I'm not sure if every city is like this, or if it's because Memphis is so small, but it seems like every 6 months or so, there's a new restaurant in town that becomes "The Spot" where everyone has to go. Jonathan and I like to be on the up & up on the city's fine dining (excuse me while I dust off my shoulder), so we usually try to get out to new restaurants.
Well, currently the hot spot is Acre, a new restaurant in a renovated house in East Memphis. We decided to hit it up this past Saturday with another couple.
First off, a sort of funny thing about the whole night was that between the four of us, we probably knew 3/4 of the people in the restaurant. I really liked this, actually, because the crowd was a bit younger. (A lot of times when these new restaurants become hot, we seem to see more of Jonathan's parent's friends than people we know.)
So we got there almost an hour before our reservation to have some drinks in the bar. The first thing about the restaurant that is really striking is the decor. I loved it. It's decorated gorgeously with really neat touches (like cool floors, mini wooden chandeliers, cool bathrooms, a soothing color palette). I'm not sure how the decor would be classified - maybe rustic modern chic? It's not swank or trendy, per se. Actually, I felt so comfortable in the whole place. It was really relaxing and inviting. I hadn't felt that in a restaurant in a long time. The bar offered some fun/interesting drinks, and we got a nice little corner booth, which was ideal for us to chat and catch up before we went to the dining room.
Our reservation was running slightly behind, but not a huge deal. Once we were seated, I loved our table in that room, too. We were in a corner (which was all windows) and half of the table was an upholstered bench, and the other half had 2 wooden chairs. It was just so comfy and nice at the same time.
The menu came out and it wasn't really enormous or overwhelmingly awesome. I went with a salad as a first course and the Hawaiian Opah as the main course. The salad wasn't anything awesome (just greens with beets and goat cheese). And then the main course was just fine as well. The opah was possibly a little overcooked. It came with mascarpone grits which were good, but not out of this world.
Desserts really won me over, though. I got a "brown butter cake" with lemon whipped cream and blueberries. It was great! It tasted like olive oil cake that had been dunked in butter. Mmm. And I love lemon anything, so the whipped cream just added to the greatness.
So my overall takeaway? It's sort of weird because the food wasn't overwhelmingly good - it was fine - just not awesome. But I DEFINITELY want to go back. I just loved the place itself so much, I want to go there again. Apparently they have a bar menu that's coming soon (which will have stuff like sliders/fries/apps/etc. on it) and I think it would be fun to go to the bar and eat there. Also, I think it would be nice to go to Acre after dinner and have a drink and a dessert at the bar or on their awesome outdoor patio.
So I recommend it, but in a sort of weird way. Not the best meal you'll have in Memphis by a long shot, but possibly one of the nicer, more relaxing dining experiences you will have. If you're out East, give it a try!