Moving south from the Great Lakes region, Think Tasty now heads to the Southeast region. Covering Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, we are sharing our top ten picks from the many that were submitted. For the next ten days, readers will have the opportunity to choose their favorite restaurant. Voting will end at 5:00 pm EST on Friday, November 12th, and the winner will be announced at that time.
1. Café Largo, Largo, FL
Although there are many great beach city restaurants in Florida, Café Largo on Indian Rocks Road in Florida has them beat hands down. Chef Dominique Christini is a true Cordon Bleu trained chef and all of his food demonstrates his fine training. Because of where he gets his meats and vegetables, they are unlike anything else you’ll ever taste. And…you no longer will be able to eat Chateaubriand anywhere else ever again. Amazing! The restaurant is in a unique location and it’s a very intimate size but the food and Dominique’s character making it an all time favorite!
2. Dogwood Restaurant, Atlanta, GA
Elevating Southern hospitality to an art form, Dogwood chef Shane Touhy seamlessly fuses elegance and sophisticated Southern cuisine, defying the notion that the culinary traditions of the South cannot exemplify refinement. The lunch and dinner menus focus on straightforward, yet refined Southern classics that incorporate modern culinary styles. Inventive dishes are comprised of local proteins and Southern sides like Charred Berkshire Pork Tenderloin with Georgia Gouda Grits, Butter Beans and Bordelaise; Southern Fried Boneless Chicken Breast, Collard Greens with Bacon and Mac and Bacon Wrapped Halibut with Lady Pea and Corn Succotash and Crawfish Tomato Butter.
3. Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ, Charleston, SC
Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ is Executive Chef/Owner Aaron Siegel’s idea of combining traditional processes and techniques of classical cuisine with the simplicity of comfort food, BBQ, and Southern fare. With two Charleston locations in West Ashley and on Sullivan’s Island, Home Team has the feel of an old Mississippi juke joint featuring traditional BBQ fair with Memphis-style dry rubbed Ribs and Chicken, a Texas-style braised and smoked Brisket along with Eastern North Carolina-style Pork Butts. The BBQ is complemented by traditional Southern sides such as creamy grits, smoked gouda mac and cheese, corn bread, squash casserole, and collard greens.
4. Holly Hill Inn, Midway, KY
Holly Hill Inn is a place that exceeds my food expectations as someone who has traveled extensively and lived in NYC, Washington DC, and Chicago. First, the restaurant itself is gorgeous–an antique home located in horse country–the perfect place for a meal after the horse races at Keeneland or a tour of nearby bourbon distilleries. Many a time I’ve enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail or dessert on their gracious and comfortable front porch, watching lightning bugs or turning leaves. The restaurant is dedicated to supporting local farmers, and the food itself is superb and consists of almost exclusively locally-sourced vegetables, grains, and meats. Examples: local prawns on locally milled grits, house cured pork belly with local apple cider reduction, and a Kentucky cheese plate. The chef, Ouita Michel, almost always comes out to greet guests, in the antique decorated dining room. One of my favorite places to eat in KY or anywhere else, hands down!
5. Marlin Darlin Key West Grill, Belleair Bluffs, FL
Marlin Darlin offers ten dollar entrées every night (including choices of fish and lamb chops) with a salad and small dessert. Their full menu includes a diverse offering of delectable items, such as steak, signature seafood dishes, and enticing custom creations from their chefs. With unbelievable food and fabulous prices, it is a hit in these tough times.
6. Miller Union, Atlanta, GA
Recently named one of the nation’s best new restaurants by Bon Appetit and Esquire magazines, Miller Union features sustainable, Southern-inspired cuisine with an evolving menu defined by the local harvest. Using partnerships with local farmers, Atlanta restaurant veterans chef Steven Satterfield and general manager Neal McCarthy offer the freshest local ingredients for lunch and dinner with a simple approach that highlights the natural flavors of the seasonal harvest. The third Tuesday of each month, Miller Union features the best flavors of the season in a prix fixe, three-course Harvest Dinner that fosters a sense of community and emphasizes the sustainable philosophy at the heart of the restaurant.
7. Moe’s Original Bar B Que, Birmingham, AL
Moe’s Original Bar B Que was founded by three Bama boys who had a mutual interest in all things Southern: BBQ, blues, college football, and whisky. In 2001, the founders reconnected in Vail, CO while all working at different restaurants. In nine years they have come from a junkyard pit to 16 successful restaurants in AL, CO and NC (with two more opening by January in Atlanta and Auburn) and no debt. Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que serves up a unique, all things Southern, BAMA BBQ experience.
8. Newk’s Express Café, Jackson, MS
Every time I’m in Mississippi, I make sure to stop by Newk’s Express Café in Jackson. The menu has a wide variety–from salads and sandwiches to pizzas and soups–and everything is fresh and unique. They also have their own bakery that makes delicious cakes and treats. They’re famous for their Tippah County caviar, which is the only caviar I’ll eat! Newk’s is great for dining in, but also super easy to get to-go. Service is fast so it’s perfect for when you’re too hungry to wait long for your meal.
9. The Red Hen Café, Alpharetta, GA
The food is phenomenal! The menu items are unique and excellently paired. Everything they serve is special; special cream cheese grits and amazing citrus-scented french toast. Family owned and operated, it provides a hip, casual atmosphere that adds a quaint down-town feel to our suburban cookie-cutter area of town. It definitely deserves your consideration for one of the top restaurants in the southeast!
10. Stonewood Grill, Winter Springs, FL
Currently evolving its menu and brand to reach a younger demographic, sales are up significantly at Stonewood Grill. It has a sexy atmosphere; offers great service, presentation and taste; and has an alluring ambience that includes an extra gift of pizazz, panache and style!
Please note that there are strict regulations on voting. Additionally, our system audits for fraudulent votes.