The Parthenon Grille

In the days of old, lo there walked Titans upon the earth. Hunger they did, and they vanquished empty bellies and did slake their thirst at…The Parthenon Grille!

Located at 1962 S Church St Murfreesboro, Tennessee for a number of years, originally this establishment was located across the road for decades and is one of the older dining spots in town. Before the advent of 5 Senses, Dallas and Jane, and CJ’s, The Parthenon occupied the top spot for what was fine dining in its day.

Does this majestic god of restaurants still reign from on high in mighty Olympus? Let the thunderbolts of Zeus light the way for this scribes meager scrawls!

First Impression:

The outside of the building is nicely landscaped, and the building design reserved and tasteful. The bright neon sign illuminates the darkened sky on this blustery and chilled evening, guiding hungry travelers to its location. Parking is sufficient for quite a bit of business, and a covered walkway allows for passengers to be dropped off in inclement weather and walk dryly to the door. A modest patio area awaits fairer skies and warmer temperatures than this evening afforded. The foyer presented an ample waiting area with a selection of edible sundries one could take home. The bar area beckoned more thirsty patrons to the left, as well as being a comfortable oasis should a long wait for a table be in play. The hostess immediately greeted us with smiles, charm, and led us to our table.

Atmosphere:

The Parthenon’s décor and environment are evocative of an upscale experience, but still accessible by those wearing jeans and a polo. Accents of wood, tile, and metal lend a regal air, and low, soft music paired with the subdued lighting to render the guest relaxed and cozy and expectant of sufficient pampering.

Service:

We started with an appetizer, and the timing between dishes was perfect. So often, I order appetizers at restaurants hesitantly, because they often come out at the same time as the main dish or the entrees come out far too long after we are done with the teaser dish. This time it was nicely timed and that’s a good start. A poorly made or timed small plate often sets the tone for the rest of the experience. The rest of the plates followed suite. Someone that I took to be the owner or manager visited with us, and was very friendly and casual. In total, this was a very good part of our evening.

Food:

Let’s look at the appetizer The Missus and I shared. We ordered the Pan Fried Mozzarella, thinking it would be something light and tasty. I had ordered it years ago and remembered it being cooked at the tableside, jumping flames and all! Not so on this occasion, though the disappointment was slight. Very lightly breaded and served on a bed of marinara, this was warm throughout but not so much as the cheese to be runny when cut into. Just right. The marinara enhanced the flavor without taking it over.

I ordered off the “surf and turf” section, and got a steak and shrimp combo called The Black and Bleu. Small sirloin and skewer of grilled shrimp with a small baked potato, I preceded it with a salad in order to keep my balance of fiber, proteins and carbs in line. The steak was covered in gorgonzola cheese and a balsamic reduction while the shrimp were lightly blackened. I ordered the steak medium-rare, and was pleased to see it had been cooked perfectly when I cut into it. The shrimp were not overdone or rubbery and served with drawn butter. The potato was hot and fresh, and I probably should not have eaten all of it but I did. My blood sugar later tested at 157 for this meal. A little elevated, but not bad all things considered. I still averaged in my range for the day.

The Missus had been craving seafood, so she ordered something that sounded amazing, The Stuffed Red Snapper. A generous filet of red snapper, it was stuffed with parmesan and spinach. The sauce you see covering it in the picture is a Grey Goose vodka cream sauce. A salad was also chosen for a side. While The Missus was impressed with the taste and appearance, she felt the fish was just slightly overcooked.

Lastly, since this was a special night and we were celebrating our anniversary, we were gifted with a dessert. A caramel pie, nicely decorated with little hearts. Before you guys start wagging a finger at ‘ole HHH, I was a good boy. I had a single small bite and let The Missus have the lioness’s share of this sweet treat. From what I could tell, it was very good. 

Cleanliness:

An excellent job here. The floors were clear, the décor shone brightly, the glass areas polished. No dust, no food on the floor, no “old dirt”. Very fresh feeling to the whole place.

Final thoughts:

This is a solid place for a date night in Murfreesboro, TN. It looks nice, the staff were great, it was pleasant to sit in, and the food was better than a lot of places. I felt it was a bit pricy, but I am ok with paying a bit more for a place I feel will offer me a consistent experience. I will be back again, but probably for special occasions such as this one. My suggestion is that you give it a try for one of your special occasions or a nice date night.

4 out of 5 peace signs! Dig it!

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“Make lunch, not war”!

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My name is Bobby Turman, Jr. I spent over 35 years in the food and hospitality industry doing everything from management, corporate trainer, wedding coordinator, catering, event organizer…well, really just a little bit of everything.

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