Restaurant Iris, Memphis

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Kara and I loved having Joy Shepherd ride with us to dinner
(and she didn't complain when we were in Break Away Running
for 30 minutes shopping for new shoes and their sale rack)

The outside of the restaurant (it is in a house)
Our table at Iris...Beth and Stan Bradshaw, Sarah Jane and Cade Martin,
Tara Burton, Jimmy Huff, Beth Malone, Joy Shepherd, me and Jackie

I just love that Tara Burton could walk home,
she lives in the neighborhood!

Ashley Boeckmann King, Chef Kelly English and Beth Malone...
All Ole Miss fun is this Kara?

The second of our three tables...Kyle and Cecilia Killough,
Chuck and Lisa Blanton and Martin and Kara

Our third table...Becca and Neall Jackson and Ashley and Jon David King
Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kara has wanted to go to this restaurant and invited our extended biking family to come with.  We were overwhelmed by this modern, sophisticated restaurant situated in Memphis' Overton Square.  We had to take the 5:30 reservation time slot to seat our party of 20 which worked out perfectly.  We had a wonderful waiter Jeff, that covered all the menu items in detail and gave us his recommendations as well.  We were offered a cocktail or glass of wine when we were seated, Cecilia insisted I try the champagne cocktail called a French 45.  You all know I don't drink cocktails or spirits but I did go out on a limb and order one up without the simple syrup.  It was super lite and I loved it.  It was just Champagne and gin.  Jackie had an Abita Amber and was particularly cocky of the fact that Abita was the only beer you could order (he has an eternal love affair with Abita Springs and spends a lot of time during our annual New Orleans trip getting his seasonal Christmas Ale for Kara and I's party).

While ordering dinner, I felt a little influenced by everyone around me to order an appetizer which is totally against my rules.  Jackie didn't want one either but I feared I'd make a mistake by not trying one at this new, hip restaurant.  I asked Jeff to get us his favorite and he insisted on Rod Bailey's Ravioli, which on the menu was described as "neola" brown butter and mushrooms.  I must back up and report that the waitstaff kept serving crusty french bread during our cocktails and ordering and Jeff recommended that we dip our bread in the ravioli sauce and we did...whoa, that was good advice, it was delicious.  The ravioli was huge and we split it and enjoyed the sauce and bread. 

For dinner, I had the redfish because Jeff said it was his pick for someone who liked spicy food.  He ordered it up with an extra spicy request for me and it was perfect.  Just the right size, delish.  Jackie ordered the Surf and Turf, which is described as new york strip steak, medium rare, stuffed with fried oysters and blue cheese.  It was a huge helping and he loved it and remarked how ordering something like this reminded him of Benton and Alexis' past ordering at the infamous Powerhouse Seafood restaurant in Fayetteville. About 17 years ago Benton, in his drunk ordering way, got the surf and turf for he and his date Alexis, when she totally didn't like lobster.  It was another memorable time with Benton.  We also rehashed Jackie getting banned from the bar for ordering his table drinks.  Fun memories.

This evening and meal couldn't have been more perfect so I hesitated on dessert because I didn't want to get disappointed.  I finally decided to get the bread pudding and split it with Jackie.  It was unbelievable and the coffee with chickory hit the spot.

Oh Restaurant Iris, an unbelievable, fresh restaurant and menu with an equally, fabulous chef Kelly English, who is from southern Louisiana.  I took a picture of our two Ole Miss alums Ashley Boeckmann King and Beth Malone with the chef.  He was gracious to come out of the kitchen 3 times to visit with our huge party.  Restaurant Iris is a must restaurant.  Open since 2008, I see this establishment as not only a regional best but an American Icon restaurant.  Yes, I just coined that phrase.  Make sure you get to this restaurant and let me know what you think, you won't be disappointed.

Restaurant Iris, 2146 Monroe, Memphis, 901-590-2828.

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