I'm thankful that we have so many delicious restaurants in Memphis such as Bari. Honestly it has been quite some time since we sat down & had a full meal there. Bari has become something of a favorite watering hole for us due to their brilliant Martini Mondays. Marlinee & Max invited us to come dine with them & we of course accepted. There are numerous vegetarian options for Kelly & seafood/meat options for myself.
I started with a bracingly delicious glass of Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco because really, what better way is there to start a meal? Kelly & Max both started with Hendrick's Gin martinis, their poison of choice. There is something about Hendrick's that is simultaneously savory & sweet with a super refreshing hit of cucumber.
Our first course was an antipasti platter of grilled eggplant, roasted mushrooms, calabrase salami, speck, & a selection cheeses. I'm blanking on the cheeses but quite honestly you can't go wrong with just about any of Bari's cheese selection. Their selection is extensive & the staff is very well versed in each of them.
Next up for me was the Orecchiette alla Pugliese: handmade “little ear” pasta, sauteed rapini, tomatoes, salt cured anchovies, and garlic. The handmade pasta was tender but toothsome with an unctuous creamy texture. The dish hits on all centers of the palate, with a combination of flavors that was absolutely delicious. Savory, salty, sweetness from the tomato & earthiness from the garlic & anchovy. One of the best dishes in Memphis in my opinion.
When ordering my next course it was a difficult decision between the pork special (roasted with honey, chilis & garlic) or the Piedmontese Montana Strip Loin (garlic, olive oil, herbs). I went with the steak.
It was perfectly medium rare & so ridiculously tender presented in a very simple & straightforward way. The beef is the star here & that is a hallmark of Italian cooking: let the ingredients shine through. I'm craving this steak right now as I'm writing this.
We had to have dessert of course, along with a little Tuaca on the side, & I am obsessed with chocolate. Naturally, I went for the Torte di Cioccolato:house made dark chocolate espresso cake with dark chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache. A good dessert can help cleanse the bad memories of a not so good dinner. But in this case, this rich, velvety, earthy chocolate dessert helped continue the smile on my face that started with the first sip of prosecco. Every single morsel of food that evening was near perfect & more importantly, truly delicious. Get to Bari now & have dinner. You owe it yourself.
Q&A: Questions for Chef Enrique Olvera - Having conquered New York with his restaurant Cosme, the Mexican chef is returning to his native country to extend his empire.
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