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  • Cafe Fundamental

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Cafe Fundamental

Cafe Fundamental Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.cafefundamental.com/
  • Email: sandra@chefjamiewatson.com
  • Phone: (615) 915-0738
  • Hours of Operation: Tuesday - Thursday: 5pm - 9pm
    Friday - Saturday: 5pm - 10pm
    Sunday: 5pm - 9pm
    Saturday & Sunday Brunch: 9am - 2pm*

    Reservations are strongly recommended
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: French
  • Executive Chef: Jamie Watson
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Full Bar, Takeout, 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
Chef Jamie Watson brings his passion for cooking & teaching to East Nashville with Cafe Fundamental. Coining his cooking style "southern classique," he combines his classic French training with Southern influences.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "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 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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Food was great. Very conscientious wait staff. Hope to try it for brunch sometime."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "I ordered the beef tenderloin entree on the menu and my husband had the special beef plate which included both tenderloin and sirloin. I requested mine to be prepared as "just slightly north of medium" and my husband requested medium. Mine was bordering on well-done while my husband essentially had unground steak tartare for dinner. We didn't complain as we were with friends, but I did overhear someone at the table behind me sharing the same sentiment with the owner/manager. All in all, Cafe Fundamental did not live up to the hype."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "This is a great spot. Service was fantastic - Adam was the best! The food was very well prepared and paired well with their wine selection. We will be back for sure."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Picked this as a date night with my wife. It was even better than I hoped it would be, and I had high expectations. We had a 6:00 reservation on a Saturday and we were the first customers there. I'll keep this as brief as possible: Service was prompt, friendly, and professional without being snobby or stuffy. Menu offered a good variety of dishes for a wide variety of tastes. Wife had the clam appetizer special and it was fantastic and so big that she ended up ordering another appetizer as her main dish. I had the cassoulet for dinner and it was AMAZING! Be forewarned, It is very rich and a big serving. Take half home and save room for dessert. I have heard great things about their brunch and can't wait to give it a try!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "My friend and I had a wonderful brunch experience at Cafe Fundamental this past weekend. The fries were a little too good, actually! :) The place is a hidden gem, for sure."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "If cassoulet is on the menu, order it. Also, the pate. Made me feel that I was back in France. Even when the oven failed and it took an extra hour for our dinner to come to the table we didn't mind it so much because the bread was good."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "I could just go for the beignets and coffee, but our entire meal and experience was wonderful. Love to support my East Nashville restaurants. We'll be going back very soon!!!"
    Dined on 1/5/2014
  • "Trout was excellent. I am picky about fish and this was fresh and well done. Everything surpassed expectations. Will return."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "We had heard great things about CF from our daughter (she had brunch there) and were looking forward to a great meal with friends at night. Very disappointing visit - guess brunch is really their thing. Out of the specialty salad - replacement was just OK. Only one option (and an overpriced one at that) for our vegetarian friend. Hubby's fish was a very small portion and lacking much flavor. Ambience was good (place was almost empty on a Saturday night), service was attentive, specialty cocktails OK, wine pour was a little on the stingy side, bread was excellent and dessert trio was fabulous. We really wanted it to be great . . it just wasn't!"
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "We had a nice early New Year's Eve dinner here. It was our first time. There was a prix fixe NYE menu, or you could order from the regular menu as we did. Oddly enough, the regular menu we were given didn't include any soup, salad or appetizer selections but we were given an amuse bouche and really good bread. We were also going to order one of their featured cocktails but they were out of one of the key ingredients. My duck with grits and greens was outstanding, and my son was enthusiastic about his chicken. My wife found her cassoulet flavorful but a bit dry. Overall, I would give them 4.5 stars, taking away a half star for the cassoulet and for the lack of soup/salad offerings. We definitely plan to return."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "I used a living social what a great way to try a new place We loved it and will RETURN"
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "Food was excellent. Service was extremely slow, especially from the bar. Will try again and hope for better service."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "The bar was dead for a Friday night. The space was so cold that most patrons did not remove there cotes. The server was spread too thin it took him much too long between tables. But the time he did spend with us was enjoyable. The food was grate and the bread was very good. One sagestion, offer an olive oil dip with the bread such a wast of fine bread with no olive oil spiced dip. The desert and capachno were spot on. The bar offerings did fall a little short the after dinner finishing drinks could be exspanded onto inclued a amaretto."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "Cute small neighborhood spot w/ a long, empty bar & a very few tables.There was only one table empty when we arrived for our reservation; we were seated promptly & ordered cocktails, one their house special - they were"out of" it (very apologetic). OK, no problem.We ordered appetizers (mussels, pate) as the restaurant emptied. We waited. Only 2 other tables filled.We waited some more. Bread came, we ordered our main course, & cont. to wait for our appetizers. Finally, finally, they came. The mussels were good, though not the best broth I've had, pate good, no cornichons, little mustard. We waited another 25 min. after plates removed for entrees. Trout was EXCELLENT, scallops not as fresh as they could be. Wine list small but nice."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "Went with a group for my wife's birthday. Food was great, service was top notch, and portion sizes were surprisingly large for the restaurant style. We were there early so the noise level may pick up as the night goes on, but it seemed pretty relaxed. We will be going back."
    Dined on 12/14/2013