Every individual can probably recall a very special time that they will always treasure and remember. I had one of those very special moments recently when I was privileged to dine at Felicia Suzanne’s of Memphis, Tennessee with a group of old college buddies. Being that we were in town for a college football bowl game, I really was not expecting a dinner of such fine magnitude. Nonetheless, our hosts insisted that we not leave Memphis without a visit to Felicia Suzanne’s that evening. I will forever thank them.
As we entered the fine dining establishment, we immediately discovered the atmosphere and ambience warm and inviting from the moment the doors were opened. Although this was truly an upscale setting, something about Felicia Suzanne’s made you feel comfortable as if you were visiting a cousin or a local neighbor’s home. After a short wait, some great conversation, and a few sips of light cocktails, our party was escorted to a private room for dining. All the wait staff displayed friendly and extremely considerate manners. To my pleasant surprise, Felicia Suzanne came by our table and introduced herself. She took the time to speak individually with each member of our party and discovered our individual likes and dislikes before taking our special requests. I knew right away that we all were in for a treat that night. Indeed, Felicia made me feel as though I were a guest judge on Food Network Television preparing to sample an array of culinary delights.
According to Felicia Suzanne’s website, her full name is Felicia Suzanne Willett. She has always had a love for food and believes in living to eat rather than eating to live. She brought this joy of food to historic downtown Memphis in 2002 when she opened Felicia Suzanne’s restaurant on the corner of Main and Monroe. The restaurant offers an intimate setting and contemporary feel with classic Southern charm and tradition. Her cuisine is influenced by the four Southern cities in which she’s lived and the back roads connecting them: Jonesboro, Arkansas, Memphis, Tennessee, Charleston, South Carolina, and New Orleans Louisiana. After graduating college, Felicia began an internship with internationally acclaimed chef, Emeril Lagasse, in New Orleans. Felicia continued her career as Emeril’s assistant for seven more years, becoming writer and producer for Food Network’s Essence of Emeril and Emeril Live. She also produced Emeril’s weekly segments on ABC’s Good Morning America and co-authored two best-selling cookbooks: Every Day’s a Party and Emeril’s TV Dinners. She is extremely committed to purchasing local and organic products in the Memphis area.
The dinner began with a delicious appetizer- the House Smoked Wild King Salmon Deviled Egg. I could have eaten a half dozen of these tasty treats. I love smoked salmon and the flavor of the salmon blended in just perfectly with the seasonings of the egg. Next, we were served the BLFGT Salad. This salad consisted of crispy bacon, fresh baby salad greens tossed in a remoulade sauce, and layered with a mouthwatering fried green tomato. The next course was the absolute best tasting bowl of Shrimp and Grits that I have ever experienced. Tender Wild Gulf Shrimp were served with a Creole sauce over hot stone ground grits. Yummy!!! I sincerely could have ended my dining at this point, but Felicia was not going to send us home quite yet. We were presented with a platter of Pecan Encrusted Redfish over BBB Southern Cooked Greens. Felicia personally explained that BBB stands for Bacon, Budweiser, and Brown Sugar. Talk about a being treated like royalty? Our next dish was a Filet of Beef Tenderloin served with some crispy onion straws and mashed potatoes. Wow! It was so very tender and the succulent beef melted right in my mouth. Finally, we ended the evening with a dessert called Peppermint Patty. The old fashioned baked fudge was served with plenty of hot chocolate sauce along with a side of pink peppermint ice-cream.
By the time we had concluded our flavorsome meal, I was handsomely stuffed and terribly overjoyed. This had been a perfect evening in Memphis. I unequivocally recommend Felicia Suzanne’s. This restaurant will not disappoint and you will leave happy and pleased. They have a wonderful atmosphere, great wine list and a full barm, but most importantly, they have GREAT FOOD. When I return to Memphis, I know exactly where my first stop will be.