The American South is known for many things. Hospitality, a rich cultural history and the chance to take a break from the brisk pace of big city life are some of the many reasons that visitors to the region make it a regular part of their travel agenda. It goes without saying, of course, that the cuisine the region offers is an important bonus. Buttery biscuits, crispy fried chicken, shrimp and grits and other amazing specialties are favorites both near and far. These delectable delights aren’t just found at local greasy spoons, though – incredible, world renowned fine dining done Southern style is drawing more and more foodies to the region. These 5 restaurants that put a gourmet spin on classic Southern dishes are sure to be palate-pleasers.
1. The Chef and the Farmer – Kinston, NC
Built in a 100 year old mule stable, today’s picture of the Chef and the Farmer is far different an image than that statement might conjure. The self-proclaimed ‘progressive eatery’ was opened by Kinston local Vivian Howard and her spouse, Ben Knight, in June of 2006. Providing Southern staples like grilled pork chops, chicken pastry and delicious grits dishes, the restaurant has received rave reviews from culinary critics.
2. Hall’s Chophouse – Charleston, SC
Though the name may not sound fancy, Hall’s Chophouse is considered the premier steakhouse in the popular Charleston dining scene. The family owned business was opened in 2009 by Bill and Jeanne Hall, a couple with 40+ years of experience in the industry. They quickly onboarded other family members, creating a unique atmosphere and delicious menu that have put the steakhouse on the map. Wet and dry aged beef as well as grass fed beef, Waygu beef and Prime Rib done perfectly keep Charleston guests coming back for more.
3. Park 75 – Four Seasons Hotel, Atlanta, GA
Georgia is a state with a rich and unique culinary culture combining proper refinement and comfort food, and Chef Robert Gersternecker has the joy of providing visitors to Atlanta’s Four Seasons Hotel with both regional and international breakfast and brunch specials that have received rave reviews. From the Fried Green Tomato BLTJ featuring beautiful local tomato jam to the pecan cinnamon butter served over red velvet pancakes, everyone can find something to love on the menu at Park 75.
4. Hot and Hot Fish Club – Birmingham, AL
Chefs Chris and Idie Hastings co-own this beautiful farm to table bistro, which has been in business for over 20 years. The beloved local gourmet staple has received tons of great press in the two decades since its inception. The aim of the menu is to blend international and California style fare with classic Southern cooking. There is perhaps no better example than their Farmer’s Cheese Agnolotti, blending a whey braised short rib with sweet spring Vidalias and turnip blossoms to create an instant classic.
5. La Truffe Sauvage – Lake Charles, LA
Those who know the rich French and Creole history of Louisiana will hardly be surprised at the many fine dining options available therein. La Truffe Sauvage, which translates to ‘the wild truffle’, has been pleasing palates of foodies from near and far for 16 years. Chef Arthur Durham opened the restaurant in October of 1999 and has been delighting guests with stunning entrees such as Pot au Feu de Poisson aux Fenouilles et Curry, a blend of beautiful local tomatoes with cream, curry and an assortment of classic bayou shellfish, mollusks and fish, ever since.