Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen‘s preeminence on the food scene of Memphis is secure in our minds based on last night’s dinner. Paul and I made a last minute reservation at a table in the newly added bar room from an expansion into the back garden. The soft lighting and open space makes for a relaxing and classy ambiance over the white marble top.
I began with a cocktail called the Pine & Juniper, a luxurious blend of Corsair Barrel Aged Gin, Grande Liquer de Sapins, Lazzaronni Amaretto, Egg White, Lemon and Ginger Sherbert, and Juniper Berries (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️). Paul enjoyed a Chianti Rufina from Tuscany.
We dined on pasta first. I ordered the Potato Gnocchi in a hearty red sauce of ground short rib, tarragon, shallots, crunchy fried garlic, and chives. ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2.
Paul won the pasta course with the Casonsei, “ravioli” stuffed with sunchokes, ricotta and horseradish in a sublime sauce of black trumpet mushrooms, sage, Saba and brown butter. This pasta marks a new high bar for A|M which would impress in any 2 or 3 star Michelin rated restaurant. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2.
For entrees, Paul ordered the Newman Farm Pork with persimmons cooked in navy beans, kale, and ham hock and topped with a salsa verde that included more fresh persimmons. Paul drank a rather big Cabernet Sauvignon from a winery which we’ve visited in Napa called Ladera which needed a few minutes to open against the pork.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I made an adventurous and rare decision to order fish, specifically, the Wreckfish. I grew up not liking or eating fish. As an adult, I make an effort to expand and challenge my culinary horizons. I’m so glad I did at A|M. The texture and flavor of the seared wreckfish was similar to sea bass served on a bed of savory leeks, mustard greens, and sunchokes and garnished with sweetly sour Meyer lemons and apple. Our server recommended and excellent pairing with Tenuta Rapitala “Vigna Casadlj” Catarratto from Sicily (fruity and acidic). In Memphis, it’s unexpected to find wait staff as knowledgeable about wine pairings as they are about the food. Her sound advice made my meal better than had The decision been left to me. When the table service is as knowledgeable as the staff in the kitch or bar, it’s a win for any restaurant (and the consumer). ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen showed no sign of resting on their laurels last night. In fact, their game is just getting better. Visit them soon to taste this current menu.