As I have said, I was fortunate enough to visit Italy in June as a graduation present from my grandfather. I know I have the greatest grandparents ever, you don’t have to remind me. Obviously, this was a food lovers dream. I ate and drank my way through the whole country, and I did not regret one bite of anything. I tried everything I could possibly try in 36 meals (and a few snacks), which included pizza, pasta, and gelato on a daily basis.
While in Italy, I kept thinking about my absolute favorite restaurant here in Memphis: Pete and Sam’s. I always thought Pete and Sam’s was authentic Italian, especially after I swear I dined with the Mob last time I was in there. However, my recent trip to Italy confirmed my thoughts: Pete and Sam’s is as authentic as it gets in Memphis.
My main amazement at Italian dining is that it is always an event, never just a meal. All lunches and dinners last 2 or 3 hours, and there is always a series of courses. Pete and Sam’s operates by this law as well. In this restaurant, you are taken to Italy, where nobody has a sense of time and everyone is enjoying the festive atmosphere. You can truly experience Italy if you order one of Pete and Sam’s Italian Dinners.
Italian meals always begin with bread. It is also usually served with salami, cheese, or a dipping sauce. Sometimes you just use olive oil and cracked pepper. Pete and Sam’s always has bread and crackers waiting for you when you sit down, however they do not have anything to go with it.
The next course is usually a soup or salad. If you order an Italian dinner from Pete and Sam’s your meal always begins with a salad. The best part about Pete and Sam’s salads are the HOMEMADE dressings!
In Italy, after the salad comes the pasta dish. At Pete and Sam’s, pasta is usually the entree, but in Italy it is not. At Pete and Sam’s, the pizza comes before the pasta.
In Italy, after the pasta comes the main course, which is usually a meat and one or two vegetables. For Pete and Sam’s, this is when they serve the pasta and one side dish. I always opt for the Italian Spinach, as it is one of my all-time favorite foods. I have it catered in to events, and I could seriously eat an entire tray of it. Did I mention they have freshly grated parmesan to go on top?
Lastly, in Italy, you receive a dessert, coffee, and a shot of either Amaretto or Limoncello after the meal. You have choices for dessert at Pete and Sam’s as well.
Overall, Pete and Sam’s not only has amazing food and an inviting atmosphere, but it is also authentic Italian. The wine flows freely, the air is relaxed, and everyone is having a great time.