Monday, April 21, 2008

Gabrielle Collection

I had the pleasure of lunch with Gabrielle Leonhard, owner of the Gabrielle Collection of wines. She focuses on cabernet sauvignon & blends that varietal with syrah, merlot, petite verdot, malbec & cabernet franc. Her passion was obvious, her love of the cabernet was easily discernible. But what really struck me was her overwhelming desire to be a responsible farmer. She farms sustainably so that she isn't confined to the organic regulations & can therefore make decisions that are more ecologically sound. All that & the wines have real depth & life to them. Look for them at your favorite wine shop or restaurant.

Gabrielle Collection

Austrian Wine Dinner at Restaurant Iris

Kerstin Klamm with the top quality wine producer, Domane Wachau, will be the guest of honor at a dinner on Thursday May 1st. Chef Kelly English of Restaurant Iris will be crafting a special menu to pair with Kerstin's wines. Cost to attend is $60 plus tax & gratuity, dinner begins at 6:00 p.m. For reservations contact Restaurant Iris, 901.590.2828. Elizabeth Mall of Delta Wholesale & myself will be in attendance to guide diners through the wine selections & answer any questions about Austrian wines. Last year's Austrian wine dinner sold out in 2 days! Act fast to book a seat.

Resturant Iris
2146 Monroe Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104

Domane Wachau

Monday, April 07, 2008

Restaurant Iris

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.