Monday, April 29, 2013


Last month at Supper Club, we decided to do something very different for April: meet on a Saturday and bring our boys.

The reason being: we decided to try Mangia.

Mangia is a "pop up" restaurant that "pops up" every Friday and Saturday at a lunch-only establishment in Franklin. Legend has it that the owner/chef came up with the idea on New Year's Eve at a friend's house and opened the restaurant a month later. It's a prix fixe, $45 per person, 13-course Italian meal. The menu changes quarterly, is served family style, and if it's not the best meal of your life, then congratulations on being a boss. Me, on the other hand? I feel like my entire life had been leading up to that meal.

We had a party of eight for this past Saturday's seating. The chef himself greeted us and showed us to our table, where there was warm focaccia bread and dipping oil aiting on us. Two TVs playing the Godfather 1 & 2 were on mute to allow for the occasionally Italian, always festive music. The rest of our group made their way in and finally, our server started bringing food. Here is the menu we were served:

Initially, some of our group was confused and thought that we were to choose one item from each course. Oh, no no no. They bring each dish en masse and everyone serves him/herself.

From the appetizer round, the southern-style deviled eggs were insanely delicious, but the lemon risotto cakes were hands-down the winner. If you've ever watched Top Chef, then you know Risotto is SO hard to make perfectly... and they nailed it. Then deep fried it. And fed it to me.

The salad course was yummy as well. I love a caesar salad of course, but was a little nervous about the orange salad, not liking oranges and all. Turns out, it was delicious: just orange-y enough, not overpowering at all.

The pasta course. OH the pasta course. First up was the beef bolognese served on shell pasta. Holy cow. The meat was so tender. I had several helpings. Let's leave it at that.

I was also a big, big fan of the second pasta course with the toasted pecan basil pesto cream sauce which begs the question: what WOULDN'T I eat, if it was doused in toasted basil pesto cream sauce? Only time will tell.

I could have stopped right there and felt that I had my money's and stomach's worth but no. It was time to dance! All the ladies were rounded up into a congo line and then it was mambo en masse. No complaints here; I was happy to be up moving after two hours of eating.

Next up: entrees. Lemon and rosemary roasted chicken quarters preceded a simple roasted broccolini. Both were delicious. The real star of the night though was the final entree: a porcini mushroom dusted beef tenderloin. EVERYONE at the table was raving about this dish. No one used a knife: it was like cutting butter. The dish was perfectly executed. I even ate mushrooms!

Dessert was a light but certainly not simple "semifreddo," which is Italian for "half frozen." Not quite ice cream but not quite a mouse, it was the perfect little treat after so much rich food. Light and tasty and perfect. The second dessert of homemade "zeppole" (Italian donuts!) arrived in a paper bag, one for each person. What a great little takeaway.

The food was delicious, but it was the experience that set the evening apart. Laughter, dancing and conversation, all intertwined with some of the best food I have ever eaten. It was exactly the way a meal should be.

We will definitely be back to Mangia! Hope to see you there!

1 comment:

  1. Haha! Your blog has turned into a food blog....A girl's gotta keep priorities! Love it!--'Yo Mama


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