Some of the nation's finest chefs live and work in Memphis. Folks are starting to take notice, thanks, in part, to Southern Living's Tasty Town competition. But fine dining comes with a real fine price tag unless you know when to go.
This week's Bargain Thursday shows you how to experience the best for less.
Erling Jensen is fine dining with a European flair. The Danish chef offers an imaginative menu that has foodies licking their chops. Manager John Condy says, "Erling is known for his rack of lamb. The more adventurous eater can try elk and buffalo."
On the night we were there, Terri Ramsey was taking her boyfriend out for a birthday dinner. She had expected to pay up to $200 but Sunday nights are special at Erling Jensen. You can get a 3-course dinner for $38. That's the price of one entree any other night of the week. Condy says, "It's a 3-course prix fixe menu with your choice of appetizer or soup or salad, then your choice of entree and a dessert for $38." The portions are a bit smaller but the food is excellent.
Lunchtime is a great time to experience some of the Mid-South's best restaurants but if you come to River Oaks Restaurant at lunchtime it's probably a good idea to make reservations. Master Chef Jose Gutierrez is described as Memphis' first "celebrity chef." This Frenchman made his way to Memphis in the early 80's and put the city on the culinary map for something besides BBQ. His locally-sourced fresh meals are nothing short of amazing. Order the "TV Dinner" 4-courses that will make your day.
Jose describes this day's special as NY Strip, roasted vegetables, salad, dessert, 25-cent Martinis and a whimsical menu.
Felicia Suzanne's in downtown Memphis only offers lunch on Friday. Quiana Cox says, "The food is awesome the rate compared to what you're getting and quality is awesome." Chef Felicia Willet says, "It's a nice way to come experience the flavors and hopefully come back for dinner."
Hit the Bar. We found many of the best restaurants offer small dishes, burgers, even half-price deals in the bar. At Fleming's Steakhouse, the burger is worth the trip especially if you go before 7pm. That's when you can order it or any of 5 appetizers for only $6.
Sometimes fine dining is all about the timing.
List of restaurants mentioned in this story: