Best Restaurant (not BBQ) in Memphis?
The consensus on the local Memphis food board is that the best place in town right now is Restaurant Iris. I haven't eaten there yet because it's fairly new. However, I'm going in two weeks for my anniversary. The chef (Kelly English) won Food & Wine best new chef this year.
We loved Bari which is Italian like I'm in Italy Italian, rather than American Italian. Small plates of everything from appetizers to pastas, seafood and meats. Lots of interesting choices. Great bar. Totally professional service. Upscale room with water wall. Restaurant is not that big so reservations would be a good idea. I believe clients will be impressed. We were.
Bari Ristorante e Enoteca, 22 South Cooper St. Card says Southeastern Italian Cuisine. Website is barimemphis.com.
Since you'll be downtown, there are several options. The Majestic Grille is good for lunch or supper. Encore would be a very nice dinner with clients. Sole in the Westin does great seafood. For a fine dining experience, Chez Philippe in the Peabody is wonderful. If you're looking for more casual options, there's lot available, too. Beignet Cafe is great sandwiches along with perfect dessert. Gus's or Miss Polly's for fried chicken, Alcenia's for soul food, Dyer's, Huey's or Ernestine and Hazel's for burgers. It just all depends on what type of atmosphere you're looking for.
Mexican: Taqueria la Guadalupana on Summer
Sandwiches: Fino's at the corner of Madison and McClean
Cafe: Cafe Ecclectic (Best patty melt ever, seriously- and the soups are wonderful)
Pizza: I don't like pizza anywhere in Memphis
Burgers: Belmont Grill or Huey's
Downtown: Kooky Canuck (everything here is fried, basically)
Sushi: Do on South Cooper