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“Good Food and Music” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Itta Bena

Itta Bena
143 Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 578-3031
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Ranked #110 of 1,199 Restaurants in Memphis
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $16 - $35
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Second
Lincoln, Massachusetts
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Good Food and Music”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

We had a nice, reasonably quiet dinner. Susan Marshall played the piano and sang, and there was also a guitar player. Ordinarily I don't like music while eating, but they were great and not obtrusive. I wished the menu had items without buttery sauces, but I guess that's the Memphis style. The shrimp and grits were outstanding and the lamb chops tasty.

Visited April 2014
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131 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Tuscaloosa, AL
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Excellent Meal & Service Above the Crowds of Beale Street”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

We dined at Itta Bena on a suggestion from the staff at the Hampton Inn on Beale Street. It is very exclusive and there are no signs outside notifying you that it is there. Nice ambiance and truly felt like an "experience" even though we were right above BB King's on Beale Street! Our server was very knowledgeable of the menu and provided prompt service. We were celebrating our anniversary and we both had the filet mignon. Both were cooked to perfection with just the right amount of seasoning (I added a little salt). The salad wedge was wonderful and we were able to exchange side items as well - which at other high dollar restaurants you are not able to do! I highly recommend the button mushrooms - superb! There was live music while we were there and the singer sang some originals and some covers - blues and other stuff. It was great. And to top off the night, we were given our choice of a complimentary dessert for our anniversary and we had the white chocolate bread pudding. It was divine.

If you travel to Memphis and want to have something a little better than bar food and BBQ - look up Itta Bena. Be sure to make reservations because they do fill up!

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Wonderful time on Beale”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

It was my first time in Memphis on Beale and had heard great things about Itta Bena which is on the third floor above BB Kings. The menu selections were limited, but there were still fantastic choices of seafood, chicken and steaks. The waiter recommended the BBQ shrimp as a starter and it was delicious. I order the Red Fish special and that also was good. However, if you frequent New Orleans and love Red Fish you may want to settle for the Red Snapper. The service was a little slow, but the food more than made up for it. If you enjoy live entertainment while dining, the piano and Jazz vocalist was wonderful. Itta Bena staff displayed great southern hospitality from start to finish. It will be on my list for a second visit, when I get back to Memphis.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Great service, great food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014

I took my familiy there last Friday evening. We have 2 girls 9 and 11 y.o. We picked Itta Bena because we wanted a quieter place that had music and could stay there after 7pm. Rum Boggie Cafe kicked us out after 7pm on Thursday! We were stay the Peabody so it was nice that we could walk here and kind of feel that we were part of the Beale St crowed. Actually we could feel the music from the first floor, so that was link of neat. But the piano music and singer was great. I had the snapper which was HUGE and the kids split the salmon and the wife had the duck confit. The fish was perfectly cooked as well as the duck. Kids ate the salmon and the veggies too so it was a terrific meal. Service was great. I don't remember his name, but the tall, slender black waiter was really nice and took great care of us. We've been to plenty of great restaurants and Itta Bena ranks highly too. If we had to say anything negative about this place is the atmosphere. The windows are tinted blue and at the time we were there, it was sunny and the light was shinning into the dining room. And because of the tinted window, EVERYTHING was blue. It was a bit weird being in a totally blue room. The wife said the blue light made the color of her dish slightly unappetizing. So be prepared for this if you go there before sunset! Otherwise, a terrific restaurant.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Parker, Colorado
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2014

We dined here on the recommendation of a local and while we appreciated the respite from Beale Street after an NCAA basketball game, the food did not impress.

We had she-crab soup, a house salad, the green tomatoes and the fried avocado in a sort of appetizer dinner. Nothing wowed us at all. The service was lackluster to say the least- it was probably the worst aspect of the evening.

The ambiance of the restaurant is lovely. The live music from the piano player was great. The wood paneling and blue glass create a very cool feel to the place.

After dining at Restaurant Iris and Flight, this restaurant was a disappointment. The food kind of felt like an average Applebee's experience.

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