An Extraordinary Evening at MANGIA NASHVILLE with Lidia Bastianich and Friends!


You probably haven’t experienced anything like this if you haven’t spent an evening at MANGIA NASHVILLE!

Nick Pellegrino and Tim Ness along with their very talented staff have created THE BIG NIGHT Nashville-Style! Every Friday and Saturday night everyone is an honorary ITALIAN at Mangia! If your family celebrates in a big way on holidays,weddings and anniversaries then you are starting to get the picture of what Mangia Nashville is all about! The never-ending family style meal of amazing classic Italian home cooking streams out of the kitchen and is passed at the tables seated with friends-those you came with and the ones you just met. By the middle of the evening, you know everyone at your table and have probably exchanged emails and become friends on Facebook—at least that how it has been for me!

Every Friday and Saturday night,Cool Cafe in Franklin,Tennessee is transformed into Mangia Nashville and creates an Italian celebration unparalleled by anything else around!

This past Sunday night was an EXTRA-special evening!

The very famous and beloved  Chef Lidia Bastianich of Lidia’s Italy  along with Chef Nick and his staff created the FIRST celebrity Chef event at Mangia Nashville. Lidia is well-known for her PBS cooking series,cookbooks and restaurants. Lidia and Nick collaborated on recipes for the evening and the menu featured several of Lidia’s authentic and amazing dishes! Lidia proudly supports Public Television and the evenings proceeds support Nashville Public TV.

What a privilege it was to celebrate this amazing event with Lidia and Nick! Lidia is such a sweet and gracious lady. How lucky we are that she shares the gifts of her Italian heritage with us through her amazing dishes!

Seating is always family-style.As I mentioned,if you don’t know everyone at the table when you are first seated,you definitely will by the end of the appetizer course! Libby,Layla and I had the privilege of being seated with Nick’s friends Thomas Annastas,Dennis Di Traglia and Tim Stewart. What a great group of guys! (Layla-my daughter-photographed our experience and we somehow  forgot to get a picture with her in it!)

Our evening was filled with laughter,wine and celebration of food in a really big way. The experience is just like I remember  at my grandmother’s table; dishes that cannot be replicated by just any restaurant. Each dish brings back unforgettable memories of childhood with my big Italian family gathered around the dinner table sharing stories and reminisicing about the “old days.” Nick and his staff prepare each dish the way you remember those home-cooked meals which brings back memories you will always cherish.

Fellow Nashville  Food Blogger Charles Hunter III of shares his talents as part of the Mangia Nashville staff!

We Begin the FEAST! The ANTIPASTI is served!
Lemon Risotto Rice Cakes with Mangia Mayo;their own special blend with a touch of basil.

Fried Green Olives stuffed with fresh-made Mozzarella Cheese

One of my all-time favorites! Who wouldn’t love this!

Organic Baby Arugula Salad with house-made Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette and Shaved Parmesan and Asparagus
~Lidia’s recipe

Shrimp and Fava Bean Salad ~Lidia’s recipe

Wines were included for this special evening. A food-friendly Pares Balta Cabernet Sauvignon and a dry, yet fruity Rose’ from Spain.

Rice and Zucchini Casserole ~Lidia’s Recipe

Orecchiette Pasta with Bacon,Ceci Beans and Broccoli Rabe ~Lidia’s recipe

Penne Paste with Porcini Cognac Cream Sauce

Time to Dance and Sing! A break before serving the next 3 entrees and  2 desserts is filled with Italian-inspired music, dancing and singing. We were serenaded by the songs of Dean Martin,Frank Sinatra and dancing to the Mambo!

Serenading Lidia!

The Mambo!

Everyone gets caught up in this evening of song and music!

Joe Pagetta -Media Relations Manager of NPT- takes a few moments to thank Lidia for her support of NPT and Mangia Nashville.

One of my favorite things about Mangia Nashville is watching the meal preparations.Everyone is busy in the kitchen. These guys work hard to serve a magnificent feast!

Now for the Main Courses!

Roasted Rosemary Lemon Chicken

Mangia’s Housemade Italian Sausage and Peppers~Absolutely Amazing! I cannot wait for more….

Baked Rollatini of Sole stuffed with bread crumbs,Parmesan,lemon,capers and wine

The amazing desserts: Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

Zeppole ~ A Mangia Favorite ~ Fried Italian Doughnuts generously sprinkled with powdered sugar!

You will be able to find most of the recipes in Lidia’s cookbook Lidia’s Italy in America -My favorite!
And,check out her website for these and other authentic and fabulous recipes,too!

FOR RESERVATIONS: email Nick :  [email protected]          Facebook: Mangia Nashville


7 thoughts on “An Extraordinary Evening at MANGIA NASHVILLE with Lidia Bastianich and Friends!

  • Wish I lived closer this looks amazing…thanks for sharing the sights, tastes and sips of Mangia with us all Lisa!

    Laurie Forster

  • Hi Angie! We are so lucky to have such a wonderful dinner experience like this right in Nashville! It is authentic and unique. What a wonderful way to celebrate! We MUST do a wine pairing sometime! This could be fun!

  • Laurie, this event is worth the trip to Nashville! It is truly amazing and unforgettable event that takes place every Friday and Saturday night! THANK YOU!

  • Thank you Lisa for another wonderful story. You captured the joy of the night and the photos are beautiful. It was one of those unforgettable moments that will stay with me forever. Such an honor to have Lidia with us and sharing the menu with her was incredible. She is and always has been an inspiration to me in so many ways. Like myself she did not go to culinary school but was drawn into the food business by her love of Italian American cuisine and all it stands for. She is truly an Icon of Italian American cooking and to have her with us at Mangia was a dream come true.
    Mille Grazie Amica Mia!

  • Thank you Nick! I couldn’t have said it better myself! It was truly an honor to be part of such an amazing evening! I will remember this forever! Grazie!

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