This past Friday Kelly & I dined at Restaurant Iris with our good friends Becca & Lee. Anytime I dine at a restaurant's opening weekend, there is always some trepidation. You never know what kinks need to be worked out or what they will hit on or miss completely. However, this experience was unlike any other opening weekend in that nothing needed to be worked out. From the decor to the service to the food itself, it felt as if this restaurant has always been in operation. The design of the space has a New Orleans spice to it which is done very well. The service was friendly & knowledgeable....& the food was fabulous. Spices, sauces & seasoning were all well balanced & the proteins were cooked properly with seared crisp crusts & tender centers. By far my favorite appetizer was the brussels sprouts salad with allan benton's bacon & sherry vinaigrette. How can you not love this bacon???? My entree consisted of seared scallops, cauliflower puree, demi-glace & black truffles. A less than deft hand would have forced this dish over the edge into "way too rich" territory. But this was not the case. Instead, it was rich but balanced, with flavors & textures that were big enough for red wine & all around just ridiculously delicious. Kelly's favorite, Shrimp & grits, didn't disappoint. It was a perfect example of the dish, with an extra added savory quality that I have not tasted in other versions. Tasty, tasty.
All in all, we absolutely loved our experience at Iris. I'm so glad they are in Midtown & not in the nether regions of East Memphis or, god forbid, the suburbs.
I can't wait to eat there again.
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