Monday, February 1, 2010
Your Northern home for Southern steez
Opening Friday: 1840 W North Ave, btw Wolcott and Honore; Bucktown; 773.342.1840
You know relatively little about Southern culture, but judging by Dukes of Hazzard it revolves around a disdain for car doors, frequent short shorts, and lots of Cooter. Broadening your sub-Mason Dixon perspective, The Southern.
Setting up shop in the former Chaise Lounge space, TS aims to be more of a down-home, laid-back boozer than its coastally inspired predecessor, with a long timber bar surrounded by wood-planked high-top tables that contribute a classy picnic vibe, but thankfully no picnic baskets, or that silly Yogi Bear would mess up EVERYTHING. The menu has a distinct comfort food feel, starting with bar snacks like cheddar/pecan butter/cayenne cheese straws, a "Southern Poutine" of hand-cut fries topped with cheese curds, tasso ham, and gravy, and Gunthorp pork and chow chow (a Southern veggie relish) with cornmeal johnny cakes, which provide a wonderful opportunity to bond with heavyset North Jersey Italians who're hiding their sexuality. Larger plates consist of grilled shrimp and grits with cheddar and Frank's hot sauce, "Country Captain", a roast chicken with curried raisins and pine nuts, and a duck cassoulet with garlic sausage and blackeyed peas whose forward-thinking rhythms and incisive social commentary have made them the legume of a generation/wedding band intermissions.
Libation-wise they'll have 20-plus whiskeys and bourbons, a beer list heavy on Southern faves like Abita and Terrapin, and concoctions like a Stoli/peach schnapps/lemonade/mint number called a "Dirty Peach", just don't say that aloud to Daisy, or her cousins will shoot you with a bow & arrow, as is their Southern custom.
Scope out their entire food and booze capabilities at TheSouthernChicago.com