- Kelly // Memphis, TN
I celebrated my 40th bday at RestaurantIris on Dec 16th. We brought my step daughter and son here tonight to celebrate their bdays (20 and 26). Hands down our table said it was the best meal they ever had! Appetizers: Bone Marrow and the Raviolo; both were delicious! Entrees: our table had-Beef shortribs (they melted in my mouth) Surf and Turf(wonderful), Snapper(my son wanted more!) and the Duck (recommended by our server and my husband loved it!) Kelly English deserves the James Beard award! Hands down the best restaurant in Memphis…even in TN! His staff is excellent! Great knowledge of the menu and food pairings! We are big fans! Thank you to Kelly and his staff for making tonight memorable! If you haven’t been-YOU are missing out!
- Ronnie // Memphis, TN
Last night I was treated to dinner by friends at Restaurant Iris….. I have been there only once a good while ago, but the restaurant was my choice because I knew it would be fantastic and unusual. You even exceeded my expectations …. The food was wonderful and the service provided by Dean was impeccable!! He was terrific and makes the best dirty martini I’ve had in a long time. The presentation of the “birthday sorbet” was beautiful and equally good tasting!!
Being retired, I’m not able to be a regular customer, but thanks so much for a wonderful birthday… Your staff is extremely professional and well trained!!
Thanks again and continued success to the restaurant!
- Gini // Nashville, TN
Please let the manager know that I appreciate the customer service I was provided by Alex. I called this past weekend to advise my Mom would be coming in 10/16 for her Bday dinner. When I called I spoke to a very helpful, Alex. I inquired if I could give my CC info in order to pay for desserts for my mom and her friends as I was unable to make it to dinner as I live in Nashville. She took my info and followed through with my request. I appreciate the service from Restaurant Iris as well as the accommodation. It’s rare to receive extraordinary customer service these days so I would like to commend those who work there for going above and beyond the norm. It is service like this that will not go unnoticed by those of us recall what real customer service is all about.
PS-my Mom said that dinner and dessert was fantastic. Also, such a special touch to add the bday person’s name to the menu!! Big thanks I look forward to dining at your lovely restaurant sometime soon.
- Dave and Barb // Memphis, TN
I just wanted to let you know that my wife and I really enjoyed our anniversary dinner last evening. The food was fantastic!!! Our compliments to Jeff and Jamie for the excellent service. This was the best anniversary dinner we have ever had.
We are looking forward to dining with you again.
- Ryan // Chicago, IL
My girlfriend, Lauren, and I recently visited Iris during the weekend of the Music Fest. We both drove down from Chicago, where there are plenty of fine restaurants. I have to tell you, though: our experience at Iris was the best meal we’ve ever shared together.
I can’t remember the name of our waiter, who appeared to be a middle-aged gentlemen, but he was fantastic. He was one of the most gracious and kind servers I have ever encountered. He was able to educate me, a food novice, and my girlfriend, a dedicated foodie, without insulting either of us. His wine pairing was fantastic, and his recommendations were spot on.
The food and drink was unbelievable. My girlfriend had the pork and I had the “surf & turf.” We split the knuckle sandwich appetizer and a desert. Everything was cooked to perfection and absolutely delicious. Kelly English is a genius.
The décor and location of Iris added an unbelievable level of charm to our dining experience. We were seated so intimately and every moment after walking through the cute front gate was perfect. This was my first time in Memphis, but I will be coming back, and I will always be coming to Iris.
It has been several weeks since our experience at Iris. I was prompted to write this e-mail after sharing a meal with my girlfriend and Chicago’s Spiaggia restaurant. We enjoyed Sarah Gruenberg’s tasting menu. It was utterly delicious and interesting. However, we both agreed that our experience at Iris was head and shoulders above the one we had at Spiaggia, with its higher prices and higher falutin’ location on Chicago’s magnificent mile. Iris might be the best, in flavor, service, and charm, that America has to offer.
So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Please extend our thanks to the waiter I spoke of any everyone else at Iris.
- Galen // Bentonville, AR
I want to thank you again for the special evening you all provided for our family and friends last Friday. Alice was so excited to have everyone there and your attention to the room, the menu and the meal made a special time even more so for all of us.
We came to Iris 4 years ago on the recommendation of Linda Sowell to try the “new place” and have never been more impressed with a favorite place in all our eating out years. We hope to continue coming over but also extend an invitation to see us if you are ever in North West Arkansas. Thanks again for everything!
- Al // Memphis, TN
This was was my first experience with Restaurant Iris. My brother and his wife were visiting from California. He is quite the wine aficionado, and they are quite well traveled, having lived in several countries around the world. I wanted them and my wife (and me) to have the opportunity to experience Chef English’s cuisine. We were not disappointed. Our meal was the five course degustation with wine. Every course was delightful, from the amuse bouche at the beginning to the four desserts for us to sample at the end. Mr. Frisby and our server, Sarah, outdid themselves with the wine pairings. They selected several wines my brother had never tried and pleased him greatly. Service–Sarah was attentive without ever being overweaning. We never had to ask for water or extra flatware. These needs were anticipated. Sarah was quite knowledgeable about the wines. She wasn’t afraid to admit if she didn’t know the answer to one of my brother’s questions, and would go ask someone who had the answer.
The Brussel sprouts were heavenly, the lobster knuckle sandwich oh so delicious. The raviolo and its sauce were divine, probably the highlight of the evening. Surf and Turf–a perfect medium rare and very tasty.
My guests, who have traveled extensively and enjoyed gourmet meals all over the world, said this was one of the best meals they have ever eaten.The meal was expensive, but fairly priced for what was served. Restaurant Iris will be at the top of the list of my favorite places to dine in Memphis.
- Tritia // Memphis, TN
The past few years my husband and I have always turned to Iris for those events we want to make special — a birthday, an out-of-town guest, a new job. We love the food and the staff. They feel like an extension of our family.
So when it was time for our five-year anniversary, we naturally agreed to celebrate at Iris. My husband, who loves foie gras as much as I do, would tease me by asking me what I was going to eat.
I consistently answered, “Foie gras for a starter, followed by foie gras and for dessert, I think, foie gras.”
When the night arrived, we were seated at a lovely table. I opened the menu and there in front of me was a description of five courses of foie gras, four of which were not on the normal menu and where specially prepared by Chef English for us.
I could not believe it. My husband had secretly plotted with the Iris staff to compose this special meal with wine pairings. I amazed by how much thought and imagination went into this menu. It was truly an unbelievable gift.
Each course was phenomenal. The first course was foie gras stuffed zucchini blossom tempura with greek yogurt and sambal.
The second course was a seared foie gras with a blueberry gellee and shallot confit. (the one on the menu.)
The third course was a roasted Neola farm marrow bones with foie gras, a salsa and delicious brioche.
The fourth course was a roasted lobe of foie gras with leek fondue and cherry.
And for dessert? Of course, we were presented with the not-so-ubiquitous foie gras milkshake with pb&j sandwiches. Well, anyone who knows Iris, knows this was no ordinary pb&j. It was definitely elevated to full gastronomic glory.
This was truly the best meal of my life and it was made even more special by the hospitality of the Iris staff and Chef Kelly.
I am very motivated to stay married another five years. And my husband is reveling in having earned an entire season of “football points.”
Thank you to everyone at Iris for this special anniversary gift.
- Chris // Memphis, TN
I just wanted to commend the entire team at Iris for a truly great dining experience. My girlfriend and I enjoyed a wonderful date last night and I must say that the food and service were both outstanding, but the hospitality was truly above all…amazing. So many restaurants don’t have the “complete package” of great quality food, great service, AND hospitality and Iris excelled in all three. I don’t remember the last time our expectations as guests in a restaurant were not just met… but exceeded. We had the knuckle sandwich and raviolo and for our entrees, we had the scallops and the “surf and turf.” Our server Kelly, as well as the entire service staff, was knowledgable, friendly, and genuinely hospitable. This was personally my 2nd time dining at Iris and my girlfriend’s 1st, but we both agreed it was the best restaurant we’ve dined at in Memphis. As Chef English, I am also a graduate of the CIA and a local restaurant manager here in Memphis. I just wanted to write to you all to thank you for the incredible dining experience because so often, we don’t hear the positive feedback that keeps us driven and motivated in such a demanding industry. The food and service were both incredible, but the hospitality was truly the “wow” factor. Thank you and we will most certainly dine with you all again soon!
- Linda // Memphis, TN
One evening, my dining partner and I dined at Iris for the second time. Our waitress, Sarah, recognized us, remembered the wine we had liked on our previous visit, and welcomed us warmly. It was the most seamless, flawless service I have ever experienced…. the little things matter… cutlery replaced, wineglasses refilled exactly on time, the right amount of “cheerful chatter” without being intrusive—incredible attention to detail and promptness. We were also impressed by the manner in which the entire wait staff automatically “covered each other’s back” . When Sarah was understandably engaged at another table, someone else appeared to pour wine with no prompting from us…. with the same grace and poise. Just wanted you to know that—not only will WE return—we’ll bring others with us. And, better still, any person within the sound of my voice will know my opinion of the best restaurant in Memphis. Oops!… I neglected to add that we left not one teaspoon of food on any plate during any course! And thanks, Sarah, for being gracious (not condescending, as one experiences at some fine restaurants) about splitting the salad. I was saving room for that Brandy Alexander, which I had been anticipating all day.
- Sara // Tempe, AZ
One of the nicest places I have been to in Memphis! The food was exceptional, the place was cozy, and the waitstaff was knowledgeable and friendly. I was impressed by how fresh everything tasted. Perfect place for a date. Be sure to make a reservation because the place fills up fast!
- Audrey // Washington, D.C.
This restaurant has restored my faith in Memphis dining. Having been in business for over a year, it is quite refreshing to see that the high quality of service and food has been maintained since opening (sadly, something that is rarely accomplished in the Memphis dining scene).
So about my experience: I brought my boyfriend here for his birthday this past Saturday night and could not have been more pleased. The service, food, presentation and ambiance were all top notch. The chef was a class act– on a Saturday night, with every table in his restaurant filled, he stopped by each one to introduce himself and thank the diners for coming in. The food was absolutely AMAZING. My boyfriend and I admittedly gorged ourselves, but our favorites were the terrific raviolo, veal schnitzel and short rib. Don’t even get me started on dessert– in a word, phenomenal. I’m still dreaming about the bread pudding and malt. Also, there is a terrific wine list. I recommend the Belle Glos pinot, YUM.
And, when we couldn’t finish everything on our plates and decided to take our leftovers to go, they came wrapped up with adorable ribbons. So cute in fact, that I plan to reuse for future gifts… shhh, don’t tell.
Be sure to book a reservation… you will definitely be happy you did!
- Wendy // Memphis, TN
I would highly recommend Restaurant Iris. Chef Kelly and his staff are second to none! The cuisine was original and pleasing to the palate, the staff was gracious and attentive and the atmosphere was warm and inviting. I look forward to our next visit to Restaurant Iris. It was a memorable and enjoyable experience.
- Patty // Memphis, TN
Kelly English hands down at Restaurant Iris! It’s not every day a chef wins one of the top 10 new chefs in the country in “Food and Wine.”
- Bob // Memphis, TN
I am the bank analyst for Morgan Keegan out of the NY office. I just wanted you to know what a delightful and just spectacular taste sensation it was and I will be back to Iris every time I come to Memphis from now on.
I haven’t stopped raving to my colleagues about what a wonderful meal it was. Service was superb, knowledgeable and fun and the food was delectable, mouthwatering, scrumptious..absolutely gratifying and fit for a king.
I get the opportunity to eat in many top ranked establishments in the city and across the country but Iris….was truly and enjoyable experience and ranks at the top of my reference list now.
- Kristen // Memphis, TN
Many thanks for such an incredible meal last night. The culinary experience escalated with each bite of each course. True brilliance in both flavors and creative presentation. The boudin bon bons were the ultimate lagniappe.Thank you again for being in Memphis!
- M. Rittenour // Memphis, TN
I celebrated my birthday at your restaurant and I wanted to say Thank You for the extra and special treatment you afforded me. From the decorated table and menu to the beautiful rose on the table. I think you went above and beyond!!
- Mark // Memphis, TN
I dined with you guys last night and it was amazing. The service was impeccable, the ambiance was perfect and the food was amazing. As you would expect from a chef, I’m hard to please but last night was wonderful. I was with a local news anchor as well and she couldn’t have been more pleased. I have now found my new favorite restaurant in Memphis. Give Chef my regards, it was spectacular.
- Tanya // Memphis, TN
This is the best restaurant in Memphis by a mile! Every dish is inventive and inspired without being too precious. The “Surf and Turf” that was featured on the Food Network is a dish that eveyone must try before they die. The service is great and the ambiance is perfect. There is really no room for improvement.
- Mary // Memphis, TN
Restaurant Iris is in my top 3 Memphis restaurants- there’s nothing that this place does wrong.
First of all, it’s in a cute little house near Overton Square. The place has charm, no doubt. A cozy fireplace and warm, rich decor make me want to move in, not just eat here. But that would be a perk for sure.
The rack of lamb is mouthwatering, and the Kobe short ribs are excellent. I also love the shrimp and grits. There’s an impressive wine list that includes my fave, Joseph Phelps. They have Silver Oak too which might be my 2nd fave.
Restaurant Iris is an impressive spot for a date or a special occasion. I can’t wait to go back again.
- Mary // Memphis, TN
When I want to impress a visitor I ALWAYS go to Restaurant Iris. I am never let down by Chef Kelly English’s amazing-locally grown- food!
- Casey // Memphis, TN
One of the top five meals I’ve ever eaten, and with just the right amount of Southern charm and local ingredients. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
- Jerry // Memphis, TN
There is one Restaurant in Memphis that I feel stands out from all the others. My brother gave us an evening out for our anniversary to Restaurant Iris. From the time we stepped on the sidewalk our experience was amazing! We were greeted on the front porch by the staff and welcomed. We were quickly shown to our table and then the show really began! Chef Kelly English came to our table and welcomed us and told us Happy Anniversary and wished us many more! Then our menus arrived with a special letter from the Chef and Staff! The Waiter was just as gracious and introduced himself and was very open to any request that we had. He offered many suggestions and was the best I have ever had. His name was Jeff! The food was absolutely wonderful from the beginning to the very end! I know anyone who visits the wonderfully planned and organized restaurant will be very pleased and spoiled just as we were! We have plans of returning very soon! Thanks to everyone who made our visit and dinner so exceptional.
- Deirdre // Memphis, TN
I wanted to thank you for the wonderful experience I had at your restaurant. I can say with sincerity that it was the best meal I have had in six years, which is when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I am never given options when dining out and certainly never receive the attention you and your staff provided to me during my visit. The food was superb and the service was amazing.
Thank you for making such an amazing gluten free meal for me. I can recommend your restaurant without hesitation to any of the Celiac Foundations and will gladly pass the word along on my end. Many thanks.
- Michael // San Rafael, CA
This restaurant is located in a charming, formerly private house, tastefully decorated. The number of tables is appropriate, making it quite quiet, as restaurants go, but even on a Wednesday night it was full, giving it a pleasant, lively atmosphere. We dined in a party of 5 over a 2-1/2 hour period and found the service to be perfect, attentive but discrete, and we never felt rushed. The wine list was very good and was reasonably priced, about a 100% markup over San Francisco retail. We had 2 appetizers, the oysters cooked 3 ways and the Nachitoches meat pies. The oysters were unbelieveably good, light, intensely and uniquely flavored, cooked perfectly–that dish alone was like 3 great appetizers. The little meat pies were also wonderful, somewhat spicy, smoky, and aromatic; the only disappointment was a Ranch dressing like sauce for them, which was fortunately served on the side, so one could skip it. One of us had a third appetizer for a main course, the giant raviolo (singular of ravioli) filled with mildly spicy barbequed baby back ribs style meat and a rich sauce–also heavenly. Any of these appetizers was enough food for a main dish at many restaurants. I tasted 3 of the 4 main courses, a redfish with small vegetables, a shrimp and sausage over grits, and an amberjack in sweet aromatic harissa sauce. All were unique, wonderful, the fish perfectly fresh and perfectly cooked, and beautifully balanced between richness and aroma; each was the best among similar dishes in my memory. The sorbet and bread pudding deserts were also excellent; the bread pudding with toasted almonds was as good as any I have ever tasted. Overall, the dishes seemed to take New Orleans-style food in a new and interesting direction, with lots of smoky flavor derived from some heavily smoked bacon and flavors from herbs like allspice and various highly flavored peppers. Nothing was even close to burnout hot; the direction of the spices was almost Middle Eastern, a mix of sweet, aromatic, and peppery. The cost of the meal for 5 (3 appetizers, 4 main dishes, 2 deserts, 1 bottle of wine) including wine was only $210 before tip, and everyone had more than enough to eat. Two of us know many of the best restaurants in San Francisco and New Orleans, and Iris is the only Memphis resatuarant we know that we are confident would be a success in either of these foodie-friendly cities. The young chef clearly deserves the 2009 Food and Wine “rising chef” award.