Here’s one very good reason to try The Elegant Farmer:
That’s the Caprese salad: a bed of local greens with three thick beefsteak tomato slices topped with homemade ricotta cheese, basil-pecan pesto, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
It tastes like summer. It’s insanely fresh, and the pesto, ricotta, oil and vinegar combine to make this sort of creamy, tart sauce that matches the sweet red and yellow tomatoes.
The Elegant Farmer opened a few weeks ago in the old Crumpet’s spot on Highland. The kitchen uses as many locally sourced ingredients as possible (the menu lists bread from Shoaf’s Loaf and La Baguette, meat from Neola Farms and Newman Farms, and fruit from Jones Orchard).
For lunch, I tried the salmon patties, which the manager said were a big seller. They were two big, flaky cakes of seasoned chopped fish – sort of like a crab cake with salmon. They came with a roll and sides of turnip greens and mac’n'cheese.
The greens were pretty good, but the mac’n'cheese made my life. It’s easily some of the best mac’n'cheese in town. I ate every single creamy, cheesy noodle with enthusiasm.
Though the restaurant was pretty packed when I was there (right around noon), the service was quick, efficient and friendly. The prices reasonable for the quality and amount of food. Soups and salads run $4 to $9, a la carte sides are $4, and all of the sandwiches and entrees are $10 or less.
Right now, The Elegant Farmer is only open for lunch, but according to their Facebook page, they’ll start serving dinner around May 20. They’ve got plenty of indoor seating, but ask to sit on the azalea-covered patio if it’s nice outside.
262 South Highland Street
Memphis, TN 38111