Food & Drink

The Latest Southern Restaurant News

Guest chef residencies, special anniversary menus and Valentine’s Day dinners, and new hot spots opening across the South in February

Photo: Courtesy of Ladybird Taco; Mary Rooks; and Erin Austen Abbott

From left: Nashville's Ladybird Taco; Jackson, Mississippi's Elvie's; and French onion soup at Bishop's in Memphis, Tennessee.

All Across the South

Georgia-based Waffle House continues its tradition of hosting Valentine’s Day dinners, with many locations creating special décor and menu items, like heart-shaped waffles. Find out if your local outpost is accepting reservations here.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Throughout 2020, beloved NOLA restaurant Broussard’s is celebrating its hundredth anniversary with special themed menus that honor Crescent City history and ingredients, such as Creole spices, rice, pecans, and citrus. Chef Jimi Setchim’s first menu, available throughout February and March, focuses on chicory coffee. “As one of the closest ports to coffee bean growers across Central and South America, New Orleans stands as a leading coffee importer in the country, with some of the largest silos in the world,” Setchim says. Stop in for coffee and duck liver mousse on Johnny cakes or coffee-crusted lamb loin, finished with brandy coffee cake and a wine pairing—or just a classic cup of joe.

photo: Courtesy of Broussard’s.
Broussard’s coffee-crusted lamb loin.

Charleston, South Carolina

James Beard Award-winning Houston chef Chris Shepherd joins Mike Lata, Jason Stanhope, and the team at FIG on February 9 for a family-style Sunday Supper to celebrate his cookbook: Cook Like a Local, which spotlights various international cuisines through a Texas lens. And at newly opened Jackrabbit Filly, Asheville’s spice master Meherwan Irani will join chef Shuai Wang on February 18 to create a menu of blended Indian and Chinese dishes. “India and China share a massive border with a lot of cross-cultural stuff, and just like Tex-Mex, a unique form of cuisine has evolved called Desi-Chinese,” Wang says. “Imagine stir fried noodles with Indian flavors, or dumplings bursting with Indian curry inside.”

Memphis, Tennessee

On January 9, acclaimed Memphis restaurant Hog & Hominy sustained major damage during an electrical fire and remains shuttered as chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman make plans to rebuild. In February, though, the team looks ahead: their new French brasserie, Bishop, opens inside the new Central Station Hotel on South Main on February 22. “We really had to push ourselves not to lose momentum at the new restaurant after the fire,” Ticer says. “We were lucky that no one was hurt, and we were able to shift everyone [on the team], some of whom went to Bishop.” 

photo: Erin Austen Abbott
Bishop’s French onion soup.

Nashville, Tennessee

Ladybird Taco is slated to start serving breakfast tacos on homemade tortillas in the 12 South neighborhood this month. Musician and Nashville native Gabe Scott leads the team alongside Ben Edgerton and Andrew Wiseheart of Austin’s ranch-style hangout, Contigo. “I wanted to bring something I love to the place I live,” Scott says. “One of the things I’m most excited about serving is migas—I think this style of food is something that just isn’t known in the Nashville area.” Yet.

photo: Courtesy of Ladybird Taco.
Breakfast tacos from Ladybird Taco.

Atlanta, Georgia

In Atlanta’s Summerhill neighborhood, chef Jarrett Steiber moves toward a February opening for Little Bear, where he’ll dish out a small-plate menu that shifts weekly. In the meantime, check out Steiber’s podcast, Ticket Stabbers, which steps into the kitchens and behind the bars with chefs, mixologists, and owners of top Atlanta restaurants, such as Joey Ward of Southern Belle and Georgia Bow and Nick Leahy of Aix and Tin Tin.

Savannah, Georgia

Beloved Savannah, Georgia, ice cream parlor Leopold’s Ice Cream spent all 2019 celebrating its centennial, but the party isn’t over yet. On February 15, collectible book Leopold’s Ice Cream: A Century of Tasty Memories 1919-2019 debuts with a signing by owner Stratton Leopold at the shop’s original location on Broughton Street. The book covers the history of the store through photos, recipes, and stories, with a foreword by former president Jimmy Carter.

Jackson, Mississippi

Dishes like bouillabaisse with Gulf Coast seafood and duck confit cassoulet bring old-world Europe to modern Mississippi at chef Hunter Evans’s new all-day café, Elvie’s. “Elvie’s is inspired by my grandmother, who I grew up spending time with in New Orleans,” Evans says, “as well as my travels throughout Europe and training in New York City.” But despite the restaurant’s global appeal, the Jackson native will source his ingredients from Mississippi purveyors. The spot, located in Jackson’s Belhaven neighborhood, is slated to start serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in early February.

photo: Mary Rooks
The interior of Elvie’s.