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Southern Living Names Charleston's The Ordinary The Best New Restaurant in the South
8/30/2013 9:57:47 AM

Photo: Robbie Caponetto

New York, NY – Southern Living names The South’s Best New Restaurants in its September issue, on newsstands now. The magazine also reveals the best bite in each of the top five restaurants. For the full story, go to:

“I’ve chosen to salute a crop of newcomers that collectively reflects what Southern food is today and where it’s going,” said Travel & Features Editor Jennifer V. Cole. “From seafood palaces that champion the bounty of our waters…to simple neighborhood joints and kitchens run by first-generation Southerners who are introducing kimchi to our collards and curry leaves to our fried chicken, these picks reveal the patchwork quilt of modern Southern food. And they demonstrate why now is the best time to dine down South.”

Looking ahead, Cole says, “Mark my word. Fishermen will be the culinary rock stars of 2014.”

Cole has logged roughly 31,000 miles—from Charleston to Miami to Houston—all in the name of sussing out the best food. She also selects what she considers to be 100 Best Restaurants to Eat Now in the South. To see who made the list, go to:

The South’s Best New Restuarants, according to Southern Living, are:

1. THE ORDINARY, Charleston, SC
Because the Bounty of Our Waters is the Next Big Thing
“When Mike first opened Charleston’s FIG with partner Adam Nemirow 10 years ago…he made veggies with pedigree chic…Mike has turned his attention to the fruits of the sea. I’m convinced his efforts will inspire kitchens well beyond the Lowcountry,” writes Cole.

2. UNDERBELLY, Houston, TX
Because Never Before Have a City’s Flavors Come Through So Clearly
“Without a doubt Houston is the most interesting, far-ranging, delightful food city in the South—strike that—in America right now…And chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly might as well be the town’s pied piper, leading diners deeper into the flavors of the city,” writes Cole. “This man is Houston proud.”

Because First-Generation Southerners are Changing Our Notions of ‘Southern’ Food
“Asha has taken the flavors she found in her mother’s southern Indian kitchen as a child (okra green beans, pork, curry leaves) and applied it to her current home in the American South.”

4. HOG & HOMINY, Memphis, TN
Because Casual Fare Can Be as Creative as White-Tablecloth Dining
“Understatement is the point…This unlikely East Memphis spot, surrounded by office buildings, strip malls, and chain restaurants, simply turns out soulful food,” writes Cole.

5. MATEO TAPAS, Durham, NC
Because Community-Anchored Dining is Making a Comeback
“Throughout Southern cities, there’s a migration back downtown. Forward-thinking restauranteurs, shop owners, and developers are snapping up once-defunct properties and fueling revitalization. In Durham where residents are fiercely loyal to local enterprise, Mateo Tapas sits at the heart of that revival,” writes Cole.

Southern Living also cites these restaurants:

More Seafood Standouts:
The Optimist - Atlanta “a fishlover’s smorgasbord”
Peche Seafood Grill in New Orleans - “an open-fire emporium inspired by a trip to Uruguay.”

More Localized Flavor:Husk - Nashville, The River and Rail - Roanoke and Restaurant Michael Schwartz at The Raleigh - Miami

More from the Global Pantry: Milkwood - Louisville

More Champions of Casual Dining: The General Muir – Atlanta, Oxheart – Houston, Pizzeria Toro – Durham and Xiao Bao Biscuit – Charleston

More Neighborhood Joints:
Lockland Table and Rolf & Daughters - Nashville

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