Friday, November 9, 2012

Downtown Dining Week!

The past two nights, Charley and I have partaken in Memphis downtown dining week, the one week out of the year that most downtown restaurants participate in, creating menus specifically for the event, for only $20.12 (not including drinks or gratuity). It's a wonderful excuse to try out new places that would otherwise be too pricey, or you may not have even noticed otherwise.

Wednesday, Charley and I went to SOB (South of Beale), a little bar on S Main St. Neither of us had been before, but it was a nice, clean place with a full bar and quite a few dinner tables. We actually ended up ordering the same from the menu. Our choices were: first, fried avocados with olive tapenade and balsamic cream sauce, or duck fried rice with a sunnyside egg; second, grilled salmon with maple syrup braised brussels sprouts, or pork chop with gouda mac 'n cheese; and third, butterscotch mousse with salted caramel crisp, or "Jack & Coke" - Coca Cola bread pudding with Jack Daniels ice cream. I wish that we had tried different items, but being vegetarian, my options tend to be limited, and I'm not forcing my dinner date to try something that she doesn't want to! We both loved it all!

Fried avocados
Grilled salmon
"Jack & Coke"
I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this dinner: everything was fantastic. I took home half of my salmon and brussels sprouts and Trey ate them this morning and also complimented them. Day two food, and still delicious? That's got to say a lot.

Tonight, Charley, Trey, and I went to eighty3, on Madison. The place is self-declared "sensory dining", and the interior is a chic cocktail bar. The option were: first, creamed corn spaghetti, or green tomato and candy bacon BLT; second, chipotle shrimp and grits, or pan fried chicken schnitzel with corn bread and lemon caper butter; third, salty caramel ice cream and almond tuille, or blueberry bread pudding with sea salt vanilla ice cream. Luckily, this time, we all experimented a bit.

Creamed corn spaghetti
Shrimp and grits
Chicken schnitzel
Caramel ice cream
blueberry bread pudding
Both restaurants were wonderful and a great experience. eighty3's bread pudding wasn't nearly as good as SOB's (I'd actually never had bread pudding before!), and was a little dry. The blueberries, however, made it nice and sweet. We were super excited to learn that they stuck the ice cream spoons to the plate with caramel! How cool! We had a not so great experience with our waitress at eighty3, but I don't think that it will inhibit our desire to try it again. There were no leftovers! The portions were wonderful. Charley even ordered us an entire bottle of Cappola "Director's Cut" Pinot Noir, 2006, I believe. A wonderful compliment to our wonderful dinner.

(901) 526-0388
361 S Main St
Memphis, TN 38103
South of Beale on Urbanspoon

(901) 333-1224
83 Madison Ave
Memphis, TN 38103
eighty3 on Urbanspoon

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