Cabana

Nashville eats heartily, celebrating Southern flavors and thinking of others in this season of giving
By Carolanne Griffith Roberts

Simple food, simple thinking. Chef Brian Uhl looks at the small mound of fragrant vegetables on the plate at Cabana and pronounces them “squash casserole.” No highfalutin title, no gussied-up nonsense from this classically trained chef. Grilled trout arrives embellished with a smooth crab-corn ragoût.

Giving back
Cabana co-owner  Randy Rayburn donates 1% of his annual profit to America's Second Harvest and other community efforts. "The blessings come back to me many times over," says Randy.
 

 

Grilled venison, with a coffee-cocoa rub and no gamy tinges, is complemented by a sweet potato-heirloom apple risotto. Here’s our favorite: Tennessee Sliders, sweet potato biscuits with ham from Benton’s (a Tennessee treasure featured by many top chefs) and house-made peach preserves. Before 10 p.m., this place concentrates on dinner; then it turns hip and clubby.

Sit at traditional tables or cocoon in private, curtained cabanas that seat up to 12 and include MP3 hookups and flat-panel TVs. Just don’t forget to eat. “It’s casual Southern comfort food,” says Brian. Put the emphasis on the word “comfort” and you’ll be giving thanks. 1910 Belcourt Avenue; www.cabananashville.com or (615) 577-2262. Opens at 4 p.m. Entrées start at $10.95. • Giving Back Cabana co-owner Randy Rayburn donates 1% of his annual profit to America’s Second Harvest and other community efforts. “The blessings come back to me many times over,” says Randy.