So my husband and I finally made it to Restaurant Iris, and all I can say is what took us so long? For as long as Restaurant Iris has been open, it has been considered one of the best restaurants in Memphis, and it was a perfect location for a fabulous celebration dinner.
We decided on the five-course degustation which gave us seven courses total (with one shared appetizer and a shared entree.)
I started with their version of soup and sandwich - butternut squash bisque and and grilled cheese piled high with duck confit. I can't say I've ever had duck on a grilled cheese sandwich before, but I definitely will again.
My husband, Tom, started off with the seared foie gras. He said it was simple, clean and very well-balanced.
For the salad course, I opted for the Brussels sprout salad with Benton's bacon. Now, bacon makes everything better. Benton's bacon is some serious stuff, way more robust than the regular stuff from the grocery store. I love it, and I really enjoyed it in this salad.
Tom went with the tempura fried okra salad. This course featured whole okra pods, stuffed with pimento cheese, tempura battered and fried to a golden brown. Tom is an okra addict, and he was not disappointed in this unusual take on a Southern classic.
Then we split the Rod Bailey's raviolo. Raviolo is the singular form of ravioli, and this one is stuffed with braised Black Angus short rib meat and sits in a pool of the most delicious sauce. Big thanks to our waiter who suggested that we use the complimentary French bread to sop up the leftover sauce. That might have been my favorite bite of the night.
For our entree, we split the surf and turf - New York strip stuffed with fried oysters and topped with a blue cheese sauce. Can you believe that's only half of a regular portion? Tom said this was the best steak he's ever eaten in his entire life.
For dessert, Tom had the trio of ice creams (I cannot, for the life of me, remember the flavors)
And I had the praline bread pudding. This was the only course I didn't finish, and only because I simply ran out of room. I ate until I couldn't eat anymore.
Final Impressions: This was a true five-star experience from beginning to end. Every single bite was thoughtfully prepared and absolutely delicious. The service was stellar, the atmosphere was charming without being stuffy, and we had an absolutely amazing time. It will be extremely difficult to pick another restaurant for our next special occasion outing.
2146 Monroe Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
Average Appetizer Price $7-$15
Average Entree Price $25-$35
Average Dessert Price $8-$10