Arguably the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year has to be ACRE, Chef Wally Joe's new restaurant. Wally's food is so unique, so inspired & absolutely delicious. He has without a doubt garnered a following in Memphis as well as national clout. There is a coterie of people that are hounding him on a constant basis "when are you opening?" "when are you opening?"!! That is a testament to the man himself.
This afternoon Chef Wally Joe showed Kelly & I inside the building & behind the construction plastic. As we perused the space he talked us through the restaurant design & lay out. Outside in the back tucked between the parking lot & the showcase dining room will be a hidden oasis patio laid in stone nestled adjacent to what looked to be a dry stream bed & amongst tall trees. I instantly imagined myself sipping on delicious cocktails at a table right in the corner with friends.
We went back in the building through the kitchen & sounds of knives, searing pans & kitchen clatter began to ring in my ears. Its as if I could see a brigade of cooks preparing what will be some of the best food in town. We walked out the kitchen & passed a large private dining room big enough for 12-14 people. The side dining room will have a cozy fireplace & plush round banquette tables for diners to get comfortable in. When we walked into what is slated to be the main dining room I was in awe. The space is big! Tall ceilings, rough hewn wooden walls, tons of natural light & an insane amount of windows to gaze out of.
The small bar area will seat a few people at the bar itself along with tall tables to grab a bite & a quick drink at. The cocktail list is sure to impress & make people want to sample their way through it.
Even though the space is still being worked on I could see every detail that Chef Wally Joe was describing.
I can't wait for it to open!
Eat: The Enduring Appeal of Roasted Chicken Provençal - A simple and classic dish from the designer Steven Stolman.
6 hours ago