Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fork and Map

Let's be real here, this trip is as much about food tourism as anything.

We chose tonight's dinner destination because Garden and Gun magazine recommended the farm to fork Bounty on Broad as simple but elegant with everything served family style.

Being hearty eaters, we like platters of food.

Choosing the bar over a table, we settled in with a bartender who had helped open the place last October but was a little standoffish for our our taste. Or maybe we just prefer friendly, chatty barkeeps. Talk to us, we're gregarious.

Since it's our last night in Memphis for a few days, we celebrated with Prosecco and oysters to start. The Prosecco was poured into classic champagne coupes for a vintage feel.

Of all the unlikely oyster offerings, one was from the James River (buttery with a touch of salt), about the last thing we expected in Memphis.

The other two were buttery Turtlebacks and slightly salty 'Bama Beauties, both from Alabama. They were served with pecan cheese crackers, a nice southern touch.

How can you not feel festive when you begin with bubbly and bivalves?

We were joined at the bar by a lovely lesbian couple ("Well, if they're not, they missed their calling," my friend said, riffing on an old family friend's stock comment) and a guy with his motorcycle helmet in hand in need of an old fashioned.

Concerned about her food options, my traveling companion inquired about gluten-friendly menu options only to be told that the entire menu was gluten free. She was immediately over the moon.

For our next course we chose an arugula salad with artichokes, grana padano, hazelnuts (usually too expensive to show up on a salad) and citronette and chilled green beans with ramps (everywhere at the moment), fish sauce, sesame seeds and lime, a completely addictive dish.

Like last night's restaurant, this one had the stock reclaimed wood decor and cliched indie music, but it was lively and crowded on a Wednesday night, a plus for out of town visitors looking for some fun.

By then, it was time to move on to more substantial wine, namely Stephane Aviron Beaujolais Aviron, a fruit-forward beauty that led to a discussion of learning different wine regions in a methodical way (her, not me).

Our eventual choice for a main course was braised pork shank with collards and smoked paprika, a Fred Flintstone-like hunk o' meat on the bone in a smoky au jus. Today we have shown our true carnivore side eating meat off bones at every chance.

When Friend heard that even the dessert menu was completely gluten-free, there was no question of us not having a sweet course. Our bartender laboriously detailed our options and we chose a layered concoction of chocolate cake, mousse, whipped cream and Nutella mousse along with more Beaujolais to close out our meal.

By the time we cleared out, they were putting chairs on top of tables and their little arts district was looking pretty deserted.

Back at the hotel, we had the front desk call a cab to take us to a libation lounge along Millionaire's Row for something different.

I wiled away the time waiting to leave by attempting to play instruments I have no business touching: a Gibson traveling guitar and a grand piano. Friend wasted her time even more so trying to shoot video of my ineptitude with which to blackmail me.

When the cab was still not there 40 minutes later, we slid into the hotel bar (mainly to avoid the frat boys who'd wanted us to join them on the rooftop bar) and downed more bubbly to finish off the night.

Mostly, we talked about where we might want to eat and drink tomorrow.

If we were sending a postcard, it would be succinct: Weather is immaterial, wish we were eating.



  1. Gluten-fReE?
    MoUSSe --

    looking for a little dining adventure?

    venture across the Mississippi into Arkansas, take any side road for a few miles & try your luck at their dining --

    like possum?


  2. Leaving shortly for Mississippi and possum...

  3. Best line: bubbly and bivalves! hahahahahahaha!

  4. that's the Spirit!!!