Best of Nashville: Mama Mia’s

Lately Jon and I have been having date nights pretty much every Friday.  Neither of us feel like cooking or doing dishes after a long work week so we figure: why not grab a bite out?!  Well, I have plans for a girl’s night tomorrow so we switched things up and had our date night last night. It was so refreshing!  It was rainy and cold outside and all three of the doggies were going a little crazy – perfect time to go out!

I told Jon to pick a place and surprise me (which I never do!  I love food and want to know what I should be getting hungry for!)…and I was completely surprised…to the point I thought we were trying another restaurant that shares the same parking lot!  Jon surprised me and picked Mama Mia’s off of our Best of Nashville challenge to-do list.  It was voted #1 Italian restaurant in Nashville.  For anyone familiar with Nashville – Mama Mia’s is in the same parking lot as Back to Cuba  Cafe (on my list of places to try!!)

If you read any online reviews of Mama Mia’s prior to going they are all pretty much the same: disregard location, food is great (artistic liberty here, folks).  Well, that is totally the case!  All the reviewers are correct – yippe!  I will stop writing now.  Good bye.  Just kidding!

When you drive up you really do think: Why did my husband bring me here for date night?!  I had been so excited when I thought we were going Back to Cuba 🙂 and we are going here…this place doesn’t even have a sign on it.  Oh, there’s the sign right above the door: Mama Mia’s.  Italian, honey?  Yep!

This was a very good pick as we really do not eat Italian all that often (not counting pizza which we have homemade about once a week).  I am talking about authentic Italiano!  They do not take reservations so we wanted to get there early.  We arrived at about 6:15.  There were only about two or three other tables occupied when we got there (out of about 15 or 20 four tops).  We were promptly seated  at a booth for two.  We ordered water but this is a BYOB place (corkage fee is $5/bottle, I think).

I tried to take pictures for documentation purposes but it was too dark in the restaurant for them to come out.  A lot of the online reviews said the restaurant was very romantic (low lighting, white table cloths)- I didn’t find it super romantic, but I also didn’t find that it was unromantic.  Is that a double negative?  It was almost too dark to see the menu at our table.  The service was good.

We started off with the Bruschetta Napolitano (or something very close to that – sorry, they do not have an online menu for me to reference! But I know we did NOT order the seasonal bruschetta which had crab meat on it).  The bruschetta was a-mazing!  Each slice had two pieces of pepperoni (I think), melted cheese, tomato and Italian parsley.  The plate was served with oil and balsamic vinegar around it.  It was very good but I prefer basil to parlsey…though that didn’t stop me from helping Jon finish the brushetta.

We each ordered an entrée and entrees come with garlic bread and a house salad.  The garlic was very good also.  They were mini loafs; perfectly moist and very flavorful!  I do have to say that my Mom’s homemade garlic bread is the best garlic bread anywhere!  The house salad was not very exciting or good.  It was a bowl of lettuce with a ton of black olives (which I don’t like) and one large tomato slice on top.  I had the vinaigrette dressing – there was too much on the salad and it was not very flavorful.  The salad was pretty much an overall failure…but everything else made up for that!

I ordered sausage rustica (again, or something like that).  It was spaghetti with tons of sausage, sauce and peppers…and was delicious!  I loved it!  I was a little worried when I saw how much sausage was on the pasta but it was perfect.  I had a bite of sausage with every piece of pepper and pasta.  It was also enough to bring home half for dinner tonight (or if Jon plays his cards right, his dinner tomorrow).  It really was a great dish!

Jon had lobster ravioli and loved his dish.  I can’t personally comment on the taste but Jon said it was delicious and was extremely excited to find chunks of lobster not only in the ravioli but in the sauce.  He had no problems cleaning his plate!

We would both definitely return to Mama Mia’s!!

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