perfectly fried for a crispy crust. My first bite didn’t product much heat, but subsequent bites allowed the heat to continue to build. This heat isn’t on par with some of your traditional hot chicken joints, but it is just hot enough to give you a bead or two of sweat on your brow. The sandwich was both delicious and beautiful, and the macaroni salad was the perfect accompaniment. Next time I’ll skip the curry fries in favor of another variety, or forego fries all together and get the Brussels sprout salad instead.
Overall I was very pleased with my visit to blvd Nashville. The restaurant is welcoming and beautifully appointed, the menu isn’t overwhelming, and offers a nice variety of options, especially for lunch. The flavors were all good and the presentation was wonderful. Arnold Myint, if you’re trying to get back in my good graces, you’re certainly on the right track, as I’ll definitely be back to blvd for lunch, brunch, or dinner.