Mangia Nashville Feast Benefits Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Mangia Nashville ShakesWilliam Shakespeare tells us through the title character in Macbeth, “Now, good digestion wait on appetite, and health on both!” Mangia Nashville, named “Nashville’s Best Weekly Food Event” by the Nashville Scene, is about to supply great food for good digestion to benefit Nashville Shakespeare Festival.

Nick Pellegrino, owner-chef of Mangia Nashville, will create a delightful five-course meal with a Shakespearian theme on March 14. The dinner on the day before the Ides of March begins at 7 p.m. in the Cool Cafe (1110 Hillsboro Rd., Ste. B200 in Franklin). The $150 per-person feast includes wine, sparkling water and a casual, fun atmosphere to interact with other Shakespeare lovers and surprise celebrity guests while dancing and singing along to Italian-American song classics, according to organizers of the evening.

Big Night is one of my favorite films, and this event is designed to be a lot like the meal they have in the film. Adding some genuine Shakespearean touches, (Pellegrino) is creating a meal fit for the gods,” Nashville Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Denice Hicks says. “And we’re hoping (former Tennessee Titans running back) Eddie George (who played the title role in Nashville Shakes’ Winter 2012 production of Julius Caesar) will grace us with a Caesar speech or two. I can’t wait!”

Tickets for the limited-seating event are available at

Mangia Nashville (“mangia” in Italian translates to “you eat”) is a weekly fixed-price, homestyle Italian feast served every Friday and Saturday night at Cool Cafe in Franklin. Pellegrino, a longtime musician, songwriter and restaurant manager from Staten Island, N.Y., started the popular offering two years ago.

The family-style event has been feted for its authenticity, abundance of food and jovial atmosphere in which Pellegrino leads sing-a-longs and coaxes even the most resistant of diners to get up and dance, organizers say. The event has won very positive reviews in the Nashville Scene, Tennessean, Southern Exposure and Nashville Post.

Mangia Nashville is often sold out now months in advance.  For questions about the Ides of March dinner, email  or call the NSF offices at (615) 255-2273. For more about the Nashville Shakespeare Festival please visit For more about Mangia Nashville, please visit

*Image courtesy Nashville Shakespeare Festival.

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About Evans Donnell

Evans Donnell is the chief theater, film and opera critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He wrote reviews and features about theater, opera and classical music for The Tennessean from 2002 to 2011. He was the theater, film and opera critic for from 2011 to 2012. Donnell has also contributed to The Sondheim Review, Back Stage, The City Paper (Nashville), the Nashville Banner, The (Bowling Green, Ky.) Daily News and several other publications since beginning his professional journalism career in 1985 with The Lebanon (Tenn.) Democrat. He was selected as a fellow for the 2004 National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) arts journalism institutes for theater and musical theater at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2006 and classical music and opera at the Columbia University School of Journalism in 2009. He has also been an actor (member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA), founding and running AthensSouth Theatre from 1996 to 2001 and appearing in Milos Forman's "The People vs Larry Flynt" among other credits. Donnell is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (