Wear the Heels: 5 Romantic Downtown Restaurants with Valet

An evening for lovers and lovers of food, Valentine’s Day is THE special occasion to dress up and dine downtown.

Set the mood with high booths for privacy, low lights for intimacy, and valet only a few steps from the front door.

waiter serves table at Flight restaurant
Credit: Logan Young

Flight

39 South Main St.

No need for commitment. Enjoy an appetizer then a sampling of three dishes per course with an entree choice of sea or lamb flights. The most romantic booths are upstairs. Four courses for $163, includes tax and gratuity, wine selections additional. View the menu here.

variety of dishes at lobbyist
Credit: Jalyn Souchek

 

The Lobbyist

272 South Main St.

Hailed as one of the best new restaurants in Memphis, find the produce forward dishes all decked out for a night on the town but reminiscent of the family farm. Four courses for $90, add $30 for wine pairings. View the menu here.

view of Amelia's bar area
Credit: Jalyn Souchek

Amelia Gene’s

255 South Front St.

Proper is the best word to describe this global, contemporary finest-dining experience with nuance and complexity in each bite. Spare no expense and try the cheese cart. Serving a full menu.

McEwen’s dining room
Credit: McEwen’s

McEwen’s

120 Monroe Ave.

With an atmosphere more rustic and casual, the white tablecloth but unassuming dining room is great for a first date or new relationship. Serving a full menu with a sweet special.

three women dine in booth at bishop restaurant
Credit: Justin Fox Burks

Bishop

545 South Main St.

As soft French music plays in the elegant brasserie, velvet and leather seating sets the mood for a study in texture. Three savory courses and a dessert for $85, add $40 for wine pairings. See the menu here.


Reservations are recommended everywhere. Prices are per person, plus tax and gratuity unless otherwise noted.

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About the Author

Memphis for me is a dance floor. The progression swings from a childhood in the suburbs, to Midtown and Downtown through my college years, then back to the suburbs when hubs and kiddos blessed my days. I have swirled in the excitement of Tiger basketball, Beale Street bike nights, Coliseum shows, Zippin Pippin rides, Mud Island concerts, Rum Boogie side door slips and Alex’s Tavern shuffle board. I’ve cheered under high school Friday night lights, seen the Mississippi River reflect fireworks set to live symphony, and had my high-rise office computer blinded by the afternoon beam of the shiny pyramid. While I may dwell outside the city proper, one of the great things about living here is accessibility. Everything is about a half-hour away. My mission is to plant seeds, water roots and foster wings inside and out of the 240 loop. 

Say it. Memphis. There is a lip-parting breath in the beginning with grit and soul so strong it rises from within and reverberates outward. Memphis. A hard “F” in the middle. Memphis. Sharp finish with a trailing hiss. Memphis. Can you hear it? Memphis. Now move with me. Memphis. Let’s dance.

Build your perfect Memphis meal:

Start at the Peabody Lobby bar with a filthy martini in a crystal glass (ping!), half a dozen oysters Rockefeller from the Half Shell, a Greek salad from Cheffies all chopped to bite-sized bits with that Wolverine slicer they use, some BBQ shrimp from Second Line with extra soppin’ bread for all the sauce, duck fried rice from any SOB, and a box of Dinstuhl’s dark chocolate brandied cherries to pair with a middle-shelf Pinot Noir from Buster’s Liquor. I’m going home. Night, night.
 

What’s your favorite organization to support:

Literacy MidSouth makes such an impact in our city. From kindergarten to third grade, kids learn to read. From fourth grade on, they read to learn. If there’s a disconnect, statistics show the gap grows over time leading to behavior issues, increased drop out rates, teen pregnancy and incarceration. Last school year, I worked with nine third-graders in reading intervention to get them up to grade level. To see such smart children crack the code and feel empowered, thirsting for knowledge and devouring information they can finally understand and share, it’s nothing short of astounding. I’m proud to be part of the army of reading tutors serving our city. If you can read this, you can help too. Words have power!

Learn more about Candice Baxter here.

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