Try Trattoria Il Mulino’s New Daily Five-Course ‘Bellissimo Tasting Dinner’ in Downtown Nashville
Nashville’s Trattoria Il Mulino is offering a five-course “Bellissimo Tasting Dinner” for the entire month of April. Available daily, the Bellissimo Tasting Dinner celebrates the traditional five-courses of the Italian culinary journey inspired by the Italian region Abruzzo, east of Rome, lining the Adriatic Sea.
Executive chef Thomas Cook grabbed inspiration from the restaurant’s NYC flagship Mazza Il Mulino. Now that Trattoria Il Mulino has been open for more than two years in Nashville, local flavors are being incorporated more than ever.
I experienced the Bellissimo dinner, and although I haven’t faced as many five-course feasts as, say, the Jonathan Golds of the world, my experience was exceptional. The dinner flow was phenomenal, and each plate had a purpose and taste that one-upped the last. The five courses can move as quickly or as slowly as you prefer. Good service is key to the experience, and here it was remarkable. It wasn’t the “smake” (fake smile) kind of service either, if you know what I mean. Looking back, I’m unsure if I even asked for anything before someone was already on top of it! It was like some Beauty and the Beast action was going down. And the flavors in each dish were wonderful.
“We believe fine dining is a celebration of the senses that is essential to Italian cuisine,” said Rinaldo Mataj, general manager at Trattoria Il Mulino in the press release announcing the Bellissimo dinner.
The traditional five courses are antipasto, insalata, pasta, secondi and dolce. The “Bellissimo Tasting Dinner” begins with the antipasto course, featuring a ricotta meatball with tomato basilica and Parmesan. This plate features one meatball, made with three types of meat, in a sea of tomatoey, cheesy, ooey goodness. The insalata course is a veggie-lover’s dream with Nashville fresh vegetables and greens piled high with house-made vinaigrette. The dressing was spectacular, and this course was very refreshing before diving into the next two. Handmade porcini ravioli with Champagne truffle crème is prepared for the pasta course and secondi is a petite osso buco Milanese (aka veal shank with perfectly steamed veggies) with risotto, Chianti jus, and gremolata. Lastly, dolce is a house-made limoncello tiramisu with candied lemon and berries, sure to wake you up. If it doesn’t, Lavazza dark roast coffee, soft drinks, and sweet tea are included with dinner.
Trattoria Il Mulino is inside the Hilton hotel with the Bridgestone Arena just across the street. With that being said, it isn’t solely a wine-and-dine-all-the-time establishment either. The third level inside Trattoria is dedicated to a fun-casual energy, most notably by the shift of décor and, as Rinaldo put it, the “sea of yellow” (team colors on display before Nashville Predators hockey games). They also have plenty of space and a separate room for private dinner parties.
For the wine-lovers, Trattoria has 182 varieties and almost 1,200 bottles in the cellar. Additionally, there is an obvious ceiling-to-floor refrigerator located right by the back bar with an attached sliding ladder (like you’d see in a library) so wine can be retrieved with ease.
Trattoria Il Mulino is filling a gap in Nashville’s culinary landscape offering one-of-a-kind Italian fare. Stayed tuned for more from Trattoria on The Daily Meal.
Reservations are not necessary, but it is recommended that prospective diners make one by calling 651-620-3700. The “Bellissimo Five-Course Tasting Dinner is $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity.