Located in the former A La Lucie building at 159 North Limestone and owned by Trish Tungate (previously of the Chevy Chase spot, The Dish) Minglewood’s menu is inspired by the cuisine of the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. Carefully crafted and artfully presented, Minglewood redefines casual bar food as a bit more upscale, but still completely approachable.
For dinner, guests have several options—from Sriracha Shrimp Tacos with cucumber sour cream and collard green kimchi (a customer favorite) to Warm Brussels Sprout Salad with cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds, and warm bacon vinaigrette. Other popular dishes include Pigs on the Wing (smoked, fried pork shanks) and the NoLi Burger, dressed with melted Brie, bacon, and bourbon orange marmalade.
Along with entrées, Minglewood’s menu includes a selection of sharable snacks like “Hummus A Tune” (roasted garlic hummus, grilled chips and veggies), the “I’m High on Cheese” Platter (smoked cheddar and parmesan pimento served alongside pickled jalapeños and grilled bread) and “Wild Turkey Sloppy Joes” (ground turkey sliders with sweet and spicy Wild Turkey sauce, house made pickles, and hand cut fries).
Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 4 pm. Options include mini French toast baguettes (with fresh berries, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bourbon maple syrup), a fried egg tostada with black beans, salsa verde and queso fresca, as well as a variety of classic egg dishes. Prices range from $8-14, and nightly specials include Taco Tuesday, Whiskey Wednesday, bottles of wine for $20 on Thursdays, and a daily happy hour with half price cocktails from 4-6 pm.
Tungate mentioned that one of her intentions for Minglewood’s concept was to fill a niche that would compliment the other restaurants in the area. Sidebar is known for their burgers and beers, while La Deauville and Distilled have a more upscale ambiance. In terms of price and location, Minglewood is right in the middle.
She gave the 1905 building a complete makeover with help from local designer, Anita Sexton. The original floors and tin ceiling have been beautifully restored, and the signature decor of A La Lucie was softened and the dark hues swapped for mint and teal. A granite bar top, exposed brick walls, and industrial-chic light fixtures from Kentucky Lighting and Supply complete the modern look.
When asked about food trends, Tungate shared her appreciation that many people are trying to avoid processed foods and eat healthier. “It also makes my day [when customers share plates] in order to try different things,” she said. “I am not into giant portions. I would rather dishes be customized and allow people to try several items rather than ordering one thing and being stuck with it.”
She also explained that a smaller menu ensures that everything served is fresh and on-point. “I am not a fan of menus with twenty items or more. Not even fifteen. And if all of those items are 2,000 calories, then people end up feeling miserable and heavy, rather than happy and satisfied and skipping out the door.”
Like any good restaurant owner, Tungate isn’t going to give all her cooking secrets away. But she did share a recipe for a sandwich called The Ugly Pig. She explained, “The name of this dish comes from one of my all time favorite Phish songs, Guyute, that tells the tale of a bizarre encounter with an ugly pig named Guyute. While the encounter is slightly scary, it is so exciting and divine that the last lyric is, ‘I hope this happens once again’. I think it’s perfect for a sandwich of this proportion.”
How did you get started in the restaurant business?
I started as a vegetarian server at Columbia’s Steakhouse when I was nineteen. From there, I served and was a bartender for about seven years until I landed my job at Rossi’s where I took over their wine and cocktail program. From there, I opened The Dish, and then Minglewood.
What is one of your favorite ingredients?
Cucumbers! I love that they can be used just as they are, or pickled to be salty, sweet, sour, tangy—there are so many directions. I am an admitted crunch-aholic, so I love the crunch and crispness they can add to a savory dish, salad or salsa.
If you were dining at Minglewood what would you order?
I am not a parent, but I would imagine that’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is! I put my heart and soul into every dish, but if I had to choose, I always recommend our burger topped with bacon, orange and bourbon marmalade, and creamy, melty Brie. It hits every taste bud and makes you want it again the minute you leave. I also think our fried chicken hot brown is pretty spectacular. It takes a Kentucky favorite and adds a flavor explosion and healthier twist by not focusing so heavily on the cheese and adding spinach and roasted tomato chutney.
Something people would be surprised to know about you?
I only started cooking professionally about 5 years ago. I was a front-of-the-house girl. I could pair your wine and recommend a cocktail to fix your bad day. Running a kitchen and cooking for the masses was never a role I pictured myself in, but it turns out I love it even more.
Tell us about your family.
I am the oldest sister out of four badass women and I have a really great older brother. No children, but the very proud aunt of three nephews and a niece. My dad ran bars and restaurants when I was growing up, so I think I may owe a bit of my knack to him.
Food-wise, what is your guilty pleasure?
Queso dip and raw jalapeños on every chip. Period.