Skip to main content

Not a $40 date

Earlier this month Shaun and I celebrated our one year anniversary. (Pause for collective awwww) 

As if having an anniversary wasn't special enough Shaun made it more so by scoring us reservations at Restaurant Iris - which for non Memphians is the consistently ranked #1 , turned away Tony Parker bc it takes 6 weeks to get a reservation, restaurant in town. Needless to say I was pretty excited. Because of the time involved Iris only offers its 5-course menu on week nights, ordering off the regular menu is of course allowed on any night. Luckily our actual anniversary fell on a Monday. We arrived right at our reservation time and were taken to our table, decorated for the ocassion: 

Iris has quickly become THE special ocassion spot in town as evidenced by the five other tables decorated for celebrations that night. It was also full on a Monday, which really never happens in Memphis. 

We informed our waitress we wanted to do the five course tasting menu. I did a wine paring with mine and Shaun just had a soda. It took a while for things to get started but eventually we were brought the amuse bouche of crab and corn salad. 

At Iris the tasting menu is basically up to the chef and they do try to bring different options for each person which makes for fun sharing. For the first course I had the bone marrow and Shaun the eggplant sweetbread

For the 2nd course Shaun had the BBQ shrimp with brioche and I had the lobster knuckle sandwich 

For salads I had a friend green tomato with mozerella and Shaun had an eggplant salad 

For the entree course I had fish and Shaun had duck. 

And lastly for dessert I had the lemon cake and Shaun had the bread pudding, I was jealous! And I appreciated the chocolate sause message. 

At the end of the meal out waitress was nice enough to take our picture and the menu copy was brought for us to take home 

We left a little shy of 3 hours after our reservation time and spent a little north of $200 including tax and tip. I know for a lot of cities a five course meal for $200 would be quite the bargain but in Memphis this makes Iris one of the most pricey places to eat in town. And it's the only place in town that requires reservations more than a week in advance. Thus, dining at Iris is surrounded by a lot of hype and a hype that unfortunately for me it didn't live up to. 

Don't get me wrong, Iris is quite lovely and each dish was very nice but I think getting the tasting menu was a mistake. With the tasting menu it felt as if we were just getting extras of what other diners were ordering. I was thrilled to get the bone marrow and lobster knuckle but nothing else is something I would order. Being the "mathy" person I am I realized Shaun and I could have shared two appetizers, each ordered our own salad, each gotten the most expensive entree and each gotten a dessert and spent the same as the tasting menu. And for $25 I could have ordered two full glasses of wine I liked. The menu says parings are done by the sommelier but the waitress made my selections and seemed to just be choosing from bottle of wine already open - I was given the same wine the steak eating table next to us had with my dessert. I like wine a lot but I'm just not a fancy wine drinker and I only like one of the five, two in fact I disliked so much I didn't finish. Maybe the pairings would have been great for a true wineo but to me it was very blah. I don't think I'll ever let another restaurant ever pick my wines for me. 

I think though the biggest disappointment for me was how the entire city goes on and on about this place so I had really high expectations. Not one dish was what I call food-gasmic. I really wish people would do Iris a big favor and not act like eating there is such a big deal. It is a very nice restaurant no doubt but it has many of the same qualities and as high end restaurant and quite frankly lacked the polish other places have. Since we went I've been wondering what  deal is as to why I was unimpressed. Am I too simple to appreciate culinary delights? Anyone who knows me will tell you that I tend towards extravagant taste and an not one for simplicity? Am I too spoiled to be wowed? Surely not since many if the Memphis who's who have been the ones to give such accolades. Agh, what is wrong with me?!?!? 

If you're a Memphian like me who has been very eager to go I'm not suggesting you don't, but just maybe stick to an entree and one or two other things to share and keep your tab around $100 like most other fancy places in town - I think this alone will give you a much more wow factor. If nothing else places like The Melting Pot suddenly seem like quite the value location. 



  1. Great post. I've been to Iris as well and found it to be very over-hyped. I've had meals in Memphis for a fourth of what we paid at Iris that I've enjoyed more. I'm all for supporting local restuarants, and I certainly patronize quite a few of them, but I don't understand all the Iris accolades.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Spring Forward with a Wooden Watch

Hello Friends! Have you been making it to work on time this week or did your body have a hard time with the adjustment? Personally I am not a morning person so I have an easier time with fall daylight savings than I do spring. Here in Memphis the trees are starting to bloom and spring is in the air, which means its time to reflect the season in my wardrobe. I've swapped out my purse from black to blush, added a few new floral tops and got a new watch to help keep me on time as I adjust to the time change. For my watch, I selected the Frankie Purpleheart & Plum watch from Jord. Not only are oversized watches so in right now but I love the use of the Purpleheart wood and plum face to give a twist on a classic style watch. As y'all know love all shades of pink and I think the coloring of this watch goes with it so beautifully and the blush tones of my outfit really make the distinctness of the Purpleheart wood stand out.
I've been very intrigued by the wooden watch tre…

Pretty in Pink Easter Dress

Hello and Happy First Day of Spring!!! I'm so lucky to live in an area where in general the weather feels like what you would expect for each season - it's hot in summer, cold and winter and while some years we don't get the perfect day on the first day of spring it is starting to warn up and some flowers have begun to bloom. As much as I'm a planner I have a terrible time shopping for clothes in advance - when it's cold I want to wear sweaters and when it's warm I want cotton dresses gosh darn it so typically Easter creeps up on me and the week of I find myself scrambling to find something to wear. Yes of course I could just pull something I love from my closet but Easter represents new life and new beginnings and I always like to treat myself to a new dress.   So, when you've having all the Easter feels what's a girl to do except go take some pictures - and even better if you're lucky enough to live near a Jeff Koons Smooth Egg with Bow sculpture…

Sweater Weather

Although I could do without the snow and single digit temps I do love winter because a lot of my favorite clothes are winter clothes. There's something about a cozy sweater that makes me feel good so of course I'm loving the current trend of statement sleeve sweaters.

With trends I really have to be careful to control myself, especially with these because it's a style I REALLY like. Without the little voice in my head reminding me that I do not need a closet of practically identical pieces I would own several of the tiered sleeve sweaters, thank goodness for that voice! For the tiered sleeve look I went with black because it's versatile and since this is such a trendy piece and there's no guarantee this will be in style come next winter I wanted something I would get a lot of wear out of this season. Likewise when buying a bell sleeve cardigan I wanted something I could wear throughout winter and possibly into spring - this sweater with jeans and a comfy tee unde…

Hostess with the Mostess

One of my favorite things is to entertain. Since moving last summer we have hosted some kind of event at least once a month and while we keep talking about slowing down it doesn't look like we'll stop anytime soon. Party hosting can be a lot of fun but it can also be exhausting, especially if you aren't prepared, so I've pulled together my "best practices" so you can learn from my mistakes and make your next gathering a little less stressful. The first step of course is to determine what kind of gathering you'll be hosting - we've hosted everything from Thanksgiving dinner with all the fancy crystal and china to a casual come on over for burgers on the grill but I think my favorite event that we've hosted so far has been a baby shower for our sweet friends.

Once you know what kind of event you're hosting think about the guest list and how you'll invite everyone - for just a gathering of our friends we use facebook but if you want to be …

Go WILD, Y'all

I'm writing this post with a serious case of the Mondays as I'm recovering from Go Wild this past week. Go Wild is the annual conference run by the Wild for Planners group and it is so much fun! This year's conference was in Nashville and while there is was announced that 2018 will be in Austin, TX. In addition to bringing planner enthusiasts together this event also presents the opportunity to hear from great speakers, meet planner  / planner goodies suppliers and the part that people to notice the most - awesome swag.   I first found out about the group last year when some planner girls I followed posted on instagram about the conference. To an outsider it looks like oh fun, planner girls gathering and getting tons of swag - I want to go! But the reality is it's so much for than that and to be perfectly honest if you're only interested in the swag you'd be better off staying home and going on a shopping spree. Since everyone wants to know the most though wha…