On an earlier blog, I mentioned three fine dining establishments that served craft beer. One of them was Radius 10. I figured if I am going to plug the place, I better check it out myself. My wife and I decided to visit on Saturday, July 5. Being the cheapskate that I am, I opted not to valet and I had to drive two blocks to find parking. I did not mind the walk because it was a nice night, perfect for dining on the patio area.
Ambiance- Well done, contemporary and trendy- blending very well into the gulch scene. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, with a view of downtown.
Food- Entrees are in the $24-30 range. Appetizers go from $3 to $15. We started off with the escargot, served on an artisan bread. The basil fed snails were tasty, but we thought the bread was a tad soggy and had way too much butter (and we love butter). For the main entree, I choose the Niman Ranch Pork Chop. Mine was cooked perfectly, tender, flavorful, and covered with delicious corn/avocado relish. The chorizo and cheese quesadilla side was disappointing, as the tortilla was saturated with oil. My wife thought the Halibut was cooked well, but said the seasoning was overpowering the flavor of the fish.
Service- From the server all the way down to the hostess, the service was outstanding. Everyone was friendly, and I never had to fill my water glass or wave anyone down. The service was as good as it gets.
Beer Selection- The beer list is small, but carefully selected. I appreciated that they included the craft beer offerings on the wine list, and separated the domestics from the Belgians. The Belgian list is too pricey for my budget, so I ordered a North Coast Old Rasputin ($8). It was probably not the best food pairing for the escargot, but the appetizer was selected by my wife after I ordered the beer. The second beer of the night was a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA ($8) that paired very well with my pork chop.
Since this is a beer blog, let me go further in depth. It is no secret that I take an activist attitude when it comes to beer in fine restaurants. Radius 10 does not to eliminate cheap beer from the menu, but they will only serve Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, and Miller Lite during happy hour. Thank you! That's progress! Get that crap away from my dinner. On the flip side- Yuengling, Stella Artois, Heineken, and Corona ( a big WTF) are on the full beer menu. With the possible exception of Stella, those other beers need to be moved to the happy hour list and replaced with some good European or American micro pilseners and lagers. I will even go so far to recommend removing all industrial pale lagers from the menu. I don't see any Gallo gallon jugs on wine list. So why cheap beer and no cheap wine? If customers want a Corona with lime, let them go to Hooters, Chili's, or the gas station on the way home. Cheap beer should never be served in fine restaurants. Radius 10 comes somewhere in the middle when it comes to my philosophy, and I commend them for that.
Summary- We enjoyed the visit and I was happy to have good beer choices. All of the dishes may not have been perfect, but were reasonably priced considering the quality and flawless service. Margot Cafe and bar is still my benchmark and favorite place to eat in Nashville. However, if I was with a larger party or needed a change of pace, I could easily see myself returning. Radius 10 is definitely worth checking out. I advise you make reservations, which can be conveniently done online or by calling 615-259-5105.