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May 17, 2011 01:48 PM

Flight or Iris

Thanks in advance for advice on which to choose for a Sunday evening meal.

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  1. We ate at Flight a couple of weeks ago and it was incredible! Kind of a different concept for these parts but everything was great! Never been to Iris so don't know how it compares, but I don't think you would be disappointed at all with Flight.

    We made reservations via Open Table on an Iphone while standing in front of the crowded place- walked right in and they had our table ready within minutes!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Clarkafella

      Iris won't be open on a Sunday evening, but in comparing the two, its not even relatively close. Iris may be the best restaurant in the state, honestly. Not really fair to have these 2 restaurants in the same conversation.

      1. re: dailybread8383

        FWIW, I have seen mixed reviews both here and elsewhere about Flight, so I guess it can't be consistently good, which is really the mark of a great restaurant.

        But having said that I must add that when they are on, they really are on- and there is some food coming out of the kitchen at Flight that doesn't take a back seat to anyone. I've only eaten there once, so maybe I was extremely lucky...

    2. I have heard mixed reviews about Flight, but have not dined there. I have dined at Iris, and it is outstanding. It certainly has received more national press for Chef Kelly English, and I have never heard anyone say they didn't have an outstanding meal there. The space is an old home and is interesting as well..

      1. Iris and it isn't even close. IMO Iris is the best restaurant in the state and is just unreal good.

        I've eaten there many times and have never had a meal that wasn't outstanding.

        Flight is good but it isn't on the same level as Iris.

        Chef Kelly English worked under John Besh and you can see the influence but it is also very unique.

        The menu changes frequently based on what's in season but some highlights: bone marrow topped with pico de gallo and served with brioche, the seared foie gras is some of the best I've had, the lobster knuckle sandwich, the raviolo (braised beef short rib ravioli in brown butter sauce), the surf and turf (NY Strip stuffed with fried oysters and hollandaise), trout almandine and the lamb shank is out of this world.

        1 Reply
        1. re: klebb

          Also, the tasting menu is a great deal -- 5 courses which is $75 paired with wine and $55 w/o wine

          I only think they do this during the week though.

          Where are you staying? Iris is in Midtown which is about a $10 cab from downtown.

        2. My one meal at Flight was not particularly good (and very expensive for being really blah) and I'm not inclined to go back. Iris is fantastic--really, really amazing.

          14 Replies
          1. re: LizR

            are you talking about Wild Iris and Flyte?

            I am confused.

            Wild Iris Cafe
            127 Franklin Rd Ste 160, Brentwood, TN 37027

            1. re: brooky

              Nope, talking about Restaurant Iris:


              and Flight:


              Iris has a great reputation for being wonderful, but I am apparently the only person in the free world to get a decent meal at Flight. I'm kind of starting to feel guilty about that...

              Restaurant Iris
              2146 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

              1. re: Clarkafella

                I've had a great meal at flight and another that was okay (not bad just not great).

                I just think that Iris is next level good -- I need to go back soon. For a place that is walking distance from my house I don't go enough

                1. re: Clarkafella

                  I have eaten at Flight a couple of times and enjoyed my meals. There are some items that were stronger than others but I enjoy trying different dishes.

                  I had the scallop dish both times and it's one of the best I have had anywhere. On the last visit the gazpacho with watermelon was excellent and the elk loin was really good too.

                  I have only been to Iris once and want to go back again. The raviolo was just okay to me. The red wine vinegar and brown butter sauce overwhelmed the rib meat in the raviolo. The deconstructed cassoulet was great and interesting.

                2. re: brooky

                  We are talking about Memphis not Nashville

                  If it were Nashville I'd be hyping City House and Miel -- since Zola shut down I think those are the only two "fine" dining places I really like there.

                  1. re: klebb

                    Thanks for all the recs. We actually ended up at McEwen's on Monroe and enjoyed our meal there very much (would have chose Iris if it was open on Sunday).

                    1. re: Boston Penguin

                      Wise choice. McEwen's, IMO, is always a good choice. Last time I went I had the coriander encrusted duck breast and it was great -- probably the best thing I've ever had there.

                      1. re: klebb

                        I really want to go to iris, but the only night I have to get to Memphis is sunday and they are closed. What would be your 2nd choice for fine dining? I rather nothing too white table cloth, but just a great culinary experience....

                        1. re: Billy77

                          A lot of the nicer places in Memphis are closed on Sunday. Of the top of my head, Erling Jensen has a nice $38 3-course special on Sunday night. Also, Bari is open on Sunday night - interesting southeastern Italian food. Lots of seafood.

                          Erling Jensen The Restaurant
                          1044 S. Yates Rd, Memphis, TN 38119

                          1. re: bulldogx2

                            If you are staying downtown Erlings is a haul but it is excellent and for $38 it's a deal. I didn't even know about that but would love to check it out...

                            I love Bari but check out the menu first as it's not for everyone. They have a great cheese selection, pasta dishes, and it's very fish-centric for the mains (they aren't really main courses though as you are supposed to order 4-5 courses).

                            As mentioned earlier McEwens is great -- especially if you are downtown.

                            I'm pretty sure Sweetgrass and 1912 are both open on Sunday's as well.

                            Everywhere in Memphis is fairly casual but I wouldn't wear shorts and flip flops to EJ's...

                    2. re: brooky

                      FYI Flight in Memphis copied Flyte in Nashville in hopes that folks would think they are associated...and got caught. From what I heard they had to pay the guys in Nashville to use the name, etc. Not cool.

                      1. re: jcr05

                        Really? I don't see any similarities except for the name. The schtick at Flight (memphis) is that you can order "flights" of food i.e. tenderloin flight with smaller portions of Pork, Beef, Lamb or wine flights allowing you to taste 3 different kinds of wine, etc...

                        Unless Flyte in Nashville completely changed I think you are wrong.

                        1. re: klebb

                          FWIW, someone on the Central South board mentioned that they heard that Flight was opening a place in Birmingham- no idea if it is related to either of the others...