F&W restaurant editor Kate Krader opens her black book to restaurant openings in the South (like the farm-to-table cooking spot Farm Burger in Atlanta) and great Southern-inspired places all around the US.
Chicago: Kith & Kin
Brooklyn, NY: Seersucker
© Sarah Lemoncelli
When they opened this adorable neighborhood restaurant, Arkansas-born chef Robert Newton and his girlfriend, Kerry Diamond, agreed on the food: the South via South Brooklyn. Except, says Diamond, "I wanted barbecue spaghetti; that's Rob's nightmare." Instead, Newton offers a snack tray with deviled and pickled eggs and, every Tuesday night, a terrific, two-day-brined-then-fried half-chicken.
Atlanta: Miller Union
© David Naugle
Tina Ujlaki, F&W's supersonic executive food editor, came back from Atlanta raving about this place. She loved chef Steven Satterfield's simple, Southern-influenced food, particularly the grits fritters with country ham, and perfectly seared flounder topped with six salted capers. And she said she'd fly to Atlanta just for the house-made ice creams.
Atlanta: Farm Burger
Burgers and farm-to-table cooking are huge right now, but George Frangos and Jason Mann's interest predates both trends. (In fact, Mann owns an ethically raised beef cooperative.) Frangos favors the No. 4 burger on the blackboard menu with pickled beets, goat cheese and arugula. From the "build it" option, F&W restaurant editor Kate Krader would go for smoked-paprika mayo and maybe roasted bone marrow.
Lafayette, Louisiana: Cochon
© Chris Granger
Donald Link of New Orleans's wildly popular Cajun spot Cochon has family history in the Lafayette area. And he found a pretty patch of land for sale, near a river with oak trees and cypress. Those are two reasons he's opening a branch of Cochon here, in 2011. He's just hired a forager: "We're beginning to source local foodsfrogs, crawfish, rice."
North Carolina: Herons
© Liza Gershman
Most hotel restaurants are lucky to have one very talented chef; Herons, in the Research Triangle's luxurious Umstead Hotel and Spa, has two. Scott Crawford and Steven Devereaux Greene team up to prepare dishes that manage to be elegant, local and Southern all at once, like roasted foie gras with pickled rhubarb, pecan hash and just a little banana puree. "It sounds like too much, but it's not," says Greene. "The pickled rhubarb just nails it."