The inside of the space is lovely. They really did a good job sprucing the place up. They made fine, clean decorative choices. I especially love the wood touches everywhere and the reclaimed wood wall in the back is a good focal point. The restaurant is divided, with the bar on one side and the dining room on the other with the pizza oven in the back. We had a reservation and we were lead to our table right away. The tables are really close together and when an adjacent table pulled up a 5th seat in the walkway, I felt squished. If the man lifted his arm, he would smack me in the head. We moved our table slightly over in the other direction which didn't really help the situation, as servers scooted in between me and 5th man now, bumping me.
I have to say that I wasn't that impressed by the regular dinner entree offerings. What really sounded good to me was the appetizer list. They have some of my favorite dishes of all time, like chicken liver pate and bone marrow. This is the type of place where I would make a meal out of starters and be very happy.
But we were there for happy hour so we ordered off the happy hour menu. Everything is $6, which is only one dollar more than the happy hour menu at Eastland Cafe. I can understand the prices being a little higher at Lockeland, as they are a new establishment, not that big, and probably have to start making a dent in their investment.
We started out with some cocktails off the happy hour menu, which were also $6. Steve had a ginger beer and rum thing, and I had their fancy version of gin and juice. I wasn't super impressed. The glasses were very tiny, filled mostly with ice, and they weren't very strong. The taste was good, but I wasn't blown away. I still think that the Tropical Martini at Eastland Cafe for $5 is a much better deal.
We started with the empanadas of the day, which had veggies and cheese inside. I was a really big fan of this dish. The crust was fried to perfection, the cheese melty and the chimichurri just the way I like it. This I would order again.
Next we had the oysters Rockefeller. This classic dish is one of my favorites and I was happy to see it on a Nashville menu. The first time I ever tried this dish my parents had to order me my own private dish because I was so obsessed. This was Steve's first time having oysters Rockefeller and I think he enjoyed himself. This dish is a standout on any menu.
Next we had the Korean pork tacos. The pork packed a strong pungent flavor. Really strong. But I loved these little buggers. The only down side, which you can't tell from the photo, was that they were super tiny. Itty-bitty. I could have used one or two more on the plate. Maybe that is just a testament to how delicious they are.
Other downside, after eating ALL that food we were still hungry. We ordered a pizza because we wanted to try their fancy new oven. We got the Heirloom Tomato, Caramelized Onion and Spinach pizza and I was not impressed. The tomatoes were so large and soggy that the whole pizza tasted wet. There wasn't enough cheese and barely any spices. It was just bland. I ate it because I was hungry, but I'll be heading over to city house for my expensive pizzas in the future.
I hate to be a Debbie-downer, but our service wasn't that great. I know that Lockeland is new and they are still working out some kinks, but our waitress was everywhere else in the restaurant except at our table. I don't want to complain, but lets just say our waitress has a bit to work on.
Overall, I really liked everything I had except for the pizza. I plan on coming back and ordering off the regular dinner menu, maybe having a different server, and thus a totally different experience. This place is new, so I'll give it some time before I come back. But I'm very happy that it's in my neighborhood giving us more fine dining options.