Who goes to a steak house — one inside a casino, no less — and orders seafood? Someone who knows about the eponymous Kelly English, that's who. At his home base, Restaurant Iris in Memphis, English's progressive Southern cuisine has won wide acclaim, including the coveted "Best New Chef" designation from Food & Wine magazine in 2009 and a James Beard Foundation award nomination in 2010. At his namesake steak house at Harrah's St. Louis, he offers several of the seafood dishes from his Iris repertoire, including the "Creole Midnight Snack," which tops toasted brioche with a poached egg and plump Gulf shrimp in the most flavorful rémoulade you've ever tasted. Orders of either the Parmesan-crusted sea bass and the Creole-spiced redfish bring gorgeous slabs of perfectly cooked and seasoned fish, the former's unexpected pairing of seafood and cheese inspired, the latter's one-two punch of heat and salt invigorating. And if you can't resist steak in a steak house, there's always English's most renowned dish, the cardiac-event-threatening "Surf and Turf": a strip steak stuffed with blue cheese and fried oysters atop a bacon-potato hash, all of it topped with bordelaise and hollandaise sauce. At this point, it shouldn't surprise you to hear that the oysters are the standout component of this dish.
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