Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Chef Chris Windsor, plus scores as of 4/04/10

By Andy Wise - bio | email

MEMPHIS (WMC TV) - THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP:  Chef Chris Windsor, Grill 83, 83 Madison Ave., Downtown Memphis, 901-333-1224,

The Passion Martini is its face.

Its heart is the 16-ounce Bone-In Kansas City Filet.

But Grill 83's soul is Chef Chris Windsor.

Born in Maryland, trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Windsor is the step-son of a farmer and the grandson of an oyster fisherman and his cook wife.

You might say Windsor's career path was always headed for a healthy appetite.

"I always grew up around a kitchen. You can see I was well-fed," the jolly Windsor joked.

His customers are well-fed, too -- with creations that are constant surprises thanks to Windsor's choices of spices and sauces.

"We had the pork-bellies (Ale-Brased Pork Shanks)," said Monica Quinn, visiting while on business from Chicago, "which was on the pickled apples, with some spice that I asked what it was, and they haven't told me yet!"

Windsor's iconic dish is that bone-in fillet, complemented with a cabernet reduction sauce.

"We're the only ones who have it regularly on our menu because it is a rare cut," he said. "If you're sitting down with four men, and you want to impress them, put four of those in front of them, and they're generally happy!"

"The steak!" exclaimed Rhodes College student Kyle Pipkin when I asked the obvious. "It's always a huge pleasure to come down here and eat."

Customers can enjoy Windsor's work with the incredible view of the Mississippi River on the roof of the Madison Hotel next door -- or munch in the elegant, yet contemporary design of the bar and dining area.

"It's a very eclectic type of feel," said Camilla Forsythe of East Memphis. "I feel like I'm transported to New York when I come here, back to the old days when I used to live in New York City. It's a great little place."

WHAT ANDY LIKES: Bone-In Kansas City Filet, Honey & Chipotle Glazed Gulf Shrimp on Corn Pudding, Seared Wasabi-Crusted Tuna

For all of this week's Memphis-Shelby County restaurant scores, click here.

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