Friday Five: Date Night Dining Edition

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In the muck of this parenting life, it can be easy to forget to nurture your relationship with your spouse or significant other. Setting aside purposeful time for a date, forking over cash for a babysitter, doing your hair & makeup, it can almost feel too difficult, especially when you are running on fumes and just want to go to bed early.

But once that cocktail (or mocktail!) is in hand, the lighting is dim enough to forget you were just earlier in the day cleaning macaroni off the wall, and you are about to eat food prepared by someone other than yourself, all while finally engaging in conversation that is not interrupted by whining every few minutes, you know it is worth it.

My husband and I love trying new restaurants and dining out at local establishments. It is a fun way to have an adventure together and explore our city. And Memphis has no shortage of fun date night dining spots. This Friday Five list is in no way an exhaustive list – rather it is what we have recently tried and loved.

Friday-Faves-

  1. Hyatt Centric: CIMAS restaurant, Beck & Call Rooftop Bar

date night at CIMAS restaurant

The new hotel at the end of Beale Street downtown, with views of the great Mississippi River and its legendary sunsets, has a downstairs Latin American inspired restaurant, CIMAS, boasting a large covered patio and expansive indoor seating. Up on the rooftop, Beck & Call is perfect for either pre-dinner drinks and sunset viewing or a standalone more casual meal. (Pictured: from CIMAS Instagram – “take your taste buds on an adventure with our signature Mishima Wagyu Bavette. Perfectly complemented with bacon fat black beans, chimichurri, corn chow chow, and fresh salsa roja.”)

CIMAS/Beck & Call website

2) The Memphian Hotel: Complicated Pilgrim, Tiger & Peacock

Tiger and Peacock cocktail

I know – another hotel. Memphis’ tourism and hospitality industry is booming and the new boutique hotel in the Tribute Portfolio by Marriott has opened in Overton Square. With edgy fun interior design, your date night will feel elevated as you dine at Complicated Pilgrim, the restaurant whose menu self proclaims to be based in “unique local perspectives… highlighting the region’s bounty.” Tiger and Peacock is the “rooftop sanctuary with soul,” a bar that goes beyond the design aesthetic of most anything I have experienced in Memphis. With a strict dress code and food/beverage minimum of $25 per patron, the experience feels luxurious and fun – or as the cool kids say, a little bougie. (Pictured: from Complicated Pilgrim’s instagram “Perfect cocktail in the theatre district: The Thespian⁠. Perfected with Aperol, Chambord, prosecco, club soda, and orange!”)

Complicated Pilgrim website / Tiger and Peacock website

3) Andrew Michael Group: Bishop

Bishop restaurant

We are huge fans of anything the Andrew Michael group does and finally made it down to Bishop. A French brasserie inspired restaurant with southern influence, Bishop is located in Central Station (another hotel, unintentional I promise). We love asking our waiter for recommendations, and my husband ended up ordering the escargot as one of his plates. Truly a unique experience – and delicious, he reported. (Pictured from Bishop’s instagram, seating in the restaurant, which is well designed to feel intimate yet open)

Bishop Memphis website

4) Arrive Memphis: Bar Hustle, Hustle & Dough, Vice & Virtue, Longshot

date night at Hustle and Dough

In the South Main neighborhood is yet another new hotel (this is the fourth of the post – comedic at this point) with delicious food. For our date night, we sat in the hotel lobby and got drinks at the bar (Bar Hustle), followed by some of the best artisan pizza I’ve had, from Hustle & Dough. I loved the casual atmosphere, where we sat in comfy chairs and relaxed with fun drinks. Arrive also has a coffee shop (Vice & Virtue) and another dining option, Longshot, which is a shuffleboard bar serving pub food. (Pictured: from Hustle & Dough’s instagram, their pizza which is described as “your favorite dough rolled into Detroit-style pizza using our own sourdough (naturally)”).

Arrive Memphis website

5) Salt|Soy

Salt|Soy date night

Last of my Friday five, the sort of new to the dining scene (but not in a hotel) Salt|Soy. Serving Asian Fusion, we loved this date night spot so much that I returned the next week with my girlfriends for a girls’ night. The food is unlike most of what we have had in Memphis – admittedly most of our date night spots are more traditional food so adding a sophisticated take on Asian to the rotation has been exciting (what a life we live!). There is ample patio space if you would prefer to sit outside and an upstairs area that would be good for a large party, should you go that route. The pork belly skewers are a must try, as are the chili crab udon and grilled carrots. (Pictured: the chili crab udon, photographed for the Salt|Soy website)

Salt|Soy website

So with that, moms and dads, make the reservation, book the babysitter, pull out the fun outfit in the back of your closet. It is time to dine out on the town, date night style.

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A native Memphian who did a 5-year stint in Knoxville for undergrad+grad school, Kathryn loves Memphis. Being a Memphian by birth and by choice, she takes any opportunity she can to share her favorite spots with anyone who will listen. Kathryn is married to her high school sweetheart, a fellow VOLS grad who now works at a local hospital, and mom to Ruthie, born January 2015, Kate, born August 2018, and their encore baby Eliza, born July 2020. After being team #midtownismemphis for (almost) her whole life, Kathryn traded in bungalows and original hardwood for closet space and access to Target. She's adjusting to being an East Memphis mom, but luckily still makes it to all her favorite Midtown spots. Being a mom is the hardest but best thing she's ever done.

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