Photo of Carolers at Monells by Kathryn Darden


Delicious, well-prepared food in a festive Victorian holiday ambiance with live Christmas music.


At $43.02 per person, the dinner is a bit pricey, but well worth it.

Full Review

Located in a historic old home in the Germantown area of Nashville, Monell's specializes in great Southern food served family style on large tables where guests join other diners for meals like chicken and dumplings, spinach lasagna, pork chops, catfish and of course, fried chicken, all served in Monell's homey environment. However, once a year the old house is transformed. Garlands and wreaths are hung, candles and ornaments are placed, and a Victorian Christmas tree is put up. A quartet of carolers dresses up in their Christmas apparel and the menu changes into a sumptuous feast. The fried chicken is passed over for more elegant fare for Monell's Victorian Christmas.

Monell's has been hosting their Victorian Christmas for fifteen years, and the restaurant pulls out all the stops. The menu for the 2009 feast starts with appetizers - artichoke dip served with crisp pita bread, jalapenos stuffed with cheese, and sweet & smoky salmon; followed by strawberry bisque; three-leaf salad with roasted pecans, cranberries, & orange vinaigrette dressing; fresh-baked dinner rolls; stuffed chicken Monell's; filet of beef with Bernaise sauce; several versatile vegetable and rice dishes; and for dessert a white chocolate mousse.

I couldn't find fault with the thing - the food was delicious with surprises like the strawberry bisque. I was expecting a soup but this was a cold, sweet, creamy, unexpected surprise. I am not a big fan of salmon, but the sweet & smokey salmon was just what the name implied - sweet in just the right degree to be delicious. I can't mention sweet without praising the white chocolate mousse, which was light, creamy and oh-so-sweet.

The fruit punch and cider offered as beverages were both tart and sweet and more than satisfying accompaniments to the multi-course meal.

To top off a delightful dinner, carolers entertained by singing Christmas songs while the guests dined. Diners were invited to join in between mouthfuls and many did just that. The Victorian Christmas evening ended with a short, seasonal devotional by candlelight.

In Closing

If you want to step back in time to Victorian England and enjoy a delicious meal in the process, make a dinner reservation at Monell's in Nashville between now and December 23. Call (615) 248-4747for reservations.