Itta Bena, Memphis

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gosh, it's hard to believe that Jackie and I've seen Sheryl Crow eight times and today we had tickets for our 9th concert at Mud Island in downtown Memphis. Before the concert we wanted a snack so we headed to Beale Street. It had been a long time since we've been on Beale. It was a lazy Friday afternoon and the street was picking up with tourists. We went to the old Pat O'Brien's which is now Ground Zero Blues Club that's owned by Morgan Freeman. It had just moved in from being by the Westin, two blocks over. We were entertained by a wonderful local band. It took the waitress a while to get our beer to us, they were out of wine and micro brews so we ordered up some Ultra. The band was so entertaining, I tried to use the Shazam app on my phone to see what the name of the songs were but it didn't register. Jackie named a few of the songs from the Almond Brothers. I wish now that I'd gotten the name of that band.

So we headed onto Beale and went upstairs at BB Kings to the bar at Itta Bena. We'd been there several times before but today was outstanding. We sat ourselves at the bar around 6:30 and the place was filling up. Jason was our waiter and he got Jackie's beer and my wonderful Sonoma Curtrer Chardonnay on the way. We ordered off the appetizer menu and Jason recommended the Fried Avocado with crabmeat. Let me just say, that avocado dish was excellent. It was lightly battered and not warmed up at all on the inside which was perfect. On the side of it was a spinach salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette and remoulade sauce. Jackie ordered the Award-wining She Crab Soup. We also ordered the Wild Mushroom Ravioli which was rich and the right size. The three huge handmade ravioli were served with a cream sauce that was divine. Can you tell I loved this meal?

I love the feel of the restaurant. It has a private entrance on Second Ave., and doesn't have a huge sign out front. In fact, it's known as the restaurant NBA and other celebrities go to dine because of it's privacy. Jason asked us if we were headed to the bull riding at the Fedex Forum and I said, "of course not, we're going to Sheryl Crow." He added that she had dined there just a few months ago.

I did get a peek at Chef Derk Meitzler who was busy with the kitchen. Jackie cringed when I said I wanted to squeeze the chef and tell him how much I loved his restaurant. I settled for a smile and wave as I passed him on the way from the ladies room. And the ladies room is the best one I've ever been to. It's crazy to talk about a bathroom but it's the most modern, private and clean places ever. Anytime you put some Aveda products out for the ladies and a trashcan by the door, you've gotta good thing going.

Itta Bena, 145 Second Ave., Memphis 901-578-3031

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