The south has risen again -- at least culinarily. The best, most innovative, most deeply felt food in the US is coming from below the Mason-Dixon line. And of that vast region, these are the crown jewels.
Chris Hastings, the chef and owner of this superb Birmingham restaurant, runs both the house and the kitchen with an effortless grace and brilliance worthy of this southern classic.
If there is a godfather of Southern cuisine, it's surely Frank Stitt, one of the country's great cooks -- and this stately classic shows it. Great ingredients, flawless service, and truly impeccable cooking sets the standard for southern restaurants.
The brilliant young chef Edward Lee is doing something special out there in Louisville -- creating flavors, and textures, and ideas, that are somehow utterly southern and yet utterly new and original. His fried chicken is worth the trip by itself.
Patois isn't the biggest, most important, or most celebrated restaurant in New Orleans. It isn't the best. But it's perfect, and perfection is enough. Uptown's pride is the city's secret.
A small, unassuming restaurant in a quiet college town has attracted the notice of the world, thanks to chef John Currence's unyielding allegiance to southern ingredients and foodways.
Sean Brock salutes simplicity at Husk, but it's at McCrady's that he made his name and still does his most ambitious work. A big, ambitious, amazing restaurant that serves some of the most imaginative cooking in America.
Southern flavors get a nod here, but don't entirely drive the bus at this very refined restaurant, whose DNA is more Paris than Nashville.
Though his more casual Cochon gets all the press, Donald Link's fine-dining restaurant, Herbsaint, is a towering accomplishment, a real monument to the flavors of New Orleans.
An intimate atmosphere, intensely flavorful, concentrated, and composed dishes, and an absolute commitment to righteous foodways characterizes this small but important restaurant, a leader in southern gastronomy.
Here's the thing about FIG. It's not a modernist Mecca. It's not a champion of southern foodways. It's chef has seldom been seen on TV. But everything I've ever eaten here has been exquisitely simple and emphatic and absolutely perfect. So that has to count for something, right?
Linton Hopkins, the owlish and professorial chef at this superb restaurant, doesn't look like a commanding presence -- but his vision is so powerful and his authority over his cooks so absolute, that the amazing food here seems like the expression of a single mind. Which it is.
What started out as a tribute to the southern diner has become possibly the defining southern diner of its -- or any other -- time, thanks to the brilliant chef Ashley Christensen.
Southern comfort food gets raised to an almost preternatural level as this brilliant restaurant, thanks to the energy and imagination of chef Steven Satterfield.
Superchef Sean Brock's tribute to Southern heritage foods is righly famed the world over. Obviously, fried chicken is the ticket here, but if you go at lunch don't miss the stupendous double cheeseburger, a true hidden gem. The bourbon bar next door is your next stop.
Bryan Voltaggio's wildly original, elegant, modernist restaurant sits in an old townhouse on a quiet street in a remote Maryland town. But people come from all over to see his startling creations, and they are seldom disappointed.