New restaurants are blooming downtown as more Nashvillians live and work there. Tazza, at 501 Church Street, is a charming mixture of old and new. It has a to go menu and makes deliveries, but its atmosphere recalls the downtown of my childhood. Tazza occupies part of the old Harvey's building and is decorated as things were in the great store's heyday. The life-size wooden waiter who meets you on entry is just the beginning. A stairway with metal banisters leads to an apparently unused balcony, and its wall showcases lively paintings. The main dining area has a low ceiling, and individual booths provide an atmosphere reminiscent of the old Candyland.
The menu is varied and extensive: soups, salads, specialty salads, deli sandwiches, from the grill, specialties, fish market, Mexican specialties, pasta, wraps, pizza, calzones, and desserts. Prices are very reasonable, and the restaurant is open from 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM Monday through Saturday.
The meal you see here is one of the Specialties di Florencia Carver. This consists of easily managed slices of stuffed chicken breast - stuffed with spinach, onions, red peppers, roasted garlic, toasted pine nuts, cream cheese and blue cheese. Like all Specialties, it is served with a flavorful rice and a steamed vegetable medley. The vegetables are tender enough for the dentally challenged, and the rice is a perfect compliment for the chicken. Frankly, I never expected to see this variety or complexity at a restaurant that does to go orders.
I've included a small slideshow of this little urban jewel. Enjoy when you're downtown!