Review: Saint Añejo http://mstreetnashville.com/restaurants/saint-anejo/details
Last night I met Kathy and Neil and a few others at Saint Añejo, the new Mexican restaurant in the Gulch by the M Street group. They have six restaurants, all on the hip, happening, high end and most in the Gulch. Saint A is Mexican and has a premium tequila and mezcal menu of over 120 labels and does tequila tastings and tequila flights. I'd been there before Christmas for dinner and found it fine. The bar will be fun in the nice weather since they have large “garage door” type windows that will open up to the outside. There are also a number of big screen TVs showing sports.
We started with drinks and they have a number of signature libations and margaritas (hibiscus; ginger/rosemary; cucumber/habanero/lime). I'd had one of the margaritas the first visit and wasn't too impressed (should have went with a normal one), so last night I had a Negra Modelo. The beer list is good, with many Mexican beers on it. The do have pitchers of margaritas, but it doesn't seem that they will do a pitcher of normal margaritas. Bad idea. There is also a wine list, sangria (will have that in warm weather!), and for the non-imbibers, Jarritos and Horchata. Neil got one of the signature libations which tasted like a cigarette and he had to send it back for a beer and they were good about taking it off the bill. Stick to the regular margaritas or beer.
They didn't automatically bring out chips and salsa and since two of us had been there before, we asked about the chips and trios of salsas that we'd had before. They brought some of that for the table. I forgot to look at the bill and see if those were a charge or not. The chips were okay and the salsas were all fine. One tasted like pure crushed tomatoes, another had mango in it with a lime kick, and the third was a little smokey. None had heat. A major fail in my book! I'm one of those who keeps a Costco-sized bottle of Tabasco and a bottle of Sriracha next to the stove at all times!
If you look at the menu online and then go to the restaurant, you will find that they are different. So please, if you change your menu, update your website!! There are a few appetizers, quesadillas, tacos (3 small ones to an order), nachos, salads, a number of different entrees, a couple desserts and a couple of daily specials. I ended up ordering the special chimichanga which was really good and big enough that I gave Kathy some of it. It came with some rice which was pretty bland. One of the sides they have is chorizo mac and cheese which got raves. In my first visit, we'd had the Mexican street corn and that was amazing.
One change between my first visit and last night is in the tacos. Previously, you could order tacos by the taco so you could mix and match. Now you can only order them by the platter of three and they will all be the same. With a few people you could order a few and then share. The tequila lime chicken was really good. Others that sound good are the grilled shrimp with Chipotle-Lime Mayo, and the Salt + Pepper Beef (Ground Round/Mex Cheese/Shaved Jalapeños). There is also a veggie option, Mahi-Mahi and a few others.
At the table, someone had the chicken tamales and said they were very good. The grilled chicken got raves as being moist and quite good. Desserts were churros, a flan and something else that I forget, but we all passed on dessert. Since we had 9 people, gratuity was automatically added to everyone's bill. Mine came to $25, so not cheap. On my Mexican rating scale, it rates towards the bottom. Give me authentic Mexican food, salsa with heat and a couple of Negra Modelos and I'm happy. But the company was A+!
As someone mentioned last night, Nashville is turning into a city for people with money. They aren't too far off. I've said it from my first trip here – except for buying a house (and in some areas, that isn't even true anymore), it's not that much cheaper here and more expensive in some ways, compared to California. But that's for another post.