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  • Cafe Fundamental

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Cafe Fundamental

Cafe Fundamental Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.cafefundamental.com/
  • Phone: (615) 915-0738
  • Hours of Operation: Effective June 19, 2014 we are unfortunately closed due to unforeseen personal issues. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and deeply appreciate your understanding. We plan on re-opening for business the weekend of July 12, 2014. Again we truly appreciate your understanding.
    Chef Jamie Watson
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: French
  • Executive Chef: Jamie Watson
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, BYO Liquor, Cafe, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Porter Road @ Greenwood
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking is available as well as any of the lots on the 4 corners of Porter & Greenwood
A word from Cafe Fundamental
Effective June 19, 2014 we are unfortunately closed due to unforeseen personal issues. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and deeply appreciate your understanding. We plan on re-opening for business the weekend of July 12, 2014. Again we truly appreciate your understanding.
Chef Jamie Watson
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Chef Jamie creates a wonderful culinary experience. The presentation is beautiful and the taste is amazing. Low key atmosphere, but spot on if you are looking for the best in French food. The staff is friendly and know their food as well. The wine list isn't overwhelming, but we had a wonderful Bordeaux that perfectly paired with the tenderloin. I would highly recommend Café Fundamental for those who put food over atmosphere."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "From the menu to the service to the atmosphere (clean, simple no tv), I loved everything about this restaurant. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "The food was very good, The service was fair. They only had white wines available that evening with a choice of three wines. That was disappointing. We will most likely not return. We have always enjoyed the food, put the the whole experience was lacking. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Based on a brunch experience, we bought two My Scene Deals vouchers ($20 for $10) that we needed to use before 5/24/14. We tried to make online reservations for brunch and were told "there are no available reservations within 2.5 hours of that time for 8 weeks..." So we went for dinner. My boyfriend's pork with manchego grits/collards was decent (and edible), but not great. I had the poisson catch of the day. It was terrible. Trout stuffed with crab meat & covered in a bland butter sauce. The whole plate was lukewarm bordering on cold. My $10 glass of wine was the least generous pour possible. I had a mixed drink with rum after that and it was weak. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "I wanted a special place for a first date with someone and Cafe Fundamental was exactly what was needed. Amazing food with some great wine in a quiet cafe tucked away in our wonderful city made our evening one we will remember forever. The wait staff is always so knowledgeable and easy to talk to and graceous and friendly. I can't recommend this place enough!!! "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Café Fundamental was very disappointing. We had a 9:30 p.m. reservation and when we arrived at the restaurant there was only 1 table of other diners, and they were paying the check. I had the feeling as soon as we walked in that they wanted to close up. We ordered 1 cocktail, which they got wrong (up instead of on the rocks). We had brought two bottles of wine, which they opened but never poured -- they even failed to give us a clean glass when we switched from white to red! The food was good, not great (except for the zucchini soup, which was excellent). During our meal the staff was literally closing down the restaurant, pulling the shades, etc. We were supposed to be celebrating a birthday, and it was far from celebratory."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "We took Mom here for a Saturday night dinner before Mother's Day. Chef sent out a complimentary "amuse" of house-made bacon with mustard grains - could have eaten a whole plate! Mom had duck breasts on pureed potatoes, I had red snapper on risotto (a special), and DH ordered steak frites. Beautifully prepared/presented; we cleaned our plates! They were running a special on bottles of wine to clear space for new stock, so we skipped a cocktail, but we understand that there's a new bartender and they no longer feature the C'est la Vie gin cocktail that I enjoyed so much last year. It's a very small restaurant; we opted to go elsewhere for coffee so that they could turn over our table. I look forward to revisiting Cafe Fundamental!"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "We had a lovely evening in a quiet unpretentious atmosphere. Vichyssoise was superb. Duck and greens were outstanding. Diverse, eclectic menu. Service was upbeat and very attentive. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "The Duck is to die for!!! The service was excellent. They make great drinks!!! I couldn't have asked for a better Friday night experience! "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "I cannot say enough good about the food, the ambiance, the service. It is expensive but I hardly noticed. Loved it!"
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "We have not had a bad experience... Cafe Fundamental is part of what makes East Nashville such a great place to live!"
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Fantastic pate of pork, duck and pistachio! And duck again for dinner, seared perfectly. Sooo good."
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "The homemade bread alone is worth the drive. One of our favorites."
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "not too many tables, not too many tastes on your plate, not too many wines to befuddle you. service can be a little slow, but that's because the kitchen staff is small and deliberate"
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "Our waiter was excellent. He took the time to explain the menu, overviewed the type of dish, and was very corial. Presentation of our ordered dishes was excellent. Rick Harsen 615-238-4674"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Funky, nice, quiet , good food, service fine but slow to get food, if it were busy, I would anticipate potential problems"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "I don't know why this isn't getting more buzz. We went at 7:30 on a Saturday night and it wasn't crowded at all. Please try it. We're afraid it will go out of business if this is typical. The food was delicious. We were immediately given a yummy amuse bouche. House wine was fab. I had a fish special and my husband had the beef bourginon. Both were amazing. Desert was also brilliant. Creme brûlée with the best brûlée I've every had (and I'm a fan of creme brûlée). Hubby had flour less chocolate cake. I don't normally like that, but this was to die for. Parking is on the street or across the street (catty corner) in the lot of a business that is closed at night. Family Wash is across the street."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "We had dinner Friday night and the entire experience was amazing. The service was impeccable and the food was excellent. We met the Chef and enjoyed talking with him a great deal. I lived in Paris for a few years and Cafe Fundamental brings back many super memories. Thank you to everyone at Cafe Fundamental for a wonderful evening! *We had brunch here a few weeks ago and that was wonderful as well."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Food here is not just food at this establishment it's an experience. I have dined in many 5 diamond restaurants in my life,this should be one. I had tried several times since they opened to get a reservation(I should have planned ahead), now I know why. Staff is very attentive,food was beyond what I expected. I am so happy they are in my neighborhood. The creativity and artistry at the culinary feast they prepare is like a finely painted canvas on your plate and your palate. The fresh ingredients and care in preparation,and service, is why I will recommend and will return to this cafe."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "I was searching the internet to find a nice restaurant top take my wife to for our anniversary. We were in town from Memphis for a mandatory clinic. This restaurant was a great find/suggestion. My wife had a steak dish with two types of steak that she keeps raving about to her friends. I had a vegetarian dish that was very flavorful. For the size of the restaurant, I thought the food came out a little slow but the waiter was very attentive. The lighting was romantically low and I mentioned that all that was needed was some soft Jazz to complete the setting. My wife informed me that there was music, in fact, playing so it may have been just a bit to low for my tone deaf ears. I give this place a 10/10"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Great food presented in an unpretentious manner. The staff really makes you feel like they care about your experience. My daughter is the ultimate foodie and she stated her food was great. She particularly liked the personal service and lack on pretentions, something us older folk also appreciate. Everything is perfectly executed, from the bread to the vegetables than accompany each entrée. This restaurant served the best desserts outside of Europe. The chef clearly loves feeding people and is now starting courses to help people cook well at home."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "This amazing small restaurant is worth going out of your way to enjoy. The atmosphere is very nice and the waiter was just excellent. The Wine List is not extensive, but quite adequate to the menu. Our meal was excellent in every way. The French onion soup was rich and well-seasoned. The beef spare-ribs were cooked exactly as described and fork-tender to the last bite. My wife's beef filet was perfectly prepared, great flavor and very good. The desserts were delightful, fresh and generous. You will not find a better creme brulee and the crust was amazing, perfectly torched but not scorched! We have eaten French food everywhere and this place is a first-class bistro. You need to try it SOON!"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "I'm French born so I was very excited to try this place. Some of the nicest waitstaff I've come across and the chocolate croissant is the best in the city! Everything is so tasty and fresh. I will definitely return again."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "Cozy French bistro with excellent food and service. A bit out of the mainstream of East Nashville restaurants, but don't let the location daunt you."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "We had great service and deserts however the trout was very bland. Overall good dining experience but need a little more flavor for me to return."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Food was great. Very conscientious wait staff. Hope to try it for brunch sometime."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "We had a brunch party of 4 on a Sunday. Thankfully, we reserved through OpenTable, as there was a line outside when we arrived. I believe the noise level would have been pretty loud if we hadn't been seated in the booth by the front window. Our server was excellent, answered our questions easily and had the perfect balance of making sure we had what we needed and not hovering. And oh, the food. Everybody's meal was excellent. The omelets are so light, and yet plenty filling. The French toast was scrumptious. The Bloody Marys were really good, too. And $5 during brunch. Can't beat that. We'll be back to our neighborhood gem for brunch."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "We were looking for a place that was new and fresh to add to our list of favorite places. Café Fundamental is now on the list! We chose to sit at the bar and gave up our romantic table for two by the window. The food was awesome! I had Black Grouper and my wife had the cod in paper - both were perfect! The Grouper was real and not some other kind of fish as I see so often substituted. It was buttery delicious perfect in every way. The place was vibrant, modernly decorated and in an old storefront. The bar tender made excellent drinks and conversation. We plan to go back for brunch with friends."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "The setting in Historic East Nashville was great..... The sevice was outstanding....Our server was most helpful with the menu and he had a very pleasant demeanor. The main course was excellent and the dessert was outstanding."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "The best French Mule I've had in a long time made with Goslings ginger beer (just wasn't in a copper mug) . The complimentary zucchini pesto appetizer was delicious! The blue cheese romaine hearts had just the right about of dressing and balsamic drizzle, and the bacon was perfectly chunky and cooked. Then grouper with risotto and spinach (2 large pieces of fish; the pasta was too much; would have preferred a bed of sauted spinach with a small side of risotto) and the lamb's neck with barley and brussels sprouts (excellent red meat, perfectly paired with the barley and the house red, but the diced scallions were too plentiful and crunchy). Soo wanted the caramel chocolate dessert - just didn't have room. we will be back."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "In renewed East Nashville. Old, quaint building. Small but workable. Food selections narrow but broad enough for adequate choices. Wine list extensive. Server and staff very friendly and knowledgable. Food portions and quality excellent. Would definitely recommend for couple or small group. Would not work well for a large group. Be prepared for noise. Shotgun building shape and fact that it is an old building (acoustics) made it difficult to talk across the table. Jamie delivers what he advertises."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "We had been wanting to dine here for quite some time. We received a gift certificate at Christmas so we took the opportunity to eat here for my Birthday celebration. The restaurant doesn't have defined parking but street parking is common in East Nashville. The dining space is quite small but charming. The bar options are limited - focused on French drinks and spirits. They could not make a Sidecar which is quite a vintage drink said to have been invented in Harry's New York Bar in 1920′s Paris. Therefore French. So I would encourage the restaurant to broaden their bar offerings. Food was great. Although portion sizes are somewhat small for the normal American appetite. We would definitely eat at Cafe Fundamental again."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Absolutely one of the best brunch meals we have ever had. The duck fat biscuits are great but the duck confit hash stole the show. We will be back many times!!!"
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "First, let me say the food here is so worth the extra wait.. I don't know why, but people around me were getting their food before us, not long, but still. My food was room temperature, I had the hash. My husband had the crepes and they were piping hot. We have been here before and this is the first time this has happened. I will give it another chance because even room temp food from here is better than anything."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We went for the Valentine's Day special menu and were absolutely blown away. Flawless execution of every piece of every dish. I could cut through my steak with a fork, and the cocktails were artisan quality. Worth every penny for a luxurious dining experience."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We came here on a recommendation. When we walked in at 7:30pm, there were only 2 other customers in the place. A bit concerned but we took a taxi and didn't have a choice at that point. The food was OK. Very limited wine list and limited menu. It was a Thursday evening so perhaps they are busier (and warmer - the waiter said they couldn't get the heat any higher than 64 degrees) on weekends. Of course service was great because they had no one else to wait on!"
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "Dined at Café Fundamental for my parents anniversary. Food and service was exceptional...and a visit from Chef Jamie made my parents day! Thanks for a great dining experience!!!"
    Dined on 2/2/2014
  • "Had not heard a lot about this restaurant, but found it on Open Table, and thought I'd give it a try. Was very happy I did. Ordered the special of the night, beef two ways with rutabaga puree and wilted spinach. I'm not a huge beef eater, but both preperations were cooked perfectly, and the puree was out of this world. Could have eaten an entire bowl of that puree. The bar tender recommended a perfect pairing of wine for the meal. And, the dessert of flourless chocolate cake with salted caramel ice cream and duck fat caramel sauce was divine! I'd definitely eat here again."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "After a great brunch experience, our second trip to CF was just okay. Service was adequate, but there must have been some sort of snafu in the kitchen. Our food took far too long to arrive; The "wedge" salad was romaine, not a wedge. The vegetarian offering was pedestrian, and the poisson-en-papillote was overcooked and burned. The pork offering was described as "good", and the steak dish was the best thing that was served. In addition to the fish, the bread was burned on top (not just charred from a wood-burning oven), and the four small cauliflower florets on the steak dish were charred as well. The fish dish was comped, which was quite fair. I really want to try this place again for dinner, but it has to get in line behind others."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Our fiirst time for dinner after coming for brunch a few times. A realistic version of a Southern bistro as advertized. Service was good, although the waiter needed to check on how some of the menu items were being prepared since the presentations apparently vary nightly. This was a minor issue and the food was terrific. Good wine list"
    Dined on 2/1/2014