Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Firefly Grille

For those of you who follow us on Twitter, we apologize for the tease. We very much enjoyed Fiesta Azteca but learned after dining that they have a second location in Georgia. If you’ve been with us since the beginning, you know that we only blog about restaurants unique to Nashville, so although we very much enjoyed our meal and recommend it, we felt it only right to stick to the rules.

So tonight we ventured to Green Hills and a neighborhood favorite called the Firefly Grille. We’ve been spoiled dining mid-week and were caught off-guard when we called ahead for a table and were told it would be at least an hour and half before we could be seated. But Firefly was so worth the wait. Brian thinks this was the best meal yet and soon he’ll tell you why.

The Firefly Grille is conveniently located (for you suburbanites) in Green Hills , but a bit of a haul for us downtown dwellers. It’s tucked into Bandywood in the “bar district” and surrounded by quaint little shops. If you’re there for lunch, you can definitely make a day out of all the area has to offer. We parked in the adjacent shopping center lot and made our way into Firefly.

The restaurant is a converted home and to keep out the bitter cold, the entrance looked liked the front of a fraternity house on a Friday night with a heavy painted sheet guarding the entrance. For a small space there are an awful lot of tables. The décor resembles the aftermath of a small tornado having swept through an attic full of holiday decorations.

The atmosphere was alive and well on this Friday night. Tables of friends and family, and Brian’s boss (yes, he has a day job!) ate and talked over the distant music in the background. One of the first things we noticed when we sat down was a board on every wall displaying the night’s dessert selection. We both ate a couple bites less of our meals because we knew the promise of a delicious dessert would be kept. Our only complaint for the night was that we couldn’t hear the waiter when he told us the specials! Luckily we didn’t need them because we had enough options on their seasonal menu.

Instead of wine, of which there were many to choose, we opted for champagne in honor of Tracy’s promotion at work. Nothing like a little bubbly to wake up the taste buds!

Firefly had a great selection of appetizers. We narrowed the field to scallops or oysters, but the waiter was little help in swaying us toward one or the other. We finally settled on the “Szechuan style fried oysters tossed in aromatic tangy citrus barbeque sauce with fermented black bean ranch for dipping” ($12). The portion was substantial and looked like something Colonel Sanders would have created had he gone to culinary school. The taste was orgasmic (or maybe it was just the champagne that put us in the mood). The fried oysters were crunchy and sticky and the creamy white barbeque sauce balanced the taste of the seafood well.

For his entrée, Brian chose the “tender Asian-style braised lamb leg in a sweet and spicy aromatic jus scented with blood orange, ginger, lemongrass, Chinese black beans, garlic, kaffir and plum wine, steamed jasmine rice, sugar snap peas” ($26). This Asian-inspired comfort food hit the spot. Brian was practically moaning in ecstasy with every bite as the lamb fell apart with a mere touch of his fork. The complex flavor started off sweet with a lingering heat stays with you in the back of your mouth until the jasmine rice clears your palette. The snap peas were crisp and well seasoned, a great texture complement to the lamb and rice. The meal came with a side salad and tangy vinaigrette. The whole experience was so satisfying that Brian fully intends to request the dish next time he visits - even if it isn't still on the menu!

Tracy stuck with a night of seafood and ordered the “sautéed large shrimp in a ragout of bacon, fingerling potatoes, celerias, shallots, garlic, white wine and crème fraiche, accented by fresh sautéed pea tendrils” ($17). From the first bite to the last, this dish didn’t disappoint. The only tragedy was that Tracy filled up on oysters and couldn’t finish her meal! Luckily we both saved room for a couple bites of dessert. But which do we pick?!

The boards on the wall offered everything from crème brulee to berry cobbler. Since we were both pretty full, we opted for a light dessert with a heavy name, the blackberry pound cake. We probably would have gobbled up the berry cobbler or something equally as heavy but the pound cake was delicate and refreshing and didn’t leave us with our usual “I just ate way too much” feeling. Whole blackberries peeked out from the depths of the slice and Tracy made sure not to miss a single one, once Brain was finished, of course!

Firefly Grille had a neighborhood feeling with gourmet food and we can’t wait to go back!

Pros: Local feeling, casual style

Cons: Inaudible waiter, décor!

-Price: $$

-Location: Green Hills area, tucked into Bandywood

-Food Quality: A+ all around!

-Drink Quality: Perfect for celebrating

-Service: Could have been a little more attentive but it was a very busy night

-Ambiance: Buzzing with excitement and spirit

We’re on a roll and can’t wait for “G!”

Outdoor photo: nashvillrestaurants.blogspot.com

Indoor photo: Armando Sanchez

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