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“So-so experience”
Review of Itta Bena

Itta Bena
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Ranked #13 of 1,494 Restaurants in Memphis
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $19 - $55
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Second
Description: Up the fire escape above BB Kings Blues Club lies Memphis' "hidden gem" Itta Bena. Named for the town where legendary BB King was born, Itta Bena embodies the charm and inspiration of fine southern dining. Itta Bena restaurant and bar invites you in for a cool libation and southern cuisine with a Delta twist. From our Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chops to our Jumbo Shrimp and Grits and decadent desserts, Itta Bena has something for everyone. So come as you are - no jackets required, for great food in a relaxed atmosphere with unrivaled southern hospitality.
Reviewed March 20, 2013

My sorority sisters and I (about 30 of us) decided to visit Itta Bena during a recent conference in Memphis. We had a reservation, but they sat us in groups, at different tables, as we arrived. In all, we were at 5 different tables, but they were all in the same area.

Steven was the waiter at our table and answered all of our questions about drinks and menu items. I ordered the grilled salmon in a lemon caper sauce. I was allowed to switch out the rice for the button mushrooms, which I was thrilled about since I'm not a big fan of rice. I also had sauteed string beans. Overall, my food was ok....not the greatest as there was very little sauce for my fish and the string beans were very crunchy and not to my liking. The mushrooms were good and there were a lot of them.

Two at our table ordered the lobster bisque, which smelled great, but was very watery. They both said it was not the best, but was simply ok. Two also ordered the crab cakes appetizer, which when brought out, was very surprising. There were two small crab cakes that could fit in the palm of your hand and some type of salad in between. One also ordered the veggies of the day and when they arrived, the dish was cold and had to be sent back. They reported the crab cakes were ok, but felt overpriced. The food did seem to be overpriced, but I'm sure we were paying for the atmosphere as well.

The highlight of our evenving was Ms. Ruby, the entertainment for the evening. She sings an array of music, from folk, to alternative, to gospel/spirituals to R&B. It was interesting to say the least.

Itta Bena is on the third floor of the BB King Blues Club and it is interesting climbing the stairs to get to it. However, it was a nice experience but I would not wish to return as I felt the money charged did not equal the food served.

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Thank TravelingMomma73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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260 - 264 of 323 reviews

Reviewed March 5, 2013

Itta Bena is one of my favorite downtown Memphis restaurants. It must be I live 2 hours away and ate there two weekends in a row! I love the atmosphere and the wait staff is terrific. Everything on the menu is great.

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Thank Lydia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

We were headed for one of our favorites on Beale Street, but found they were booked full with a huge party. I had read about Itta Bena several times and we decided to try to find it. Like other reviewers, we found the dark outdoor stairway behind BB King's Blues Club, and decided to venture up and see if we could find this place. There are no lights or signs to point you up to this gem! We turned left at the top of the stairs, went through the door and found a beautiful, intimate restaurant bustling with customers, a jazz pianist and Miss Ruby singing songs, and we were lucky enough to get a table for two. You indeed felt like you were in a private club, no where near Beale Street! The service was excellent and the food was fantastic! We had scallops as an appetizer, which were big and perfectly cooked, served with grits and spinach. We have never been grits fans in the past, but these were DELICIOUS!! We had filet mignon for supper served with garlic mashed potatoes, cooked perfectly and SO tender and tasty. We also shared a cup of the best she-crab soup I have ever had anywhere in my life, full of lots of crab meat in a mouth-watering bisque. We were lucky to get a table because it was a weeknight, but the place was jam-packed, I would definitely recommend reservations if you are going to try to get in on a weekend. Just amazing!!

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Thank nitroliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

We dined at Itta Bena on February 17, 2013 and were delighted with the experience. The hidden entryway adds to the charm, as if you are a member of secret club. We shared the deep fried avacado and it was very good. I had the red snapper with andouille hash, my husband had a cajun style penne pasta with shrimp, chicken and sausage. We both enjoyed our meal very much...the portions were very generous. We didn't try dessert but only because our appetizer and main courses were very filling. The decor is nostalgic and charming, the waitstaff is friendly and helpful.

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Thank JamIrie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2013 via mobile

Ate here prior to attending a play at the Orpheum. This upscale restaurant is located directly above BB Kings on Beale Street. The atmosphere is quaint, warm and inviting. The food was delicious! We had the She-crab soup, filet, and a Cajun pasta dish. Entree's are roughly $20-30+ and sides $6. This is a hidden gem! We will definitely return!

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Thank Allstarbaseballmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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