Skip to main content

Memphis Downtown Dining Week 2014

One of my favorite Memphis events is coming up: Downtown Dining Week! 



In Memphis we have this weird culture where people who live downtown or midtown complain about the suburbs being "all the way out East" and the suburbanites complain about going "all the way downtown". Mind you at non rush hour times these are 35 minute or less drives. Anyone from NY or Cali please take a moment to roll your eyes and say bitch, please! 

While the tasty locally owned establishment is an exception in the suburbs they dominate the food scene in downtown and midtown, which is why I personally beleive people afraid to cross over the 240 loop are really missing out. To provide an incentive to those who don't frequent downtown on the regular downtown dining week was created to give the downtown restaurants a chance to show off why they are "worth the drive". 

The rules: participating restaurants offer 3 course meals for $20.14, select parking garages offer $1 parking. Traditionally upscale places take reservations while more casual places either do not or do not require them. 

I have been participating for years but this will be my first year to go every single night; I'm excited! And since I have already made my reservations and y'all pose no threat to my enjoyment I don't mind sharing some recommendations with you. To me, DDW is a great time to check out places you might not ordinarily go to or don't go to frequently so unless the menu is amazing the casual restaurants where I could eat for $20 or less on a regular basis are out. 

Places I recommend considering are: 

Automatic Slims 
Bluefin 
Chez Philippe
Felicia Suzanne's 
Itta Bena 
Majestic Grille 
McEwen's 
Paulette's 
Rizzos 

Now I'm sure all of the participants are wonderful, but I have not tried them all or find some a casual place best visited at another time. 

Making reservations is key to being able to participate, but there's also a few things I think are helpful to keep in mind to keep the expectations realistic. 

1. The food options for DDW are limited, this helps the restaurants buy in bulk and mass produce. Expect the restaurants to be at full capacity and the food to come out faster than if you were dining at full price. If you're not buying drinks or additional items don't be a jerk holding a table for two hours. 

2. Understand that service might not be as attentive as a typical fine dining experience. One of the hallmarks that sets fine dining apart is a low server to table ratio - when a restaurant is packed and tables are being turned over quickly this ratio goes up. Excellent servers will still provide good service during this week but be understanding if your server seems a little overwhelmed, this is not their norm. 

4. Don't expect the regular menu, although most places will offer it should you choose to order off it. Some of the dishes offered on a regular basis require more time and attention when cooking or have pricey ingredients and just aren't practical to serve a crowd. Plus no one expects the restaurants to go bankrupt wowing the crowd this week. 

5. Do expect smaller portions. At some places you will feel stuffed, others fully satisfied and maybe one might have you getting some chicken nuggets on the way home. Nice restaurants typically have smaller portions than chains anyway. You are not getting a 12 oz steak as part of your 3 course $20 meal, sorry. 

6. Budget for beverages. Most places will offer a specialty cocktail for the evening, others will discount their wines. Some will charge full price hoping to make up the lower revenue on the food. Either way, a nice glass of something does add to the experience. Maybe don't drink every night, but pick one or two places to enjoy a cocktail. 

7. When in doubt, tip up. Nothing makes one look like they don't belong in a nice place more than tipping poorly. Please y'all, keep in mind that a table of two at most nice places will average a $100 tab, that's a $15 to $20 tip. Yes, table volume  and turnover is up during this week but if your server gives good service they deserve more than $6. You might experience a bad apple with a bad attitude and Im not saying you have to reward that behavior but most servers are still bringing their A game, remember this week is about the restaurants wanting you to come back at full price. I'm not saying you have to leave $20 but find a happy medium as service warrants. Budget as if every server is going to treat you like royalty. 

Most of all have fun, enjoy the wonderful ambience, a walk down Main Street and culinary delights. It's really cool that Memphis offers this annual opportunity so make the most of it!

Oh, and check out participating restaurants here: 

http://www.downtowndiningweek.com/

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Medical Facial at Ashtoria

Y'all, it has been soooooo long since I've tried a new beauty treatment to share with y'all. Partially because I've fallen into a skin care routine but also partially because it hasn't been an areas of focus, which is terrible because taking care of your skin should always be an area of focus. Lucky for me the ladies as Ashtoria were able to get me back on track.  

I recently found out about Ashtoria while attending an event at The Shops of Carriage Crossing and was excited to learn about the medical aesthetics offerings. Although I put a hold on getting Botox a few years ago I'm always down to check out the latest in anti aging. I'd love to one day get laser treatments but I don'[t feel like I'm there yet so for an entry level introduction into the Ashtoria offerings I decided to book a medical grade facial. One thing that I typically find overwhelming when thinking about getting a facial is there can be so many types to choose from and I'm u…

$40 Date - Sushi Jimmi

For the longest time in Memphis some of the best sushi in town came from a gas station. Everyone from Memphis reading this is now nodding and smiling and everyone out of town now has now scrunched up their face and is saying "eww". But seriously, "Sushi Jimmi" has been making sushi daily and delivering it to be sold in the little pre-packed containers for years and it is so good. Luckily for Memphians we can now get this delicious sushi fresh and it's a prefect place for a casual date night. Sushi Jimmi is not a fancy or hip décor filled sushi joint - it's in an old Wendy's. But it's clean, convenient and most of all -cheap! Here's the menu: The sushi rolls are very generous! We are able to go and split the crawfish nachos and one sushi roll so with tax and tip we can get out on $30.
The Godzilla Roll
Spicy Crawfish Nachos The food comes out pretty quickly so we're usually in and out in an hour leaving us time to catch a movie at the $3 …

Gingham Style for Any Size

Oh my goodness, I think we skipped spring and went straight to summer in Memphis y’all!And considering the weather won’t even think of cooling down until the end of October I’m looking at a long stretch of needing warm weather clothing. Now don’t get me wrong, I love floral just as much as the next girly girl but my favorite spring / summer print is actually gingham.

I knew I wanted to talk more about gingham I didn’t want to just show y’all the same pieces you’ve already seen me in and I also wanted to show how gingham is something truly for everyone– luckily I have a great tribe of blogger babes in Memphis so I can share with you gingham styled differently and worn on different sizes!
When Denise and Magen agreed to show off gingham style with me I kept the guidelines pretty simple – wear something gingham. So I love how with no planning on our parts not only did we all style gingham differently and pick different colors we also picked different pieces.
I would love to buy a gingham …

Vi Peel

2018 Update: Hello Internet! Welcome to my most popular blog post - I presume you're here because you're considering getting a facial peel. Please keep in mind this is an old post and my photo quality is not great. Please feel free to read and enjoy but I do want to let you know that as the years have passed I have taken a more proactive approach with my skin care and I do not get frequent peels. If you'd like to see my modern approach to skincare check out some of my other beauty posts and I'd love for you to connect with me on Instagram to keep up with my latest and greatest recommendations.
___________________________________________________________________________________

Hello! So I got my first Vi Peel which I was super excited about. Since the Botox post was popular I figure y'all would like this too. Besides, it's well established I'm beyond any sense of privacy or shame here.
I got my first peel years ago - a mild Glycolic peel added onto my fac…

Anti Aging High vs Low Review

I recently received the Iconic Edition of the Sephora Play Box (read my review here) and one of the products I was most excited to try out was Crème de La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream because well it's super famous and also hella expensive so of course I wanted to know what's the big deal. The .24 oz sample included was enough for about two week's use - so a one ounce jar would last about 2 months. About a week in as I was getting ready in the morning I starting noticing that my skin did indeed look different - I looked clearer and under my eyes my lines looked a little softer and my circles less dark. I took this selfie to document my skins look - because #vain - plus I knew I would need it for this longer review. I think there's still room for improve with my skin's texture but it had only been a week.
My problem was that a month's supply - the .5 oz jar - is $85 and while that might not seem bad to some it is in major conflict with my goal of being fina…