The rooftop sunset with fabulous cocktails overlooking the Mississippi River or three creative chefs, competing to see who can prepare the best of three courses in the hotel restaurant below. This is the story of a night of exquisite competition at the Madison Hotel Memphis, one of the Bluff City’s great hotels. The chef of the hotel’s restaurant, eighty3, found himself competing against two visiting chefs, one from Las Vegas via Los Angeles and the other from the Northeast with a hint of Hawaii.
One of the classiest spots in Memphis that also mixes plenty of Downtown cool, the type that everyone from stylish 20-something scenesters to hipsters, singles and couples out for a night on the town without the kids – the Madison Hotel Memphis has it all. It begins in the lobby before a quick ride up the elevator to the rooftop and the Twilight Sky Terrace. Then it’s back down to the hotel’s restaurant, eighty3, where a taste of ceviche leads into pork several ways before finishing with exquisite dessert that makes you write home to mamma.
Yes, this is one of Memphis’ cool spots, where South meets Downtown sexy. And that’s all just on a regular night. Make it a special moment, like this week’s Triple Threat Chef’s Challenge, and we’re talking a bump on the evening.
Chefs Max Hussey, Rodelio Aglibot and Frank Fonda participated in a fun but mildly intense competition. The three each made an intro dish with scallops as the focal point, a main dish centered on pork, and a finale with peaches at the heart.
A group of invited guests were the judges, and we each had poker chips to make our votes on each dish: black for Hussey, red for Aglibot and white for Fonda. The winning dishes will find their way to the menu at eighty3, and that’s pretty cool. What a fun and inventive way to try new dishes by three inventive chefs.
It was a lot of fun, and honestly, something more restaurants should consider doing to introduce new ideas in the dining room and on menus.
The night started the way every evening at the Madison Hotel should: on the rooftop at the Twilight Terrace for small bites and drinks as we watched the sunset. If ever in Memphis, do make your way to the rooftop where some of the best views of the Mississippi River and the Memphis skyline await.
We’ve stayed the night in the Madison Hotel, and I can’t praise the service and comfort of the room enough.
Yes, the chef’s challenge was titled Triple Threat. But it might also be an appropriate way to describe the hotel itself with the comfortable room, awesome views from the rooftop and fun dining experience.