Monell’s Etiquette

If you live in Nashville and have never eating at Monell’s, you should rectify that immediately. Sure it’s meat-and-three, but it’s some of the best of its kind. I’d go into detail, but this isn’t a restaurant review. It’s a restaurant instruction manual.

Monell’s is true family-style dining. Each table is set for 12, and unless there are 12 people in your party, you will likely sit with strangers. Striking up conversations with people you’ve never met is half the fun of the Monell’s experience. That in no way means that you have to spend your entire meal chitchatting with the strange guy at the end of the table, or hear all about some old lady’s cats.

We took my sister to Monell’s last night, and were all up for the full-table cameraderie of a meal like you only find in Germantown. We got stuck at a table with three very nice people who happened to be on a business-type dinner and had no interest in being at a table with strangers. Two of the people had been there before and knew what to expect. Nevertheless, they talked among themselves, stopped passing all the dishes of food once they’d been served and never offered to pass anything back. When we politely asked to have a dish returned to us, they were angry we interrupted their conversation. GRRRR.

So, if you come to Nashville, please eat at Monell’s–but only if you want the full Monell’s treatment. Otherwise there are many very nice single-party dining options.

8 Comments so far

  1. Busy Mom (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 9:06 am

    Monell’s makes it very plain what the arrangements are. Why in the world would anyone try to conduct busines there?

  2. Katherine Coble (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 9:10 am

    A member of their party said over and over and over and over again that she was “just there for the strawberry shortcake”

    And was she NOT happy when that evening’s dessert was bread pudding.

  3. brittney (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

    Mmmm, Monell’s.

  4. Amanda (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

    I’ve never been. Let’s all go. 10 though….so we can freak out the poor couple the ends up at our table.

  5. anon (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 4:08 pm

    Monell’s Express off Charlotte rocks, and no sitting with strangers

  6. Kate O' (unregistered) on April 7th, 2006 @ 4:44 pm

    Any advice on whether vegetarians would have much to enjoy there? I live a block away and would love to check it out sometime but have avoided it for fear of extreme meatiness.

  7. Liz (unregistered) on April 8th, 2006 @ 11:28 pm

    I was looking at tonight to find a new restaurant that serves meat and three style food, but sadly it was too late to go to Monell’s. Maybe next time.

  8. Katherine Coble (unregistered) on April 9th, 2006 @ 11:07 pm

    I agree, let’s all go. It’ll be fun.


    They serve a lot of veggies, but I get the impression they AREN’T Vegetarian-friendly veggies. You know the drill–bacon in the greenbeans, ham in the white beans, etc.

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