I went to Saint Anejo a few weeks ago for lunch and found myself parked there again the following Saturday night for an early dinner with girlfriends and kids. Then, I went back two more times. I can’t get enough.
This upscale Mexican place is chic and cool. The details in the decor and menu are to be commended and I hope that this upscale take on Mexican continues here in Nashville. I love the farm-to-table movement and the devotion of so many local chefs to Southern cooking, but variety in the new restaurant scene is nice to have.
I’m not a fan of highlighting a restaurant that’s barely just opened; I think most kitchens need time to work through the kinks. But, this MStreet property seems to have it down pat with Chef Ray Whitlock at the helm. The expected new restaurant blunders were not seen on my four visits, so I feel good about offering up this review.
You’ll start off with a sampler selection of three salsas. The verde and rojo are staples and served warm. The third salsa is a daily special—chef’s whim variety.
If you like queso (or as my son called it for years, ‘cheese soup’) or guacamole, this is heaven. There are multiple offerings of each. In fact, I’d personally love to see a “choose three” trio available as a menu option as this would have been an easy $15 up-sell for our group. On my third visit I finally tried the guac, choosing the one with spicy crab, and it’s all that I hoped for.
I’ve ordered three salads of the four available and all are ones I’d order again. (There is an option to add your protein of choice to all of the salads for an extra charge.)
The tacos are an easy way to go as there are many options and you can order two different kinds, for variety:
But, the surprising big hit were the skillet nachos. These are the best nachos in town. You must try them, and we’ll circle back to these on a later post as well. The quesidillas were huge and delicious. My dad, not a Mexican food lover, ordered the shrimp and mango quesadilla and was quite happy. There is so much more to order from this menu and I can’t wait to work my way through it.
Now, how about the margaritas? The cocktails? The sangria? With 120 different kinds of tequila, there is a true passion for the margarita here. As tequila is my favorite spirit, this makes me a happy girl. And, while I usually don’t like sangria, I had a sip of a friend’s red wine sangria and I’m a convert to the recipe used here.
Take note of the decor while visiting. The lighting, the wallpaper, the booths covered in a faux snake skin leather and the subtle skulls found throughout. It’s fun and not at all dated or stereotypical.
And, if you are wanting a fun place to have a party for up to 35-40 people, the Tequila library upstairs can be rented out. It looks over the restaurant but is private and oh-so-chic. Just laying eyes on it has me dreaming up excuses to rent it out — and drinking more margaritas with my besties.
Saint Anejo is open from 11 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. seven days a week. So, lunch, dinner and late night are all covered. Leaving a big downtown party during the holiday season and needing a place to go to get some food in your tummy? Skip Jack in the Box and Krystal and go here instead. Even if you’re in a ball gown.
UPDATE: Brunch is now offered on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m .to 3 p.m. (and we’ve tried it, and it’s just as good as we anticipated it to be!)
Saint Anejo: mstreetnashville.com/restaurants/saint-anejo