A lovely little restaurant arrived in Midtown recently; and once I read that Memphis Magazine named the tuscan bean salad a top ten dish of the year, the image would not escape my ever-growing list of cravings. I became even more captivated by the new concept when I discovered its overtaking of the once-renowned sidewalk café, Fresh Slices, the ultimate weekend hangout of my good 'ole high school days. Seriously, what a transformation! The space was 100% gutted, and the originally dark, cracked wood walls are now lined with elegant pastoral paintings by local artists.
The tuscan bean salad set a standard of rustic simplicity, taking me back to my Italian travels in every spoonful. I asked for no red onion, which (in my opinion) elevated the smooth texture and highlighted the tones of olive oil and lemon. A chilled glass of white wine is an imperative with this starter.
This short rib, tender enough to fall apart with a fork, sat atop a subtle mashed cauliflower that would outdo the traditional carb-loaded mashed potato any day of the week. The carrots were nothin' special, but the red wine sauce naturally strung every component together.
Y'all know how I feel about pasta, porcinis, and parmesan. The three, while rightfully sumptuous in their own right, create a tasteful combination that I frankly could not live without. The porcini handmade ravioli, delicate and savory, was taken up a notch by the browned butter and snowfall of parmesan shavings. Divine.
The salad special hit a home run, and I hate to spend detail on a temporary menu offering that may not be around when you visit...But I must. The proscuitto-wrapped figs (which provide the best balance between sweet and salty) and haricot verts paired nicely with a housemade balsamic drizzle and bell pepper medley. The chef here clearly knows what he's doing, and I can't wait to come back.