Location – 325 W. Huron (Huron and Orleans)
In one word – Polished
Food – Named for the 27 Latin American countries, Nacional did nothing but impress me. We started with the boniato (a mushroom) and plantain croquetas with black beans and a garlic sauce. The perfect size for two and wonderful! I went here with my dad; he had the pacific blue nose (grouper). It was so good that he didn’t offer any to me to try. I tried the slow roasted Gunthrop Farm pork “Cubano.” The pork was soft, the coconut rice was coconutty. I could have used more plantains, but I guess everything in moderation.
Drink – We had a carafe of their Riesling. It was one of the better Rieslings I’ve had in a while because while sweet, it was still very crisp. We didn’t try any of their mixed drinks. Word is that their bartender is the best in the city.
Service – At first I was skeptical of our server’s mental capabilities, but he quickly proved me wrong. He was really helpful with all of our questions when we asked about all the foreign terms on the menu. Their host staff was also prompt and helpful, without being overbearing (you often find that overbearingness at more upscale restaurants).
Occasion – We came early (6:30) when there were a lot of couples and families having dinner. If you come later in the night (9:00ish), you can join in the dancing when the place goes from low-key to sceney.
Dress – We saw dresses, suits, expensive jeans. Basically you can wear anything, but make it clear that you put effort into your look.
Cost – We ended up at $40 a piece with a shared appetizer, a carafe of wine and two entrees.
If you like, try…Carnivale