Beyond BBQ: Create a Custom Italian Feast at Bari Ristorante

Overton Square in Midtown Memphis

Overton Square in Midtown Memphis is filled with restaurants, shops and things to do. Photo by Kerry Crawford.

Brad Pitts of Bari Ristorante

Bari in Midtown Memphis serves authentically-prepared Italian food. Photo by Justin Fox Burks.

Mural in Overton Square

Check out the cool restaurants, theaters, shopping and things to do in Overton Square. Photo by Brand USA

Italian fare at Bari Ristorante, Memphis

Bari Ristorante in Overton Square Midtown Memphis. Photo by Justin Fox Burks

Overton Square may now be known for eclectic restaurants, unique shops and bustling nightlife. However, it was just a few years ago that only a couple of restaurants held the entire neighborhood together when the majority of the storefronts were empty and several properties had shuttered. One of these key anchors is Bari Ristorante and Enoteca, and this traditional Italian eatery is one of the main reasons people ventured to Overton Square when it was just a shadow of its current self.

Bari is a traditional Italian eatery with heavy emphasis on seafood and handmade pasta. The menu is divided into several sections: antipasti e primi (appetizers), insalata e zuppa (salad and soups), pasta, pesce (fish), carne (meat), verdure (vegetables/sides), and dolci (dessert). Portions are a bit smaller, so diners are encouraged to order multiple courses to enjoy the full experience.

Start with a salad like the refreshing Lattuga (Boston lettuce, goat cheese, grapefruit segments and honey), follow it up with the grilled bronzino with fennel and orange and round out your meal with the garlic and rosemary roasted new potatoes. Or, begin with some traditional salumi like prosciutto di Parma or speck, dig into a plate of spaghetti a la carbonara, and sit back and savor a scoop of housemade gelato. You can also skip dessert all together and pick from their expansive selection of artisan cheeses. There are over 40 different options, and if you just can’t decide (or you simply love cheese), you can get a small tasting of each cheese on the menu for $150 and a little advanced notice.

Pan Roasted King Salmon with sautéed spring corn, green shallots, arugula, & white balsamic #bariristorante

A photo posted by Bari Ristorante e Enoteca (@bariristorante) on Mar 20, 2015 at 9:50pm PDT

Bari Ristorante also boasts an extensive wine list and an inventive array of cocktails. Pick your favorite beverage, or put yourself in the hands of the restaurant’s beverage director for a custom pairing that will match perfectly with your meal. However you like to eat, Bari allows you to choose your own culinary adventure to create a perfect dining experience.