Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Andrew/Michael Italian Kitchen - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Andrew/Michael Italian Kitchen

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By Andy Wise - bio | email | Facebook

EAST MEMPHIS (WMC-TV) - CHEFS OF THE WEEK:  Andrew Ticer & Michael Hudman, Andrew/Michael Italian Kitchen, 712 W. Brookhaven Circle, East Memphis, 901-347-3569, http://www.andrewmichaelitaliankitchen.com/main/index.html

Andrew. Michael.

First names in good times and great food!

"The pastas are amazing," said Jennifer Trottman of Germantown, TN. She and her husband Nick are regulars.

"We're about pasta. We're about pork, and we're about Mid-South farmers (for our ingredients), said the "Michael" half of Andrew/Michael Italian Kitchen, Michael Hudman.

Best buddies since they were classmates at Christian Brothers High School, Hudman and Ticer reunited in culinary school as roommates at Johnson & Wales University in South Carolina.

After an internship under Chef Jose Guitierrez at The Peabody Hotel's Chez Philippe, they earned their Masters in Italian Cuisine in Calabria, Italy, at the Italian Culinary Institute.

But their greatest cooking influences are their late grandmothers, Mary Spinosa (Andrew) and Catherine Chiozza (Michael) -- the menus and memories that came out of their Italian kitchens.

"Our families getting together and cooking Sunday dinners," said Ticer. "We try to keep up with the times, especially with food trends, but then we try to incorporate it into the traditional, classic dishes that our grandmothers would cook."

"That's kind of our philosophy...is to look at something, and twist it and turn it in different ways to where someone leaves this experience wanting to come back, having a good time, and it's like you're just in our house," said Hudman.

Pasta and pork dishes are what get you in the door, but the boys also go way beyond expectations with fish, beef and vegetables -- all gleaned from Mid-South farmers.

They change the menu and wine list five times a year. Ticer travels to Napa regularly to shop wines.

They also put on monthly and weekly special events. The last Monday of the month is No Menu Monday. You show up and eat whatever Italian masterpiece they put on the table.

Every Wednesday is Get To Know Your Wine Wednesday -- five bottles showcased at half-price.

"Things we really don't see around here very often, and they're really kind of taking the lead on it," said Scott Adelman of Midtown Memphis. 

Presentation, atmosphere, service:  all impressive. The "feel" you get when you're at Andrew/Michael Italian Kitchen is you're their best friend -- among MANY best friends.

"We can always see somebody here that we haven't seen in a while, so we like the camaraderie and, again, the atmosphere," Trottman said. "It's really hard to get that anywhere else in the city."

WHAT ANDY LIKES:  A/M Breakfast, Newman Farms Pork, Wild Striped Bass, Maw Maw's Ravioli, Mishima Ranch Wagyu (Kobe Beef), Outstanding Wine Selection & Bar Service

<a href="http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/50/1345024/restaurant/East-Memphis/Andrew-Michael-Italian-Kitchen-Memphis"><img alt="Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen  on Urbanspoon" src="http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/link/1345024/biglink.gif" style="border:none;width:200px;height:146px" /></a>

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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