A spaghetti noodle, much like a swimming-pool noodle, maintains its shape until it’s exposed to boiling water or sat on by children. Savor pasta’s forced flexibility with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of Italian cuisine at Amerigo in Nashville or Brentwood. Prices and menus vary slightly depending on location; click here for the Nashville dinner menu and here for the Brentwood dinner menu.
Amerigo—an OpenTable Diners' Choice winner—creates homemade pastas and other classic Italian dishes, such as veal marsala, to take diners on a culinary journey to an Old World hearthside. Inventive pizzas, such as a salmon-and-dill pie bearing whipped mascarpone cheese ($12), slide out of a hot brick oven, and pillows of ravioli plump themselves with smoked chicken before bedding down with parmesan cream sauce and flash-fried Roman artichokes ($13.50). The kitchen team sprinkles feta and mint over lamb ragu, which steams atop handmade ricotta gnocchi ($17). Diners can strategically move their bodies across the black-and-white-checkered floor to play games of human chess while nibbling at blackened jumbo scallops drizzled with lemon-basil butter ($22) or settle into the dark, polished wood of chairs while indulging in Kahlua tiramisu ($6.50). Orange-yellow walls add cozy color to the room as fresh raspberries trumpet the entrance of crème-brûlée cheesecake ($7.50).
Amerigo’s executive chef Stephen Ward maintains a healthy rapport with local farmers to source fresh ingredients, which fill the eatery with the aromas of garlic, basil, tomatoes, and polenta. The Nashville Scene has lauded his efforts to work with area agrarians, and Amerigo also received the 2009 Diner's Choice award from OpenTable. In the bustling kitchen, chefs pull pizzas from the rippling-hot waves of a brick oven, where pickled onions cook into molten feta from Tennessee-based Bonnie Blue farms. Gluten-free and wheat pastas as well as ravioli and tortellini stuffed with smoked chicken and crab swim in a range of house-made sauces, and the complex earthy scent of cedar wood mingles with the aromas of fresh fish. The wine list brims with local elixirs and wines from Italy, which clink together in glasses with the soft jangling of robots playing Twister.