I am staying at the Peabody Hotel for a weekend, and I wanted to know what are some good places to eat around the area. I have been hearing/reading about the following: Iris, Beauty Shop, McEwen's on Monroe and Erling Jensen's. Are any of these Zagat rated? I am from New Orleans, and I wanted to go to one of the best restaurants Memphis has to offer along with another one that has a very local vibe.
Definitely go to Encore. It's right around the corner from your hotel. I'd also try Gus's Fried Chicken, the Arcade for breakfast, and Earnestine & Hazel's for a soul burger (and the atmosphere).
My BBQ rec's are BBQ Shop, Interstate BBQ on Third St., and Rendezvous (last one simply for the atmosphere).
I haven't been to Restaurant Iris yet, but I have heard spectacular things from every single person I know that's been there. If you can go, definitely do.
Beauty Shop would be an excellent choice as well plus it puts you in an area with a lot of fun things going on.
I would say The Voodoo Room for late night food (downstairs from Orleans on Front), but you're from New Orleans so scratch that, even though it is yummy.
Erling Jensen's is the best restaurant in Memphis IMO. Erling has outstanding service and Memphis' best wine list. Encore would be 2nd. There are plenty of local places you would like. You will never run out of BBQ suggestions. Would you mind telling me your favorite NO restaurants. I visit quite often and love Galatoire's, Emeril's, Delmonico's, Antoines, Commanders, Gauteau's and Bayona. I could name more but they might run us off to the NO board. Thanks.
I have been disappointed by McEwen's the last two times I've been there. Service was very good, but I actually returned my entree because it was so oversalted. (To the restaurant's critic, it was promptly whisked away and I was offered a replacement of whatever I wanted.)
I have very much enjoyed Beauty Shop each visit. Make sure to get the strawberry cake for dessert.
Erling Jensen's was good, but too stuffy/pretentious for my taste.
I've only been to Encore once--it was good, too. I'd go back over McEwen's next time.
I've heard wonderful things about Iris from everyone I know who has been. I haven't made it there yet.
Enjoy your stay!
Thanks for all the suggestions.
I guess I will stick with either Beauty Shop, Encore or Erling Jensen's. Iris looks great, but it reminds me a little too much of our local menus.
As far as BBQ places, this will be a toss up.
Littleman: As far as fav places in N.O., that is a hard one. All of those you named above are great. Here are some of my favorites: MiLA, Patois, Coquette, Iris, Bayona, La Provance, Stella and Cuvee. For a more relaxed atmosphere, I like Stanley's, Surrey's, Baru and Cafe Amelie(the courtyard makes the food). Anyway-I will stop now.
I was in Memphis last June and loved every minute of it. Encore was very nice for fine dining -- I had a filet mignon and my partner had halibut; I can't say it was the best resto in Memphis, but we loved it. We went to Gus's twice -- I still dream of that fried chicken -- like Austin Leslie's (rest his soul) without the dill pickle on top...
I've been to Iris about 5 times now. It's definitely the best place in Memphis. (I say that not having to been to Erling Jensen's in quite a while because I never liked the service and there was nothing exciting.) I've only had bad experiences at Encore, although I guess I'm in the minority.
I really like Beauty Shop. Tsunami is very close and has some of the best seafood in town and a fun vibe. Do, next door to Beauty Shop, has great noodle bowls for lunch.
Also, no one's mentioned Bari. It is very regional southern Italian and ranges from very good to excellent and isn't that expensive.
And no Memphis places are Zagat rated. They don't know that Tennessee exists.
The Beauty Shop has a wonderful salad- it sounds simple, a head of romaine that gets tossed on the grill for just a second or too- it is still cold, but picks up a wonderful smoky flavor, then it is topped with some blue cheese, bacon crumbles, and candied walnuts.
Trust me, it is *way* better than my description!
Last time there I also had an appetizer of some tempura fried oysters on a bed of tabasco sugar- it didn't sound very good, but the guy behind the bar highly recommended it- man, was he right! Absolutely wonderful!