These Nachos Are a Notch Above

Zeta in Jacksonville, Florida, uses mahi mahi in their tacos…that’s no surprise. But the restaurant also offers it on the nachos for a fabulously delicious surprise. If you’ve got a large group, this is the perfect appetizer to begin your meal—but you may want to order more than one. They go quickly! Kudos to Zeta, also, for having a good selection of craft beers and terrific cocktails. The place fills up quickly on Thursday for trivia night, but the spacious place can handle it. The more the [... more]

Odd Duck

The announcement that the Odd Duck food trailer was closing in 2011 devastated many Austinites—especially after chef Bryce Gilmore was named a Food & Wine “Best New Chef” and the Food Network featured Odd Duck on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” So you can imagine the jubilation at the recent opening of the brick-and-mortar reincarnation of the trailer—on its original location on South Lamar Boulevard. Even more good news: Gilmore carried over his strict farm-to-table commitment, refusing to source ingredients from outside the state of Texas. [... more]

High Praise for High Cotton

The dining scene in Greenville, South Carolina, has quietly been heating up over the past few years. I’ve attended the town’s Euphoria Food and Wine Festival three years in a row and sampled cuisines from some of its best restaurants. Count High Cotton among those. Overlooking the River Walk, High Cotton takes advantage of its beautiful setting with floor-to-ceiling windows. The food—I would best describe as “modern Southern—is artfully presented. Menu highlights include the duck breast with a honey-thyme sauce and the pork chop with bourbon jus. [... more]

I Done Did It in Charlottesville

In my opinion, the Skybar in Charlottesville, Virginia, gives you the best view of the historic Downtown Mall. While I was enjoying the sights of the city, I decided to try one of their specialty cocktails, the “Done Did It.” Despite the funny name, this drink was no joke. The Southern Comfort, cider, and ginger beer worked together to pack this cocktail with flavor. The “Done Did It” inspired me to make the extra effort to sip and savor the cocktail. Photo Source: Commonwealth Skybar

Shine On!

The South is experiencing a moonshine resurgence. No longer a backwoods brew, ’shine now shows up on cocktail menus at trendy establishments. One such place, Stillhouse in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, has designed its entire cocktail menu around it. Dressed in low light and dark woods, the bar/restaurant features booths and high top tables made from Troy & Sons whiskey barrels. But, as we found out, the best seats are at the bar. Bartenders artfully craft cocktails using any of the 45 varieties of moonshine on hand. If [... more]

Game On

The Goldberg brothers have long been the kings of Nashville’s food and drink empire: They started the local mixology movement with the opening of the Patterson House in 2009; in 2011, they launched Catbird Seat, which is still one of the hardest tables to book in the country; and their most recent enterprise has cemented Max and Ben’s throne. The 13,000-square-foot Pinewood Social, which opened in December 2013, is a cocktail bar and restaurant with a Crema coffee outpost and workstations with free Wi-Fi for those who [... more]

Always the Optimist

Atlanta restaurateur Ford Fry, designer Smith Haynes, and architect Tim Nichols whip up an amazing experience for this classic seafood restaurant and oyster bar, named The Optimist. The design has a chic sense of nostalgia as most of the spatial inspiration came from Instagram images of seafood plans and ‘70s Venice Beach surf lifestyle. The building renovation (or more aptly, a rehabilitation) enhances the existing steel truss-work while featuring amazing new custom details such as steel windows, antique wood strips inspired by lobster traps, and glass pendants [... more]

A Refined Whiskey Bar

What goes with top-shelf whiskey? Upscale comfort food, of course. Those two draws are precisely what Dram Whiskey Bar in Birmingham has built its reputation on. While you munch on such offerings as Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Bison Chili, or Country Ham Sliders (shown above), try one of the bar’s featured cocktails such as Frankfort Fizz or Sassafras Sazerac. Not enough whiskey for you? No problem. Select one of their whiskey flights, which include tastings of five distinct whiskeys. Photo Source: Dram Whiskey Bar

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