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Apr 2, 2014 05:48 AM

What's the best Italian in Memphis?

The subject pretty much says it. Trying to decide between Andrew-Michael and Bari. Or is there somewhere else I ought to be considering as well?

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  1. I've eaten at Ciao Bella twice, and both times it was really good...

    1. As far as fancier places go, those are your best bets. Some people really like Pasta Italia, which used to be in Collierville and is now in Cordova, but I've never been. It is also supposed to be more of an authentic place.

      Ciao Bella, mentioned by Clarkafella, is good in the Italian-American/pizza/pasta vein, and I also like Amerigo (a small chain) for that sort of thing - but I don't think there are any places besides Bari & A/M (and maybe Pasta Italia) that are fine dining/"real" Italian.

      I'd check out the menus for A/M and Bari and just decide based on that. I lean towards Bari personally, but like both. Bari is heavily seafood-focused, though their ribeye has been really good before. I tend to like the appetizers, pastas, meats, and cheeses at Bari - the entrees can be kind of underwhelming.

      I actually think I like A/M's younger brother Hog & Hominy better, but it's a different sort of thing. That's also not really a knock on A/M - I just really like H&H.

      1. Pete & Sam's is a polarizing old school Italian place in Memphis. Much like the Rendezvous, some folks love it and some folks hate it. It's been around since 1948. It's got your standard red gravy plates, but also hand cut steaks and good pizzas. I happen to be in the camp that loves it. It is BYOB.

        Bari is much different. It's new and focuses on regional Italian cuisine from the Puglia region. The menu has more fish options.

        A/M has some old classics with a mix of newer ideas.

        I like all three.

        You also have Elfo's in Germantown, Frank Grisanti's in East Memphis, and Ronnie Grisanti's all the way out in Collierville.

        1. Both of these restaurants are on my radar for a future trip to Memphis. We have three nights and aren't looking for BBQ this time around. Would it be a mistake to do these back to back or are they too similar?