A few months ago Kelly & I went to Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen's No Menu Monday. I'm all for giving over control & just seeing what the chef puts out. Kelly....not so much. However, he was being a good sport & really enjoyed everything he ate. All of us were thrilled with it & couldn't wait to come back. Fast forward to this past Monday & Andrew Michael's Vegetarian No Menu Monday. Now, as I stated in my previous post I pretty much hate labels. However, in this case it was necessary to label it as "Vegetarian" so people would know it wouldn't be an all out pork-fest. We arrived to a packed restaurant. There are few things that make me as happy as seeing a busy independent restaurant. These guys deserve every bit of success that they receive & I really think A-M is a jewel in Memphis' culinary crown. Now, their No Menu Mondays always end with a handwritten menu but I thought I'd start with it since y'all might not have been there.
We brought along many delicious wines to sample but one of the standouts was the Torii Mor Pinot Noir 2008 Willamette Valley $22.99. Anyone who reads this blog knows I'm obsessed with Oregon so of course I brought a bottle of some Oregon deliciousness.
It had a solid backbone, luscious elegant texture & an earthy hit that lingered along so beautifully.
The amuse was unique & exciting-a black olive "oyster". Some molecular gastronomy was in play here & really set the tone for the playfulness of the meal.
First course was the Chubby Vegetarian "scallop". Oyster mushroom, carrot salt, carrot curd & a carrot mint salad. Absolutely wonderful.
Second course of Smoked Ravioli stuffed with a BBQ risotto in bay leaf butter with charred scallion. When it came out I thought the charred scallion was shaved truffle which makes me giddy. However, finding out that it was scallion was pretty unique & exciting too. Again with the playfulness. It was blatantly obvious that Michael & Andrew were having a lot of fun & that carried over to the food & of course the diners.
Each & every course was well thought out but never over wrought, full of flavor, hinting at whimsy & brimming with fun. It's nights like this that I'm happy to be a Memphian & can't help but feel like the luckiest guy in the world. Surrounded with people I love, sipping good wine, eating extraordinary food & never wanting to leave.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Good Praline - A good praline, with a perfect pinch of salt, thoughtfully toasted pecans and a touch of cream, is a thing of beauty.
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