“The nostalgia component is just as important as the dish itself,” says Kevin Gillespie of Revival in Decatur, Georgia. When the Top Chef alum decided to open a restaurant with executive chef Andreas Müller, he wanted to elevate the Southern classics he grew up loving (many of the recipes are his grandmother’s).
The house-smoked ham is next-level: The crust is lacquered with brown sugar and spices, but the interior is juicier than any ham Gillespie had as a kid. The secret: He cooks it in foil and lets it rest before unwrapping, so no moisture is lost. The result is steamed yet caramelized—reminiscent of Grandma’s holiday ham, but (with all due respect) even better. 129 Church St.; revivaldecatur.com.