As a foodie, I enjoy experiencing new restaurants, concepts, dishes and atmospheres. Memphis has a winner in the Privé Restaurant, thanks to Mario Mims, aka Yo Gotti. Privé is French for private and the Privé Restaurant can only be described as incredible dining.
Hailing from North Memphis, Gotti, embraces his background and upbringing in his recordings and music. Rapping since the age of 14, he has come a long way. One of his most popular mainstream songs is “5 Star Chick” and Privé has all the elements of a 5-star restaurant.
Making big moves in the music business by signing a distribution deal with Epic Records through L.A. Reid, Gotti is diversifying his investments with the addition of the restaurant in Hickory Hill. As the CEO of CMG (Collective Musik Group), he has had a decade of traveling and touring from city to city. A part of that lifestyle is experiencing the best of the best as far as cocktails, food and entertainment.
Gotti has definitely brought his wide-ranging dining experiences home for all to share and witness. With a restaurant that compares to any of the best in Memphis, get used to this description: “Mr. Gotti the Restaurateur.”
To be sure that my first experience was not a fluke, I dined twice looking for consistency in my food. Not only was it consistent, it was delicious, delectable and pleasing to the eye.
This menu is upscale in every way. The appetizers include chicken and andouille spring rolls, spinach and artichoke dip, firecracker shrimp, shrimp and crab cakes. The shrimp and crab cakes melted in my mouth. Yes, I said shrimp and crab cakes combined. As an appetizer it is very filling, but you cannot stop.
There are soups and salads that make your mouth water. The ultimate dishes are the entrées. The poultry section consists of an herb roasted half chicken served with au jus and herb butter and a southwestern grilled chicken topped with pico de gallo, tortilla strips, and chipotle aioli.
My favorite areas of the menu included the Steaks & Chops and From the Sea. The Steaks & Chops included a ribeye served with tabasco fried onions and their house herb butter. There is a filet mignon and a glazed barbecue porterhouse pork chop topped with caramelized apples.
I was drawn to the smoked rack of lamb on my first trip and the lobster bowl on my second trip. With eight intertwined bones, the rack of lamb was perfectly seasoned and cooked. The meat was so tender I wanted to lose all etiquette and pick the bones up with my fingers. (You know how we do barbecue ribs.) Instead, I took half of it home and then lost all etiquette in private.
I also had the lobster bowl with shrimp added. The lobster bowl had two grilled petite lobster tails served in garlic butter. I added grilled shrimp. The portions were generous and, again, I had to take half of my entrée home to savor later.
By the way, the sides are ala carte. The asparagus and grilled mushrooms are heavenly. All of the food is generously seasoned with no need for salt, pepper or anything else. So let them know if you need them to be light in that area.
The old Smokey Bones building has been transformed to a sleek Miami-style restaurant. Contemporary in every respect, from the valet service out front to the immaculate modern bathrooms, Privé is everything it should be for an upscale restaurant experience.
While the wine menu is limited, they have something for everyone. The full bar is sexy and the private dining room in all white is even sexier. The place was full and tables turned a couple of times during my stay.
So hats off to “Mr. Gotti the Restaurateur.” He has a hit on his hands. His vision of providing Memphis with another upscale-dining option is crystal clear and on point in its execution.
I also hear that there is a Sunday Soul Food Brunch. I’ll have to check that out next. But there is no soul food on the regular menu, only fine dining.
Privé Restaurant: 6980 Winchester Rd. Telephone: Phone: 901-552-4760.