We finally ate at Sweetgrass the Carolina low country style restaurant that opened a few months ago in the Cooper-Young 'hood of Memphis. The C-Y is brimming with great eats; Tsunami, Beauty Shop, DO Sushi so Sweetgrass really had to bring it if they wanted to keep up with these wonderful restaurants. The decor is very minimal, with slight design elements that echo the Carolina theme. The wine list was ok but not very interesting except for the Charles & Charles Cab/Syrah blend. I'm obsessed with Washington State wine so I zeroed in on this little beauty. Great glass of wine for the money.
Bonnie, our lovely server, explained the menu quite nicely & recommended some of her favorite dishes. One of which was the Tuna with fried oysters & a mustard bbq sauce. It was outstandingly delicious with bright savory notes from the mustard & the oysters positively MELTED in my mouth.
Next we tried the arugula salad. Baby arugula is one of my favorite greens & the chef obviously highlighted their slightly sweet slightly spicy nature by adding a vinaigrette that wasn't overpowering. As delicious as it was it could have been that much better with more salt in the vinaigrette.
Kelly had the gazpacho & it was nice but the flavors didn't seem integrated. It tasted more like a simple bloody mary with some veg floating in it.
I was craving the Newman Farms Osso Bucco but they were out so I kind of waffled a bit on what to order. Bonnie had heard me say something about my not liking duck breast but really liking duck leg so she said she would ask the chef if he would leave of the breast & put an extra leg on. That was really cool, very professional & a great example of what a good server is by her doing that. My duck arrived, I dug in & was in absolute heaven! The skin was super crisp & the underlying fat had rendered perfectly so as to still be present & rich but not overwhelming. The meat was super tender & rich. I absolutely loved loved LOVED this dish! I will be going back for the duck again....& to try the osso bucco soon. While we were finishing our meals Chef Ryan Trimm came out to thank us for coming in & ask how everything was. He was friendly, personable, genuine & just really cool. I love supporting chefs like that as opposed to those with attitudes that could care less if you walked in the door or could care less if you like their food or not.
Sweetgrass is definitely a welcome addition to Cooper Young & the Memphis dining scene in general.
What to Cook: What to Cook This Week - Celebrate the crowd that took part in the Central Park “Be-In” 50 years ago, or play it straight, with recipes for Sichuan chicken or weeknight pasta.
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