Kevin’s Birthday Dinner

So, this year, Kevin wanted to go to Flight (http://flightmemphis.com/) for his birthday, so I made the reservations a few weeks ago. At first, it was just Kevin, Todd, and myself. Then, his old boss Tony was added to the mix (the more the merrier!). I was pleasantly surprised when his parents and brother Kenny were able to come and we went from a party of 3 to a party of 7.

We showed up, got our Valet parking, and went upstairs to the table they had set up for us. The atmosphere of Flight is excellent, very warm and inviting. Not too dark, not too light, very well decorated.

From the very start, service was exemplary. Our server, Cyndia, was amazing from start to finish. She explained that at Flight you could get a full size entree, a pre-made flight, OR you could customize a flight using small plates. This made things a tiny bit more expensive, but it gave you more control of the items you have.

Kevin started out with the Seafood Martini flight:

Roasted Garlic Mascarpone Orzo, Lobster, White Truffle Oil
Shrimp, Goat Cheese Polenta, Mango Chipotle Sauce
Scallop, Amaretto Cauliflower Cream, Caviar

I had the Tuna and Salmon Sashimi flight:

Big Eye Tuna and Salmon Sashimi
Inside-Out Spicy Big Eye Tuna Roll w/Tuna and King Salmon
Hawaiian Poke with Big Eye Tuna, King Salmon, and Wasabi Tobikko Caviar with Wonton Chip

Let me just say at the outset that everything we had was phenomenal. I am going to run out of adjectives and ways to describe this food very quickly, but I wanted to get that out of the way. That Big Eye Tuna just melted on the tongue. It is seriously the best sashimi that I have ever had. Kevin’s flight was also seriously good. The Hawaiian Poke was like a tartare.

Continuing on, we shared the Salad flight. The Grilled Pear and Camembert salad was great, containing baby arugula, roasted walnuts, and maple walnut vinaigrette. I don’t normally enjoy nuts, but this was a good exception. The Baby Iceberg Salad I gave to Kevin, as I do not like blue cheese. I have to admit, however, that the apple wood smoked bacon on it looked amazing. The blue cheese was maytag. The Strawberry and Macademia Nut Salad was undoubtedly my favorite, with its strawberry white balsamic vinaigrette, mixed baby greens, and red onion.

We also shared the Soup flight. This consisted of a spicy seafood gumbo (delicious), some of the best lobster bisque I have ever had, and this sweet potato soup that was fascinating in that it was savory with sweet undertones, absolutely delicious. Todd had a big bowl of it, and I found myself a little jealous.

For dinner, Kevin opted for the Tenderloin Flight. He substituted the Veal for Elk, and also got Pork Tenderloin and an Australian Lamb Chop. The Elk was a New Zealand Wapiti Elk, served with a Kahlua garlic glaze, and smashed wasabi yukon gold potatoes. The wasabi was in the form of wasabi peas, which were delicious (I also got the elk).

Let me speak for a moment about the Elk. Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I love game meat and will regale you with the tale of our trip to Red Fox on our Skiing trip at the drop of a hat. This elk was medium rare, juicy and succulent. It had that slight taste that lets you know that you are eating game meat, but was not offputting in the least. If you go to Flight, get the dang elk. Seriously.

Kevin’s Pork Tenderloin was served with loaded twice-baked potatoes, blueberry Molasses, and Haricot Verts. He assures me it was great! His Australian Lamb Chop was served with Rosemary Garlic Jus Lie, Apple Pepper Mint Conserve, and Spicy Vanilla Yam. It looked amazing on the plate, and Kevin feel free to pipe in here in the comments about this stuff I didn’t taste. Smelled good, that’s for sure.

I got the Chef’s flight, which came with a boursin-stuffed Filet, pheasant with some kind of cheese over cheese-stuffed pasta, and shrimp. I substituted Elk for the shrimp, and I am so very glad I did. I do not have official menu descriptions of my items, as it was a special, but that Filet was great. It was flavorful beyond the norm for a filet, and the cheese was amazing.

Let me get in your face about that pheasant. Todd and I both had it, and it was phenomenal. I think it was the stand-out of my entire entree plate (dang it, it AND the elk. I can’t undersell that elk!). Unbelievable. If you go there, and they have pheasant available, get it. You will not regret it! Juicy, delicious, unctuous with the cheese and the pasta and… just get it.

For dessert we shared the traditional flight of cheesecake, creme brulee, and substituted chocolate cake for chocolate MELTING cake. It was amazing.

There was coffee, there was wine, but above everything there was great conversation and the joyous celebration of Kevin Young. Whether friend or family, every person at that table loved Kevin and we are honored and extremely blessed to have him in our lives.

So yes, go to Flight, PLEASE go to Flight, but don’t go alone. Good friends and family make the experience so much more amazing than it would otherwise be.

Finally, a word on price… look, this is not a once a month place for most of us. For most of us, this would fall directly under “special occasion” and it was indeed a special occasion. It is expensive, but it is worth every dollar for the variety, excellent service, and the amazing attention to detail given everything from the food to the decor.

Stephen’s Bottom Line: Go to Flight, with friends, but be prepared to spend some serious dough. Fine dining, for sure. Rating: 5/5 (across the board)

~ by thoughtriver on February 1, 2012.

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