Monday, January 29, 2018

A Sneak Peek at the Gray Canary

Posted By on Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 12:10 PM

It was the hottest ticket in town. Marc Gasol was there! I had to invite myself.

Saturday evening saw a soft opening of the Gray Canary, Michael Hudman and Andy Ticer's latest restaurant in the Old Dominick Distillery.

The decor is stark chic — with interesting light fixtures and art. Dark wood four tops, booths along the wall with a stunning view of the bridge and river. Lots of gray accents. There are sound buffers on the ceiling, but it is still quite loud.

The food is centered around an opened fire. I approve. On the current menu is octopus and clams. The country ham was praised as was the hearty t bone steak. I had the Maitake Mushroom — charred mushrooms with an eggy mayonnaise. An interesting dish, sour/rich, loved the char.

One thing the boys have in the bag is their cocktails and pastries by Kayla Palmer.

Can a girl marry a cobbler? I'm in love.

Gray Canary is opening Wednesday at 5 p.m.

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Strano restaurant to move to East Memphis

Posted By on Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 5:10 PM

Josh Steiner
  • Josh Steiner

Strano! Sicilian Kitchen & Bar is moving.

The restaurant, which opened in 2014, at 948 Cooper, will move to the site of the old Jim’s Place Restaurant & Bar at Poplar and Perkins, said chef/owner Josh Steiner.

Steiner is excited about the move. "We're moving to a bigger and better spot."

He plans to give “a nice facelift” to the old Jim’s restaurant. “Clean up the bar. Bring in a management team to help with the front of the house to compete with Houston’s and Fleming’s (Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar).”

As for the facelift, he said, “We’re keeping the mahogany wood because it’s beautiful in there. Everything in that restaurant is beautiful. It came from the previous owners. So, we’re going to emphasize the beauty and elegance.”

The name will change slightly. “It’s going to be ‘Strano by Chef Josh,’ not ‘Strano! Sicilian Kitchen,’ so I can express my creativity more.”

The food won’t just be Italian, he said. “I’m internationally culturally trained in every type of cooking. And I want to show Memphis everything I can do. Not just my Italian style.”

Steiner is going for a quick turnaround. “This is kind of ambitious. We’re going to do Valentine’s (Day) in Midtown and try to open the new place in a month. But it might be longer. It’s going to be a nice move.”

Steiner, 26, opened Strano in Cooper-Young when he was 22 years old. He wanted a traditional Sicilian restaurant that would pay homage to his family, but also express his education and his passion. He wanted to cook with modern techniques, including sous-vide machines, to add to the taste of his food.

“Strano” - his mother’s maiden name - means “strange” in Italian.

Steiner recently was chosen to be a featured chef on the celebrity James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour dinner, which will be held in May at the Memphis Zoo.

His TV work includes appearances on “Guy’s Grocery Games” on The Food Network.

Steiner recently was selected as a member of the 20 under 30 Class of 2018 by the Memphis Flyer. Each year, the Flyer honors the best and brightest Memphians under 30. Twenty candidates were selected from more than 50 young people nominated by Flyer’s readers.

Return of Vintage 901, other events

Posted By on Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 1:26 PM

Spring is in sight, and with that comes tons and tons of food-related events.

• The three-day wine event Vintage 901 returns March 2-4. There will be grand tasting at Crosstown Concourse. A four-course dinner led by Kelly English at Memphis College of Art, and the finale a Sparkling Brunch is at Shelby Farms Park.

The three-day ticket is $315 through January 26th.

Capital Grille is holding a Valentine's Day dinner, February 13 and 14, with complimentary Veuve Clicquot Brute Rose and chocolate-covered strawberries. Getyer steaks rare for this romantic evening. Reservations, starting at 7 p.m., can be made through the Capital Grille App.

• On Sunday, January 28th, Bounty on Broad is holding a "After the Hunt" dinner featuring local game with wine pairings. Dinner is $60 per person, with wine an extra $30. Cocktails start at 6:30 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m. Reservations: 410-8131.

Doc's is holding its annual Bacon & Bourbon (not to be confused with the Flyer's own Bacon & Bourbon event, set for April 21st) on Tuesday, January 30th. This event will feature rare whiskeys and cuts of meat from Porcellino's Craft Butcher. Call Doc's 249-7928 for all the details.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Statement from Loeb about Bar Louie

Posted By on Tue, Jan 23, 2018 at 10:29 AM


It was announced yesterday that Bar Louie would be closing.

Loeb, the property manager, issued the following statement:

We have come to an agreement with Bar Louie that will free up space for great new restaurants to come to Overton Square, and are interested in exploring fine dining concepts among others. Space at The Square is at a premium and we already have several options to explore. We're excited for the new projects slated to come online in 2018, including Hopdoddy, Chipotle's opening, and our boutique hotel.
Bar Louie never really clicked with the Midtown crowd — too East Memphis, too many bros, too many TVs.

What's interesting about this Commercial Appeal article is the idea of underperforming restaurants with more to close. 

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Krog leaves Interim

Posted By on Sun, Jan 7, 2018 at 3:30 PM

Chef David Krog leaves Interim Restaurant.
  • Chef David Krog leaves Interim Restaurant.
David Krog has left Interim Restaurant, where he was executive chef, to pursue other interests.
Krog, 43, who was executive chef at the restaurant for two years, opened the old Madidi restaurant in Clarksdale. He also worked with chefs Erling Jensen and Jason Severs during his 25 year culinary career. Krog was the subject of a July 2017 Flyer cover story.
As for plans, Krog said opening his own restaurant could happen in the foreseeable future.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Drizly Enters Market

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 2:52 PM


Drizly, an online alcohol market, is now operating in Memphis.

Customers can order beer, wine, or spirits online or via an app, which can be delivered within the hour or picked up in-store. 

Drizly's retail partners are Buster's and Arthur's.

According to Blaine Grinna, Drizly started after two Boston College graduates wondered why there was no alcohol delivery. They figured it was illegal. They then set out to figure out the legal arcania, going state by state.

Drizly now operates in 70 cities, according to Grinna.

One reason they picked Buster's and Arthur's for their partners was because both stores are able to track their inventory.

Grinna says what sets Drizly apart from other online retailers is their geographic reach and their multiple retailers.

Retailers set the prices. (A six pack of Heineken will set you back $9.99.) And delivery is a set $5 per order. Delivery stretches from downtown into Germantown.

According to Drizly’s sales data, the top selling items in Memphis are Tito’s Vodka, Miller Lite, and La Marca Prosecco.


Top 10 Hungry Memphis Stories 2017

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 9:26 AM


1. Wahlburgers Opening on Beale
People freaked when they heard the news. They were supposed to open last fall, but the building on Beale, where Sweeties was supposed to be remains untouched. A permit for half-a-million in work was pulled in November.

2. Pontotoc opening next week
This little restaurant on South Main never got much attention. Its second coming, as a jazz bar run by the Silly Goose owner, caused a fuss.

3. Carolina Watershed to open in South Main district
Exciting new restaurant/bar in the Loflin Yard vein.

4. Spaghetti Warehouse Closing
We admit it wasn't all that good, but there something to recommend about its familiarity. We'll miss it.


5. Hopdoddy Coming to Overton Square
Y'all way too interested in chain restaurants

6. New Central BBQ to open
Owners Craig Blondis and Roger Sapp handed over the popular bbq spot's reins to the Wilsons (of the Holiday Inn Wilsons) for expansion.

7. The Vault Going in the Double J Space
The Vault boasts a frost-producing cold rail on its bar and the expertise of chef Aaron Winters.


8. Fresh Bagels in Midtown from Dave's Bagels
The city was desperately in need for good bagels.

9. Tennessee Taco Opens Next Week
Tacos, tater tots, and donuts, y'all.

10. Majestic Folks Taking Over Brass Door
Deni and Patrick Reilly, who managed to make something of the Riverside Grill (now Front Porch) turn their attentions to the much loved but neglected Brass Door.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

DejaVu Closed

Posted By on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 4:09 PM


"I can't do it anymore," says chef Gary Williams.

A sign posted on the windows of downtown DejaVu read, "Happy New Years. Closed Until Further Notice. Sorry & Thank you."

Williams says business had been dead. "It was beating me down," he says. He's closed the spot for good.

BUT, it's not all bad news. Williams says some folks are working to get him back into the Florida street location — the spot where it began years ago. He's shooting to be back open in late February or early March.

"You know me," Williams says. "I'll be back."

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Lucky Cat Plans Move

Posted By on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 10:47 AM


Zach Nicholson of Lucky Cat announced today the restaurant is planning a move to the space formerly occupied by Tart at 820 S. Cooper.

They hope to be open in the spring.

They had originally planned to move in the Crosstown Concourse building, but that plan proved to be cost prohibitive for these small business owners.

"We always love that space [Tart]," says Nicholson. He adds that they wanted to stay in Cooper-Young.

Right now, they are ironing out the details, getting permits, and generally what Nicholson says is "getting the ball rolling" for the move.


The Tart space seats about 45, with 30 more on the patio. There are plans for expanding the kitchen.

The move means an expanded menu as well as a full bar.

"The whole plan is to offer more," Nicholson says. That means more ramen and seasonal bowls, an izakaya menu, and small plates. There will be a late-night menu and different rice bowls as well. 

Nicholson says they are doing really well at the current space at Cooper and Peabody, but the lack of gas and a commercial kitchen is limiting.

Meanwhile, they have opened for an additional day. They are open Wednesday through Sunday, starting today.

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