I have lived in Nashville (nearly) all of my life and am embarrassed to say that I had never been to Sunset Grill until recently. The restaurant has been a household name in Nashville since its opening in 1990.
Sunset Grill is located in Hillsboro Village and specializes in contemporary American cuisine. The restaurant boasts two menus: a classic menu and the chef’s special menu. The classic menu is what the restaurant is mostly known for, with menu items that will have its regulars up in arms if certain entrees came off the menu.
Then, there is Chef Cunningham’s Special Menu. It is fit for foodies like myself. This menu changes daily, based on what is most fresh from their regional suppliers. That’s right, most of the ingredients used in the restaurants come from within a 150 mile radius of the establishment!
The restaurant has a great happy hour. Sunday and Monday feature half-price pizza and bottles of wine in the dining room, and half price cocktails and wine in the bar. On Tuesday – Friday from 4-6 p.m. the happy hour consists of half price pizza and glasses of wine.
Owner Randy Rayburn was gracious enough to host the Nashville Food Bloggers for a dinner recently and I can not thank the restaurant enough for their hospitality. Our waiter(s) knew the menu explicitly and were great at making suggestions. The evening perfect!
(Pictured below, left to right: Chris Cunningham, executive chef/managing partner, Ryan Duke, pastry chef, and Randy Rayburn, owner of Sunset Grill, Midtown Cafe and Cabana.)
I started the evening with a Strawberry Jalapeño-Rita. It was very refreshing and had a good amount of heat to it. A personal favorite of mine! Such a unique, yet amazing combination of flavors.
Chef Cunningham recommended the heirloom tomato salad on his special menu that day. The tomatoes came from the first good batch of the season! Needless to say, I ordered it. The salad comprised sliced heirloom tomatoes, Burrato cheese, baby arugula, balsamic reduction and EVOO. It was incredible. I love salads that don’t require much (if any) dressing!
Next, we were served an arrangement of corn muffins and biscuits. Both of the breads were incredibly fresh and I couldn’t stop at just one!! The corn muffins were my favorite.
Choosing an entree was an easy decision for me. But, the chef mentioned how decadent the scallop dish was on the special menu, so I was immediately sold. (Always trust a chef’s recommendations.)
Pan seared scallops, black-eyed pea succotash, sautéed red Russian kale and a lemon caper aioli? Um, YUM. (I am so sad my picture turned out blurry. Can’t always trust iPhone cameras, I guess…) I can not stress how delicious this dish was. The scallops were large and cooked to perfection, while the black-eyed pea succotash mixed well with the kale. I was very happy with my choice. Great job, Chef!
When we thought we couldn’t eat anymore, plates of desserts came out! (To share among the table, of course!) Pictured clockwise from the top: Jack Daniels Chocolate Cake; White Chocolate Flour-less Strawberry Cake, Butterscotch-Habanero Bread Pudding and Benton’s Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies!
My two favorites were the strawberry cake and the bread pudding, hands down!
I had such a great time with my fellow bloggers and meeting new faces. It is so much fun to sit at a table of like-minded food-obsessed people! And, I love that we all take about 15 shots of everyone’s food, to make sure we get a good picture. Sadly, we know I didn’t do too well that night on the picture-taking front! Regardless, it was an unforgettable evening at one of the top Nashville restaurants!